Category: Education

Resource Category Topic Type
A Community Schools Approach to Accessing Services and Improving Neighborhood Outcomes in Manchester, New Hampshire
In the several years since the Great Recession, New Hampshire, like the nation, has witnessed and experienced growing economic disadvantage. The state’s poverty level stands at 8.4 percent, and child poverty increased from about 8 percent in 2000 to nearly 10 percent in 2012.1 Some areas of the state have been hit harder than others. In the state’s largest city of Manchester, for instance, the poverty rate rose from 10 percent in 2000 to 14 percent in 2012, and within Manchester some neighborhoods have become poorer than others (Figures 1 and 2).2 Increases in poverty and educational disadvantage are steepest among minorities and immigrants, the city’s fastest-growing demographic groups.3 The vulnerabilities to which people are exposed as a result of poverty can have devastating consequences. Children living in poverty are less likely to graduate from high school, and they have worse educational outcomes overall; one study found that living in a high-poverty neighborhood is equivalent to missing a year of school.4 Poverty-afflicted children are also more likely to live in poverty as adults.5 In an era when a state’s economic health depends more than ever on the physical health and educational capital of its residents, stakeholders across New Hampshire have a vested interest in alleviating the growing poverty in Manchester and the wide disparities between Manchester and the rest of the state. To engage in this challenge, the Manchester Neighborhood Health Improvement Strategy Leadership Team launched the Manchester Community Schools Project (MCSP)—a partnership between the Manchester Health Department, city elementary schools, philanthropists, neighborhood residents, and several nonprofit agencies—to improve and enhance educational achievement, economic well-being, access to health care services, healthy behaviors, social connectedness, safety, and living environments.
New Hampshire, Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Community, Education, New Hampshire Publication
A Profile of Youth Poverty and Opportunity in Southwestern Minnesota
Like many rural communities across the United States, Southwestern Minnesota (hereafter SW Minnesota; see Box 1) has an aging population, evidenced by a growing share of seniors and a declining share of children and young adults, particularly among the non-Hispanic white population.1 As the population ages, it is also becoming more diverse, as racial-ethnic minority population is far younger, on average, than the non-Hispanic white population and contains a disproportionate share of children and young adults. Much of the growth in diversity is driven by an expanding population of immigrants. These residents, typically in their young working-age years, often establish themselves in SW Minnesota and go on to have families of their own. Research on the rural outmigration of the young and working non-Hispanic white population indicates that it is often the most promising youth and young adults who leave and seek opportunities elsewhere.2 At the same time, the aging population puts pressure on scarce resources, and the immigrant populations often face challenges including low education, lack of English language proficiency, and the inability to garner work authorization. It is against this demographic backdrop that we explore challenges and opportunities for youth in SW Minnesota. We analyze data on various demographic, economic, educational, and social indicators to gain a better understanding of the circumstances youth face and the opportunity available in SW Minnesota. Wherever possible, we compare conditions in SW Minnesota to the state as a whole and to the entire nation.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Education, Income, Poverty Publication
After the Bell
Research on narrowing the academic achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth tends to focus on the inputs provided by schools. Little attention, however, is paid to extracurricular activities, both structured and unstructured, even though extracurricular participation and employment can have positive impacts similar to in-school experiences. Such activities keep adolescents engaged during high-risk hours, and consistent participation is linked to improved academic achievement and prosocial behaviors.1 Extracurricular activities are also influential in the college admissions process as well as in healthy development and academic success.2 This brief uses data from the 2012 National Survey of Children’s Health to examine involvement in activities among youth ages 12–18 across income categories and metropolitan status3 in the hopes of informing policy aimed at attenuating inequalities in participation. While not a complete profile of youth activities (time spent on homework, care of younger siblings, or housework, for example, are not included), determining participation rates helps us understand what youth are doing in their out-of-school hours and how these activities vary by income and metropolitan status. Access to extracurricular activities and employment is growing more unequal,4 and as a result lower-income youth may be increasingly disadvantaged compared to middle- and upper-income children.5 See Box 1: Definitions.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Education, Young Adults Publication
Beginning Teachers Are More Common in Rural, High-Poverty, and Racially Diverse Schools
This brief considers whether the concentration of beginning teachers in a district is associated with the district's poverty rate, racial composition, or urbanicity.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Education, Poverty, Rural Publication
Coös County Youth and Out-of-School Activities - Patterns of Involvement and Barriers to Participation
This fact sheet draws from surveys administered to a cohort of 416 participants in 7th grade in 2008, again when they were in 8th grade in 2009, and most recently as 10th graders in 2011 to look at patterns of participation in structured activities over time and whether male and female students differ in these patterns of participation.
