News

Shores' research on cuts in school spending leading to learning loss

September 30, 2019 SSRI cofunded faculty member Kenneth Shores' research into school spending cuts triggered by the Great Recession being associated with sizable losses in academic achievement for students living in counties most affected by the economic downturn, was…

Professor contributes to federal report on child and youth mental health

September 24, 2019 A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine calls for a comprehensive national agenda to improve mental, emotional and behavioral health in children and youth.

Study: Black students less likely to be identified as having disabilities

August 28, 2019 Black and Latino students in the South are less likely to be identified as having learning disabilities when compared to their White peers, according to a study that will be published in a forthcoming issue of Exceptional Children. The most stark results included the number of Black students who were classified as having a learning…

Education policy studies faculty member awarded co-funded grant

August 26, 2019 Kelly Rosinger, assistant professor of education in the Department of Education Policy Studies and research associate in the Center for the Study of Higher Education, and a team of researchers were recently awarded a total of $373,590 to analyze how variations in performance-based funding (PBF) policies in higher education impact outcomes for underserved…

New studies challenge the claim that black students are sent to special ed too much

August 19, 2019 Column by Jill Barshay Decades of research have documented that students of color, particularly black children, are disproportionately classified by schools as having disabilities.

Study shows benefits to changing students' mindsets about learning

August 07, 2019 A groundbreaking new experimental study with more than 12,000 ninth grade students in the United States confirmed that a low-cost online program that takes less than an hour to complete can help students develop a growth mindset — the belief that intellectual abilities are not fixed but can be developed.

Morgan cited in new federal report on race and school discipline

July 23, 2019 Lauren Camera, Education Reporter, U.S. News & World Report Black students with disabilities are disciplined more often than their white peers, pushing them into the school-to-prison pipeline at higher rates, a new report from the U.S.

New research details increasing segregation in a transformed school population

May 13, 2019 As the nation prepares to mark the 65th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling declaring segregation in public schools unconstitutional, the UCLA Civil Rights Project and the Penn State Center for Education and Civil Rights today (May 10) published new research detailing school enrollment patterns and segregation in the nation’s schools.

National symposium to mark 65th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education

April 09, 2019 To commemorate the 65th anniversary of the landmark Brown v.

Morgan to serve on ECLS technical review panel

February 19, 2019 Paul Morgan, director of the Center for Educational Disparities Research and PRI affiliate, has been invited to serve on the Technical Review Panel for the new Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2022-23 (ECLS-K: 2023). As a panelist, Morgan will be advising the U.S. Department of Education's National Center on Education Statistics on survey content for this new nationally representative database. Morgan is one of 10…

Keeping kids on task in school may start at home

February 01, 2019 The transition to kindergarten can be a challenge for children who have trouble paying attention, and can result in behavioral problems and poor academic achievement. A team led by researchers at Penn State is analyzing task persistence and how parents can influence it in early childhood. Task persistence — the ability to sustain effort towards a task-oriented goal over time — is an important aspect of self-regulation in early childhood.

Children’s race, not disability status, may predict more frequent suspension

January 23, 2019 Suspension is one way schools discipline students, but the high number of and disparities in suspensions in the U.S. has sparked controversy and policy debate. New research, led by Paul L. Morgan, Harry and Marion Eberly Fellow, professor of education and demography, and director of Penn State’s Center for Educational Disparities Research, has found that, among students in…

SSRI Spotlight: Ericka Weathers

December 05, 2018 As a current assistant professor within the Department of Education Policy Studies, Ericka Weathers uses quasi-experimental methodologies to examine the impact of structural inequality on educational opportunities and outcomes in topic areas such as school finance, school discipline, academic achievement, and special education. Before coming to Penn State, Weathers worked as a researcher in the Division of Public  Behavioral Health and Justice Policy at the…

Kindergarten predicts academic achievement across the primary grades

November 19, 2018 Identifying factors that predict academic difficulties during elementary school should help inform efforts to children who may be at risk.

Schmitt Russell Research Lecture to focus on health and education interventions

November 06, 2018 Linda Collins, director of the Methodology Center, will present the 2018 Pauline Schmitt Russell Research Lecture, "Bringing Health and Education Interventions into the 21st Century,” at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7, in the Bennett Pierce Living Center on University Park campus.  The event, sponsored by the College of Health and Human Development, is free and open to the…

Why is working memory so important to learning?

November 06, 2018 The National Science Foundation is spotlighting CEDR Director and PRI Affiliate Paul Morgan's recent research on working memory in their "Ask a Scientist" series.

Morgan featured in “New Yorker”

October 11, 2018 SSRI co-fund and CEDR director Paul Morgan’s research has been featured in the “New Yorker’s” article, “Georgia’s Separate and Unequal Special-Education System.” Morgan’s research focuses on the underrepresentation of children of color in special education. He argues that environmental factors like poverty and single parenthood could have an impact on…

Penn State researcher receives federal grant to study early learning program

October 02, 2018 A Penn State researcher has a major role in a $3.3 million federal grant award to study the impact of MindUp, an early-learning program aimed at improving children's readiness for kindergarten and later grades. MindUp is designed to help children develop social-emotional and self-regulation skills, including learning how to manage their emotions, get along and cooperate with…

Disparities in education studies most read

September 05, 2018 Paul Morgan, director of the Center for Educational Disparities Research, has co-authored several studies that were the most read articles in two different publications. Three of his team’s empirical studies were the most read articles published in Educational Researcher, one of the education field's top research journals.

