Matching Items (12)

Filtering by

Clear all filters

133656-Thumbnail Image.png

The Effects of Grade Inflation on Student Learning Outcomes

Description

Grade inflation in modern universities across the United States has been documented since the 1960's and shows no signs of disappearing soon. Responses to this trend have ranged from mild worry to excessive panic. However, is the concern justified? How

Grade inflation in modern universities across the United States has been documented since the 1960's and shows no signs of disappearing soon. Responses to this trend have ranged from mild worry to excessive panic. However, is the concern justified? How significant are the effects, if any, of grade inflation on students? Specifically, does grade inflation on the aggregate level have any effect on how much an individual will learn from their courses? This is precisely the question my project hoped to address. Grade inflation in U.S. colleges has played a central role in student-teacher relationships and the way university classrooms run. Through teacher interviews, student surveys, and a literature review, this paper investigates the nuanced effects grade inflation is having on student motivation and learning. The hypothesis is that the easier it is for a student to obtain their desired grade, the less they will end up engaging in and learning from a given course. Major findings of the literature include: grade inflation has robbed grades of their signaling power, grade inflation has helped create students are too grade-oriented, student evaluations of teaching have prompted higher grades, higher expectations for high grades induce greater study times, and open dialogue can help reverse grade inflation trends. The student surveys and faculty interviews agreed with much of the literature and found that professors believe grade inflation is real but do not believe its effects are significant, students admit to being primarily motivated by grades, and students find grades critically important to their future. The paper concludes that grade inflation is not as detrimental to student outcomes as ardent critics argue and offers practical ways to address it.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

132575-Thumbnail Image.png

The Differential Impact of Positive School Supply Shocks on School District Performance: Examining New School Facilities and Socioeconomic Status

Description

Educational inequity – derived from disproportionate levels of resource availability and school quality – warrants examination from an economic perspective. The basket of topics pertinent to education policy today, may be characterized (mostly) into three categories, all representing key theoretical

Educational inequity – derived from disproportionate levels of resource availability and school quality – warrants examination from an economic perspective. The basket of topics pertinent to education policy today, may be characterized (mostly) into three categories, all representing key theoretical concepts of economics: supply, demand, and sorting. Furthermore, funding, teacher, and capital allocation patterns could inform the potential causal relationship between increased school demand (and resulting supply) and enhanced academic performance. My paper examines the district-level impact of positive school supply shocks – modeled via new school facility openings – on sorting and student performance on a standardized test. Applying econometric estimation techniques, my paper examines whether new school openings produce differential treatment effects in districts with separate socioeconomic composition. My methodology stems from previous research done by Cellini, Riegg, Ferreira, and Rothstein (2010), and Neilson and Zimmerman (2011). I also draw from Evans, Yoo, and Sipple (2010) to investigate an estimated version of student stability as a potential mechanism driving results. All 3 papers relate to school infrastructure and student performance. I find convincingly that test score improvements are relatively higher in districts experiencing a new school facility opening in FY 2009, than in districts without an opening. Additionally, I note treatment effect magnitude to be far smaller in districts exhibiting above-average income residents. In order to examine this finding further, I explore year-to-year changes in both pupil-to-teacher ratios and geographic mobility to characterize potential mechanisms behind this distinction. My results are consistent with research predecessors in that they suggest lower SES students benefit disproportionately from treatment and that test scores are decreasing in geographic mobility. Aside from previous research, I believe my finding that new school facilities most greatly improve student test performance in schools with lower pupil-to-teacher ratios, is unique and slightly inconsistent with the objective purpose of the new school facilities I examine. By using new school openings granted by the School Facilities Board of Arizona, I model a direct product of increased demand and am able to comment on how supply-side reactions impact high and low income districts differentially.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

132659-Thumbnail Image.png

An Analysis of Charter and Public High Schools in the State of California

Description

This paper aims to get a snapshot of charter school and public school performance in the state of California, specifically looking at high schools. Based off of data gathered on specific variables of interest and carefully constructed regression models, we

This paper aims to get a snapshot of charter school and public school performance in the state of California, specifically looking at high schools. Based off of data gathered on specific variables of interest and carefully constructed regression models, we are testing whether charter schools perform differently from public schools. This paper attempts to analyze results from standard OLS regression models and random effects GLS models, both with and without
interaction effects between charter schools and ethnicity and geographic area. While discussing results, this paper will also acknowledge limitations while drawing the line between correlation and causality. Our variable of interest throughout the paper is charter school, controlling for other factors that might impact API scores such as geographic area, demographics, and school
characteristics.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

133499-Thumbnail Image.png

Investigating the Relationship between Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status and Proximity to Public Services

Description

With growing levels of income inequality in the United States, it remains as important as ever to ensure indispensable public services are readily available to all members of society. This paper investigates four forms of public services (schools, libraries, fire

