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This blog contains posts from the Education & Youth impact area at FSG.
Posted by: Jeff Cohen on 6/24/2013

It’s common knowledge among parents that your children’s friends have a big influence on their attitudes and ambitions. A recent study, published in the February 2013 American Educational Research Journal, suggests that perhaps parents should be even more concerned with their children’s friends’ parents. Hua-Yu Cherng and his colleagues Jessica Calarco and Grace Kao have found that the educational attainment level of the mother of a child’s best friend has a surprisingly powerful effect on the likelihood that the student will complete college. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, Cherng, Calarco and Kao set out to trace the impact that having “resource-rich” best friends has on college completion.

Posted by: Jeff Cohen on 3/20/2013

This past Sunday, the New York Times ran a front-page article on a new study by Caroline M. Hoxby of Stanford and Christopher Avery of Harvard. I urge anyone who has an interest in college access and success issues to read it. Hoxby and Avery looked at high-achieving (top 4%) high school seniors across income quartiles and found that only 34 percent of high-achieving high school seniors in the bottom fourth of income distribution attended any one of the country’s 238 most selective colleges. Among top students in the highest income quartile that figure was 78 percent.

Even more striking to me was the accompanying graphic (see below) showing students' college application strategies by income quartile, which shows that 53% of high-achieving students in the lowest income quartile apply to NO schools that are a match for them academically, compared to 11% of high-income students. The problem with this is that attending less selective schools than they are qualified for makes it much less likely that these students will actually graduate. And they certainly won't be attending more selective schools if they're not even applying to them.

Posted by: Jeff Cohen on 12/21/2010

With the release of FSG’s article on Collective Impact this month, this seemed like an opportune moment to explore some recent collective impact efforts in education and see how they’re faring. Keeping in mind that our research shows that successful collective impact initiatives typically have five conditions that together produce true alignment and lead to powerful results: a common agenda, shared measurement systems, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and backbone support organizations, let’s see how these concepts play out on the ground.


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