Recent AERA Research
Recent AERA Research
Highlighted Articles from AERA Journals

Research Finds a College Degree Remains a Sound Investment Despite Rising Tuition
A new analysis of 5.8 million Americans finds that earning a college degree is still a sound investment, although the rate of economic return varies across college majors and student demographics. Read more

Study: Black Boys Are Less Likely to Be Identified for Special Education When Matched with Black Teachers
Black male elementary school students matched to Black teachers are less likely to be identified for special education services, according to new research published in American Educational Research Journal. Read more

Study: Digital Leisure Reading Does Little to Improve Reading Comprehension for Students
A new comprehensive review of research on digital leisure reading habits finds a virtually nonexistent relationship between digital reading and improvement in reading comprehension among students. Read more

Study: Diverse College Classrooms Linked to Better STEM Learning Outcomes for All Students
Students achieve better grades in college science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses when those classrooms have higher numbers of underrepresented racial-minority and first-generation college students. Read more

Study: School Debate Programs Linked to Improvements in Academic Achievement, Graduation Rates, and College Enrollment
Participating in policy debate programs in middle and high school is associated with improvements in English language arts achievement and increases in the likelihood that students graduate from high school and enroll in postsecondary education. Read more

Study: Struggling Students Who Repeat Third Grade See Improved Achievement
Third-grade retention can increase the reading and math scores of struggling students, with positive effects lasting into middle school. Read more

Study: Admissions Policies that Consider Grades and Test Scores in Context of Available Opportunities Are Linked to College Success
Indicators of high school grades and standardized test scores that take into account the levels of school, neighborhood, and family resources available to students are strongly associated with those students’ success in college, according to new research published in AERA OpenRead more

Study Finds That State-Mandated Civics Test Policy Does Not Improve Youth Voter Turnout
New research finds that a commonly used state-mandated civics test policy—the Civics Education Initiative—does not improve youth voter turnout, at least in the short term. Read more
Study Finds That a Small Number of Teachers Effectively Double the Racial Gaps Among Students Referred for Disciplinary Action
The top 5 percent of teachers most likely to refer students to the principal’s office for disciplinary action do so at such an outsized rate that they effectively double the racial gaps in such referrals, according to new research. Read more
Giving Parents Better School Quality Data Encourages Them to Consider Less Affluent, Less White Schools—To a Point
In a study published in AERA Open, researchers found that providing parents with achievement growth data encourages them to consider schools with greater economic and racial diversity, but only up to a point. Read more
Study: Teachers Experienced More Anxiety than Healthcare Workers During the Pandemic
Teachers experienced significantly more anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic than healthcare, office, and other workers, according to new research released in Educational Researcher. Read more
Study: Schools’ Social Media Posts May Be Compromising Student Privacy
U.S. schools and school districts have shared an estimated 4.9 million posts that include identifiable images of students on public Facebook pages, unintentionally putting student privacy at risk, according to a new study. Read more
Research Finds Earlier Start Times Have Little Effect on Elementary School Outcomes

Earlier elementary school day start times predict less sleep for students but have little to no effect on their educational outcomes, according to new research published today in Educational Evaluation and Policy AnalysisRead more

New Research Finds Federal Pandemic Aid to U.S. Public Schools Was Insufficient to Address Student Learning Loss
Although the federal government provided an unprecedented level of emergency funding to U.S. public schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, this support was insufficient and poorly targeted to offset the cost of recovering student learning loss. Read more
Comprehensive Research Review Confirms the Substantial Benefits of Summer Math Programs
The first comprehensive review of research on summer math programs in over 15 years suggests they may help mitigate the learning losses disproportionately experienced by low-income pre-K–12 students during the pandemic. Read more

Study: Admissions Lotteries at Selective Colleges Might Dramatically Reduce the Enrollment of Students of Color, Low-Income Students, and Men
Simulations of lottery admissions conducted in a new study find dramatic and negative potential effects of lotteries on the admission of students of color, low-income students, and men. Read more

