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  • (error)
    User error: "post_type" is an invalid render array key in Drupal\Core\Render\Element::children() (line 98 of core/lib/Drupal/Core/Render/Element.php).
    Drupal\Core\Render\Element::children(Array, 1) (Line: 451)
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Sara Goldrick-Rab

Temple University

Sara Goldrick-Rab is a Professor of Higher Education at Temple University College of Education. She is a scholar-activist committed to ameliorating inequities in college attainment. Her research and writing dissects the intended and unintended consequences of the college-for-all movement in the United States. Dr. Goldrick-Rab holds the William T. Grant Faculty Scholars award for her project "Rethinking College Choice in America." 

NEPC Publications

NEPC Review: Measuring and Understanding Education Advocacy (Brookings Institution, March 2015)

Grover “Russ” Whitehurst, David Stuit, Claire Graves & Lauren Shaw
Measuring and Understanding Education Advocacy

This report uses two methodological innovations to measure the impact of advocacy groups on education reform policy, Surveys with Placebo (SwP) and Critical Path Analysis (CPA). SwP is designed to measure the influence of advocacy groups and CPA to identify which tactics were successful in influencing reform. The report finds them to be effective methods for achieving these goals. It finds that coordination of advocacy groups strengthens their impact and that the perceived impact of advocacy groups tracks closely with policy outcomes. While we agree that the SwP and CPA may be useful in education policy research, these methods are more limited than the report acknowledges. Moreover, the research is a small case study of three states, with a low response rate for the SwP and CPA based on advocacy groups’ self-reported tactics. The report also fails to give sufficient information on the responses to the SwP and the selection of the advocacy groups studied to assess the usefulness of methods and validity of the report’s conclusions. Finally, there is not a strong connection between the evidence presented in the report and its conclusions. We therefore caution against adoption of the methods or reliance on the conclusions presented in this report without significant further research.

NEPC Review: The Effects of School Vouchers on College Enrollment: Experimental Evidence from New York City (August 2012)

Matthew M. Chingos and Paul E. Peterson
The Effects of School Vouchers on College Enrollment: Experimental Evidence from New York City

This report examines college enrollment rates of students participating in an experimental New York School Choice Scholarships Foundation Program, which in the spring of 1997 offered 3-year scholarships worth up to $1,400 annually to low-income families. The study identifies no overall impacts of the voucher offer, but the authors report and emphasize large positive impacts for African American students, including increases in college attendance, full-time enrollment, and attendance at private, selective institutions of higher education. This strong focus on positive impacts for a single subgroup of students is not warranted. There are no statistically significant differences in the estimated impact for African-Americans as compared to other students; there is important but unmentioned measurement error in the dependent variables (college attendance outcomes) affecting the precision of those estimates and likely moving at least some of them out of the realm of statistical significance; the authors fail to demonstrate any estimated negative effects that could help explain the average null results; and there are previously existing differences between the African-American treatment and control groups on factors known to matter for college attendance (e.g., parental education). Contrary to the report’s claim, the evidence presented suggests that in this New York City program, school vouchers did not improve college enrollment rates among all students or even among a selected subgroup of students.