As the start of the school year rushes toward us, teachers across America are girding themselves for their new role as “essential workers” during a persistent pandemic. But one group of teachers has it particularly rough: U.S. history instructors, who must also perform their duties during a full-scale culture war over how to tell the American story, especially on the central issue of race. As tempting as it may be, they shouldn’t sidestep controversies or smooth the edges with bland, antiseptic readings. This would lead only to bored, disengaged students, and contribute to our woeful knowledge of our nation’s history.
As the start of the school year rushes toward us, millions of teachers across America are girding themselves for their new role as “essential workers” during a persistent pandemic, looking ahead with trepidation to teaching while wearing masks, behind Plexiglas, and to students who will have been out of the classroom for six months or more.
As dreadful as all of that is, one group of teachers has it particularly rough: U.S. history instructors. They must also perform their duties during a full-scale culture war over how to tell the American story, especially on the central and complex issue of race.
True, questions about how best to teach American history have been fraught—and fought—for decades, certainly since the rise of the revisionists and the publication four decades back of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. Particularly sensitive is how to handle America’s original sins of slavery and white supremacy. But with the New York Times’s controversial 1619 Project winning the Pulitzer Prize this year, youthful mobs toppling statues, and a series of counterpunches from President Trump, the debate has jumped from teachers’ lounges to the front pages.
This cannot be good for high school history courses, or for kids who are both required to study U.S. history and ought to understand it.
Imagine you live in deep-red Alabama. Can you picture teaching an American history that veers from the deep-red doctrine? Imagine you live in deep-blue Boston. Can you picture teaching an American history that veers from the deep-blue doctrine? Is it even possible to teach a purple version of American history? Does such a thing even exist?
How things have changed from just five years ago, when Hamilton’s smashing Broadway success pointed to an inclusive, inspiring way to grapple with the contradictions at the heart of America’s founding. Jonah Goldberg summarized it beautifully in his chapter in our recently-published volume, How to Educate an American:
Only fools and bigots could belittle [slavery’s] evil. Yet slavery’s resonance in America comes not from its evil but from the founders’ hypocrisy. Since the Agricultural Revolution, nearly every civilization practiced slavery, but none also claimed to believe that “all men are created equal” and that they are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights….” The staggering hypocrisy of slavery is regrettable in one sense, but glorious in another. Hypocrisy is only possible when you have ideals.
As Bret Stephens wrote this week, that’s the story of U.S. history as “gradually and imperfectly unfolding liberty.” But the revisionists—most notably, and recently, Nikole Hannah Jones of the 1619 Project—instead promote a story “of unbending oppression.” Or, as Goldberg puts it, “The Zinnian approach takes America’s sin of slavery and makes it an eternal blemish that never shrinks in the rearview mirror no matter how much progress we make.”
Making matters worse is when the revisionists stretch the truth to fit their narrative. Imagine how much better received the 1619 Project would have been among conservatives had Jones not propagated the lie—that really is the best word—that “one of the primary reasons the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery.” (This was later amended by the Times to “some of the colonists.”) Jones could have simply laid out the gripping and troubling history of 1619 and argued that it should be studied by schoolchildren rather than swept under the rug. But instead she targeted the miraculous accomplishments of 1776 as well, and did it with dishonest attacks.
Surely Jones’s take on history—and Zinn’s—is what Trump was referring to when he said at Mount Rushmore that
…our children are taught in school to hate their own country, and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes, but that they were villains. The radical view of American history is a web of lies—all perspective is removed, every virtue is obscured, every motive is twisted, every fact is distorted, and every flaw is magnified until the history is purged and the record is disfigured beyond all recognition.
And was it really so controversial when he argued that:
We must demand that our children are taught once again to see America as did Reverend Martin Luther King, when he said that the Founders had signed “a promissory note” to every future generation. Dr. King saw that the mission of justice required us to fully embrace our founding ideals. Those ideals are so important to us—the founding ideals. He called on his fellow citizens not to rip down their heritage, but to live up to their heritage.
Above all, our children, from every community, must be taught that to be American is to inherit the spirit of the most adventurous and confident people ever to walk the face of the Earth.
Americans are the people who pursued our Manifest Destiny across the ocean, into the uncharted wilderness, over the tallest mountains, and then into the skies and even into the stars.
