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Report Round-Up: September 9, 2011

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September 09, 2011 07:19 pm


Here is a round-up of this week’s education-related reports. Let us know if we missed any!

“The Distribution of Grants and Scholarships by Race”: Student Aid Policy Analysis
This national report found that minority students are less likely to win private scholarships or receive merit-based institutional grants than Caucasian students. The analysis by financial aid expert Mark Kantrowitz is based on 2003-04 and 2007-08 data for hundreds of thousands of students from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study. Overall, it found white students are 40 percent more likely to win scholarship than students of color.

“Explaining Charter School Effectiveness” National Bureau of Economic Research
This study by Massachusetts researchers finds that charter schools located in urban communities significantly improved their students’ mathematics and language arts performance on state assessments, while nonurban charter schools did not, and, in some cases, even appeared to hurt students academically. The researchers traced the greater student academic growth in urban charter schools to the “no excuses” instructional approaches typical of urban charters in that state.

“Education, Demand, and Unemployment in Metropolitan America”: The Brookings Institution
This new study investigates one key question: Whether the U.S. unemployment problem is primarily due to weak demand (the lousy economy) or to fundamental issues that will persist even when the economy improves. The study looks at what is referred to as the “education gap”: the difference between the level of education that employers are looking for, on average, and the level of education that potential workers actually have. At the height of the recession in 2009, the average U.S. job required 13.54 years of education, up from 13.37 in 2005. The increase reflected layoffs in less-education intensive industries such as construction and manufacturing, amid job gains in industries like health care, education, and professional services that demand more education.

“Education and Synthetic Work-Life Earnings Estimates”: Census Bureau
This study confirmed something most already considered a fact: the more education you get, the more likely you are to get a job and earn more money. For example, someone who obtains a professional degree will receive median annual earnings nearly four times those of a worker with just a high school diploma and 87 percent higher than those with bachelor’s degrees. Researchers studied lifetime earnings for a typical worker from 25 to 64, and came up with estimates measured in 2008 dollars.


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