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Speaker Series: School of Education
October 25, 2018 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Allison Atteberry and Mimi Engel
Allison Atteberry, CU-Boulder School of Education, Research and Evaluation Methods
Title: It’s About Time: Evidence on Time Use in Full-Versus Half-Day Preschool Contexts
Abstract: High quality early childhood education (ECE) programs can alter children’s life trajectories and yield substantial social returns. One promising approach to realizing social benefits from ECE investments is through improvements to their quality and intensity. The current research project adds to the small existing literature by providing new experimental evidence about the impacts of full-day preschool, on a host of immediate- and medium-term outcomes in a small, predominantly low-income, non-White, and ELL district near Denver. Prior to 2016, this district provided only half-day preschool. In 2016-2017, the district created nine new full-day classrooms as part of a Full-Day Pre-K Pilot Program, and since then we have randomized two cohorts of applicants to these full-day slots or the business-as-usual half-day slots. Cohort 1 exhibited large effects on academic and socio-emotional outcomes by the end of the preschool year. Assuming that we continue to find evidence of positive effects of full-day preschool offers, the next policy-relevant question is about how the additional time in school is used, relative to how it would have been used in the absence of the full-day option.
Bio: Allison Atteberry is an assistant professor in the Research and Evaluation Methodology (REM) program, within the CU-Boulder School of Education. She received her Ph.D. in 2011 from the Stanford School of Education in educational policy analysis, with a minor in statistics. Dr. Atteberry conducts research on teacher- and school-level interventions designed to improve the quality of instruction experienced by historically underserved students. As a field, we are increasingly aware of how difficult it is to determine whether policies, practices, and interventions have the intended impacts, and so Dr. Atteberry approaches her work with a strong interest in what constitutes compelling evidence of causal effects in quantitative research. In terms of methods, Dr. Atteberry teaches and uses both econometric and statistical approaches to education policy analysis. Dr. Atteberry’s academic interests center on policies and interventions that are intended to help provide effective teachers to the students who need them most. This has led her to focus on the identification, selection, development, and retention of teachers who have measurable impacts on student achievement.
Mimi Engel, CU-Boulder School of Education, Research and Evaluation Methods
Title: Understanding Absenteeism in Elementary School: Results from an RCT embedded qualitative study
Abstract: Chronic truancy – missing 5% or more of the days of a school year – has been on the rise in Chicago’s Public Schools (CPS). In this talk I will briefly share results from a large-scale randomized controlled trial of Check & Connect, a structured monitoring and mentoring program focused on student engagement with school, that was implemented in CPS in 2011-2013. The focus of the talk will be on understanding why elementary school students in an urban context miss school. I will explore what students and their families report in terms of reasons for missing school and the home, school, neighborhood, and contextual factors that likely influence school attendance among this population.
Bio: Mimi Engel is an associate professor in the Research and Evaluation Methodology (REM) program in the CU-Boulder School of Education. Through her research, Dr. Engel aims to contribute to our understanding of how policies and programs affect children’s developmental outcomes and opportunities to learn. Her interest in studying how schools and other contexts influence students is informed by her training in human development and social policy and social work. Spanning several areas including teacher labor markets (focus on teacher hiring), early skill formation (focus on mathematics teaching and learning for young children), and contextual influences on children, the central aim of her research is to provide new information about policies, programs, and administrative factors that have the potential to improve students’ school-related outcomes, particularly among students from traditionally under-served populations.