Prof. Gibbs Wins Award from the Association for Education Finance & Policy

The Association for Education Finance & Policy (AEFP) announced the awards for next week’s annual conference in San Antonio, TX and Professor Chloe Gibbs will be joining this year’s recipients. 

Gibbs has been selected to receive the 2014 Jean Flanigan Outstanding Dissertation Award. This prestigious award is presented annually, in recognition of exemplary dissertation research in the area of education finance and policy.

Chloe Gibbs, Ph.DGibbs, an assistant professor and researcher at EdPolicyWorks, completed her dissertation, “Experimental and Quasi-experimental Evidence on the Impact of Full-day Kindergarten,” at the University of Chicago. Her work was previously recognized with an honorable mention in the Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management’s competition for best dissertation in public policy and management, and has received considerable attention from policymakers.

“I’m delighted to receive this award from AEFP, an organization with a mission that is so supportive of and aligned with the type of policy research work that I do,” said Gibbs.

“I know that important issues in education finance and policy are being studied rigorously in doctoral programs across the country, and I am honored that my research is being recognized for contributing to a broader conversation about what works and what is cost-effective in early childhood education policy.”

The award-winning dissertation investigated whether full-day kindergarten students finish the kindergarten year with better literacy skills than their half-day kindergarten peers.

Gibbs explained why this work is unique to the field and why so many find the results interesting. “These studies are the first to use random assignment and a specific set of rigorous analytical designs to explore the impact of full-day kindergarten.”

In this research, Gibbs also examined any differences in effects for students by race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, and age. Notably, she found that full-day kindergarten has pronounced effects on end-of-kindergarten literacy skills and the impact is particularly large for Hispanic students. Full-day kindergarten also generates a larger return on investment in the form of early literacy skills than many other early childhood programs and interventions.

Gibbs’s current work focuses on the short- and long-term effects of early childhood interventions and policies, including several extensions of her dissertation work. She is exploring the longer-term impact of full-day kindergarten availability and participation on academic and social-emotional skills as well as the relationship between full-day kindergarten provision and maternal employment.

The awards committee noted that this was a very competitive year, with a doubling of submissions over last year, and extremely high quality submissions. Gibbs’s dissertation stood out at the top, said the awards committee.

With acceptance of this award, Gibbs joins an elite group of previous recipients, including Daphna Bassok who won in 2011 and Daniel Player in 2007, both researchers at EdPolicyWorks. Gibbs will receive a $500 cash award and an opportunity to present her work at the AEFP annual conference.

EdPolicyWorks is a joint collaboration between the Curry School of Education and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. EdPolicyWorks brings together researchers from across the University of Virginia and the State to focus on important questions of educational policy and the competitiveness of labor in an era of globalization.