Education Policy Seminar Series - Fall 2013

Please note that Dan Goldhaber's talk was video recorded and live streamed. This video is now available online.

David KirpTortoise Beats Hare: The Rebirth of a Great American School System and a Strategy for America’s Schools

David Kirp, Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California Berkeley
Wednesday September 11th 2013, 12:00-1:15 PM
Commons (Rm 206), Garrett Hall

David L. Kirp, Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, is a former newspaper editor and lawyer as well as an academic. In his seventeen books and scores of articles in both the popular press and scholarly journals he has tackled some of America’s biggest social problems, including affordable housing, access to health, race and gender discrimination and AIDS. His main focus has been on education and children’s policy, spanning the age range from cradle to college and career. He has worked with policymakers at all levels of government and served on President Obama's 2008 Transition Team.

Improbable Scholars: The Rebirth of a Great American School System and a Strategy for America's Schools, his newest book, chronicles how a poor urban school has transported Latino immigrant children into the education mainstream—90 percent of those youngsters graduate from high school, 10 percent more than the nationwide average, and 75 percent enroll in college—and what nationwide lessons can be drawn from this success.

portraitUsing “Big Data” to Estimate Population Average Treatment Effects in Educational Research

Elizabeth Stuart, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University
Monday September 23rd, 2013, 2:00-3:30 PM
Holloway Hall (Rm 116), Bavaro Hall

Trained as a statistician, Elizabeth Stuart's primary research interests are in the development and use of methodology to better design and analyze the effects of public health and educational interventions, either through the use of randomized experiments or well-designed non-experimental studies. In this way she hopes to bridge statistical advances and research practice, working with mental health and educational researchers to identify and solve methodological challenges, particularly in the area of prevention research.

Stuart's methodological interests are in the areas of matching methods for observational studies (such as propensity scores) and missing data methods.  She has been involved in large-scale randomized experiments such as the national evaluation of Upward Bound, and have also worked on a variety of non-experimental studies, including the evaluation of school-wide prevention programs and an evaluation of the effects of implementing value-added assessment techniques in Pennsylvania schools.

Her recent work, funded through a K25 award from the National Institute of Mental Health, has focused on developing methods to assess when and how results from randomized trials can be generalized to target populations.  These ideas bridge internal and external validity, attempting to take advantage of the relative strengths of experimental and non-experimental studies.


Did School Desegregation Increase Social Contact Between Blacks and Whites? Evidence from Mixed-Race Births

Nora Gordon, Georgetown Public Policy Institute, Georgetown University
Friday October 4th, 2013, 12:00-1:30 PM
Commons (Rm 206), Garrett Hall

Nora Gordon is Associate Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University. Her research interests center around the economics of education. She has studied the causes and consequences of school desegregation, intergovernmental grants, school district consolidation, and the current and historical federal role in elementary and secondary education. Her current interests include special education and the regulation of state and federal categorical aid to school districts. Professor Gordon received her Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 2002. She is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Education Research. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation for Education Research, the American Educational Research Association, and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

Christopher J. RuhmThe Effect of California’s Paid Family Leave Program on Leave-taking and Labor Market Outcomes

Christopher Ruhm, Department of Economics and Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, University of Virginia
Monday October 14th, 2013, 12:30-2 PM
Holloway Hall (Rm 116), Bavaro Hall

Christopher J. Ruhm is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Public Policy & Economics at the University of Virginia.  He received his doctorate in economics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1984.  Prior to joining UVA, in 2010, he held faculty positions at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Boston University, and was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Brandeis University.  During the 1996-97 academic year he served as Senior Economist on President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, where his main responsibilities were in the areas of health policy, aging and labor market issues. He is currently a Research Associate in the Health Economics, Health Care Policy, and Children’s Programs of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Germany. 

Professor Ruhm’s recent research has focused on examining how various aspects of health are produced – including the rise in obesity and relationship between macroeconomic conditions and health – and on the role of government policies in helping parents with young children balance the competing needs of work and family life.  His earlier research includes study of the determinants of health and risky behaviors, effects of job displacements and mandated employment benefits, transition into retirement, and the causes and consequences of alcohol and illegal drug policies.  He is co-author of Time Out With Baby: The Case for Paid Parental Leave (published by Zero to Three) Turbulence in the American Workplace (published by Oxford University Press) and has more than 80 pieces published as book chapters and articles in economics, public policy and health journals.  His research has been cited in local, national, and international media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, USA Today, Business Week, CNN, ABC, CBS, BBC, and NPR.

Ruhm has received external research funding from a diverse set of organizations including the U.S. Department of Labor, National Science Foundation, several of the National Institutes of Health, the Russell Sage Foundation and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  He is currently associate editor of the Southern Economic Journal, Journal of Population Economics and International Journal of Information Security and Privacy, on the editorial board of Economics Letters and the Journal of Labor Research, on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Health Economists and a steering committee member of the Southeastern Health Economics Study Group. From 2009-2011, he served as Vice President of the Southern Economic Association.

Student Loans, the Cost of Borrowing, and Implications for the Effectiveness of Need-Based Grant Aid

Lesley J. Turner, Department of Economics, and Maryland Population Research Center, University of Maryland
Friday October 18th, 2013, 10:00-11:30 AM
Commons (Rm 206), Garrett Hall

Lesley J. Turner, Assistant Professor of Economics and Faculty Associate of the Maryland Population Research Center, received her PhD from Columbia University in 2012. Her research applies theory and methods from labor and public economics to topics in the economics of education and broadly considers the role government should play in providing and financing education. Dr. Turner received her BA from the University of Michigan in 2004 and her MPP from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan in 2005. She was awarded the Upjohn Institute Dissertation award for the best PhD dissertation in labor economics in 2012.

Knocking on the Door to the Teaching Profession? Modeling the Entry of Prospective Teachers in the Workforce

Dan Goldhaber, Center for Education Data & Research, University of Washington Bothell
Monday November 11th, 2013, 12:30-2:00 PM
Holloway Hall (Rm 116), Bavaro Hall

This talk was recorded and is available online.

Dr. Dan Goldhaber is the Director of the Center for Education Data & Research and a Professor in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell. He is also the co-editor of Education Finance and Policy, and a member of the Washington State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Dan previously served as an elected member of the Alexandria City School Board from 1997-2002, and as an Associate Editor of Economics of Education Review.

Dan's work focuses on issues of educational productivity and reform at the K-12 level, the broad array of human capital policies that influence the composition, distribution, and quality of teachers in the workforce, and connections between students' K-12 experiences and postsecondary outcomes. Topics of published work in this area include studies of the stability of value-added measures of teachers, the effects of teacher qualifications and quality on student achievement, and the impact of teacher pay structure and licensure on the teacher labor market. Previous work has covered topics such as the relative efficiency of public and private schools, and the effects of accountability systems and market competition on K-12 schooling.

Dan's research has been regularly published in leading peer-reviewed economic and education journals such as: American Economic Review, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Policy and Management, Journal of Urban Economics, Economics of Education Review, Education Finance and Policy, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. The findings from these articles have been covered in more widely accessible media outlets such as National Public Radio, the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, and Education Week.

Dr. Goldhaber holds degrees from the University of Vermont (BA, Economics) and Cornell University (MS and PhD, Labor Economics).



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