New Hampshire Coös Youth Study, Education, Health, New Hampshire, Young Adults Publication
Education in Chronically Poor Rural Areas Lags Across Generations
As part of the Community and Environment in Rural America (CERA) initiative, the Carsey Institute has been investigating broad trends between rural community types, including the education level of residents and their parents. Since 2007, Carsey researchers have conducted over 17,000 telephone surveys with randomly selected adult Americans from twelve diverse rural locations to ask about both their own and their parents’ educational attainment, as well as their perceptions of school quality in their communities. Survey results conclude that educational achievement varies significantly by type of place in rural America. In chronically poor rural areas, 45 percent of residents have completed only high school or less, compared with 22 to 33 percent in amenity-rich, amenity-transition, and declining resource-dependent rural areas. Although people from all types of rural communities generally have more education than their parents, those in chronically poor rural areas still have relatively low education levels — a disadvantage that persists across generations. This brief highlights the need to invest in the educational systems of chronically poor rural areas where generations of underinvestment have contributed to persistent poverty.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Education, Public Opinion, Rural Publication
Exclusionary Discipline Highest in New Hampshire’s Urban Schools
Exclusionary school discipline—that is, suspension and expulsion—disproportionately affects already disadvantaged students on both the national and state levels. In New Hampshire, students attending larger urban schools, male students, students of color, students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, students with disabilities, and homeless students are more likely to experience exclusionary school discipline, although racial disparities appear to stem largely from the greater racial diversity at the urban schools that use this type of discipline at higher rates with all students. Previous research indicates that exclusionary discipline and the resulting loss of classroom time is associated with poorer academic outcomes. Therefore, regardless of the precipitates of exclusionary discipline, it is worth exploring the extent to which exclusionary discipline is experienced among New Hampshire students. Introduction Exclusionary school discipline refers to any school disciplinary practice that isolates students from their classroom environments. In-school suspension (ISS), out-of-school suspension (OSS), and expulsion are all forms of exclusionary discipline. Nationally, in the 2009–2010 school year, approximately 7.4 percent of all public school students in kindergarten through grade 12 were suspended at least once, which translates to well over three million students.1 Not all students have an equal likelihood of experiencing exclusionary discipline; it is administered to students of color,2 students with disabilities,3 homeless students,4 students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch (FRL),5 6 male students,7 and students attending urban schools8 at increasing and disproportionate rates.
New Hampshire, Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Education, New Hampshire, Urban Publication
Food Stamp and School Lunch Programs Alleviate Food Insecurity in Rural America
The Food Stamp and the National School Lunch Programs play a vital role in helping poor, rural Americans obtain a more nutritious diet and alleviate food insecurity and hunger. This fact sheet looks at the extent to which rural America depends on these programs and describes characteristics of beneficiaries of these federal nutrition assistance programs.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Education, Food Assistance, Rural, Safety Net, Young Adults Publication
Gaps in Youth Opportunity by State
Public discourse on economics in the United States, and around the world, often focuses on rising income and wealth inequality. The “Occupy” movement drew great attention to the rising fortunes of the top one percent while middle- and lower-income Americans lost ground. Vast scholarly, political, and media attention is focused on issues of growing inequality and implications for broader societal cultural shifts as well as economic growth. Less attention has been paid to the changing landscape of opportunities enabling youth to get ahead, to improve their living situation over that of their parents through hard work and determination. Such social mobility has remained fairly stable for generations, but recent evidence across a range of indicia suggests growing gaps in the opportunities available to children in lower socioeconomic status families versus those in families of higher socioeconomic strata. This pushes the American Dream—or the idea that anyone who works hard, and plays by the rules, can get ahead—further out of reach. Such inequality is a potential threat to our social structure as well as our economic well-being.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Education, Employment, Income, Poverty, Young Adults Publication
Indicators of New Hampshire Youth Well-Being (co-publication with the Children's Alliance of New Hampshire)
According to a new study, New Hampshire youth, ages 13 to 24, are more likely to complete school, be employed, and have lower obesity rates than their peers nationwide but fare worse in national measures of alcohol and substance abuse. This brief, a co-publication with the Children's Alliance of New Hampshire, provides an overview of youth well-being in New Hampshire calculated from national and state data and compares Granite State youth with peers across the country.
Evaluation, New Hampshire Demography, Education, Family, Health, New Hampshire, Poverty, Young Adults Publication
Intimate Partner Violence Among LGBTQ+ College Students
Drawing from a survey of 391 college students in same-sex relationships, this brief documents the rates and patterns of intimate partner violence, and responses to it among LGBTQ+ youth.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Education, Gender, Health, Young Adults Publication
Key Findings and Recommendations from the Coös Youth Study
In this brief, authors Michael Staunton and Eleanor Jaffee review the key findings and recommendations from research conducted in the first half of the Coös Youth Study, which began in 2008 and is planned to continue through 2018.