We are the country of Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Frederick Douglass. We are the land of Wild Bill Hickock and Buffalo Bill Cody. We are the nation that gave rise to the Wright Brothers, the Tuskegee Airmen, Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, Jesse Owens, General George Patton, the great Louie Armstrong, Alan Shepard, Elvis Presley, and Mohammad Ali. And only America could have produced them all.
In fact, it sounds rather similar to what Joe Biden said in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing, in a speech I lauded as an example of how to teach a patriotic, if imperfect, version of American history:
We build the future. It may in fact be the most American thing to do.
We hunger for liberty the way Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass did.
We thirst for the vote the way Susan B. Anthony and Ella Baker and John Lewis did. We strive to explore the stars, to cure disease, to make this imperfect Union as perfect as we can.
We may come up short—but at our best we try.
In other words, both Trump and Biden seem to be saying, let’s tell our story like Hamilton does.
Yet Hamilton, less than five years old, is now considered “not woke enough” in some quarters. Doesn’t that strike folks as crazy? As Megan McArdle wrote several weeks ago in reference to the ongoing statue-cide, it’s critical to be able to draw lines, to make distinctions, to say when enough is enough. Otherwise the mob rules, and we sacrifice our precious inheritance—of history, of the Enlightenment, and of the truth.
So back to our beleaguered history teachers. It would be hard to fault them for trying to sidestep any and all controversies this fall, especially in light of recent injustices and racial tensions, or to take the edges off them with bland, antiseptic readings, such as those common in textbooks. But that well-traveled road leads to bored, disengaged students, and contributes to young Americans’ woeful knowledge of our nation’s history.
A better approach is one modeled by the new A.P. U.S. History curriculum, which, after some initial missteps, manages to tell the American story in all its fullness and glory without slipping into politicization or veering from the truth. Other courses could as well.
Let’s be honest though: Such an approach won’t make everyone happy; it might not make anyone happy. So we should remember to applaud our history teachers who show the courage to do it anyway, who give our young people the complete picture of America, not just one that fits the preferred narratives of the left or the right. Because the courage to speak the truth is part of the American story, too.
Seventeen long years ago, I urged the creation of “religious charter schools,” either encouraging their start from scratch or—more realistically—allowing extant Catholic and other faith-based schools to convert to charter status without having to forego the religious elements that distinguish them and that many parents crave for their children.
With hundreds more Catholic schools having perished in the interim, that idea seems more important than ever—and with the Supreme Court’s Espinoza decision now in hand, the biggest single obstacle to realizing it may have fallen.
The Supreme Court’s decision siding with religious-school parents in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue will have implications far beyond Montana. Though the court did not explicitly say so, its decision effectively struck down Blaine amendments, provisions in thirty-eight state constitutions forbidding aid to religious institutions. If the narrow 5-4 majority of the Espinoza decision remains intact, the case will be both one of the most significant religious liberty and education decisions in decades.
If states’ Blaine amendments are now headed to the ash heap of history, imaginative leaders of Catholic schools should be able to team up with smart Constitutional lawyers and like-minded legislators to craft ways to do this, most likely at the outset in “red” states.
Justice Breyer may have anticipated such a possibility himself, back during January’s oral arguments, though he framed it with blue jurisdictions in mind. As reported by Education Week:
“Say in San Francisco or Boston or take any city or state, and they give many, many, many millions of dollars to the public school system, and a lot of them give a lot of money to charter schools,” Breyer said. “Now, they don’t give money to Catholic schools. All right? Now, if we decide you’re right, does that all change?”
Yes, it could now change, say I, and I believe Professor Dunn and other analysts would agree, though the odds of it actually happening in blue states such as California and Massachusetts are slim. Indeed, the likelier prospect in those places is a major rift within the choice and charter movements, as more than a few charter partisans want no part of religious schooling.
For those whose memories may have been disturbed by other recent events, “Blaine amendments“ refer to provisions in most state constitutions—nearly all adopted in a frenzy of anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant sentiment in the late nineteenth century and named for a prominent GOP congressman (and 1884 Presidential candidate)—that bar state aid to religious organizations of various kinds. For more than a hundred years, and despite sundry exceptions in other realms, they’ve pretty much blocked direct state and local subsidies to parochial schools of all kinds across much of the United States. Never mind that such support is taken for granted in almost every other modern land.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, however, throws a curve ball at such provisions because, in addition to barring the “establishment of religion,” it vouchsafes to Americans the free exercise of religion. That’s what tipped the balance for five out of nine justices in Espinoza, ruling that “A State need not subsidize private education. But once a State decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.”
