Urban Wire New Voices in Public Policy Research
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The UI Academy for Public Policy Analysis and Research brings ten minority college students to the Urban Institute for a summer of policy seminars and skill-building in Washington. The Academy Fellows pick policy questions they consider important and design new empirical research to help answer these questions. This is the first installment in our New Voices series. Check back soon for more!

Kimberly Johnson: Diversity in Academia and the Academic Achievement Gap 

The academic achievement gap between Caucasian and minority students persists.  Researchers across many disciplines have studied and attempted to find ways to help close this gap.  Meanwhile, many districts across the nation still use busing to help racially and economically integrate schools, as well as help narrow this academic achievement gap. Is this ultimately beneficial? To read more click here.

Zach Murray: Healthy Food Access in Food Deserts

Research has confirmed that food deserts exist in communities across the US, giving the issue traction in media and public policy. The term “food desert” is typically applied to communities with high numbers of low-income residents who must travel unusually long distances—more than a mile—to the nearest store selling healthy food. Though the concept is typically linked to urban largely poor and minority communities, today many rural communities are also burdened by a severe lack of access to healthy foods. To read more click here.

Rene Crespin: Does Head Start Work for Hispanic Children?

The broad education community is currently trying to expand and reform early childhood education.  A key concern is reaching children from disadvantaged families, which most Americans agree should, along with all other children, be given the opportunity to get a high- quality education.  Access to early education is seen as a way to  help close the racial and social class achievement gaps, and, going a step farther, to  create a more productive and valuable workforce for tomorrow’s America. To read more click here.  

Blythe George: The Native American Achievement Gap: Thoughts on Closing it Once and For All

Today, nine out of ten Native American students  attend public schools operated by state and local governments. That makes their education largely a state and local responsibility, and not a tribal one, despite recent efforts by tribes to partner with local institutions in the education of their children. To read more click here.