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Elementary and Secondary Schools

 
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Children's School-Related Food and Physical Activity Behaviors Are Associated with Body Mass Index (Article)
Tracy Vericker

Childhood obesity is a critical public health issue, with prevalence rates reaching nearly one in five children. Schools may be a promising public policy intervention point. The foods schools sell and the physical activity environments they foster can influence dietary behaviors and overall physical activity. Using secondary data from a nationally representative sample of children from the kindergarten class of 1998-1999 and nonexperimental methods, this study examines the associations between the food and physical activity environments in school and body mass index (BMI) for low-income boys and girls in the 8th grade during 2007. Results reveal that participating in school sports is associated with a 0.55 lower BMI score for boys. For low-income girls, eating the school breakfast is associated with a 0.70 higher BMI score and eating the school lunch is associated with a 0.65 higher BMI score. Each hour spent on homework is associated with a 0.02 higher BMI score for low-income girls. These findings suggest that schools may influence adolescent BMI and that there is room for improvement in school food and physical activity environments to promote healthier weights for low-income boys and girls.

Posted to Web: April 14, 2014Publication Date: October 28, 2013

Driving to Opportunity: Understanding the Links among Transportation Access, Residential Outcomes, and Economic Opportunity for Housing Voucher Recipients (Research Report)
Rolf Pendall, Christopher Hayes, Taz George, Zach McDade, Additional Authors

In the 1990s and early 2000s, the Department of Housing and Urban Development sponsored two major experiments to test whether housing choice vouchers propelled low-income households into greater economic security, the Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing program (MTO) and the Welfare to Work Voucher program (WTW). Using data from these programs, this study examines differences in residential location and employment outcomes between voucher recipients with access to automobiles and those without. Overall, the findings underscore the positive role of automobiles in outcomes for housing voucher participants.

Posted to Web: March 31, 2014Publication Date: March 31, 2014

Supporting Immigrant Families' Access to Prekindergarten (Research Report)
Julia Gelatt, Gina Adams, Sandra Huerta

Children of immigrants can benefit from attending prekindergarten, though they enroll less, on average, than children with US-born parents. This detailed report draws on interviews conducted with over 40 prekindergarten directors and staff, directors of early childhood education programs, and other specialists to present strategies for improving prekindergarten enrollment among immigrant families and English Language Learners. This includes strategies for outreach to support prekindergarten enrollment; helping immigrant families overcome language, documentation, and other logistical barriers when enrolling their children in prekindergarten programs; and building trust and good relationships with immigrant parents and designing immigrant- and ELL-friendly programs.

Posted to Web: March 19, 2014Publication Date: March 19, 2014

Improving Access to Prekindergarten for Children of Immigrants: Enrollment Strategies (Fact Sheet / Data at a Glance)
Julia Gelatt, Gina Adams, Sandra Huerta

Children of immigrants can benefit from attending prekindergarten, though they enroll less, on average, than children with US-born parents. This fact sheet focuses on strategies for helping immigrant families overcome language, documentation, and other logistical barriers when enrolling their children in prekindergarten programs. It is one of three factsheets, all drawn from Supporting Immigrant Families’ Access to Prekindergarten. This detailed report draws on interviews conducted with more than 40 prekindergarten directors and staff, directors of early childhood education programs, and other specialists to present strategies for improving prekindergarten enrollment among immigrant families and English Language Learners.

Posted to Web: March 19, 2014Publication Date: March 19, 2014

District-Wide Model Bullying Prevention Policy (Research Report)
John Roman, Samuel Bieler

This Model Bullying Prevention Policy is a comprehensive strategy that was developed for all youth-serving agencies in the District of Columbia. The policy employs a three-level public health model to prevent bullying, which involves shifting agency norms; delivering services to at-risk youth; and responding to bullying incidents in a way that inhibits subsequent acts, with an emphasis on data analysis to measure intervention success. The policy was developed by the Urban Institute in collaboration with the 42-members of the District of Columbia Mayor's Bullying Prevention Task Force and Office of Human Rights.

Posted to Web: January 31, 2013Publication Date: January 31, 2013

Variation in 2010-11 Truancy Rates Among District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) High Schools and Middle Schools (DCPI - Research and Analysis)
Akiva Liberman, Meagan Cahill

In the 2010-2011 school year, 2,500 high school students were chronically truant in District of Columbia Public Schools; at four schools over half of the students were chronically truant. High school truancy rates were moderately related to poverty and crime in students' residential neighborhoods and to violence near school. But the absenteeism of students in eighth grade was the strongest predictor of high school truancy rates. Focusing on middle school attendance issues may therefore be the most effective means of lowering high school truancy rates.

Posted to Web: December 03, 2012Publication Date: December 03, 2012

Housing and Schools: Working Together to Reduce the Negative Effects of Student Mobility (Research Report)
Jennifer Comey, Sophie Litschwartz, Kathryn L.S. Pettit

How has the recession and its resulting family instability impacted children’s residential and school mobility? Officials from housing, homeless, and school programs discussed the full spectrum of residential mobility in two recent Urban Institute roundtables: from chronic mobility, eviction, and foreclosure to doubled-up households and homelessness. Attendees explored programs and policies to reduce residential and student mobility, as well as brainstormed new ways for different organizations to work together. The discussion centered on examples of school districts, government agencies, and nonprofit housing counseling agencies working together to mitigate the negative effects of mobility.

Posted to Web: November 20, 2012Publication Date: October 31, 2012

Truancy Rates and Truancy Reduction in the District of Columbia: Testimony before the Committee of the Whole and the Committee of the Judiciary of the Council of the District of Columbia (Testimony)
Akiva Liberman

High rates of truancy at some DC schools are receiving considerable attention. The Family Court cannot realistically be a primary response to the chronic truancy of thousands of chronically truant high-school students, Senior Fellow Akiva Liberman of the Justice Policy Center told the City Council. Liberman commented that family-based interventions for 9th graders may be necessary but insufficient to reduce truancy without simultaneously improving the attendance norms at high-truancy schools. Reducing absenteeism before high school may be the most effective way to reduce high school truancy.

Posted to Web: November 08, 2012Publication Date: November 08, 2012

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