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CONFERENCE TO EXPLORE SOCIOECONOMIC IMPACTS ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT Participants In Levy Institute Conference Will Discuss the Effects of Family, Community, and Economics on Student Performance, And Educational Solutions outside the School System

Mark Primoff

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.-Whether it's smaller classes, more stringent teacher qualifications, or charter schools, proposed measures for reforming education in the United States continues to focus on improving conditions within the school. These efforts persist despite a wealth of research-dating to sociologist James Coleman's landmark 1966 report, ''Equality of Educational Opportunity"-showing that family background and other socioeconomic factors are the greatest predictors of student achievement.

On June 4 and 5, the Jerome Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, in cooperation with the Center for Advanced Social Science Research at New York University, will mark the 35th anniversary of the publication of the Coleman Report by presenting After the Bell: Education Solutions Outside the School, a conference that will examine the impact of student background on achievement and its effects on education policy. Participants in the conference-which is being organized by Dalton Conley, director of the Center for Advanced Social Science Research and associate professor of sociology at NYU-include Leon Botstein, president of Bard College and author of Jefferson's Children: Education and the Promise of American Culture, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, child development and education professor at Columbia University, Eric Hanushek, economist at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and Christopher Jencks, sociologist at Harvard University.

The Coleman Report concluded that school-based dynamics, such as variations in facilities, curriculum, or staff, played a considerably smaller role in student achievement than that of a student's family and community background. Given 35 years' worth of evidence that schools have a marginal effect on academic achievement, why have educational politics and policies continued to focus almost exclusively on schools? What would an education policy look like if it did not mention the word school? Can government address achievement differences that are rooted in the home? What would be the political implications of such a policy? These are some of the questions the conference will address.

The conference will be webcast live at


After the Bell: Education Solutions Outside the School

The Jerome Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, June 4 and 5, 2001

Monday, June 4


Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, president, Levy Institute



Chair: Giorgio Topa, assistant professor of economics, New York University

Jere Behrman, William R. Kenan Professor of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, "Family Background, Schooling Determination, and Policy Implications: Selected Aspects from Various Countries"

Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Child and Parent Development and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, "Do Parents Matter? Intervention, Income, and Interactions during Childhood"

Discussant: J. Lawrence Aber, associate professor of public health and director, National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University


Chair: Ingrid Ellen, assistant professor of planning and public administration, New York University

Mary Pattillo-McCoy, assistant professor of sociology and African American studies and faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University, and Ariel Kalil, assistant professor in the Irving B. Harris GraduateSchool of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago, "Intergenerational Capital and Academic Achievement among Black and White Youth"


Brian Powell, professor of sociology and director of graduate studies, Indiana University, Lala Carr Steelman, professor of sociology, University of South Carolina, and Robert M. Carini, Indiana University, "Advancing Age, Advantaged Youths: Parental Age and Allocation of Resources to Offspring"

Discussant: Eric Hanushek, Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow on Education Policy, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

6:30 Reception and Dinner

Speaker: Leon Botstein, president, Bard College

Tuesday, June 5

10:00-Noon Session 3. SUMMER LEARNING

Chair: Robert Kaestner, professor, School of Public Affairs of Baruch College, and research associate, National Bureau of Economic Research

Doris Entwisle, Karl L. Alexander, and Linda Steffel Olson, Johns Hopkins University, "Socioeconomic Status and Children's Achievement: The Faucet Theory"

Barbara Heyns, professor of sociology, New York University, "Summer Learning-and Some Are Not"

Discussant: To be announced

Noon-2:00 Lunch


Chair: Sanders Korenman, Baruch College

Francisco Rivera-Batiz, associate professor of economics and education and director, Program in Economic Policy Management, Teachers College, Columbia University, "The Effects of Parental Involvement on the Educational Outcomes of Youth"

Reg Clark, Clark and Associates, and Alexes R. Harris and Walter Allen, University of California at Los Angeles, "After-School Youth Programs: How They Affect Youths' Educational Progress "

Discussant: Jean Yeung, adjunct assistant sociology professor, University of Michigan


Chair: Edward N. Wolff, senior scholar, Levy Institute, and professor of economics, New York University

Richard Arum, professor of sociology, New York University, "School-Community Relationships and the Early Labor Market Outcomes of Sub-Baccalaureate Students"

Rob Warren and Emily Forest, University of Washington, "Trends in the Selectivity and Consequences of Adolescent Employment, 1966-1997"

Discussant: Christopher Jencks, Malcom Wiener Professor of Social Policy, Harvard University

6:30 Reception and Dinner

Closing Remarks and Adjourn

All sessions will take place at The Jerome Levy Economics Institute of Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. To register for attendance, call (845) 758-7700; e-mail; or register online on the Levy Institute's website:

Press registrations should be made by calling Mark Primoff at (845) 758-7749 or sending e-mail to

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This event was last updated on 05-31-2001