Our Research

The rigorous research ETS conducts into the causes and consequences of education inequity is the cornerstone of our efforts to close the achievement gap. The information we have compiled and analyzed over many years enables us to develop innovations in educational assessment, collaborate effectively with our partners, and raise awareness of issues and attitudes that must be overcome to achieve universal education.

Using State Early Care and Education Workforce Registry Data to Inform Training-Related Questions: Issues to Consider

Using State Early Care and Education Workforce Registry Data to Inform Training-Related Questions: Issues to Consider

By D. Ackerman
September 2016

This report shares the results of research on the training focus variables used across early care and education (ECE) workforce registries, and on the extent to which such variables are comparable. The report also explores when registries began recording these data and whether enrollment is voluntary, incentivized or mandatory. The results of the study suggest that aggregate registry data have the potential to address questions related to the focus of the training in which the ECE workforce participates.
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Exploring Pre-K Age 4 Learning Standards and Their Role in Early Childhood Education: Research and Policy Implications

Exploring Pre-K Age 4 Learning Standards and Their Role in Early Childhood Education: Research and Policy Implications

By A. DeBruin-Parecki & C. Slutzky
May 2016

This report presents a national study of pre-K age 4 learning standards based on an online survey completed by early childhood state and territory directors and administrators, geographically diverse focus groups representing a subsample of survey respondents, and one-on-one interviews composed of a sample of both focus group and survey participants. Data were collected from these sources and by direct examination of pre-K age 4 learning standards documents.
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Mind the Gap: 20 Years of Progress and Retrenchment in School Funding and Achievement Gaps

Mind the Gap: 20 Years of Progress and Retrenchment in School Funding and Achievement Gaps

By B. D. Baker, D. Farrie, & D. G. Sciarra
May 2016

This report focuses on the relationship between school funding, resource allocation, and achievement among students from low-income families. It tackles the assumption that greater resources, delivered through fair and equitable school funding systems, could help raise academic outcomes and reduce the achievement gap. The goal of this report is to provide convincing evidence that state finance policies have consequences in terms of the level and distribution of resources, here limited to staffing characteristics, and that the resulting allocation of resources is also associated with changes in both the level of academic achievement and achievement gaps between low-income children and their peers.
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Success Starts Young: Closing Achievement Gaps Where They Begin

Success Starts Young: Closing Achievement Gaps Where They Begin

By Deborah Yaffe
Spring 2016

This issue of ETS Policy Notes (Vol. 23, No.1) provides highlights from a recent national symposium on early learning standards, kindergarten readiness, and technology and early learning, sponsored by ETS and the Children's Defense Fund (CDF). "Success Starts Young: Closing Achievement Gaps Where They Begin," was held on September 18, 2015, in Washington, D.C. It was one of ETS’s "Addressing Achievement Gaps" conferences.
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Black Male Teens: Moving to Success in the High School Years

Is There Really a Labor Market Advantage to Being Bilingual in the U.S.?

By P. Gándara
October 2015

Although it is commonly thought that people who are bilingual have an advantage in the labor market, studies on this topic have not borne out this perception. The literature, in fact, has found an earnings penalty is associated with bilingualism — people who are bilingual often make less than people who are monolingual in similar jobs. This report reviews those studies and introduces a new set of studies that found different outcomes for bilingual people in terms of education and earnings. It also examines why the prior and present studies differ so greatly and what this means for education policy.
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Black Male Teens: Moving to Success in the High School Years

Advancing Success for Black Men in College

By Deborah Yaffe
Spring 2015

This issue of ETS Policy Notes provides highlights from a symposium sponsored by ETS and the Children Defense Fund (CDF) that was held on June 23, 2014, in Washington, DC. The symposium was part of a two-conference series, the 18th in ETS’s “Addressing Achievement Gaps” conferences and the fourth in the ETS-CDF “Promising Practices for Black Male Success” series.
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Black Male Teens: Moving to Success in the High School Years

Enhancing Young Hispanic Dual Language Learners’ Achievement: Exploring Strategies and Addressing Challenges

