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  1. Committing Mass Violence to Education and Learning

    Laura E. Agnich and Meghan Hale on the rational, if overblown, fears reconfiguring classrooms.

  2. Everybody Eats: Using Hunger Banquets to Teach about Issues of Global Hunger and Inequality

    Experiential and active learning exercises can benefit students in sociology courses, particularly, courses in which issues of inequality are central. In this paper, we describe using hunger banquets—an active learning exercise where participants are randomly stratified into three global classes and receive food based upon their class position—to enhance students’ knowledge of global hunger and inequality. The nonprofit Oxfam America has made hunger banquets popular, but they are usually large public events.

  3. Graduate Student Teacher Training: Still Relevant (and Missing?) 20 Years Later

    Twenty years ago, Pescosolido and Milkie (1995) reported that 50 percent of U.S. and Canadian sociology graduate programs offered formal teacher training. Despite pronouncements that offerings have increased substantially, no similarly thorough and direct investigation has been published since. In this time of dramatic change and increasing scrutiny of higher education, graduate teacher training is arguably more important than ever before. Thus, we seek to provide a new baseline of teacher training in the discipline. Using a 2013 survey of U.S.

  4. Kindergarten Black–White Test Score Gaps: Re-examining the Roles of Socioeconomic Status and School Quality with New Data

    Black–white test score gaps form in early childhood and widen over elementary school. Sociologists have debated the roles that socioeconomic status (SES) and school quality play in explaining these patterns. In this study, I replicate and extend past research using new nationally representative data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Class of 2010–2011. I find black–white test score gaps at kindergarten entry in 2010 in reading (SD = .32), math (SD = .54), and working memory (SD = .52 among children with valid scores).

  5. Divergent Urban-rural Trends in College Attendance: State Policy Bias and Structural Exclusion in China

    Despite the massive expansion of higher education in China since 1998, the cohort trends of urban and rural hukou holders in college attendance have widened sharply. Prevailing explanations emphasize the advantages of urban students over rural students in school quality and household financial resources. We propose the structural exclusion hypothesis that underscores the unintended consequences of a state policy: the urban concentrated expansion of vocational upper secondary education.

  6. Theorizing Teacher Agency and Reform: How Institutionalized Instructional Practices Change and Persist

    One reason reform does not dramatically change public schools is because instructional practices are highly institutionalized. This article advances a theory for how teacher agency can both change and maintain institutionalized instructional practices in schools. Based on findings from one U.S. urban public school undergoing state-mandated reform, I assert that three mechanisms drive a particular form of teacher agency.

  7. The Paradox of Success at a No-Excuses School

    No recent reform has had so profound an effect as no-excuses schools in increasing the achievement of low-income black and Hispanic students. In the past decade, no-excuses schools—whose practices include extended instructional time, data-driven instruction, ongoing professional development, and a highly structured disciplinary system—have emerged as one of the most influential urban school-reform models. Yet almost no research has been conducted on the everyday experiences of students and teachers inside these schools.

  8. Ferguson and “Rapid-Response” Teaching

    Christopher Todd Beer on bringing current events into the classroom without relying on the whims of a news cycle.

  9. Innovative Education? A Test of Specialist Mimicry or Generalist Assimilation in Trends in Charter School Specialization Over Time

    By most media accounts, charter schools are innovative schools. But little empirical work interrogates this idea. We examine the growth and decline of specialist charter school mission statements as one indicator of innovation. In line with theories of resource partitioning, we find that specialist charter school missions—those asserting innovation with regards to populations served, curricula utilized, and/or educational focus—have become increasingly diverse over time.

  10. Do Differences in School Quality Matter More Than We Thought? New Evidence on Educational Opportunity in the Twenty-first Century

    Do schools reduce or perpetuate inequality by race and family income? Most studies conclude that schools play only a small role in explaining socioeconomic and racial disparities in educational outcomes, but they usually draw this conclusion based solely on test scores. We reconsider this finding using longitudinal data on test scores and four-year college attendance among high school students in Massachusetts and Texas. We show that unexplained differences between high schools are larger for college attendance than for test scores.