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Recent News Items

Pilot study to examine aspects of K-12 student-information systems

Most U.S. school districts use a student information system to manage data such as attendance, grades and disciplinary notes because it gives parents, students, teachers and administrators immediate access to day-to-day school operations. Yet, despite the widespread adoptions of these student information systems, no study has assessed how school stakeholders actually use and experience SIS systems and what effects these systems have on users. Bill Staples, professor of sociology and director of the Surveillance Studies Research Center at KU's Institute for Policy and Social Research along with Argun Saatcioglu, associate professor of education and courtesy professor of sociology, recently received a Spencer Foundation Grant to examine whether SIS systemsbuild or undermine trust among stakeholders in schools. Read the full press release at the link below.

LA&S792 - Managing Research Data in the Social Sciences

This 2- or 3-credit hour graduate level course offered in the Summer 2015 term is designed to teach the skills necessary to read, reorganize, transform, display, clean, archive, and export simple or complex data. The primary tool used in the class is theSAS system. Structured Query Language (SQL) and documentation of the research process using structured metadata also receive significant attention.

Research on investigatory police stops and race receives national award

The American Society for Public Administration has honored professors Charles Epp, School of Public Affairs & Administration; Steven Maynard-Moody, School of Public Affairs & Administration and director of the Institute for Policy & Social Research, and Don Haider-Markel, chair of the Department of Political Science, for "Pulled Over: How Police Stops Define Race and Citizenship," with the 2015 Best Book Award from the Section on Public Administration Research. Read the full press release at the link below.

Study: High stress for mothers increase secondhand smoke risk for infants

New mothers who experience higher levels of social stressors are the least likely to have rules that ban smoking in the home, which could expose their infants to secondhand smoke and increase health risks, according to a study that includes a University of Kansas researcher. Jarron Saint Onge, assistant professor of sociology and the study's lead author, said mothers with a high level of prenatal social stressors - including possibly less control over their own housing situation or economic distress - had 2.5 times higher odds to have only partial or no restriction on smoking in their home than those with no stressors.Read more at the link below.

Spencer Foundation to fund surveillance study

Bill Staples, Professor of Sociology, and Argun Saatcioglu, Associate Professor in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and Adjunct Assistant Professor in Sociology, have received a $43,417 grant from the Spencer Foundation for their project "Student Information Systems: Fostering Trust or Enabling Surveillance?" Over the course of the project, Staples and Saatcioglu will assess how parents, students, teachers, and administrators use school information systems to gain access to student information, which can include attendance records, grades, disciplinary notes, and even immunization and health records. Staples and Saatcioglu will analyze what effects these information systems have on relationships between stakeholders, exploring whether use of these systems builds trust and strengthens bonds, or functions as a type of surveillance that may undermine educational outcomes. Dr. Staples is the Director of the Surveillance Studies Research Center (SSRC) at the Institute for Policy & Social Research, and Saatcioglu is an SSRC faculty affiliate.