New Hampshire Community, Coös Youth Study, Education, Health, New Hampshire, Young Adults Publication
Limited Access to AP Courses for Students in Smaller and More Isolated Rural School Districts
This brief assesses trends in access to, enrollment in, and success in Advanced Placement (AP) coursework in relation to school district poverty, racial composition, and urbanicity. It uses data merged from the 2011–2012 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), the 2012 Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE), and the 2010 Decennial U.S. Census. Authors Douglas Gagnon and Marybeth Mattingly report that nearly one-half (47.2 percent) of rural districts have no secondary students enrolled in AP courses, compared with only 20.1 percent of town, 5.4 percent of suburban, and 2.6 percent of urban districts. Remote rural districts with small populations are nearly ten times less likely to offer access to AP courses than are larger rural districts on the fringe of urbanized areas. Even in districts that have some access to AP coursework, the proportion of students enrolled in an AP course in urban and suburban districts is roughly double that in town and rural districts. Students in more affluent districts have higher success rates than those in less affluent districts, regardless of place type.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Education, Rural, Young Adults Publication
Many Eligible Children Don’t Participate in School Nutrition Programs
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which authorizes funding for federal nutrition programs (including the National School Lunch Program; the School Breakfast Program; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children; the Summer Food Service Program; and the Child and Adult Care Food Program), is set to expire on September 30, 2015.1 The reauthorization process allows Congress the opportunity to evaluate, alter, and allocate funding for these programs, giving rise to opportunities for expanding participation and improving program quality. This brief uses data from the 2013 Current Population Survey’s Food Security Supplement to document levels of participation in two of the largest programs authorized by this act—the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program—by region and place type (rural, suburban, and city), to identify areas where expanding participation may be especially important.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Education, Food Assistance, Safety Net Publication
Mathematics Achievement Gaps Between Suburban Students and Their Rural and Urban Peers Increase Over Time
In this brief, authors Suzanne Graham and Lauren Provost examine whether attending a school in a rural, urban, or suburban community is related to children’s mathematics achievement in kindergarten, and whether increases in mathematics achievement between kindergarten and eighth grade differ for children in rural, urban, and suburban schools.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Education, Rural, Urban Publication
Maximizing Returns to Colleges and Communities
Colleges and universities depend tremendously on their local communities in numerous ways, and through community investment, have a unique opportunity to support these communities in turn. This handbook provides an overview of community investment, including a step-by-step guide to implementing a community investment program that maximizes both financial and social returns.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Community, Economic Development, Education Publication
Most U.S. School Districts Have Low Access to School Counselors
In education today, diverse movements such as the “whole child” approach, “conveyor belt” services, and “Let’s Move!” share a common understanding that children bring a host of needs to school and often require more than academic support.1 Students living in poverty often benefit from more intensive support, as they are much more likely to come from difficult circumstances such as less stable homes2 and more violent environments.3 It is difficult to estimate the number of children with social or emotional impediments to learning, but by any measure it is substantial.4 Addressing the non-cognitive challenges these students face is important not only for them but for their peers, who can experience harmful spillover effects.5 Even students who perform well can face “last mile” hurdles that prevent them from successfully transitioning to suitable college or career options. School counselors,6 tasked with addressing the academic, career, personal, and social needs of students, play a crucial role in bridging these gaps. Perhaps the most popularized aspect of their work is conducting one-on-one and small group counseling with students in need, but in addition school counselors often work closely with school administrators, teachers, school support staff, parents, and outside community members to design, implement, and evaluate comprehensive wellness programs within schools. For instance, such curricula may aim to provide drug abuse awareness, foster non-cognitive academic skills, or develop appropriate social connections.8 Additionally, school counselors play an important role in meeting the needs of, and advocating for, students with a disability.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Education Publication
New, Longer Road to Adulthood: Schooling, Work, and Idleness among Rural Youth, The
This report focuses on the education and work experiences of rural youth during the emerging adult years (age 20 to 24), as they make the transition from adolescence to adulthood. It documents how rural emerging adults combine work and school and experience idleness, closely examines their educational attainment, and compares their experiences with those in central city and suburban areas.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Education, Employment, Rural, Urban, Young Adults Publication
Reading Levels of Rural and Urban Third Graders Lag Behind Their Suburban Peers
This brief examines the complex interplay of family, school, and place factors in the reading achievement levels of third grade students. Third grade reading achievement is critical to later academic and occupational success. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, the authors report that suburban children realize greater gains in reading achievement from kindergarten to Grade 3 than their rural or urban counterparts. Rural students who were struggling readers at the beginning of kindergarten have lower average reading achievement in third grade than both urban and suburban students when children of the same socioeconomic status are compared. The differences in third grade reading achievement between rural and nonrural children who were low achievers in kindergarten most likely reflect different educational opportunities and school resources available to these children. The authors suggest that improved professional development opportunities for rural teachers may help narrow the differences in the third grade reading achievement of rural, urban, and suburban students who were struggling readers in kindergarten.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Education, Rural, Urban Publication
Restraint and Seclusion of Students With a Disability Continue to Be Common in Some School Districts Patterns Remain Relatively Consistent Despite Recent Policy Changes
In 2013, Carsey released a brief that analyzed rates of restraint and seclusion using a large, nationally representative data set of U.S. school districts. This brief, which analyzes a more comprehensive data set and the most current Civil Rights Data Collection, serves as a follow-up to the pre­vious brief.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Education Publication