Similarly, seems to me, a state need not create charter schools—and five have so far opted not to—but if it does allow (and pay) for their creation, can it constitutionally disqualify some because they are or hope to be religious?
I’m no attorney. But this door looks to be worth opening.
Here’s my original proposition, whose time, I hope, may now finally have come:
The tragedy of urban education is the dearth of effective schools for poor kids. That acute shortage belies the right nominally conferred by the federal No Child Left Behind Act, namely that parents can move their children from failing public schools to better ones. Many communities have nowhere near enough capacity in well-functioning schools to provide an education haven for those thousands of youngsters. (In cities like New York and Chicago, we’re talking hundreds of thousands.)
Federal law also says such kids may go to charter schools, but there aren’t enough of them, either, at least not the highly effective kind.
How to get more? Take advantage of the charter option and become more creative and open-minded. Many cities with weak public schools have strong churches and faith-based organizations. And one thing that many parents crave for their children is a school that not only teaches the three R’s, not only keeps Tony and Tanika safe, not only gives them a teacher who knows their names and cares if they’re learning—but that also supplies them with values, morals, a code of behavior, and a sturdy faith in God.
Yet the No Child Left Behind legislation doesn’t include the right to go to private schools, where such things are routine. Paul G. Vallas, the chief executive officer of the Philadelphia school system, is seeking a way around that restriction, hoping to send disadvantaged youngsters from troubled public schools into archdiocesan classrooms that have space and are willing. But, like vouchers, this is an uphill political battle. And even with voucher aid, many children who would benefit from the curricular and moral offerings of private schools cannot afford to matriculate. But faith-based organizations seeking to operate zero-tuition charter schools have, until now, been compelled to exclude all forms of religiosity—thus quashing one of their major incentives to serve children and barring one of the things they do best.
Solution: Let religious schools become part of the charter system so long as they’re willing to abide by the results-based accountability arrangements that other charter schools must accept, namely state academic standards and tests. And allow churches to found new charter schools without shedding their sectarianism.
In most countries, this wouldn’t qualify as an innovation, for they assume that government has an obligation to support church-affiliated as well as secular schools. In the United States, however, a daft reading of the First Amendment’s “establishment” clause was long held to bar public aid to religious schools.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2002 Zelman decision changed this. It said there’s no federal prohibition on state dollars going to such schools so long as this results from free and open choices by parents. It thus legalized voucher programs in several states and others struggling to be born, including the new one in Colorado and the District of Columbia plan now pending in Congress.
But vouchers aren’t the only education innovation that Zelman makes possible. Charter schools, too, get public dollars only when parents freely choose them. No child is compelled to attend a charter school. If parents don’t select it, it has neither pupils nor revenue.
Yes, charter schools must be “sponsored” by state-approved agencies, and some will see excessive “entanglement.” But private schools also need state licenses and, under the pending District of Columbia voucher program, must accept other constraints devised by Congress. Doing so will not, however, erase their religious character.
True, other differences remain between private and charter schools. Wholly private schools can restrict attendance to members of their faith and expel youngsters who refuse to behave. They can operate separate programs for girls and boys and need not comply with Uncle Sam’s myriad rules for educating children with disabilities.
Because they value such freedoms, many private schools will shun greater involvement with government. So be it. But some would welcome the opportunity to serve more children. In most places, per-pupil funding for charters, meager as it is, exceeds current tuition levels—and is more than vouchers would bring. In any case, the entanglements that accompany charter school status are not much worse—as is becoming clear in Florida, where new rules are raining down upon private schools that take part in that state’s several voucher programs. It’s a calculation each school can make for itself.
A few private schools have converted to charter status, but they did so by severing all religious ties. A few others have created sister schools that operate as charters. I visited an interesting pair of schools in Houston, one private (and religious), the other charter (and secular), sharing facilities but functioning as separate organizations.
Creating a secular sister school is one viable model for a parochial school or church that wants to serve more kids. It may be the only option in states with “Blaine amendments” that prohibit public dollars from flowing into religious institutions no matter what the Supreme Court says about the U.S. Constitution. But in the dozen or so states without such impediments, why not try religious charter schools?
