Torie Ludwin, communications manager for higher education, writes about student success programs:
Toga parties and football games aside, Americans go to college to better their economic lives and their career prospects.
Or, as AV Higher Education Fellow Clare McCann says, “Arguments from the #highered lobby that a college credential can't be measured by financial returns are pretty squarely contradicted by the students who say they are, in fact, primarily seeking financial returns from their enrollment in #highered.”
However, the odds are particularly stacked against community college students who are looking for those returns. Nearly four in five students fail to complete their two-year degree in three years. These are students for whom a degree can be a critical pathway to greater economic stability, and yet they can face many obstacles: They may work full time, handle childcare or elder care, or they may be the breadwinners of the household. One stroke of bad luck – health, financial, even car trouble – can put an education on pause, sometimes permanently.
However, there’s a student success program with a longtrackrecord of doubling graduation rates for community college students. And just this month, a randomized controlled trial showed that it also increases the earnings for students who participate in it by 11 percent. (Should we be surprised?)
And then tell your legislator to fund evidence-based student success programs like the Postsecondary Student Success Grants so more students can graduate and see their earnings change for the better as well.
What's Happening: Last month marked the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court's unanimous Gideon vs. Wainwrightdecision, which required that states provide adequate legal representation for criminal defendants unable to afford their own. But despite its promise, our judicial system still teems with Clarence Earl Gideons — defendants going to trial without adequate legal representation.
Why It Matters: A lack of adequate representation means that thousands of defendants are deprived of their constitutional right to counsel.
"Without a lawyer to advise them, defendants often simply plead out, regardless of guilt," Arnold and Deason write. "Men and women serve prison terms they could have avoided. Their criminal records translate into a lifetime of punishing consequences — such as prohibitions on business licenses, housing restrictions and exclusions from essential government programs."
What's Next: States across the country are stepping up to provide more robust funding for local public defenders. And the last two states that do not provide funding for public defense — South Dakota and Pennsylvania — are moving toward reform.
"Policymakers in every state, on both sides of the aisle, must step up. They must ensure that they’re fully funding public defender offices with the same vigor that they demonstrate when fighting for higher law enforcement and prosecutor budgets."
A New Effort to Understand and Reduce Community Violence
By Michael Friedrich, ArnoldVentures.org contributor
With support from Arnold Ventures, Princeton’s Patrick Sharkey is launching a multidisciplinary research network. The aim is to significantly advance the study of violence and its solutions.
What’s Happening: A new project, supported by AV, seeks to understand the factors driving community violence. Patrick Sharkey, William S. Tod professor of sociology and public affairs at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, will build a multidisciplinary research network that will study how violence emerges, why it rises and falls, and which policies and practices can put a sustainable end to waves of violence.
Why it Matters: In recent years, the United States has witnessed an unprecedented rise in violence. In 2020, homicide increased by 30% over the previous year, and in 2021 it increased by another 4%. Practitioners, researchers, and commentators have tried to explain this surge — pointing to everything from pandemic-era increases in firearm sales to economic stressors to a crisis of trust in law enforcement following the 2020 police murder of George Floyd — but, because of limitations in the available data and methods, little concrete information has emerged.
What’s Next: The research network will carry out the project in collaboration with a community advisory board drawn from three partner sites, with an aim of developing an evidence base that local policymakers and residents can use to address violence.
As part of our observation of Second Chance Month, AV sat down with Criminal Justice Fellow Randall McNeil to discuss his personal story and his perspective on the challenges people with an arrest or conviction record face when trying to reintegrate into their communities.
What’s Happening: Randall was incarcerated at the age of 20 and served 24 years of a life sentence before being paroled. While incarcerated, Randall made the decision to do everything possible to prepare, educate, and improve himself in case he could one day earn a second chance. With the support of several important programs, he is now making the most of his opportunity and is excited to build a career in criminal justice reform. Randall identifies employment and housing as two of the biggest obstacles formerly incarcerated people face when they return home.
Why it Matters: Reducing social and economic barriers – particularly around employment and housing – for people with a criminal or arrest record, and providing supportive services to formerly incarcerated people, is critical to the reintegration process and ensuring community safety and wellbeing. "Anyone who says they don't need support when they get out of prison, or that we should not give support to formerly incarcerated people, doesn’t understand the reality of what it is like to try and reintegrate back into society," Randall explains.
What is Next: Randall recently got married and is looking forward to building his family and career. "Overall, my goal is just to continue to be a better person," Randall says. "After 24 years of incarceration, I was so fortunate to be able to come home. I promised myself, my lawyer, my judge, and most importantly, my family that they would not regret giving me a second chance and that they would never, ever have to worry about me going back to prison. So, in order to keep that promise, I have to work every day to be better. To be great."
