The Urban Institute conducts interdisciplinary studies that explore critical intersections between schools, families, communities, and the workplace. Drawing upon expertise and perspectives from across our research centers, the Education Policy Cluster coordinates studies focused on family and neighborhood factors that influence school performance and educational success, the potential of alternative school improvement and reform initiatives, the effectiveness of both K–12 and post-secondary systems in preparing young people for careers, strategies for helping at-risk youth stay and succeed in school, and school financing mechanisms.
In addition, the Urban Institute has conducted research on issues that have been central to education policy, including school and teacher assessment, and evaluation of specific reforms.
Education Policy Cluster
Contributing Scholars: Akiva Liberman, Kim Rueben, Austin Nichols, John Roman, Sue Popkin, Peter Tatian, Mike Pergamit, Bob Lerman, Marla McDaniel, Megan Cahill, Erwin de Leon, Gina Adams, Kathryn Pettit, Caroline Ratcliffe, Signe-Mary McKernan, Maria Enchautegui, Elsa Falkenburger, Lauren Eyster, Demetra Smith Nightengale, Sara Edelstein, Julia Isaacs, Megan Gallagher, Zach McDade, Heather Hahn, Gene Steuerle, Tracy Vericker, Pamela Loprest, Josh Mitchell, Mary Cunningham, Genevieve Kenney, Elaine Maag, Heather Sandstrom, Kelly Devers
Publications on Education
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In this testimony before the House Education and the Workforce Committee, Sandy Baum states that federal student aid has made college a reality for millions of students, but the programs can be improved for both students and taxpayers. Aid programs should be designed so that that the students who have the most potential to benefit know about them, understand them, can predict and count on their benefits, and can access them without undue difficulty. Moreover, it is not enough to put postsecondary enrollment in financial reach. We must ensure that aid programs provide the appropriate incentives and supports for both students and institutions to succeed in meeting the educational goals of our nation and its students.
Promise Neighborhoods is a U.S. Department of Education place-based initiative intended to turn neighborhoods of concentrated poverty into neighborhoods of opportunity using a continuum of services from early childhood through college and career. The Promise Neighborhoods model has a strong commitment to results-based planning and improvement using real-time data, and data on solutions implemented and participant outcomes will be collected over multiple years. This specification document details the format of data to be collected for a data file to eventually be made available to researchers via restricted use license from the Department of Education (the Restricted Use Data File).
This study uses nationally representative data from the 2009 National Financial Capability State-by-State Survey to examine the relationship between state-level alternative financial service (AFS) policies (prohibitions, price caps, disclosures) and consumer use of five AFS products: payday loans, auto title loans, pawn broker loans, refund anticipation loans, and rent-to-own transactions. The results suggest that more stringent price caps and prohibitions are associated with lower product use and do not support the hypothesis that prohibitions and price caps on one AFS product lead consumers to use other AFS products.
Community and technical colleges are important training providers for the nation, uniquely positioned to develop a skilled regional workforce, but may lack the capacity to respond to the needs of industry. The Community-Based Job Training Grant program, administered by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration, was intended to address a critical capacity shortage at community and technical colleges to train workers for high-growth occupations to help strengthen an industry's regional competitiveness. The Urban Institute's implementation evaluation provides a comprehensive picture of the grants and highlights innovations, successes and challenges, and trends and patterns across the grants
The Urban Institute held a roundtable designed to inform a broad workforce policy agenda that reflects the changing economic and government landscape and explores new approaches to meeting employer demand for skilled workers and addressing unemployment. Attendees, representing a range of perspectives, focused on collaborative efforts that better connect employers with workforce programs, approaches that help build the education and work experience of under-skilled and unemployed workers, and advances in business practices and technology. This paper highlights attendees' discussions of workforce innovations and practices that hold the most promise and challenges for ensuring an effective U.S. workforce system.