The Future of Undergraduate Education, The Future of America

The Future of Undergraduate Education, The Future of America. American Academy of Arts and Sciences. December 2017.

 What was once a challenge of quantity in American undergraduate education, of enrolling as many students as possible, is increasingly a challenge of educational quality—of making sure that all students receive the education they need to succeed, that they are able to complete the studies they begin, and that they can do all of this affordably, without mortgaging the very future they seek to improve. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 112 pages, 1.59 MB].

 

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Eleven Facts about Innovation and Patents

Eleven Facts about Innovation and Patents. Brookings Institution. Jay Shambaugh, Ryan Nunn, and Becca Portman. December 13, 2017

Improvement in living standards over time is not inevitable or automatic. Rather, it is made possible by increases in physical and human capital, technological progress that itself might require large investments, and well-designed institutions. In this set of eleven economic facts, the authors explore central features of the innovation system, including patents, research and development (R&D) investments, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Following this analysis, they highlight opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of the innovation system, thereby contributing to faster technological progress and economic growth. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 28 pages, 1.43 MB].

Evaluating Policies to Transform Distressed Urban Neighborhoods

Evaluating Policies to Transform Distressed Urban Neighborhoods. Urban Institute. Laura Tach, Christopher Wimer. October 24, 2017

This memo synthesizes research on place-based policy interventions that target urban neighborhoods in four policy areas: economic development, human capital, housing, and crime prevention. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 10 pages, 517.39 KB].

The Value of Out-of-School Time Programs

The Value of Out-of-School Time Programs. RAND Corporation. Jennifer Sloan McCombs, Anamarie Whitaker, Paul Youngmin Yoo. October 23, 2017.

To better understand the value and effectiveness of out-of-school-time (OST) programs, RAND researchers examined programs through the lenses of content, dosage (the hours of content provided), and outcomes measured, focusing on rigorous (i.e., experimental or quasi-experimental) large-scale evaluations and meta-analyses. The overall conclusion is that OST programs are generally effective at producing the primary outcomes that would be expected based on their programming. However, the primary benefits of such programs are often understudied or underreported. When making funding decisions, federal, state, and local governments and private foundations should consider all the benefits that programs provide to youth and families and emphasize program quality. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 22 pages, 262.27 KB].

Investing Early: Taking Stock of Outcomes and Economic Returns from Early Childhood Programs

Investing Early: Taking Stock of Outcomes and Economic Returns from Early Childhood Programs. RAND Corporation. Jill S. Cannon et al. November 16, 2017.

The past two decades have been characterized by a growing body of research from diverse disciplines — child development, psychology, neuroscience, and economics, among others — demonstrating the importance of establishing a strong foundation in the early years of life. The research evidence has served to document the range of early childhood services that can successfully put children and families on the path toward lifelong health and well-being, especially those at greatest risk of poor outcomes. As early childhood interventions have proliferated, researchers have evaluated whether the programs improve children’s outcomes and, when they do, whether the improved outcomes generate benefits that can outweigh the program costs. This report examines a set of evaluations that meet criteria for scientific rigor and synthesizes their results to better understand the outcomes, costs, and benefits of early childhood programs. The authors focus on evaluations of 115 early childhood programs serving children or parents of children from the prenatal period to age 5. Although preschool is perhaps the best-known early childhood intervention, the study also reviewed such programs as home visiting, parent education, government transfers providing cash and in-kind benefits, and those that use a combination of approaches. The findings demonstrate that most of the reviewed programs have favorable effects on at least one child outcome and those with an economic evaluation tend to show positive economic returns. With this expanded evidence base, policymakers can be highly confident that well-designed and -implemented early childhood programs can improve the lives of children and their families. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 322 pages, 1.58 MB].

The National Science Foundation: FY2018 Appropriations and Funding History

The National Science Foundation: FY2018 Appropriations and Funding History. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Laurie A. Harris. November 2, 2017

The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports basic research and education in the non-medical sciences and engineering. NSF is a major source of federal support for U.S. university research, especially in certain fields such as computer science. It is also responsible for significant shares of the federal science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education program portfolio and federal STEM student aid and support.

[PDF format, 20 pages, 1.12 MB].

The Global Gender Gap Report 2017

The Global Gender Gap Report 2017. World Economic Forum. November 2, 2017.

Gender parity is fundamental to whether and how economies and societies thrive. Ensuring the full development and appropriate deployment of half of the world’s total talent pool has a vast bearing on the growth, competitiveness and future-readiness of economies and businesses worldwide. The Global Gender Gap Report benchmarks 144 countries on their progress towards gender parity across four thematic dimensions: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment. In addition, this year’s edition also analyses the dynamics of gender gaps across industry talent pools and occupations. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 361 pages, 10.90 MB].