The amount of nursing home residents dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.
At the same time, entities like private equity firms are rapidly expanding into the nursing home space. Early evidence suggests that private equity ownership can come with alarming hallmarks — like cutting staffing and supplies, pressuring doctors to bill for unnecessary services, and up-coding claims, all in the name of generating high returns. And a lack of data into nursing home ownership leaves policymakers and consumers alike in the dark.
Arnold Ventures is supporting research to better understand the impact of private equity's expansion on patients and raise attention on the issue for policymakers. The Biden administration proposed changes in February to help complete the picture on nursing home ownership. In response, AV encouraged the administration to go even further in its push toward a more transparent status quo.
AV grantee Fines and Fees Justice Center (FFJC) has published an article highlighting a new law signed by New Mexico’s Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) that eliminates post-adjudication and bench warrant fees.
A recent article published by The Marshall Project shows that most barriers following release from prison are employment related. According to the Council of State Governments, an AV grantee, people seeking work in trades requiring an occupational license still may face overly broad barriers despite recent reforms in some states.
A new report from the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance (ISLG), an AV grantee, found that there is no evidence to suggest that efforts to reduce jail populations associated with the MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge have contributed to an increase in serious crimes.
Congressional advisers at MedPAC unanimously voted to recommend Congress stop paying more for certain health care services when performed in a hospital outpatient department rather than a physician's office.
This KFF Health News piece underscores why the distinction is so important, explaining how one patient owed more than 10 times more for the same procedure after a hospital system classified the appointment as hospital-based instead of office-based.
Findings show that, on average, nonprofit hospitals that compensate their trustees spend less on charity care than hospitals that do not compensate their trustees, via Axios.
As Medicare implements its negotiation program, it must ensure drugs are not priced more than reasonable therapeutic alternatives. From AV grantee the Program on Regulation, Therapeutics, and Law, key findings published in JAMA that found that 27 top-selling drugs in the program account for $19.3 billion in net spending and have low therapeutic benefit.
Katherine Knott at Inside Higher Ed provides background on the history of Gainful Employment and the potential impacts of the new rule.
Michael Stratford at Politico reports on the Biden Administration's delay in issuing guidance on Third Party Servicers after the online program management company (OPM) 2U filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education.
Jeremy Bauer-Wolf at Higher Ed Dive offers insight on the Education Department's listening sessions in advance of its upcoming expansive regulatory agenda.
At AV grantee Third Way, Michelle Dimino analyzed 128 public comments from the U.S. Department of Education's request for information on building a low-financial-value college list, finding that most stakeholders emphasized gainful employment metrics, data transparency, accessibility of the list, and that this list is only the first step in holding institutions accountable for student outcomes.
In Higher Ed Dive, Mary Alice McCarthy and Rachel Fishman of AV grantee New America argue that the Education Department’s soon-to-be-released gainful employment rule provides another opportunity for the administration to support good jobs by shutting down a publicly subsidized pipeline to low-wage, precarious jobs with low returns on investment.
Contraceptive Choice and Access
The Conversation explains what emergency contraception is and how it prevents pregnancy.
Contemporary OB/GYN gives the topline on a recent study finding that women are experiencing increasing barriers to reproductive health care.
The city of Durham and RTI International premiered a new documentary (watch the trailer here) about the city's Holistic Empathetic Assistance Response Team (HEART), which works to connect 911 calls with proper responses. This project, which was supported by Arnold Ventures, follows the new response team as they learn, collaborate and grow in the early days of building the program.
"This work, being a first responder is a brave act and it's also a brave act to have a camera in the room while you’re doing all of the work in the first year," said Ryan Smith, head of HEART and director of the City of Durham's Community Safety Department.
What We're Listening To
In 2022, four organizations, including AV grantee the Center for Children's Law and Policy, helped launch the first season of "Not in Isolation: Voices of Youth." The podcast was created and hosted by young people and centers on experiences and issues in the youth justice system. Season two of the podcast is scheduled to be released later in 2023.
Some Final Inspiration
The Houston Arboretum is taking care of overgrown vegetation by hiring 150 goats through a company called "Rent-A-Ruminant Texas." Click through to the story for pictures of goats.
In honor of outgoing Abstract editor Stephanie Getman, this week in Beyoncé news: Beyoncé has announced plans to donate $2 million in proceeds from the Renaissance tour to students and entrepreneurs through her BeyGOOD Foundation.
We're Seeking Proposals
The Higher Education and Evidence-Based Policy teams have created a request for proposals for rigorous impact evaluations of programs and practices (“interventions”) to promote college success in the United States.
You are receiving this email because you registered for news updates from Arnold Ventures.
1717 West Loop South
Houston, TX 77027
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp