Education

Commentary

In the 2018 midterm elections, candidates across the political spectrum ran on platforms that included expansion and support of early education and childcare assistance programs.

How Do Grade Structures Affect Healthy Child Development?

Late elementary school and middle school has long been seen as a critical point in child development, and several studies have shown that students experience a decline in performance when they transition from elementary to middle or middle to high school, and that they do not recover from these dips. Local school boards may choose to operate schools as K-8 combined elementary and middle schools or as K-5 elementary schools with separate middle schools, but little is known about how this structuring of grades might influence health outcomes or behavior.

Better Supporting the Needs of Children in Tennessee

Leveraging more than a decade’s worth of data, the researchers will examine relationships between at-risk children’s health and education outcomes, as well as access to public services. This is vital information as states across the country, and Tennessee in particular, adopt new laws and resolutions that encompass a wide range of policy actions related to child health and education.

Pay to Play? State Laws Related to High School Sports Participation Fees

Budget cuts have forced many school districts to prioritize school programs, and extracurricular activities such as sports are often viewed as less essential than academics. Yet rather than reducing or eliminating sports programs altogether, some districts are electing to transfer some of the costs of sports participation to student athletes and their families. This opens the door to wide variation of fees and processes, and may contribute to inequities in sports participation for low-income students already at higher-risk for poorer health outcomes.

Commentary

The recent P4A conference at NYU's Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service highlighted the power of partnerships with policymakers and practitioners to make research relevant and actionable.

Cross-post

Students attending two-year colleges are more likely to be food insecure than other adults, particularly during economic recessions. Though we don’t identify the underlying causes of this trend, the high levels of food insecurity among two-year students should push policymakers to reexamine how the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) and other supportive services can best assist these students.

Commentary

Over the last several decades, a robust body of evidence has emerged linking early childhood investments—in high-quality childcare, early learning, home visiting, and more—to better health and well-being, sometimes years later in adulthood.

Gender Differences in the Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program

ABC/CARE was a comprehensive, birth through age five early childhood development program that included early health, nutrition, parental education and early childhood education. Complementing their recent cost-benefit analysis of the ABC/CARE program, Dr. James Heckman and his team look at the differences in outcomes based on gender in their paper, Gender Differences in the Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program.

The Impacts of Universal Prekindergarten on Children’s Health

Prior research suggests that universal pre-kindergarten programs can generate lifetime benefits, but the mechanisms generating these effects are not well understood. In 2014, New York City made all 4-year-old children eligible for universal pre-k programs that emphasized developmental and health screening. We examine the effect of this program on health outcomes.

Seeing and Hearing: The Impacts of New York City's Universal Prekindergarten Program on the Health of Low-Income Children

Overview

Kai Hong, Kacie Dragan, and Sherry Glied from the NYU Wagner Research Hub released a working paper exploring the health impacts of New York City’s 2014 roll-out of a Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) program. The substantial size of the program, the emphasis on developmental screening, the age-cutoff rule for enrollment, and the timing of the roll-out made it an excellent case to evaluate potential short-term health and utilization impacts.