By D. J. Ackerman & Z. Tazi
January 2015

Dual language learners, or DLLs, may have greater school readiness needs due to the key role English oral language skills play in the development of emerging literacy skills in English and their overall academic achievement. This especially can be the case if children's capacity to benefit from classroom instruction and interact with teachers and fellow students is dependent on their English-language proficiency. This policy report examines key factors contributing to young Hispanic DLLs academically at-risk status, as well as the emerging research base on strategies for supporting the learning and development of DLLs in preschool and the early primary grades. Also addressed are the practical, on-the-ground implementation challenges to be addressed if early education programs are to incorporate these strategies.
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Black Male Teens: Moving to Success in the High School Years

Students at the Margins and the Institutions That Serve Them: A Global Perspective

By Diasmer Bloe
Salzburg Global Seminar

This special issue of ETS Policy Notes (Spring 2015) provides highlights from the Salzburg Global Seminar, Session 537, held in Salzburg, Austria, October 11 to October 16, 2014.
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Black Male Teens: Moving to Success in the High School Years

State-Funded PreK Policies on External Classroom Observations: Issues and Status

By D. J. Ackerman
February 2014

This report examines the variety of state Pre-Kindergarten (PreK) classroom observation policies on program decisions that are informed by observation score data, the protocols being used and how often such data are collected from classrooms. The report also discusses the particular validity and reliability challenges that are inherent in relying on classroom observation score data for a variety of low- and high-stakes decisions.
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Black Male Teens: Moving to Success in the High School Years

Black Male Teens: Moving to Success in the High School Years

By Deborah Yaffe
Winter 2013

This report highlights the discussion from the Addressing Achievement Gaps symposium held in June 2013. The symposium featured several panel discussions about issues related to Black male teens and their experiences in high school.
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Taking Action: Navigating the Common Core State Standards and Assessments

Taking Action: Navigating the Common Core State Standards and Assessments

By Deborah Yaffe
Fall 2013

This report highlights the discussion from "Taking Action: Navigating the Common Core State Standards and Assessments," a conference co-convened by ETS and the National Urban League in February 2013. Part of the Saturdays at ETS series, the conference brought together researchers, funders, advocates and local school officials to discuss the progress of the NUL’s Equity and Excellence Project.
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Optimizing Talent: Closing Educational and Social Mobility Gaps Worldwide: Higher Education and Lifelong Learning

Optimizing Talent: Closing Educational and Social Mobility Gaps Worldwide: Higher Education and Lifelong Learning

By Deborah Yaffe
Spring 2013

This issue of ETS Policy Notes (Vol. 21, No. 1) provides highlights from the Salzburg Global Seminar in October 2012. The seminar focused on higher education.
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Optimizing Talent: Closing Educational and Social Mobility Gaps Worldwide: Rapporteur's Report

Optimizing Talent: Closing Educational and Social Mobility Gaps Worldwide: Rapporteur's Report

October 2012

This report offers an overview of the major topics and findings for the third Salzburg Global Seminar, convened October 2012, on higher education.
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Middle School Matters: Improving the Life Course of Black Boys

Middle School Matters: Improving the Life Course of Black Boys

By Deborah Yaffe
Winter 2012

This issue of ETS Policy Notes provides highlights from the Addressing Achievement Gaps symposium held in July 2012, which focused on the challenges facing Black boys in Middle School.
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Optimizing Talent: Closing Education and Social Mobility Gaps Worldwide

Optimizing Talent: Closing Education and Social Mobility Gaps Worldwide

By Robert Schwartz and Beth Brody
Fall 2012

This issue of ETS Policy Notes (Vol. 20, No. 3) provides highlights from the Salzburg Global Seminar in December 2011. The seminar focused on bettering the educational and life prospects of students up to age 18 worldwide.
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Advancing Equity: Removing Roadblocks to Achieving High Academic Standards

Advancing Equity: Removing Roadblocks to Achieving High Academic Standards

By Deborah Yaffe
Summer 2012

This issue of ETS Policy Notes (Volume 20, Number 2) provides highlights from the second session of the Saturdays at ETS series on the challenges facing standards-based education reform. The conference was co-convened by the Council for Opportunity in Education, the Education Law Center and the National Urban League.
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State Pre–K Assessment Policies: Issues and Status

State Pre–K Assessment Policies: Issues and Status

By Debra J. Ackerman and Richard J. Coley
February 2012

This report identifies and describes state-funded Pre–K assessment policies and programs operating in 2012 and discusses the special challenges related to assessing your children.
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To find more of our research, go to the ETS Policy and Research Reports page.