EPI in brief - Latest news and publications from the Education Policy Initiative
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EPI in brief
Latest news and publications from the Education Policy Initiative
Winter 2016
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Why rush to hold kids back?

In an op-ed in the Detroit News, Brian Jacob and Michael Lombardo (Reading Partners) point to abundant evidence against mandated third-grade retention, a policy included in Michigan House Bill 4822 that would hold back third graders based exclusively on the results of standardized tests.

What can we learn from null effects?

In Harnessing the value of 'failure,' Brian Jacob provides a fresh perspective on the value of null results in intervention research to improve educational outcomes. Jacob provides insights from other fields as well as thoughts from a recently-concluded randomized evaluation of an early reading professional development program.

NCLB waivers and ESEA reauthorization

In a recent Brookings post, EPI research assistant and political science doctoral candidate Elizabeth Mann analyzes the widespread use of NCLB waivers and corresponding political delays in ESEA reauthorization.

Behavioral nudges and intrinsic motivation: What works for teachers?

In a project funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Brian Jacob, with the University of Chicago's Damon Jones and Ben Keyes (UM Econ PhD '09), will study whether various nudges can help persuade more teachers to apply for federal loan forgiveness, a program that may help improve teacher retention in high-needs schools.

Are Expectations Alone Enough? Estimating the Effect of a Mandatory College-Prep Curriculum in Michigan

This paper and policy brief present analysis of the impact of the Michigan Merit Curriculum on educational outcomes, based on a six-year longitudinal study of the Michigan Consortium for Educational Research researcher-practitioner partnership. The authors point to minimal overall impacts, but positive increases in academic achievement and a small reduction in high school graduation for Michigan's least prepared students.

Institutional choice and degree completion

In a new working paper, Jonathan Smith (College Board) and Kevin Stange identify the sources of, and national policy implications for, a large bachelor's degree attainment gap between students with similar characteristics who start at four-year colleges and those who start at community colleges.

What happens when the next class is free?

Steven Hemelt (UNC-Chapel Hill and EPI postdoc alum) and Kevin Stange examine the effect of marginal price (the amount colleges charge for each additional credit) on students' educational investments and attainment. This paper draws on the rich administrative data made available through the Michigan Consortium for Educational Research, our research partnership with the State of Michigan.
Susan Dynarski at TEDxIndianapolis
What a year for accolades!

Susan Dynarski receives recognition for her contribution to making college affordable.

Dynarski is among the top ten influencers and agitators recognized by the Chronicle of Higher Education for shaking up higher education, is a recipient of the NASPAA "Public Service Matters" Spotlight Award, and was honored with a special tribute from Michigan Governor Rick Snyder for her contributions to the University of Michigan HAIL Scholarship.

Brian Jacob and Susan Dynarski are once again listed on the 2016 Education Week's top 200 scholars, "who are doing the most to influence education policy and practice."

January 27: Is there a student debt crisis?

Thought-provoking discussion, rich in policy measures with potential to provide student debt relief. Panelists included Rohit Chopra, senior advisor to the U.S. Department of Education and former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau student loan ombudsman, and Susan Dynarski, EPI's student loan expert. See video here and conversation #EPIstudentdebt.

March 22: What works in early childhood education?

Four scholars will discuss what works—and doesn't—in early childhood education, focusing especially on interventions and policies to improve well-being and academic success for vulnerable children.

June 13-14: Restructuring student loans: lessons from abroad

Save the date. In mid-June we will convene international student loan experts in Washington, DC to enrich the U.S. conversation around student loans with perspectives on how other countries structure aid, borrowing and repayment.

New doctoral fellowship

Become an expert. Now accepting applications for our inaugural IES-funded doctoral training program, Causal Inference in Education Policy Research. Fellowship applications are due February 26.

Job market candidates

Four EPI-trained scholars enter the job market this year.
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