Morgan authors blog post for Psychology Today

August 21, 2018 Paul Morgan, director for the Center for Educational Disparities Research and professor of education and demography, authored a post for Psychology Today's blog "Children who struggle: Understanding and addressing educational disparities."

Ties between oral vocabulary and STEM difficulties to be investigated

May 22, 2018 Young children with early vocabulary difficulties in turn often have difficulty with reading during the primary grades.

Study on deficits in executive functions most read

May 07, 2018 A write up on a study by Paul Morgan, CEDR director and PRI affiliate, was the most read Association for Supervison and Curriculum Developers "Smart Brief" last week. In the study, researchers found that deficits in executive functions increase the risk for repeated academic difficulties throughout elementary school. Read the entire brief here.

Morgan's research on executive function appears in Hechinger Report

April 23, 2018 Executive function — a sort of air traffic controller of the brain — has been one of the hottest topics in education circles over the past 15 years. Yet experts disagree over what it is exactly, to what extent it really causes academic problems and whether anything can be done to improve one’s executive functioning.

Science achievement gaps study recognized

March 23, 2018 Penn State researchers Paul Morgan, CEDR director and professor of education, and Marianne Hillemeier, professor of health policy and administration and demography, and their colleague George Farkas, professor of education at University of California Irvine, received the Distinguished Research Award in Human Development from the American Educational Research Association (AERA) for their study of science…

Individual education programs not being used as intended in special education

March 12, 2018 Gone are the days when students with disabilities were placed in a separate classroom, or even in a completely different part of the school. These students often sit alongside their traditional student peers for at least part of the day, with the help of individualized education programs (IEPs). IEPs are considered the main drivers in special education and the mechanism through…

Morgan's research featured recently in NYT & WSJ

February 15, 2018 CEDR director and PRI affiliate Paul Morgan's research was recently reported on in both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and details why the research should be resulting in changes in federal-level educational policy.…

New partnerships take Quality Talk to classrooms in Taiwan, South Africa

February 14, 2018 After seeing success in K-12 classrooms in the United States, Quality Talk, an empirically supported instructional approach, now will help students in international classrooms achieve academic success. Developed in 2002 by P. Karen Murphy, distinguished professor of education (educational psychology),…

Frankenberg reviews report about school and residential segregation

February 12, 2018 Balancing Act: Schools, Neighborhoods, and Racial Imbalance, published by the Brookings Institution, takes up the important task of considering school and residential segregation by exploring the racial makeup of schools compared to their proximate neighborhoods. Professors Genevieve Siegel-Hawley of Virginia Commonwealth University and Erica Frankenberg of Pennsylvania State University…

Frankenberg named among RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings

January 22, 2018 PRI associate Erica Frankenberg was once again named among the 2018 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, identifying the university-based scholars in the U.S. who are doing the most to shape educational practice and policy. Simply being included in this list of 200 scholars is an accomplishment, given the tens of thousands who might qualify. Here are the…

Morgan's study named fourth most read in Educational Researcher

January 11, 2018 The American Educational Research Association (AERA) recently announced their most read education research articles of 2017. Paul Morgan, director of the Center for Educational Disparities Research and professor of education, and his research team had the fourth most read study in the publication Educational Researcher.

Morgan's research featured in the Slate, Huffington Post

December 04, 2017 CEDR director and PRI affiliate Paul Morgan's research was recently featured in two national publications. His research on the importance of early investment in children was included in an article in the Slate, while his research on racial gaps in special education was highlighted in the…

Educators’ chronic stress has adverse health outcomes, according to study

November 30, 2017 Teaching continues to be linked to high levels of chronic stress, according to health researchers from Penn State and the University of Virginia. Previous research has shown that the physically and psychologically demanding career of teaching creates chronic stress among many professionals within this field. This increase in stress has also caused a decrease in job satisfaction among…

Morgan quoted in Huffington Post

November 27, 2017 Special Education’s Hidden Racial Gap Across the country, black and Latino children with special needs are far less likely to graduate than their white peers. By Emmanuel Felton At the age of 3, Tyrone Colson was diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome, a genetic abnormality that is often accompanied by developmental disabilities.

Minority students’ disabilities less likely to be identified in U.S. schools

November 15, 2017 Three Penn State researchers and their colleague replicated an earlier but provocative studythat found that minority children are less likely to be identified as having disabilities as they attend U.S.