Watchdog groups will rush back to court at the first sign of a new breach in their cherished “wall of separation,” and in time this education innovation would also wind up in the Supreme Court. But that’s no reason to forgo it. Cash-strapped states may fear the budgetary impact of private school pupils suddenly qualifying for public subsidies. Yet that cost can also be contained. Since many state charter laws bar private school conversions, most religious charters would be new schools, serving kids not already in the private school orbit—and adding to the supply of seats in decent schools for youngsters who need them.
Overriding all objections is America’s woeful lack of such seats. Every possible asset should be brought to bear on the creation of more. Religious charter schools deserve consideration.
The original 2003 article first appeared in Education Week.
Last week, Bellwether Education Partners released three briefs examining the past, present, and future of modern school accountability systems.
Our goal with these briefs was to reflect on the status of the standards-based reform movement. As originally conceived, equity was at its core, reflected in a commitment to high, universal expectations for all students and consequences for failing to close achievement gaps between students with different racial, income, and learning characteristics. How well has the underlying theory of standards-based accountability held up? Given what we’ve learned from more than two decades of successes and failures, how should these systems continue to evolve?
We start by examining what’s worked and what hasn’t. Based on the most rigorous research, accountability policies produced measurable improvements, particularly for traditionally underserved student groups. But those gains have not been substantial enough to close achievement gaps as their architects hoped. In particular:
- They’ve led to gains in math test scores, particularly for historically disadvantaged students in younger grades, but have not led to discernible improvements in English language arts.
- They’ve contributed to a real rise in high school graduation rates, yet achievement scores in the upper grades have not risen commensurately.
- They’ve produced a trove of transparent data for research and evaluation, but that information is often not intelligible to parents or actionable for teachers.
Rather than accepting these as universal truths about “accountability” systems writ large, we found it useful to break down the theory of action into its component parts. Here, in brief, are our five diagnoses.
1. Learning standards
Setting clear, rigorous learning expectations for all students is essential to the theory of action behind school accountability. While states have made progress on this front in the past decade, more work remains to ensure that academic standards lead to better and more equitable student outcomes. Moreover, while clearer and higher standards can create the conditions for student success, high-quality standards have not been powerful enough on their own to ensure equitable access to a quality education.
2. Annual summative assessments
States have a solid track record of producing reliable and comparable data on every student’s progress toward state standards. Yet that doesn’t mean state testing programs are realizing their potential. Many states fail to deliver assessment results in a timely manner, limiting the ability of parents and advocates to use assessment data to inform supports or policy changes to address student needs.
3. Transparent, disaggregated data
Gains in transparency regarding the performance of schools and students, particularly disparities in outcomes for traditionally underserved students, are among the biggest wins of the modern accountability movement. Parents and advocates gained a powerful tool once states began providing performance data disaggregated by student subgroups. Data from state accountability systems have also helped fuel a new wave of worthy research on education policies and practices.
But while all these data have been good for advocates and analysts alike, simply making data available has had no positive effect on how teachers or schools behave. Research has, however, shown that transparency alone is not enough to change student outcomes.
4. School ratings
After testing, the most prominent mechanisms of standards-based accountability systems are school ratings. These serve two formal functions: to assign each public school a clear label that reflects its performance, and to identify schools with low overall or subgroup performance as a marker of the need for additional support and interventions.
School ratings have been shown to drive positive performance at least in the short run, but they may not be enough to boost enduring gains in student outcomes. Moreover, the value of school ratings is tied to the measures used to create them, which can encourage schools to focus on the wrong things—such as prioritizing students on the bubble of meeting a proficiency target rather than ensuring that every pupil makes sufficient growth each year.
5. Interventions in low-performing schools
Once policymakers identify low-performing students and schools, they can target resources and interventions accordingly. But the threat of interventions had more impact that the interventions themselves. As a result, when enacting ESSA in 2015, Congress scaled back the specificity and scope of federally imposed interventions. Today, Washington still requires interventions in low-performing schools, but states and districts are free to determine what those interventions will be and what supports, if any, to provide.
This may be the right balance, but dramatic improvements in student outcomes require dramatic changes to all or some parts of a school’s curriculum, instruction, and staffing. We don’t hold out much hope that all states are going to follow through with strong interventions. Some will, but many more jurisdictions will simply default to procedural “needs assessments” rather than measures leading to real changes.
