A Broader Measure of Student Achievement and Learning in Traditional Public High Schools

The REMIQS (Robust and Equitable Measures to Identify Quality Schools) project seeks to identify traditional public high schools that effectively serve students who have been historically underserved in the education system. It will define effectiveness by recognizing how students achieve along various success pathways and how schools support those successes. A joint effort between the Urban Institute, KnowledgeWorks’ Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative, and multiple states, REMIQS will use state longitudinal data and other public data resources to identify authentic definitions of quality that go beyond test scores and graduation rates.

America’s Gradebook 

How well do states educate their students? This tool lets you compare student performance while controlling for different demographic factors to better understand how your state stacks up.

Charting Student Loan Repayment

The US Department of Education offers various income-driven loan repayment plans, each with different parameters that affect how long it will take borrowers to repay their loans and how much they will pay. As Congress faces reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, proposals to rethink income-based repayment abound. Use our tool to design your own income-driven repayment plan, and see how it compares with existing and proposed plans.

COVID-19 and Young Families’ Well-Being: From Rapid-Response Research to Policy Solutions

Families with young children have faced unique challenges due to COVID-19. Urban Institute partnered with the University of Oregon’s Center for Translational Neuroscience to assess the well-being of families nationwide in real time. In this series of blog posts, we analyze the challenges families are facing and offer evidence-based policy solutions to guide policymakers. 

DC Education Research Collaborative

The DC Education Research Collaborative (the Collaborative), a consortium of 15 organizations headed by the Urban Institute, was selected to lead the RPP in January 2021. In collaboration with education stakeholders and the public, the organizations that make up the Collaborative will conduct rigorous research designed and implemented in partnership with members of the DC education community.

Diversifying the Classroom: Examining the Teacher Pipeline 

Why does the US teaching workforce remain predominantly white, even as the student body grows increasingly diverse? This interactive feature examines the stages of the teacher pipeline, demonstrating that teacher diversity gaps are constrained by limited f diversity among college graduates.

Education Data Portal

Despite increased data availability, education policy has historically been driven by personal experience and politics. We hope to change that by making education data from prekindergarten through 12th grade and higher education easier than ever to access through our new education data portal. Use our tool to combine data from several sources, look at trends, and draw deeper insights.

Financing Public Higher Education

College affordability and access are national issues, but students in different states face different circumstances. Enrollment, funding, and tuition in public colleges and universities vary widely across states, and have evolved with states’ economies and policy priorities. Our dashboard illustrates those differences and how they have changed over time.

Graduate and Professional Education

In this series of papers and blog posts, we delve into the details on graduate student enrollment, financing, outcomes, and debt to understand the distinct issues advanced degree seekers face. Examining students, institutions, and outcomes across degree, occupational, and demographic categories paints a nuanced picture of the payoffs of graduate and professional education.

Historic Crisis, Historic Opportunity: Using Evidence to Mitigate the Effects of the COVID-19 Crisis on Young Children and Early Care and Education Programs

The COVID-19 crisis has brought unprecedented challenges for young children, families, early educators, and early care and education (ECE) programs. In this project, we work with early childhood experts across the country to synthesize relevant studies released during the pandemic and offer evidenced-backed solutions for addressing young children’s immediate needs, stabilizing hard-hit ECE programs, supporting early educators, and mitigating longer-term ramifications of the crisis

Long-Term Effects of Private School Choice Programs

The number of private school choice programs, which allow students to use public funds to finance private school educations, has increased in recent years. In this collection of reports, we look at three private school choice programs to see whether participation in these programs affects the rates at which students attend and graduate from college.

Measuring College Performance

Higher education data are now more widely available than ever before. Despite having an abundance of data, it can still be difficult to understand how well state colleges serve students. For this series of reports and an interactive feature, we worked with policymakers in Virginia and Connecticut to explore how their longitudinal data systems can be used to produce more nuanced measures of institutional quality. 

Measuring Student Poverty

For decades, free and reduced-price lunch (FRPL) status has been used as a measure of student poverty for determining school funding and accountability. Changes to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), however, have made FRPL status a less reliable measure of student economic disadvantage. This series looks at the challenges that accompany changes to the NSLP and the alternative measures of student poverty that states are developing.

OKFutures: Oklahoma’s Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five

Oklahoma is a national leader in early childhood care and education and one of 46 states and territories to receive a federal Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5). Along with state agencies, research partners, advisers, and others, Urban is leading a needs assessment and strategic plan for the Sooner State.

Pell Grant Reform Simulator

Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act gives Congress the opportunity to modernize the Pell grant program, which makes college more affordable for low-income students. With this tool, users can simulate the effects of modifications to the Pell program to see how program costs and grant amounts would change and which students would be affected.

Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act

The Higher Education Act of 1965 was created to strengthen the country’s colleges and universities by increasing resources to educational institutions and financial assistance for students. Last reauthorized in 2008, a new reauthorization is overdue. This collection offers evidence-based policy solutions to guide the next reauthorization.

Strengthening State Student Grant Aid

In this series of reports and issue briefs, we analyze the New Jersey and Texas state grant aid programs and provide recommendations for improving access to the state grant programs and serving more eligible low- and moderate-income students.

Student Transportation and Educational Access

Cities across the country have adopted school choice policies that allow students to attend schools outside their neighborhoods, providing low-income students more opportunities to attend high-quality schools. But for families without reliable transportation, these schools might be unrealistic options. In this series of reports on student transportation in five school choice—rich cities, we explore the complexities of transportation policy and how it can enable, rather than be a barrier to, equitable access to high-quality education.

A Study of Public Prekindergarten in the District of Columbia

The DC Prekindergarten Study offers the first independent look at DC public prekindergarten, a program that boasts the country’s highest preschool enrollment rate and serves a diverse group of 3- and 4-year-old students. Because the program uses a centralized admissions lottery, this study is also one of a small number of evaluations that seek to measure the effectiveness of preschool through randomized experiment.

Understanding College Affordability

Rising concerns over college tuition and student debt, combined with the widespread conviction that a degree is essential for a middle-class lifestyle, have led to a sense that college in the United States has become "unaffordable." But what does affordability actually mean? Explore affordability from all angles on our website.

Understanding School District Funding

Most school districts are funded through complex state funding formulas. The formulas are designed to provide equitable funding across districts but can give some districts unintentional advantages. Use our interactive simulators to learn about the most common funding models and examine models in four states.