With growing levels of income inequality in the United States, it remains as important as ever to ensure indispensable public services are readily available to all members of society. This paper investigates four forms of public services (schools, libraries, fire stations, and police stations), first by researching the background of these services and their relation to poverty, and then by conducting geospatial and regression analysis. The author uses Esri's ArcGIS Pro software to quantify the proximity to public services from urban American neighborhoods (census tracts in the cities of Phoenix and Chicago). Afterwards, the measures indicating proximity are compared to the socioeconomic statuses of neighborhoods using regression analysis. The results indicate that pure proximity to these four services is not necessarily correlated to socioeconomic status. While the paper does uncover some correlations, such as a relationship between school quality and socioeconomic status, the majority of the findings negate the author's hypothesis and show that, in Phoenix and Chicago, there is not much discrepancy between neighborhoods and the extent to which they are able to access vital government-funded services.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

134073-Thumbnail Image.png

Haiti: A Study of Economic Policies Effect on Education

Description

The returns to education in Haiti are high. Nevertheless, few individuals receive/enjoy them because education is privately provided, costly, and the poor cannot afford it. The poor receive too little education and would benefit from investing more into their education

The returns to education in Haiti are high. Nevertheless, few individuals receive/enjoy them because education is privately provided, costly, and the poor cannot afford it. The poor receive too little education and would benefit from investing more into their education however, they cannot do so because they are unable to borrow, which can be attributed to the poorly functioning credit markets. Therefore, there is a need for government policy intervention aimed at providing more education to the poor. The purpose of this study is to propose and evaluate economic policies that might help the poor obtain more education. In particular, I analyze a taxation policy that redistributes income from the rich to the poor by implementing a tax transfer program. I also analyze a tax policy that taxes only the rich and used the tax revenue generated to fund public education for all children age 5-14. In the first policy, a tax rate of 3.17% on the rich and transfer to the poor increases the income of the poor parents by $81.74 USD a year and the income of the poor child by $61.78 USD while decreasing the income of the rich child by $61.78 USD. The second policy varies the amount parents and the government spend on a children's education and analyzes the effects on a children's income. I find that a fairly modest tax on the rich does a good job at generating more education for the poor, increasing the income of the poor children, and therefore alleviating the poverty of the poor. For example, a 5.21% tax on the top 20% of the rich raises enough money to provide six years of free public education for all children. As a result, the child's income in the poorest 20% of families raises from $539.30 to $887.14. These findings suggest that public education is likely an important channel through which the extent of poverty in Haiti can be reduced.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2017-12

135465-Thumbnail Image.png

The Signaling Effect of College Quality to Employers

Description

Upon hiring a new college graduate, employers are left with limited information about the true productivity of the individual, mainly based on the information provided via resume and other related documents. Based on the information, which may include (and is

Upon hiring a new college graduate, employers are left with limited information about the true productivity of the individual, mainly based on the information provided via resume and other related documents. Based on the information, which may include (and is not limited to) education years, grade point average(s), the institution one attended, majors, etc., employers attempt to differentiate between the candidates. Existing employer learning literature, such as Altonji and Pierret (2001) and Peter Arcidiacono, Patrick Bayer, and Aurel Hizmo (2010), have found that employers statistically discriminate upon hiring and estimate wages based on expected productivity conditional to observable characteristics--specifically education. As one's work experience accumulates, the wages are adjusted to the newly learned characteristics correlated with productivity. Thus, college graduates are more appealing as job candidates than high school graduates, with little learning done with experience in the labor market as employers have a more accurate depiction on productivity with more education years. With rising demands for high-skilled labor, there is a growing interest on what employers learn about from the name of the college listed on one's resume, as varying ability students sort into varying quality colleges. I include a one-dimensional index of college quality, as similarly constructed by Eleanor Dillon and Jeffrey Smith (2015), to measure the effects of attending a highly-selective institution in predicting individual ability. This paper provides additional support for the employer learning model on college graduates, with an emphasis on the direct role that college quality has at the start of one's career. Although college quality appears to be influential in providing employers additional information on one's productivity, unlike education, the weight placed on it by employers does not change with experience in the labor market. I further investigate within the college market and provide possible explanations behind learning on the basis of college quality, including: the possibility of information explained by quality unrelated to one's ability and the effects of attending a highly selective college.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016-05

It Takes a Village: An Inquiry into the Importance of Community in Educational Success

Description

This research looks at a group of students from Tumaini Children's Home in Nyeri, Kenya. The purpose of this paper is to explore why this particular group of students is so academically successful. Quantitative research was taken from the average