States are already proposing to cancel their assessments for the spring of 2021, but we think those declarations are premature and misguided. While there is little consensus on what schooling will look like in 2020–21, what is certain is the massive risks to student well-being and academic progress that will come as a consequence of the pandemic and the related economic fallout. As detailed more extensively in our third brief, the staggering learning losses projected as a consequence of Covid-19-induced school closures threaten to widen achievement gaps even further.
The massive budgetary, educational, and health challenges schools face make it even more important to rediscover the common ground that accountability systems once held. We can’t merely go back to the way things were, and we shouldn’t. These systems weren’t perfect, and a forthcoming webinar with Jeb Bush, John B. King, Jr., and Carissa Moffat Miller will explore how they must evolve to address key challenges and shortcomings.
But the theory of action behind standards-based reform—setting standards, measuring progress, and applying mechanisms of accountability for outcomes to promote equity for every student—is sound and remains as relevant as ever. To ensure that students aren’t left behind as schools continue educating during a pandemic, policymakers must ensure that accountability systems are adapted and sustained rather than sidelined during this critical moment for kids.
Early reporting of suspected maltreatment is one key to mitigating the damage that abuse can inflict on a child. Yet with millions of school age children having their classroom time shortchanged due to the coronavirus, a primary source of detection for maltreatment has been cut off—teachers. Service providers are justifiably concerned with drops in the number of abuse referrals, as are medical professionals with the increased severity of abuse cases they have witnessed in recent months. A timely report from NBER reiterates just how vital schools are in detecting and breaking these horrific abuse cycles.
Statistics show that around 13 percent of all children in the U.S. have a confirmed case of maltreatment by age eighteen. According to federal law, maltreatment is “any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; or an act or failure to act, which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.”
The NBER analysts use two separate regression discontinuity designs. The first uses data from thirty-five states collected between 2003 and 2015 about child maltreatment as reported to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) Child File. Specifically, these are referrals made to Child Protective Services (CPS) that are assessed to see if they merit further examination and, if so, whether they can be substantiated. Over that period, there were roughly 48 million reports of child maltreatment. In over 90 percent of cases, the child’s parent was the perpetrator. The most common form of abuse is neglect, followed by physical abuse.
The report utilizes statewide policies across states and over time regarding the earliest age at which a child is allowed to enter school. Researchers are testing whether the investigated reports of child abuse for five-year-olds to CPS, in particular, are greater for children born just before the statewide school entry eligibility cut-off date (they enroll in kindergarten in the year they turn five) relative to those born just after the entry eligibility cut off (they enroll in the next year). In other words, the study design leverages the fact that a child’s exposure to educators varies during the child’s fifth year of life based on being born on adjacent days. Still, schools and districts do not always follow these age-based admissions policies to the letter, so the results are essentially “intent-to-treat” estimates.
The headline is that they find an increase between 5.4 and 9.2 percent in reported instances of child maltreatment. Assuming that this is all new reporting (a different child on each report), that means 0.3 percent of five-year-olds are being newly reported to CPS agencies because of their kindergarten eligibility. They look at the types of reporters and show that school-based contact increases the number of first reports for a child, as well as the number of additional reports that confirm prior cases of suspected abuse.
The second discontinuity analysis uses variation in school calendars (annual start and end dates) set by districts to identify effects of exposure to school settings on child abuse reporting. This is similar to the first analysis, as the researchers are testing whether the number of reports is greater when children are attending school compared to dates when they are not. They use data from the twenty-five largest districts in the country, gleaning start and end dates from 2005 through 2016. They include all children from ages six to seventeen. In a nutshell, they find that reports to CPS go up between 48 and 64 percent at the start of the school year and also peak one month before the school year ends—almost as if educators are responding to the fact that students will soon be out of their sight for three months—but there is a decrease when school actually ends. While educators are responsible for between 33 and 41 percent of CPS reports in this analysis, about half of them originate from social service, mental health professionals, or others. The researchers suggest this is due to the wider age range of the sample, with older children having more contact with other adults on high school campuses.
The report reiterates that teachers play a key role in reporting child abuse, and rightly calls for their proper training to identify abuse, given the very uneven reporting across the country and in school districts. But the more urgent question poses an uncomfortable trade-off between the health of all children in schools and, in particular, those at risk of abuse: What if many schools don’t reopen in the fall due to ongoing coronavirus concerns?
SOURCE: Maria D. Fitzpatrick, Cassandra Benson, and Samuel R. Bondurant, “Beyond Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic: The Role of Teachers and Schools in Reporting Child Maltreatment,” NBER Working Paper #27033 (April 2020).
