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Does Gifted Education Work? For Which Students?

September 11, 2014 Comments off

Does Gifted Education Work? For Which Students? (PDF)
Source: UC Berkeley and University of Miami

Education policy makers have struggled for decades with the question of how to best serve high ability “gifted” students. A key issue of contention is whether eligibility for gifted programs should be based mainly on IQ, or on broader measures that take better account of both cognitive and non-cognitive skills. Using data from a large urban school district, we study the impacts of an intensive gifted education program that provides the same treatment to three distinct groups of fourth grade students: non-disadvantaged students with IQ scores of 130 or more; subsidized lunch participants and English language learners with IQ scores of 116 or more; and high-achieving students who do not meet the above IQ cutoffs, but qualify through high scores on state achievement tests. Regression discontinuity (RD) estimates based on the IQ thresholds for the first two groups show no effects on reading or math achievement. In contrast, RD estimates based on test score ranks for the high-achieving group show significant gains in reading and math, with treatment-on-the treated effects of 0.2 to 0.3 standard deviation units. Our results suggest that programs for high-potential students may be more effective for students selected on the basis of achievement than for those selected on the basis of IQ alone.

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Innovative Mobility Carsharing Outlook: Carsharing Market Overview, Analysis, and Trends

April 2, 2014 Comments off

Innovative Mobility Carsharing Outlook: Carsharing Market Overview, Analysis, and Trends
Source: University of California-Berkeley (Transportation Sustainability Research Center)

North American Carsharing:
· As of January 1, 2013, there were 46 active programs in North America with 1,033,564 members sharing 15,603 vehicles.
· As of January 1,2013, 20 Canadian operators claimed 141,351 members and shared 3,432 vehicles. In the United States, 891,953 members shared 12,131 vehicles among 25 operators. In Mexico, 620 members shared 40 vehicles among one operator.
· Between January 2012 and January 2013, carsharing membership grew 24.1% in the United States and 53.4% in Canada. Between January 2012 and January 2013, carsharing fleets grew 23.6% in the United States and 35.9% in Canada.
· As of January 1, 2013, U.S. member-vehicle ratios were 73:1, representing a 0.4% increase between January 2012 and January 2013. In Canada, the ratio was 41:1, representing a 12.9% increase over the same period.

Worldwide Carsharing:
· As of October 2012, carsharing was operating in 27 countries and 5 continents, accounting for an estimated 1,788,000 members sharing over 43,550 vehicles.
· North America remains the largest carsharing region, with Europe and North America accounting for 38.7% and 50.8% of worldwide carsharing membership, respectively.
· Europe accounts for the majority of fleets deployed in 2012: 47.0% in contrast to 36.2% in North America.
· As of October 2012, one-way carsharing was operating in seven countries worldwide including (Austria, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States).

Personal Vehicle Sharing
· As of October 2012, there were 33 personal vehicle sharing operators worldwide, with 10 active or in pilot phase, three planned, and four defunct in North America.

Congressional Officials Grant Access Due To Campaign Contributions: A Randomized Field Experiment

March 28, 2014 Comments off

Congressional Officials Grant Access Due To Campaign Contributions: A Randomized Field Experiment (PDF)
Source: University of California-Berkeley

Concern that lawmakers grant preferential treatment to individuals because they have contributed to political campaigns has long occupied jurists, scholars, and the public. However, the effects of campaign contributions on legislators’ behavior have proven notoriously difficult to assess. We report the first randomized field experiment on the topic. In the experiment, a political organization attempted to schedule meetings between 191 Members of Congress and their constituents who had contributed to political campaigns. However, the organization randomly assigned whether it informed legislators’ offices that individuals who would attend the meetings were contributors. Congressional offices made considerably more senior officials available for meetings when offices were informed the attendees were donors, with senior officials attending such meetings more than three times as often (p < 0.01). Influential policymakers thus appear to make themselves much more accessible to individuals because they have contributed to campaigns, even in the absence of quid pro quo arrangements. These findings have significant implications for ongoing legal and legislative debates. The hypothesis that individuals can command greater attention from influential policymakers by contributing to campaigns has been among the most contested explanations for how financial resources translate into political power. The simple but revealing experiment presented here elevates this hypothesis from extensively contested to scientifically supported.

A Treacherous Journey: Child Migrants Navigating the U.S. Immigration System

March 17, 2014 Comments off

A Treacherous Journey: Child Migrants Navigating the U.S. Immigration System (PDF)
Source: University of California-Hastings College of the Law, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies

CGRS and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) have collaborated to produce an important report urging lawmakers to reform the U.S. immigration system for migrant children who are coming to our borders with surging frequency. They come, often unaccompanied by an adult, in search of safety, stability, and protection. These children face a system that was created for adults, does not provide them legal counsel, and is not required to consider the child’s best interests, despite the potentially enormous impact of the proceedings on the child’s life and future.

Riding First Class: Impacts of Silicon Valley Shuttles on Commute & Residential Location Choice

March 16, 2014 Comments off

Riding First Class: Impacts of Silicon Valley Shuttles on Commute & Residential Location Choice (PDF)
Source: University of California-Berkeley (College of Environmental Design)

Employer-provided private shuttles have become a prominent part of the transportation network between San Francisco and Silicon Valley. As the Bay Area plans for transportation investments to meet sustainability goals and accommodate future population and employment growth, an understanding of the role of regional commuter shuttles becomes increasingly important. This study investigates the impacts of private shuttles on commute mode and residential location choice by conducting a travel time comparison and surveying shuttle riders. The authors find that the provision of shuttles and knowledge of shuttle stops influences both commute mode and residential location choice. Shuttles are an attractive option due to their time and cost savings compared to other modes. However, shuttles exacerbate the jobs-housing imbalance by enabling individuals to live farther from work. The extent to which location of shuttle stops influences residential location choice varies from person to person, though the vast majority of shuttle riders live within a short walk from the nearest shuttle stop. Policies should strike a balance between improved sustainability with existing land use patterns and better long-term regional transportation and land use planning.

Is The United States Still a Land Of Opportunity? Recent Trends in Intergenerational Mobility

January 23, 2014 Comments off

Is The United States Still a Land Of Opportunity? Recent Trends in Intergenerational Mobility
Source: Harvard University/University of California-Berkeley (Equality of Opportunity Project)

Is America the “Land of Opportunity”? In two recent studies, we find that: (1) Upward income mobility varies substantially within the U.S. Areas with greater mobility tend to have five characteristics: less segregation, less income inequality, better schools, greater social capital, and more stable families. (2) Contrary to popular perception, economic mobility has not changed significantly over time; however, it is consistently lower in the U.S. than in most developed countries.

UC Berkeley report raises alarm about falling wages, outsourcing at U.S. airports

November 18, 2013 Comments off

UC Berkeley report raises alarm about falling wages, outsourcing at U.S. airports
Source: UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research

The outsourcing of airport jobs that once sustained middle-class careers has left many airport workers in jobs characterized by insecurity and low wages, according to a new UC Berkeley study released Monday, Nov. 4. According to the study, this trend poses problems for workers, the communities surrounding airports and the flying public.

The report, “Course Correction,” comes as voters in SeaTac, Wash., a city adjacent to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, consider a local ordinance that would set a $15-per-hour minimum wage for many airport and airport-related workers, and do so just as the holiday season and air travel begin to pick up. Agencies also are considering similar measures at other airports.

According to the report, airport and airport-related workers saw real hourly wages fall by an average of 15 percent from 2002 to 2012. The report also notes that, while the total number of workers in air transport-related industries has declined since 2001, the share of outsourced workers grew from 19 percent to 26 percent by 2011.

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