Six New Research Grants to Focus on Reducing Inequality and Improving the Use of Research Evidence

The William T. Grant Foundation is pleased to announce five research grants awarded in October, 2016, which will increase our understanding of programs, policies, and practices that reduce inequality in youth outcomes, and one grant that will improve the use of research evidence in ways that benefit youth.

All of the inequality grantees will conduct research to inform responses to inequality in youth outcomes across diverse systems. One study will examine whether instructional models and policies that reclassify English language learners will close the achievement gap for this population. Another study will support a working group of leading researchers and practitioners to better understand how to determine high-quality undergraduate instruction at community colleges. Examining father involvement as a lever for improving academic and behavioral outcomes for low-income youth and studying peer networks as a lever for reducing racial and ethnic inequalities are the focus of a third and fourth grant respectively. Finally, one study will examine ways in which youth organizing participation is related to school engagement. The award to support research on improving the use of research evidence will examine whether doctoral education training programs can improve the use of research evidence among school district leaders and managers.

The research teams include scholars from a range of disciplines, including social work, economics, and education.

Research Grants: Reducing Inequality

Closing the Achievement Gap for Long-Term and Late-Arriving English Learners

How can youth perspectives inform the development of community interventions that aim to improve adolescent behavioral health by promoting social inclusion and mitigating social exclusion?

Laura Hill, Public Policy Institute of California and Julian Betts, Department of Economics, University of California, San Diego
11/1/2016–1/31/2019, $584,478


Making Community Colleges Engines for Social Mobility: A Century Foundation Working Group on Financial Resources

What is the cost of providing high-quality undergraduate instruction at two-year public community colleges, particularly for low-income students?

Richard D. Kahlenberg, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation
11/1/2016–5/31/2019, $345,000


Fathers and Low-Income Children’s Academic and Behavioral Outcomes: The Role of Social and Economic Policies

Are social and economic policies potential levers for increasing father involvement and reducing economic disparities in youth academic and behavioral outcomes?

Daniel Miller, School of Social Work, Boston University; Maureen Waller, Department of Policy Analysis and Management, Cornell University; and Lenna Nepomnyaschy, School of Social Work, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
1/1/2017–12/31/2019, $450,000


Reducing Inequalities Through Student Networks: Social Network Influences on Academic Engagement and Achievement

Can students’ peer networks be leveraged to reduce racial and ethnic inequalities in academic outcomes?

Patrick Tolan, Joanna Lee Williams, Lauren Molloy Elreda, and Tabitha Wurster Curry School of Education, Youth-Nex Center, University of Virginia
12/1/2016–11/30/2019, $375,000 for phase I and $225,000 for phase II


Youth Organizing Trajectories: Critical Consciousness, Developmental Competencies, and School Engagement

Can youth organizing experiences help young people develop critical consciousness and developmental competencies and promote their school engagement?

Rosann Tung and Sara McAlister, Annenberg Institute for School Reform, Brown University, and Matthew Diemer, Educational Studies and Combined Program in Education & Psychology, University of Michigan
7/1/2017–6/30/2020, $600,000


Research Grants: Use of Research Evidence

Can doctoral education training programs improve the use of research evidence among school district leaders and managers?

The Education Doctorate: A Promising Strategy to Promote Smart Use of Research Evidence?

William Firestone, Graduate School of Education, Rutgers, State University of New Jersey, and Jill A. Perry, School of Education, Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED), University of Pittsburgh
1/1/2017–12/31/2019, $511,360


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