News

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. The findings…

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. Board of Education decision, the Center for Education and Civil Rights and the Africana Research Center at Penn State will convene Brown@65, a national symposium of education, law and policy scholars and practitioners, May 10 on Penn State's University Park campus.
The symposium will feature New York Times journalist…

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…

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…

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.

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.

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. New Penn State research suggests that children’s executive functions may be a particularly important risk factor for such difficulties.

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…

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 representation. The article covers Georgia’s network of schools for disabled students that have isolated and…

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…

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’s research team was the only team to have three studies concurrently on the list.

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. Penn State researchers will investigate if these oral vocabulary difficulties also lead to math and sciences difficulties throughout elementary school in a three-year, $1.5 million National Science Foundation-funded research project.

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. Even today, a professional diagnosis of executive function disorder alone…

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 achievement gaps in children. The AERA…

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).

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.
Additionally, Morgan gave the Naomi Zigmond Plenary Keynote at this year's Pacific Coast Research Conference, which is a multidisciplinary conference attended by those conducting …

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.

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…

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 2018 rankings.

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. This is the fourth year in a row Morgan's work has been a part of AERA…

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 Huffington Post.

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…

Morgan quoted in Huffington Post

November 27, 2017

Special Education’s Hidden Racial GapAcross 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. Because of this diagnosis, an individualized education plan (IEP) — documents detailing Colson’s special needs, and a plan…

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. schools.

Morgan's research featured in "Education Week"

August 08, 2017

By Christina Samuels,

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.

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”,…

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. In this new era, however, it can be difficult to know what type of diversity policies are both effective and permissible.

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.

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. Penn State researchers are exploring how school choice is affecting racial composition and segregation in Pennsylvania schools.

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…

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…

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 Dr. Michele Diaz about aging and the brain.
Monday, March 13th, 4pm, Schlow Library,…

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…

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 Services”, Morgan and his colleagues quantify the effectiveness of special education services on children’s…

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. Department of Education released a final rule Monday that could have a major impact on how districts spend their federal special education…

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. But in this Southeast Texas city, they seldom get them.
Just 39 of the nearly 1,000 English Language Learners here receive…

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. Morgan and George Farkas released research saying that minority students are actually underenrolled in special education compared to their white peers, it created a stir in…

New grant examines early academic difficulties of children with disabilities

September 07, 2016

Children with disabilities often struggle in mathematics and science, which can limit their educational and career opportunities. In a new Penn State project, researchers will investigate whether executive functions help explain these children’s academic difficulties.

New center supports researchers investigating educational inequities

July 19, 2016

Large academic achievement and other opportunity gaps are widespread in the U.S., with minority and low-income children consistently at greater risk than their peers.
To address these educational inequities, the Center for Educational Disparities Research (CEDR) is being jointly established by Penn State’s Social Science Research Institute and the College of Education.

2016 United Nations World Youth Report

July 18, 2016

The World Youth Report on Youth Civic Engagement, prepared by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), explores young people's participation in economic, political and community life. To read the report, go to http://www.unworldyouthreport.org/.

Educating parents on healthy infant sleep habits may help prevent obesity

June 30, 2016

Teaching parents bedtime techniques to encourage healthy sleep habits in their infants may help prevent obesity, according to Penn State College of Medicineresearchers. Strong links exist between inadequate sleep and childhood obesity.

NIH adolescent and parent diet and demographic data sets now available

June 30, 2016

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Behavioral Research Program is pleased to announce adolescent and parent diet and demographic data sets from the Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) Study are now available for free download. Additional diet outcome variables, the physical activity data set, and additional FLASHE variables are planned for release later this year.

Network director addresses the UK child welfare system

June 24, 2016

Across the pond, Jennie Noll’s message of academia to combat and prevent child maltreatment is being heard and gaining traction.
Noll, director of Penn State's Child Maltreatment Solutions Network and professor of human development and family studies, recently attended the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children's (NSPCC) Rebuilding Childhood Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, to present…

Hispanic youth underrepresented in most recent U.S. census

June 24, 2016

In a recent comparison of Census Bureau data, researchers estimate that nearly 400,000 Hispanic children were not counted in the 2010 census. The misrepresentation of a population could lead to less political representation and the loss of funding for critical programs aimed at early childhood wellness, according to researchers.