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  1. Symbolic Politics of the State: The Case of In-state Tuition Bills for Undocumented Students

    A symbolic politics approach contends that the meanings policy proposals convey, and the audiences they attract, may matter more than whether they become law. Yet, we know little about the sociopolitical conditions prompting lawmakers to engage in symbolic politics.

  2. 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).

  3. Student Neighborhoods, Schools, and Test Score Growth: Evidence from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Schools and neighborhoods are thought to be two of the most important contextual influences on student academic outcomes. Drawing on a unique data set that permits simultaneous estimation of neighborhood and school contributions to student test score gains, we analyze the distributions of these contributions to consider the relative importance of schools and neighborhoods in shaping student achievement outcomes.

  4. Children’s Cognitive Performance and Selective Attention Following Recent Community Violence

    Research has shown robust relationships between community violence and psychopathology, yet relatively little is known about the ways in which community violence may affect cognitive performance and attention. The present study estimates the effects of police-reported community violence on 359 urban children’s performance on a computerized neuropsychological task using a quasi-experimental fixed-effects design.

  5. Different Contexts, Different Effects?: Work Time and Mental Health in the United States and Germany

    We use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (13,186 respondents in 30 states) to develop a unique state-level measure of the gendered context in order to examine the influence of gender normative attitudes and behaviors on state rates of suicidal ideation and individual-level suicidal ideation for female and male youth (ages 13 to 22). The findings demonstrate the negative consequences for youth, especially females who report feminine-typical traits, who live in contexts defined by restrictive gender norms at both the ecological and individual levels.

  6. Gendered Contexts: Variation in Suicidal Ideation by Female and Male Youth across U.S. States

    We use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (13,186 respondents in 30 states) to develop a unique state-level measure of the gendered context in order to examine the influence of gender normative attitudes and behaviors on state rates of suicidal ideation and individual-level suicidal ideation for female and male youth (ages 13 to 22). The findings demonstrate the negative consequences for youth, especially females who report feminine-typical traits, who live in contexts defined by restrictive gender norms at both the ecological and individual levels.

  7. Racial Identity and Well-Being among African Americans

    How racial identity influences self-esteem and psychological well-being among African Americans remains unresolved due to unexplained inconsistencies in theoretical predictions and empirical findings. Using data from the National Survey of American Life (N = 3,570), we tested hypotheses derived from social identity theory and the internalized racism perspective. Findings support social identity theory in showing that African Americans strongly identify with their group and view it very positively.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.