Arroyo Research Services Senior Associate John Kucsera has been attracting considerable attention for his work with UCLA professor Gary Orfield on the extreme segregation still found in our nation’s school systems 60+ years after the landmark Brown v. Board of Education court ruling. And contrary to what some may expect, the biggest problem is not found in the American South. In fact, a recent study by Kucsera and Orfield, who co-directs the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, discovered that the country’s worst segregation rates in modern day can be found in New York state’s schools.
And the problem doesn’t end there; demographic shifts in places like Southern California, which are representative of changes happening elsewhere in the country, signal a need for more proactive policies that favor integration across the country (see, for example, “Are We Segregated and Satisfied?” in the journal, Urban Education). While progress has been made since Brown for some students, issues like a growing Latino population, increasing socioeconomic disparity, school choice, and finance reform all have an impact on segregation rates. (more…)Continue reading
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is designed to protect students and families from unlawful use and release of private data. It firmly undergirds how Arroyo Research Services handles data confidentiality and security, and it most often requires strict de-identification and/or prior written consent, if any access is allowed, before data is provided to third parties for the purposes of independent research.
Unfortunately, we find FERPA is often misinterpreted to mean that identifiable or non-consented data may never be released. That’s not actually the case. (more…)Continue reading
As education researchers and evaluators, data security is mission critical. That’s why we’re committed to the strongest possible data security policies and practices to assure the confidentiality of student and teacher data. Just like larger firms, we adhere to a detailed Data Confidentiality Policy that keeps us in compliance with FERPA and related federal and state guidance. But we go a bit further, so we thought we’d share how we think about protecting student data and some of the practical steps we take to do so. (more…)Continue reading
Asked at a conference what I thought was the best book on education research I’d read recently, I was quick to answer, “Moneyball.” Moneyball? But that’s a baseball book! Well, yes and no. Michael Lewis’s story tells how Oakland A’s General Manager Billie Bean got the lowest payroll baseball team in America to challenge the American League record for consecutive wins; the A’s went on to repeated success by dispensing with preconceived notions of what makes for a good baseball player and letting comprehensive data analysis inform their decision making throughout the organization.
Many of the insights offered in the book are good re-tellings of the classic writings of baseball statistician William James. Here is just a sampling of insights from James that can be applied to education research: (more…)Continue reading