Morgan's research featured in "Education Week"

August 08, 2017 By Christina Samuels,   Black children, Hispanic children, and children who come from non-English speaking households are less likely to receive speech and language services in kindergarten than white children who are otherwise similar to them, says a new study published in the journal Exceptional Children. About 18 percent of school-aged children with…

Morgan named Eberly Faculty Fellow

July 30, 2017 Paul L. Morgan, professor of education and demography, has been named recipient of the Harry and Marion Royer Eberly Faculty Fellowship in Education in Penn State's College of Education. His six-year term began July 1. The Eberly Faculty Fellowship provides supplementary funds to an outstanding member of the College of Education to assist the holder in teaching, research and public service. "Dr.

Podcast interview about science achievement gaps

June 22, 2017 Center for Educational Disparities Research director and PRI associate Paul Morgan recently discussed his research on the early onset of science achievement gaps in an interview with the University of Pennsylvania’s Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) for their weekly Knowledge HUB podcast. His research titled, “Science Achievement Gaps Begin Very Early, Persist, and Are Largely Explained by Modifiable Factors”, found…

Frankenberg helps organize CECR Conference

May 16, 2017 U.S. public schools now have a majority students of color yet are increasingly segregated by race and class—as are many of the communities around the country. School integration is an important evidence-based strategy that can improve academic and social outcomes for students from all racial and economic backgrounds.

Trends in college attendance rates in rural America

March 31, 2017 The benefits of obtaining a college degree are higher than ever in the current economy, as researchers estimate that by the year 2020, 65 percent of all jobs will require postsecondary education. While increasing college enrollment and graduate rates is a national priority, targeting the college behaviors of rural students are particularly important, according to Soo-yong Byun, associate professor of educational theory and policy…

Impacts of school choice on segregation

March 27, 2017 Diversity in schools is important for students’ experiences and outcomes in schools and beyond, reducing prejudices and ensuring the likelihood of living and working in integrated environments as adults.

Science achievement gaps study considered "highly cited paper" on Web of Science

March 15, 2017 The paper, "Science Achievement Gaps Begin Very Early, Persist, and Are Largely Explained by Modifiable Factors, by Paul Morgan, director of the Center for Educational Disparities, published in 2016, is already being considered a "highly cited paper" on Web of Science, having received enough citations to place it in the top one percent of the academic field Social…

Morgan's study on science achievement gaps fourth most read

March 02, 2017 Research on school climate; shifts in race, income and gender-based achievement gaps; learning tools and approaches; and more appeared in the 20 most popular journal articles published by the American Educational Research Association in 2016. Based on the number of times they were accessed online, the following were the most popular AERA research articles published in 2016. (Full articles can be accessed at no…

SLEIC Brain Awareness Week

February 28, 2017 SLEIC is celebrating The Dana Foundation's Brain Awareness Week! Come join us to learn about the brain, aging, aphasia, and the exciting brain research being conducted at Penn State! Contact Kaitlyn Litcofsky at kal378@psu.edu for any questions. Events: SLEIC Brain Awareness Week: Healthy Aging Hear from SLEIC Director…

Morgan's research cited in "The Atlantic"

February 27, 2017 The Institute of Educational Sciences-funded project on early science achievement gaps, lead by Paul Morgan, director of Penn State's Center for Educational Disparities Research and professor in the department of education policy studies, was cited in a story in "The Atlantic" about using Sesame Street to help preschoolers better understand science. To read more, go to…

Morgan talks disparities in education on School Psyched! podcast

February 24, 2017 Paul Morgan, director of Penn State's Center for Educational Disparities Research and professor in the department of education policy studies, was recently a guest on the podcast "School Psyched!". He talked about racial and ethnic disparities in disability identification in U.S. schools. To watch the podcast, go to https://www.…

Morgan part of journal anniversary volume

February 07, 2017 A paper co-authored by Paul Morgan, director of the Center for Educational Disparities Research (CEDR) and professor of education at Penn State, is being republished in The Journal of Special Education as part of their 50th anniversary volume. In the paper, “A Propensity Score Matching Analysis of the Effects of Special Education…

Final Rule Released on Identifying Racial Bias in Special Education

December 13, 2016 Education Week cited CEDR director and PRI associate Paul Morgan's research in a story about a new set of regulations just released by the U.S. Department of Education.   With just a handful of weeks left in this presidential administration, the U.S.

Cap hits English learners hardest, cites Paul Morgan's research

December 12, 2016 Immigrants less able to overcome special ed barriers Houston Chronicle Sunday11 Dec 2016By Brian M. Rosenthal VICTORIA — Refugees, immigrants and other kids who do not speak English are entitled to the same special education services as native speakers.

Penn State study examines evidence of racial disparities in special education

December 07, 2016 Special education programs are designed to meet the needs of all students with cognitive, behavioral or physical disabilities, regardless of their race or ethnicity. However, a best-evidence synthesis lead by Paul Morgan, professor in the department of education policy studies at Penn State, recently found evidence that black children may not be receiving special education…

Analysis Finds Flaws in Studies of Black Overrepresentation in Special Education

November 16, 2016 For years, special education policy has focused on making sure minority students are not placed in special education when they don't really have a disability. So when education researchers Paul L.