SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Wilson, I. (2015). Ends changed, means retained: Scholarship programs, political influence, and drifting goals. The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 17, 130–151. doi:10.1111/1467-856X.12012

Many governments offer scholarships specifically to foreign citizens. In recent years both policymakers and academics have associated these scholarships with political influence, arguing that they generate sympathetic and influential alumni who support positive relationships between their home country and their sponsor. Digging deeper into the histories of several scholarship programs which are now being portrayed in this way shows they were actually set up for very different reasons. Explanations for why scholarships are being given to foreign citizens have changed over time, consistent with a Kingdonian model of the policy process. We need to be cautious about taking these claims at face value, an important reminder for foreign policy analysts more generally.

Journal Article 2: Montt, G. (2011). Cross-national differences in educational achievement inequality. Sociology of Education, 84, 49–68. doi:10.1177/0038040710392717

School systems are called not only to instruct and socialize students but also to differentiate among them. Although much research has investigated inequalities in educational outcomes associated with students’ family background and other ascriptive traits, little research has examined cross-national differences in the total amount of differentiation that school systems produce, the total achievement inequality. This article evaluates whether two dimensions of educational systems—variations in opportunities to learn and intensity of schooling—are associated with achievement inequality independent of family background. It draws data from the Programme for International Student Assessment for more than 50 school systems and models the variance in achievement. Findings suggest that decreasing the variability in opportunities to learn—in the form of greater homogeneity in teacher quality and the absence of tracking—within the school system might reduce achievement inequality. More intense schooling is also related to lower achievement inequality to the extent that this intensity is homogeneously distributed within the school system, particularly in the form of a more highly qualified teacher workforce.

Journal Article 3: Davis, T., Bhatt, R., & Schwarz, K. (2015). School segregation in the era of accountability. Social Currents, 2, 239–259. doi:10.1177/2329496515589852

Although a great deal of research has examined the impact of accountability on a number of different outcomes, particularly achievement, little research to date has assessed the impact of school accountability reform on racial segregation in schools. Using school, district, and state-level data from the Common Core of Data from 1987 to 2010 and data on school accountability from other sources, we examine black-white within-district segregation before and after the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2002. We find that NCLB was associated with significant increases in black-white segregation within school districts, even after controlling for other factors that might have led to increased segregation (e.g., release from court-ordered segregation, recent Supreme Court decisions). This effect was especially pronounced among districts in states that had implemented school accountability policies prior to NCLB. Our results lead us to conclude that policymakers must also consider the negative unintended consequences of education reform policies, even those designed to have an ameliorative impact on inequality.