Pathways to High-Quality Jobs for Young Adults

Pathways to High-Quality Jobs for Young Adults. Brookings Institution. Martha Ross et al. October, 2018

Helping young people prepare to engage in work and life as productive adults is a central challenge for any society. Yet, many young people in the United States—particularly those from low-income or less educated families—find that the path to employment and economic security in adulthood is poorly marked or inaccessible.

Using an advanced methodology and longitudinal data, this report examines two main questions:

  • The quality of jobs (as measured by wages, benefits, hours, and job satisfaction) held by 29-year-olds who experienced disadvantage in adolescence
  • Whether particular employment, education, and training experiences in adolescence and early adulthood predict higher-quality jobs for 29-year-olds from disadvantaged backgrounds.

[Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 56 pages].

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Fulfilling the Promise of Career Pathways: Strategies that Support Career Advancement

Fulfilling the Promise of Career Pathways: Strategies that Support Career Advancement. Urban Institute. Lauren Eyster, Semhar Gebrekristos. October 11, 2018

 The career pathways model is designed to help people get the training they need to find good jobs and employers find skilled workers. However, little is understood about how career pathways programs can support career advancement that lead to jobs that lead to a stable career and family-sustaining wages. This brief presents three types of career advancement strategies, with examples from five programs, that help people move beyond the first step on a career pathway and successfully advance in their careers. It concludes with takeaways for the three strategies to help practitioners, policymakers, and program funders better support career advancement. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 11 pages].

Increasing Access to Quality Child Care for Four Priority Populations

Increasing Access to Quality Child Care for Four Priority Populations. Urban Institute. Julia R Henly, Gina Adams. October 9, 2018

 In recent decades, policymakers have increasingly focused on the importance of high-quality child care and early education services in supporting the development of low-income children. Though high-quality early care and education (ECE) can exist in any setting—including child care centers and home-based licensed and license-exempt settings—the emphasis on high-quality ECE services often translates into a singular focus on investing public funds in formal settings, especially center-based programs.

This report explores the implications of this trend in the context of the 2014 reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). It focuses on four priority populations: families with parents working nontraditional schedules, families with infants and toddlers, families living in rural areas, and families with children with disabilities and special needs. The center-based market is ill prepared to meet the needs of these four populations, yet together they make up a majority of low-income children with working parents and are a priority for the CCDBG.

The report provides data on the number of low-income children in each state who fall into these categories (except families with children who have special needs) and the proportion of those receiving subsidies who are cared for in child care centers. It also discusses the barriers to care for these populations, lays out state policy strategies to increase access to high-quality care across the full range of settings for these children, and highlights key gaps in our knowledge as to how to best support access to quality for these families. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 82 pages].

Changes in What Teachers Know and Do in the Common Core Era: American Teacher Panel Findings from 2015 to 2017

Changes in What Teachers Know and Do in the Common Core Era: American Teacher Panel Findings from 2015 to 2017. RAND Corporation. Julia H. Kaufman et al. September 27, 2018

 RAND Corporation researchers use data from surveys of the American Teacher Panel in 2015, 2016, and 2017 to provide evidence of change in teachers’ use of instructional materials and knowledge of state standards and standards-aligned practices. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 40 pages].

Local Workforce Development Boards and Child Care

Local Workforce Development Boards and Child Care. Urban Institute. Gina Adams, Semhar Gebrekristos. August 8, 2018

 Many low-income Americans face challenges in the job market because of inadequate education and job skills and low-income parents face particular challenges enrolling in activities to improve their skills and education levels because of the lack of affordable, quality child care. Local workforce development boards (LWDBs) set policies for and oversee a set of workforce programs and services funded under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). As such, they are the front line for low-income parents who need education and training. This report provides insights into how LWDBs can help address child care barriers by presenting findings from interviews with administrators from five LWDBs across the country (Larimer County Economic and Workforce Development in Colorado, CareerSource of Broward County in Florida, Northern Indiana Workforce Board, Workforce Solutions of Central Texas, and North Central SkillSource in Washington). Although not representative of the actions of all LWDBs, each of the five sites had a broad vision of the importance of child care, understood the multifaceted benefits of child care across generations and how it fit their mission, and discussed the role child care plays for employers and the economy. We found that LWDBs can play an important role in meeting the child care needs of their parent clients and supporting child care in their communities, but they are constrained by funding limitations and an inadequate child care market. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 40 pages].

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education: An Overview

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education: An Overview.  Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Boris Granovskiy.  June 12, 2018

 The term STEM education refers to teaching and learning in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It typically includes educational activities across all grade levels— from pre-school to post-doctorate—in both formal (e.g., classrooms) and informal (e.g., afterschool programs) settings. Federal policymakers have an active and enduring interest in STEM education, and the topic is frequently raised in federal science, education, workforce, national security, and immigration policy debates. 

 [PDF format, 33 pages].

Raising the Bar: Louisiana’s Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes

Raising the Bar: Louisiana’s Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes. RAND Corporation.  Julia H. Kaufman et al. June 28, 2018.

 Louisiana has received recent attention for some of its new education policies and promising early results. In this report, RAND researchers provide an in-depth description of Louisiana’s approach to improving student outcomes since 2012. The authors examine how the state has used various policy levers — including mandates, resource alignment, incentives, and communication and planning processes — to pursue reform strategies in four areas: early childhood education, K–12 academics, K–12 teacher preparation, and graduation pathways.

This report sets the stage for more in-depth analyses of Louisiana’s policy implementation, challenges, and student outcomes that might be linked to its reform efforts. Reports detailing these analyses will also provide recommendations on how Louisiana’s and similar efforts might be improved. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 140 pages].