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Recent News Items

Student mobility negatively linked to academic achievement

Recent findings presented earlier this month at the Kansas City GradNation Summit, concluded that students who move to new schools are likelier to have lower test scores and more absences. Using data from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium (KC-AERC), which is housed at IPSR, looked at how many students transferred in and out of schools in three counties in the Kansas City, Missouri metropolitan area. The research found students who had changed schools were 60 percent less likely to be proficient in communication arts and 62 percent less likely to be proficient in math as students who didn't move. Read the full press release below.

Burkina Faso coup spells trouble for civil society in Africa

According to international news reports, a close ally of former President Blaise Compaore is Nigeria's new leader after the military seized the government earlier this week. Ebenezer Obadare, a KU associate professor in the Department of Sociology and IPSR affiliate, said the development in the West African nation would be disappointing to those who celebrated protests that ousted Compaore from power. "Be that as it may, the coup's emergence spells further trouble for civil society and ordinary citizens in an already beleaguered country," Obadare said. Full press release available at the link below.

Field of study impacts lifetime earnings

A new study based on longitudinal data confirms a college degree provides an advantage in lifetime earnings, but a related decision once students make it to college could prove to be even more crucial. The study, which includes a University of Kansas reearcher, found large lifetime earnings gaps depending on a student's field of study. For example, men who major in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM fields, and earn a bachelor's degree, achieved roughly $700,000 to $800,000 higher 40-year lifetime earnings from ages 20 to 59 than social science or liberal arts majors. - See more in the link below.

Compulsory schooling research could point to success of mandatory community college plan

IPSR affiliate and assistant professor of sociology, Emily Rauscher, was featured in the news this week.Rauscher's research found that educational expansion worked once before in creating better jobs and upgrading the opportunities of the American workforce. Read the full press release at the link below.

Math key factor in career fields where women are underrepresented

Math - not college faculty's belief that female students lack brilliance - points to why fewer women are in STEM fields, research at the University of Kansas shows. The findings challenge a study published earlier this year in the journal Science that concluded women were underrepresented in academic fields where faculty believe success is dependent on "raw, innate talent," which faculty chronically stereotype as a shortcoming for women. Recent research at KU shows when GRE scores are factored in, female representation correlates with the amount of math in the field, making faculty beliefs about a student's ability irrelevant. "To me it is all about the mathematical content of the field. Girls not taking math coursework early on in middle school and high school are set on a different college trajectory than boys," said Donna Ginther, professor of economics and director of the Center for Science, Technology & Economic Policy at the Institute for Policy & Social Research. Continue reading at the link below.