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Reducing Child Poverty in the US (Research Report)
Linda Giannarelli, Kye Lippold, Sarah Minton, Laura Wheaton

One in five children in the U.S. lives in poverty. The Children’s Defense Fund contracted with the Urban Institute to estimate how much child poverty could be reduced by a comprehensive set of policies—increasing the minimum wage, providing transitional jobs, expanding subsidized housing and child care, increasing food assistance, increasing federal income tax credits, and changing how child support is counted in determining benefits. Urban Institute staff analyzed the policies using the TRIM3 microsimulation model. We estimate that the full package of policies would reduce the number of poor children by 60 percent--from 10.9 million to 4.3 million.

Posted to Web: January 30, 2015Publication Date: January 30, 2015

How Head Start Grantees Set and Use School Readiness Goals (Research Report)
Julia Isaacs, Heather Sandstrom, Monica Rohacek, Christopher Lowenstein, Olivia Healy, Maeve Gearing

The School Readiness Goals and Head Start Program Functioning project examined how local Head Start and Early Head Start grantees set school readiness goals, how they collect and analyze data to track progress toward goals, and how they use these data in program planning and practice to improve program functioning. Based on a telephone survey with 73 grantees and follow-up site visits to 11 grantees, it found that grantees have largely embraced the school readiness goals requirement but were still learning to analyze and interpret school readiness data. It is accompanied by a research brief of the same title.

Posted to Web: January 30, 2015Publication Date: January 29, 2015

How Head Start Grantees Set and Use School Readiness Goals: Highlights from a Research Study (Summary)
Heather Sandstrom, Julia Isaacs, Monica Rohacek

This brief presents highlights from a research study that describes how local Head Start and Early Head Start grantees set school readiness goals, how they collect and analyze data to track progress toward goals, and how they use these data in program planning and practice to improve program functioning. Based on a telephone survey with 73 grantees and follow-up site visits to 11 grantees, this study found that grantees have largely embraced the school readiness goals requirement, but were still learning to analyze and interpret school readiness data. It is accompanied by the full research report of the same title.

Posted to Web: January 30, 2015Publication Date: January 29, 2015

Distributional Effects of the President's New Tax Proposals (Research Report)
Leonard E. Burman, Ngan Phung

The White House announced a package of tax proposals as part of what President Obama called “Middle Class Economics” in the State of the Union Address. This paper summarizes and discusses TPC’s distributional estimates, focusing on the distribution of all income tax cuts, the major tax cut provisions, and the largest tax increase provisions including the new fee on financial institutions. The tax cuts primarily benefit low-income single workers and working age households with children. The income tax increases primarily affect those with very high incomes and those with a substantial amount of capital assets.

Posted to Web: January 30, 2015Publication Date: January 30, 2015

State Economic Monitor: January 2015 (Series/State Economic Monitor)
Richard C. Auxier

The State & Local Finance Initiative’s State Economic Monitor tracks economic-performance data across the states and the District of Columbia, highlighting differences in key indicators including employment, wages, housing, and taxes. This quarter’s report finds the unemployment rate fell in 46 states and DC between December 2013 and December 2014, but national real average weekly earnings only increased in 16 states. Total tax revenue over the past four quarters was 1.6 percent higher than the previous year.

Posted to Web: January 29, 2015Publication Date: January 29, 2015

Evaluation of the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) (Research Report)
Hamutal Bernstein, Carlos Martin, Lauren Eyster, Theresa Anderson, Stephanie Owen, Ananda Martin-Caughey

The Urban Institute conducted an implementation and participant-outcomes evaluation of the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP). ANSEP is a multi-stage initiative designed to prepare and support Alaska Native students from middle school through graduate school to succeed in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. The findings inform ANSEP’s programming and provide lessons for other STEM education programs that serve underrepresented minorities nationwide.

Posted to Web: January 26, 2015Publication Date: January 26, 2015

Characteristics of Those Affected by a Supreme Court Finding for the Plaintiff in King v. Burwell (Policy Briefs/Timely Analysis of Health Policy Issues)
Linda J. Blumberg, Matthew Buettgens, John Holahan

Following up on our previous analysis of the implications of a Supreme Court finding for the plaintiff in the King v. Burwell, this brief describes the characteristics of those that would be affected, particularly those who would otherwise have nongroup insurance. Of the 9.3 million people estimated to lose tax credits, two-thirds would become uninsured. Most are adults who are low and middle income but not poor, most are white, non-Hispanic, and most reside in the South. Financial burdens would increase substantially for those wishing to continue buying the same coverage they would have under current implementation of the law.

Posted to Web: January 22, 2015Publication Date: January 22, 2015

Data Use for Continuous Quality Improvement: What the Head Start Field Can Learn from Other Disciplines A Literature Review and Conceptual Framework (Research Report)
Teresa Derrick-Mills, Heather Sandstrom, Sarah L. Pettijohn, Saunji Fyffe, Jeremy Koulish

This report summarizes research on the processes, facilitators, and impediments to data use for continuous quality improvement; develops a conceptual framework representing the elements of data use for continuous quality improvement; provides linkages between the disciplines from which the literature was drawn and the Head Start field; and suggests areas for future research. The review reflects seminal and current works that originate in empirical and professional sources in the fields of educational leadership and management, health care management, nonprofit leadership and management, public management, and organizational learning and development. The resulting conceptual framework describes the elements of leadership, analytic capacity, commitment of resources, professional development, a culture of collaborative inquiry, a continuous cycle, organizational characteristics, and environmental characteristics.

Posted to Web: January 22, 2015Publication Date: January 22, 2015

Does Increasing Reliance on Student Debt Explain Declines in Entrepreneurial Activity? (Research Report)
Sandy Baum

Concerns about declining entrepreneurial activity, rising student debt, and the possible relationship between the two deserve attention. New business enterprises can support innovation and increase employment, so any trend that might be interfering with individuals’ opportunities to take risks, finance start-ups, and build enterprises is worth exploring.

Posted to Web: January 22, 2015Publication Date: January 22, 2015

Observations of Leaders Driving Changes in State Government (Research Report)
Heather Hahn, Maeve Gearing, Michael Katz, Ria Amin

Change in state government, as in other large public and private organizations, is an uphill battle. In social and health service agencies, public officials seeking change face myriad challenges, including frequent turnover, limited funding, and lengthy legal and regulatory processes. Despite these obstacles, change is possible and is often driven by strong leaders. In this brief focused on leadership, we examine how state government officials in Colorado and Illinois, two states participating in the Work Support Strategies project, seized opportunities, addressed challenges, and led change.

Posted to Web: January 21, 2015Publication Date: January 21, 2015

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