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Social capital II: Determinants of economic connectedness

August 1, 2022

Low levels of social interaction across class lines have generated widespread concern and are associated with worse outcomes, such as lower rates of upward income mobility. Here we analyse the determinants of cross-class interaction using data from Facebook, building on the analysis in our companion paper. We show that about half of the social disconnection across socioeconomic lines—measured as the difference in the share of high-socioeconomic status (SES) friends between people with low and high SES—is explained by differences in exposure to people with high SES in groups such as schools and religious organizations. The other half is explained by friending bias—the tendency for people with low SES to befriend people with high SES at lower rates even conditional on exposure. Friending bias is shaped by the structure of the groups in which people interact. For example, friending bias is higher in larger and more diverse groups and lower in religious organizations than in schools and workplaces. Distinguishing exposure from friending bias is helpful for identifying interventions to increase cross-SES friendships (economic connectedness). Using fluctuations in the share of students with high SES across high school cohorts, we show that increases in high-SES exposure lead low-SES people to form more friendships with high-SES people in schools that exhibit low levels of friending bias. Thus, socioeconomic integration can increase economic connectedness in communities in which friending bias is low. By contrast, when friending bias is high, increasing cross-SES interactions among existing members may be necessary to increase economic connectedness. To support such efforts, we release privacy-protected statistics on economic connectedness, exposure and friending bias for each ZIP (postal) code, high school and college in the United States at

Fundamental 4: Pandemic Learning Reveals the Value of High-Quality Instructional Materials to Educator-Family-Student Partnerships

July 27, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic caused enormous disruptions to PK-12 school systems, including long-held beliefs about teaching and learning. After several months of unexpected virtual and hybrid learning, some school systems have emerged with a new understanding of the instructional core. Commonly thought of as the relationships between teacher, student, and instructional materials that support student learning, these leaders have expanded their understanding of the instructional core to include families.We conducted nearly 300 interviews with students, families, and educators from nine school districts and charter school organizations to learn more about the expanded instructional core. In "Fundamental 4," we share four lessons key to sustaining the expanded core. These lessons are:Expand the required dimensions of "high-quality" instructional materials to be educative for families, tech-enabled, and culturally responsiveLeverage high-quality instructional materials to coordinate academic co-production among the four anchors of the expanded coreSustain curriculum-based professional learning focused on the expanded core, with an explicit focus on implementing high-quality instructional materials in ways that respond to student, family, and community needsCreate systems and structures for families, teachers, and students to design, monitor, and improve upon learning experiences

Learning at Home While Under-connected: Lower-Income Families During the COVID-19 Pandemic

June 24, 2021

This report presents the findings of a nationally representative, probability-based telephone survey of more than 1,000 parents of children ages three to 13, all with household incomes below the national median for families in the United States (i.e., $75,000). The survey was conducted in March and April of 2021: one year into the pandemic, and a crucial turning point. Parents could reflect on a full year of remote learning and pandemic parenting, and also look forward—thanks to the proliferation of vaccines—to their children's full and safe return to in-person schooling in the fall. But this survey goes beyond documenting families' challenges. We also uncover what parents feel they have learned through this pandemic year, from increased confidence in their ability to help their child with schoolwork to greater comfort communicating with teachers and developing a deeper understanding of their child's learning patterns. And we look ahead to the next school year, delving into what parents think schools' priorities should be for smoothing their children's transitions to, or back into, the classroom in the fall of 2021.

Fostering Social and Emotional Health through Pediatric Primary Care: Common Threads to Transform Everyday Practice and Systems

October 1, 2019

This report takes a deeper look at what is currently being done and what may be possible in the pediatric well-child visit (ages 0 – 3) and the pediatric primary care setting to promote positive outcomes around social and emotional development, the parent-child relationship, and parents' mental health as it is a critical mediator of the parentchild relationship. In the rest of this report, these outcomes are referred to collectively as "social and emotional development." This report describes the findings from CSSP's qualitative program analysis on the common practices used by innovative primary care sites.

A View from the Canopy: Building collective knowledge on school innovation

September 1, 2019

Databases and lists that offer information about innovative schools unintentionally contribute to the problem, as a lack of standard terminology and data structures forces them into siloes. As a result, knowledge of how schools are reimagining the learning experience for students remains deeply fragmented and woefully insufficient, creating real consequences—not only for funders, researchers, and school support organizations, but ultimately for the evolution and spread of promising practices.Recognizing this challenge, the Christensen Institute has worked with a range of partners to launch a project we're calling the Canopy: an effort to build better collective knowledge about the diverse range of schools offering learning experiences designed with students at the center. More than just another list, the Canopy reimagines both where information comes from as well as how it is structured to address some of the fractures in the current system. By casting a wide net through a crowdsourcing approach, Canopy surfaced 235 schools making strides towards student-centered learning—72% of which do not appear on other commonly referenced lists of innovative schools. Nominators and schools also used a consistent set of "tags" or common keywords to describe each school's model, meaning the dataset can be filtered, analyzed, and built out over time.This initial stage of the Canopy demonstrates how a process designed to advance collective knowledge has the potential to unveil a more diverse, complete picture of K-12 school innovation. We hope this leads to additional research efforts, and ultimately supports the development and scale of promising innovative approaches across the country.

Maximizing Student Agency: Implementing and Measuring Student-Centered Learning Practices

October 9, 2018

American Institutes for Research (AIR) conducted this study as part of the Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative's initial cycle of research. The team at AIR worked alongside fellow scholars, educators, and policymakers to investigate the impact of specific student-centered practices and then translate their findings for cross-sector audiences.The research questions investigated in this study are:What practices do teachers employ to provide feedback to students on their performance that assist with the development of student agency?What contextual factors do teachers view as facilitators of or challenges to implementing these practices?How well do student survey questions measure student agency?Were the measurement properties of the agency scales consistent over time and across student subgroups?Are there significant subgroup differences in measures of student agency?How does student agency change during the school year?Do changes in student agency during the school year differ between subgroups of students?How do teachers use data to inform their practices?This report represents their work over the past two years as they designed, tested, and revised teacher practices as part of a networked improvement community and examined how student agency impacted academic outcomes.

An SEA Guide for Identifying Evidence-Based Interventions for School Improvement

November 14, 2016

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the most recent reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The law focuses on using research evidence to improve teaching and learning and at the same time passes considerable authority from federal to state policymakers. This means that responsibility largely falls on states and localities to effectively make sense of and use research evidence in their decisions around school improvement, teacher preparation, principal recruitment, and family engagement. With support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Overdeck Family Foundation, and the William T. Grant Foundation, the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) has developed Guides for Identifying Evidence-Based Interventions for School Improvement.