Stanford University and Dartmouth have sent an open apology letter to the state of Montana for a voting experiment conducted by political scientists at their respective institutions. The study had IRB approval, at least from Dartmouth. It uses a database of ideological scores based on donors to identify the political affiliation of judges. See this Upshot article on the start-up company, Crowdpac, that developed this database. Montana is quite irritated with the use of the state of Montana seal on the mailer. Did that get through the IRB?
Senator John Tester’s letter to Stanford & Dartmouth | The apology letter
Messing with Montana: Get-out-the -Vote Experiment Raises Ethics Questions
Melissa R. Michelson | The New West (blog of the Western Political Science Association)
October 25, 2014
Today, the Internet exploded with news about and reactions to a get-out-the-vote field experiment fielded by three political science professors that may have broken Montana state law and, at a minimum, called into question the ethics of conducting experiments that might impact election results.
Professors’ Research Project Stirs Political Outrage in Montana
Derek Willis | NY Times
October 28, 2014
Universities say they regret sending Montana voters election mailers criticized for being misleading
Hunter Schwarz | The Washington Post
October 29, 2014
By: Roberto A. Ferdman
Source: Wonkblog (Washington Post)
Strict parents — the sort who practice an authoritarian form of parenting that restricts children’s choices — are more common in countries with high inequality, according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The study used the World Value Survey to measure whether parents in different countries care more about qualities desired by stricter parents, like “hard work” and “obedience,” or qualities desired more by passive parents, like “imagination” and “independence.
It found that the more unequal a society, the more likely people were to favor strict parenting.
NBER Working Paper (PDF)
By: Ben Casselman
In 2013, 85 percent of Elkhart’s students graduated on time, putting the district close to the state average. Perhaps even more remarkably, the graduation rate among Hispanics is now equal to — or even slightly above — that of the district’s overall population.
Elkhart’s improvement is a particularly dramatic example of a nation-wide trend: Graduation rates are improving, especially for Latinos. Nationally, the on-time graduation rate topped 80 percent for the first time in 2012, up from 74 percent five years earlier. For Latinos, the graduation rate is up more than 10 percentage points over the past five years, to 76 percent.
Read the full story
By Chico Harlan
Source: Washington Post
From the article:
Five years into a national economic recovery that has further strained the poor working class, an entire industry has grown around handing them a lifeline to the material rewards of middle-class life. Retailers in the post-Great Recession years have become even more likely to work with customers who don’t have the money upfront, instead offering a widening spectrum of payment plans that ultimately cost far more and add to the burdens of life on the economy’s fringes.
Related: How America’s poor are slipping further behind — in 3 charts and Fed Chair Yellen is “greatly” concerned about growing inequality
Via: Pew Research
By: Wendy Wang and Kim Parker
After decades of declining marriage rates and changes in family structure, the share of American adults who have never been married is at an historic high. In 2012, one-in-five adults ages 25 and older (about 42 million people) had never been married, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of census data. In 1960, only about one-in-ten adults (9%) in that age range had never been married. Men are more likely than women to have never been married (23% vs. 17% in 2012). And this gender gap has widened since 1960, when 10% of men ages 25 and older and 8% of women of the same age had never married.
Complete Report (PDF)
Also read NPR’s Code Switch coverage of the report.
Student-Loan Debt Skyrockets for Elderly, Government Report Says
By Max Lewontin
Source: Chronicle of Higher Education
People over 65 make up a small percentage of borrowers with student loans, but the amount of debt held by older Americans has increased sixfold in less than a decade. Those borrowers held $2.8-billion in student-loan debt in 2005 and $18.2-billion in 2013, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office.
Read the full article
GAO Report Highlights; download PDF
Top Colleges That Enroll Rich, Middle Class and Poor
By: David Leonhardt
Source: New York Times
Vassar has taken steps to hold down spending on faculty and staff. Amherst and the University of Florida have raised new money specifically to spend on financial aid for low-income students. American University reallocated scholarships from well-off students to needy ones. Grinnell set a floor on the share of every freshman class – 15 percent – whose parents didn’t go to college.
Over the last decade, dozens of colleges have proclaimed that recruiting a more economically diverse student body was a top priority. Many of those colleges have not matched their words with actions. But some have.
Access the interactive graphic here.
They Built It. People Came. Now They Go.
By: Victoria Burnett
Source: New York Times
A government program to solve Mexico’s chronic housing shortage produced huge developments without jobs or supporting services, forcing thousands of new owners to abandon their homes.
By: Steven Rich
Source: Washington Post
According to U.S. Census data, 12.9 percent of Americans were born in a foreign country. The nearly 40 million foreign-born people are not even distributed throughout the country.
View an interactive map showing where foreign-born Americans are concentrated. Washtenaw County is close at 11.4%.