This research looks at a group of students from Tumaini Children's Home in Nyeri, Kenya. The purpose of this paper is to explore why this particular group of students is so academically successful. Quantitative research was taken from the average 2013 test scores of Tumaini students who took the Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam in comparison to the scores of students who are not residing in the orphanage. Qualitative research involves interviews from those students who live in Tumaini and interviews from adults who are closely connected to the orphanage. The purpose is to understand why the students are performing so well academically and what support they have created for themselves that allows them to do so.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014-12

136701-Thumbnail Image.png

After English: A Study of Support for Reclassified English Language Learners in Arizona

Description

This thesis investigates the environment of support for reclassified English Language Learners (RCELLs) in Arizona schools. Arizona English Language Learner (ELL) policy and pedagogy have been the subjects of research nationwide; many studies demonstrate that ELLs struggle before, during and

This thesis investigates the environment of support for reclassified English Language Learners (RCELLs) in Arizona schools. Arizona English Language Learner (ELL) policy and pedagogy have been the subjects of research nationwide; many studies demonstrate that ELLs struggle before, during and after participating in Arizona ELL programs (Lillie et al. 2012; Roa 2012; Garcia, Lawton & de Figuieredo 2012; Office of Civil Rights 2012). Despite evidence that the achievement gap between RCELLs and mainstream students is not closing, little information is available about additional language support that RCELLs might receive in mainstream classrooms. This thesis addresses that void of information through: 1) A literature review of the framework of RCELL support, as outlined by the Arizona Department of Education and relevant studies, and 2) a study of teacher and principal opinion about support components for RCELLs and whether such support is adequate. Study findings present that teachers and principals generally believe RCELLs are well-supported, in terms of both the availability and quality of study-defined support components. Yet there is only weak consensus among teachers that support components are adequate. Additionally, teachers' knowledgeability related to important RCELL support components is low, undermining the reliability of teacher responses. The disconnect between participants' optimistic perceptions of support and the external evidence of low RCELL achievement is rationalized by two conjectures. The first is that teachers are not knowledgeable about RCELL support components and cannot accurately gauge the quality of such support. The second is that existing support components are effective at assisting RCELLs with English learning but are not sufficient to close RCELL academic content achievement gaps.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014-12

147828-Thumbnail Image.png

Assessing Social Sustainability in US Cities: A Systems Approach

Description

Brundtland’s definition of sustainability is the ability to “meet the needs of the present<br/>without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs” (IISD, 2021). But<br/>what if there are no future generations? Social sustainability, the sector of sustainability that<br/>foregrounds

Brundtland’s definition of sustainability is the ability to “meet the needs of the present<br/>without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs” (IISD, 2021). But<br/>what if there are no future generations? Social sustainability, the sector of sustainability that<br/>foregrounds the well-being and livelihoods of people (and thereby continuation of humanity), is<br/>included in definitions within the sustainability field, but less developed in sustainability<br/>practice. In an effort to bridge this gap of knowledge, 14 U.S. cities and over 100 sustainability<br/>policies were analyzed for their social sustainability performance. An eight-item analytical<br/>framework that deals with differing areas of social equity guided the analysis. Results found that<br/>most cities’ sustainability departments fell short of truly addressing social sustainability<br/>concerns. Out of the eight items, the most frequently addressed were housing security and racial<br/>and gender equality whereas few, if any, cities addressed the more specific social concerns of<br/>immigration, technology and media, or arts/cultural preservation. Future research is<br/>recommended to gain a better understanding of the ways existing cities can improve in this area.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2021-05

132339-Thumbnail Image.png

EmPOWERed: A Study of Solar Energy in Mayan Belize

Description

The Solar Mamas Program, created by the Indian-based non-profit Barefoot College, brings illiterate and semi-literate older women from rural communities around the world to India for a six-month training on solar engineering and entrepreneurship. The Barefoot enterprise is unique in

The Solar Mamas Program, created by the Indian-based non-profit Barefoot College, brings illiterate and semi-literate older women from rural communities around the world to India for a six-month training on solar engineering and entrepreneurship. The Barefoot enterprise is unique in that it contrasts the typical flow of humanitarian aid and implements a South-South development dynamic. Belize is one country that Barefoot selects potential Solar Mamas from with help from its ground partner, Plenty Belize. This ethnographic study aims to identify and assess the direct and indirect impacts the solar project has created in traditional Mayan life in the Toledo District. Interviews were conducted in Santa Elena and Jalacte, which are two villages with and without solar electrification, respectively. The study observed positive impacts on various aspects of health, education, and economics, as well as gender relations. Although relatively successful in its mission, constructive feedback was provided to all actors in the solar project with the aim of enhancing the Solar Mamas’ experience and effectiveness as a “new class of leaders” in their communities, as well as to ensure the continued success that solar electrification has had in the Mayan communities.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05