News

Inflated teacher evaluations

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] – Teacher evaluations don't necessarily help teachers to improve or weed out those who are poor performers. Many teachers, even some who shouldn't, continue to receive good job ratings. In "Very few teachers receive poor job ratings, and new evaluations haven’t changed that," the Washington Post reports on a paper co-authored by Assistant Professor of Education and Economics Matthew Kraft.  Read more.

(Distributed March 21, 2016)

White House OSI director visits RIIPL

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] – Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation (OSI) Dave Wilkinson recently paid a visit to the Rhode Island Innovative Policy Lab (RIIPL). The RIIPL team, led by RIIPL Director and Associate Professor of Economics Justine Hastings, presented their work to Wilkinson, including analysis of programs aimed at lowering poverty, providing effective social safety nets, aiding criminal justice reform, and improving early childhood health and education outcomes. 

(Distributed March 17, 2016)

Zambian women and livelihood strategies

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] – Many poor women in rural Zambia would like to be small-scale business owners, says a report by former PSTC Postdoc Michelle Poulin, a social scientist at The World Bank working in the Africa Region Gender Innovation Lab. As part of the Girls’ Education and Women’s Empowerment and Livelihoods (GEWEL) Project, Poulin and a team of researchers conducted interviews and group discussions with women in rural communities to evaluate the women's roles as key decision-makers in their households. "Women’s livelihood strategies in Africa: New findings from a qualitative study in rural Zambia" summarizes the findings and reports that "exposure to risk is a bigger obstacle to women’s income generation than are typical notions of 'disempowerment.'”

(Distributed March 15, 2016)

Mindfulness and glucose levels

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] – Those who are aware of their present thoughts and feelings are more likely to have healthy glucose levels, says a study led by Assistant Professor of Epidemiology Eric Loucks. “As mindfulness is likely a modifiable trait, this study provides preliminary evidence for a fairly novel and modifiable potential determinant of diabetes risk,” Loucks said. The article, published in the American Journal of Health Behavior, has received media coverage from many outlets including Science 2.0Huffington PostMedical Daily, and ExaminerProfessor of Epidemiology Stephen Buka is also an author on the study.

(Distributed March 14, 2016)

Medical fate

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] – Not knowing their medical fate is optimal for many who carry the gene for Huntington disease. "Are You Better Off Not Knowing Your Medical Future?" in New York Magazine and "Do you really want to know your medical future?" in CNN cite a recent study co-authored by Associate Professor of Economics Emily Oster about the degenerative neurological disorder and the many people at risk who opt not to be tested. “People who are uncertain about their status behave exactly like people who do not have it,” Oster says in the article. “Until you know for sure, you are acting like you do not have it.”

(Distributed March 11, 2016)
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