New Research Grants and Distinguished Fellowship to Focus on Reducing Inequality and Understanding the Use of Research Evidence

We are happy to announce five new research grants that will build stronger theory and empirical evidence in our focus areas of reducing inequality and the use of research evidence.

Three grantees will conduct research to inform responses to inequality in youth outcomes across diverse systems. One study will be the first to examine whether federal housing assistance improves children’s outcomes by reducing families’ housing cost burden. Other projects will investigate questions such as what drives teacher quality gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged schools, and how much of the racial gaps in academic and disciplinary outcomes are due to teachers’ differential treatment of students.

Two grantees focusing on understanding the use of research evidence will examine the role of intermediary organizations in leveraging research for education policy, and the news media’s role in brokering research evidence for federal policymakers, respectively.

In addition, a new Distinguished Fellow will immerse herself in two organizations that offer “makerspaces,” which provide opportunities for young people to acquire engineering knowledge and to design and create manufactured works in a collaborative community setting. The fellowship experience will support this researcher in developing an increased understanding of how day to day practice decisions affect learning opportunities for low-income young people and youth of color.

The research teams include scholars from a range of disciplines, including psychology, communication arts, economics, public policy, and education policy.


Research Grants: Reducing Inequality

Understanding Teacher Quality Gaps: How Did They Form, and How Can We Close Them?

What are the key sources of gaps in teacher quality, and what policies can help close these gaps?

Dan Goldhaber, American Institutes for Research; Roddy Theobald, Center For Education Data & Research, University of Washington

9/1/2015–8/31/2017, $460,433


The Color of Emotion: Teachers’ Racialized Interpretations of Children’s Emotion and Student Outcomes

Do teachers’ racial biases and racialized interpretations of young children’s emotions and misbehaviors lead to differential treatment of students?

Amy Halberstadt, Psychology, North Carolina State University; Pamela Garner, Psychology, George Mason University; Sherick Hughes, Education, University of North Carolina

1/1/2016–12/31/2017, $349,980


Can Housing Assistance Reduce Inequality Among Youth?

Does federally assisted housing lead to better outcomes for low income youth by making housing more affordable for their parents?

Sandra Newman, Health Policy & Management, Johns Hopkins University; Scott Holupka, Institute for Health and Social Policy, Johns Hopkins University

1/1/2016–12/31/2017,$384,424


Research Grants: Use of Research Evidence

Intermediary Organizations and Education Policy: A Mixed-Methods Study of the Political Contexts of Research Utilization

How do intermediary organizations leverage research to drive education change across the country? How do intermediaries adapt to different political contexts?

Janelle Scott, Education, University of California, Berkeley; Elizabeth DeBray, Lifelong Education, Administration and Policy, University of Georgia; Christopher Lubienski, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

11/1/2015–10/31/2017, $443,944


Tracking Policymakers’ Acquisition and Use of Research Evidence Regarding Childhood Obesity in the News Media

How does the news media influence the use of research evidence in policy deliberations and decisions regarding childhood obesity?

Itzhak Yanovitzky, Communication, Rutgers State University of New Jersey; Matthew Weber, Communication, Rutgers State University of New Jersey

1/1/2016–12/31/2017, $457,862


Distinguished Fellowship

The Makerspace Movement: Sites of Possibilities for Equitable Opportunities to Engage STEM among Underrepresented Youth

Angela Calabrese Barton, Education, Michigan State University

1/1/2016–12/31/2017, $199,512