Stackable credentials are coordinated pathways of two or more occupation-specific educational credentials—up to and including an associate degree—designed to share coursework and to build upon one another toward greater competency in a job field. Those pathways can be vertical (such as earning a certificate in medical coding followed by an associate degree to administer and manage health IT systems), horizontal (such as a certificate program for energy technology fundamentals that then branches out into related specializations in solar systems and energy efficiency), or lattice (which combines aspects of both). Ohio was a pioneer in developing stackable credential programs, passing its first legislation in 2006. This paved the way for local and statewide initiatives aimed at boosting the program’s effectiveness by creating multiple entry points, establishing credit transfer agreements across institutions, and aligning programs with employer needs.
After more than a decade of effort, very little is known about which pathways students pursue, their completion rates, and outcomes by program. To shed some light on these important questions, RAND researchers partnered with the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) to examine enrollment and completion data in credential programs from three prominent and high-demand fields: health care, manufacturing and engineering technology (MET), and information technology (IT).
To establish a trendline, the researchers use ODHE data to identify students who completed a first certificate (any credential below an associate degree) in those chosen fields from 2005 to 2013. In 2005, before the stacking push, they find over 2,700 first-time certificate-earners, with the vast majority of those in the health care field. The IT field is at the bottom with just 185 certificates earned. That breakdown continues—and widens—over the years, as the overall number of certificate-earners nearly doubles to over 5,200 by 2013. The IT field shows the fewest number of certificates earned in every year observed, and MET typically records between double and triple the number of IT certificate earners over the years.
However, in looking specifically at stacking, the picture turns upside down. In all but two years, IT certificate-earners lead the stack pack, with 50 percent or more stacking one or more additional credentials (up to and including an associate degree) within two years. By 2013, 59 percent of the individuals who earn a first-time IT certificate go on to stack additional credentials within two years. Meanwhile, only 33 percent of the health care certificate-earners in 2013 do the same. MET certificate-earners are in the middle at 43 percent.
Efforts to make sure that stacking benefits populations traditionally underrepresented in these fields show mixed results. Overall, Black men and women make up just 9 percent of first-time certificate-earners over the observation period; Hispanics, just 6 percent. The racial breakdown of stackers is more even, however: 27 percent of stackers over the observation period are Black, 29 percent are Hispanic, and 30 percent are White. Hispanic stackers predominate in both the IT and MET fields. Demographic variation in stacking is not fully explained by the data, although the researchers note that credential-earners attending Ohio Technical Centers (OTC) are less likely to stack future credentials than are those attending community colleges or universities. They speculate that better access to the latter institutions for minority students could help raise the percentage of stackers in those demographic groups even more.
Within four years of earning their first certificate, 71 percent of stackers top out at the associate degree level, indicating a fairly robust vertical stacking framework. Twenty percent top out at the certificate level—horizontal stackers—and a not-insignificant 9 percent top out with a bachelor’s degree. It should be noted that more than double the percentage of IT stackers top out at a bachelor’s compared to the other two fields. Additionally, a majority of stackers complete their multiple credentials at the same institution, bolstering the notion that Ohio would be well-served by increasing certificate programs—and access to them—at community colleges and universities rather than at OTCs.
As a first look at the data on credential stacking, this report is a helpful starting point. For many individuals, Ohio’s efforts to help build a ladder of credentials appears to be working. But without employment and income data, the analysis is limited to a rough snapshot of who earns credentials, how, and in what fields. It’s also critical for policymakers to know if increased competency also leads to better, higher paying jobs. That’s a question for a future study.
SOURCE: Lindsay Daugherty, et. al., “Stacking Educational Credentials in Ohio: Pathways Through Postsecondary Education in Health Care, Manufacturing and Engineering Technology, and Information Technology,” RAND Corporation (May 2020).
On this week’s podcast, Mora Segal, CEO of Achievement Network, joins Mike Petrilli and David Griffith to discuss the organization’s latest guidance on assessments for states and districts when school resumes in the fall. On the Research Minute, Amber Northern examines how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected college students’ graduation, job offers, and future economic expectations.
Amber's Research Minute
Esteban M. Aucejo, Jacob F. French, Maria Paola Ugalde Araya, and Basit Zafar, “The Impact of COVID-19 on Student Experiences and Expectations: Evidence from a Survey,” NBER Working Paper #27392 (June 2020).