Study Finds “Thriving Gap” Between Students Who Attended High School Remotely Versus in Person
New research finds that high school students who attended school remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic suffered socially, emotionally, and academically compared with those who attended in person. Read more
Interacting with Therapy Dogs Can Improve Struggling College Students’ “Thinking” Skills
New research finds that college students at risk of failing academically showed significant improvement in executive functioning after interacting with therapy dogs one hour a week for a month. Read more
Analysis Finds that Digital Picture Books Harm Young Children’s Learning—Unless the Books Have the Right Enhancements
A comprehensive meta-analysis of prior research has found, overall, that children ages 1 to 8 were less likely to understand picture books when they read the digital, versus print, version. However, when digital picture books contain the right enhancements that reinforce the story content, they outperform their print counterparts. Read more
Study Finds Parents’ Online School Reviews Correlated with Test Scores and Demographics, Not School Effectiveness
A first-of-its-kind analysis of parents’ reviews of U.S. public K–12 schools, posted primarily from 2009 to 2019 on the popular school information site, found that most reviews were written by parents at schools in affluent neighborhoods and provided information that correlated strongly with test scores, a measure that closely tracks race and family income. Learn more
Study: Including Videos in College Teaching May Improve Student Learning
A new comprehensive review of research finds that, in many cases, replacing teaching methods with pre-recorded videos leads to small improvements in learning and that supplementing existing content with videos results in strong learning benefits. Learn more
Study: After COVID-19 Hit, Federal Financial Aid Applications Dropped Sharply among Potential First-Year Students
After the COVID-19 crisis hit last March, federal student aid applications among potential college freshmen in California dropped 14 percent between mid-March and mid-August, relative to prior years. Read more
COVID-19 Turned Parents into Proxy Educators; New Research Examines the Stress It Caused
A study published in Educational Researcher finds that roughly 51 percent of all parents surveyed in March and April had at least one child struggling with distance learning and were themselves experiencing significantly higher levels of stress. Read more
Study: Teacher Performance Measures May Penalize Black Educators
A new study published in EEPA found that by not adjusting for school and classroom factors outside the control of educators, classroom observation scores for Black teachers in Chicago Public Schools unfairly penalize them for being more likely to teach in schools in low-income neighborhoods with students who are academically disadvantaged. Read more
Study: Jumps in Elementary School Violence Linked to Increased Student Transfers, Especially Among More Advantaged Students
New research finds that student exposure to violent crime in urban elementary schools is linked to higher transfer rates, with students ineligible for free- or reduced-price meals and students from safer neighborhoods more likely to leave than their less advantaged peers. Read more
Research Video News Brief: Projecting the Potential Impact of COVID-19 School Closures on Academic Achievement
A study published today in Educational Researcher provides preliminary projections of the impact of COVID-19-related school closures in spring 2020 on student learning. Read more and watch study coauthor Megan Kuhfeld discuss major findings and implications of the study.
Study: Free-College Programs Have Led to Large Enrollment Increases at Two-Year Institutions, Especially Among Historically Underserved Students
A study of 33 public community college promise programs, or free-college programs, across the United States found that they are associated with large enrollment increases of first-time, full-time students—with the biggest boost in enrollment among Black, Hispanic, and female students. Read more

Correcting Covid-19 Misconceptions May Require Speaking to Individuals’ Moral Values, According to New Research
The effectiveness of educational content aimed at correcting misconceptions about the risks, transmission, and prevention of Covid-19 is largely influenced by a person’s prevailing moral values, according to a new study published today in Educational ResearcherRead more


New Research Contradicts Claims that Asian American Students Are Harmed When They Cannot Attend Their First-Choice University
A new study finds evidence that contradicts claims in legal complaints to the U.S. Department of Justice arguing that Asian American students face negative consequences while in college as a result of not being admitted to and not attending their first-choice institution. Read more

Does the Federal Government’s “Naming and Shaming” of Colleges with Large Tuition Increases Make a Difference?
A study published in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis today found that the U.S. Department of Education’s “naming and shaming” of colleges with large tuition increases does not affect institutional pricing policies or students’ enrollment decisions. Read the news release. Watch the author video.
Study: More than Half of U.S. Students Experience Summer Learning Losses Five Years in a Row
Following U.S. students across five summers between grades 1 and 6, a little more than half (52 percent) experienced learning losses in all five summers, according to a large national study published today. Students in this group lost an average of 39 percent of their total school year gains during each summer. Read more
How Can Education Researchers Support Education and Public Health Institutions During Covid-19?
As education researchers’ ongoing work is interrupted by school closures, what can they do to support education and public health institutions dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic? An article published today in Educational Researcher aims to answer that question, providing recommendations based on conversations with  public health officials, state and local policymakers, educational leaders, directors of national education organizations, and researchers across disciplines. Read more
Black and Female Principal Candidates More Likely to Experience Delayed and Denied Promotions than White or Male Counterparts
Black and female assistant principals are systematically delayed and denied promotion to principal, compared to their White or male counterparts, despite having equivalent qualifications and more experience on average, according to a new study. Read more
Study: News Reports of Education “Achievement Gaps” May Perpetuate Stereotypes of Black Americans 
A new study finds that TV news reporting about racial achievement gaps led viewers to report exaggerated stereotypes of Black Americans as lacking education and may have increased implicit stereotyping of Black students as less competent than White students. Read more
Is School Racial/Ethnic Composition Associated With Content Coverage in Algebra? 
A study recently published in Educational Researcher finds that teachers spend less time on algebra and more advanced content in eighth grade algebra classes in schools that are predominantly Black compared to those that are not predominantly minority. Read more
Research Finds Teachers Just as Likely to Have Racial Bias as Non-Teachers
New research finds that “teachers are people too,” holding almost as much pro-White racial bias as non-teachers of the same race, level of education, age, gender, and political affiliation. Read more
Study: After Affirmative Action Bans, Enrollment of Underrepresented Minority Students at Public Universities Has Not Kept Pace with Demographic Trends 
A new study published in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis finds states that have banned affirmative action, the share of underrepresented minorities among students admitted to and enrolling in public universities has steadily lost ground relative to changing demographic trends among those states’ high school graduates. Read more
Study: Social Studies Teachers Not “Above the Fray” in Linking Their Political Views to How They Assess News Source Credibility
A new study published in Educational Researcher finds a strong connection between high school social studies teachers’ political ideology and how credible they find various mainstream news outlets. Read more
Research Finds that High School GPAs Are Stronger Predictors of College Graduation than ACT Scores
Students’ high school grade point averages are five times stronger than their ACT scores at predicting college graduation, according to a new study published in Educational Researcher. Read more

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