Michal Kurlaender's research while affiliated with University of California, Davis and other places

Publications (32)

Article
Full-text available
This article asks whether small changes to community college courses and programs can help improve student outcomes. We use administrative data from the California Community College system, including millions of student records and detailed course-level information for most career-technical education programs in the state. We construct a summary me...
Article
Can a school or district improve student achievement simply by switching to a higher‐quality textbook or curriculum? We conducted the first multi‐textbook, multi‐state effort to estimate textbook efficacy following widespread adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and associated changes in the textbook market. Pooling textbook adoption...
Article
Remediation has long been a costly way to address the misalignment between K‐12 and higher education. In 2011, the California State University (CSU), the nation's largest public four‐year university system, enacted Early Start, requiring students needing remediation to enroll in such courses in the summer before their freshman year. We estimate the...
Article
This chapter examines the Early Assessment Program, which provides California high school students with early signals about their college readiness and allows them to improve their skills and reduce the need for developmental education in college.
Article
State K-12 assessments may soon include measures for college readiness, as California’s already do. We seek to understand how California’s Early Assessment Program (EAP, designed to assess high school juniors’ college readiness in English and math) may have influenced overall school-level college readiness and state accountability outcomes. Using a...
Article
In this paper we explore the community college (institutional) effect on student outcomes in the nation’s largest public two-year higher education system—the California Community College system. We investigate whether there are significant differences in student outcomes across community college campuses after adjusting for observed student differe...
Article
This article focuses on California's efforts to improve the alignment between K-12 and postsecondary schooling through the Early Assessment Program (EAP). Implemented in 2004, the EAP was designed to give high school students information about their academic preparedness for postsecondary education and to encourage teachers to teach for college rea...
Article
College students are taking longer to earn baccalaureate degrees now than ever before, but little is known about institutional factors that may contribute to this trend. In this paper we investigate an important institutional constraint—course scarcity—that we hypothesize may be associated with increased time to degree. We employ a unique administr...
Conference Paper
Nearly one in three first-time freshmen in the U.S. are enrolled in some remedial/developmental course in English or math at their college or university (U.S. Department of Education, 2003). Rates of remedial course enrollment vary substantially across U.S. colleges and universities, with some institutions not offering any and others enrolling upwa...
Article
Although some scholars report that all students are better served by attending more prestigious postsecondary institutions, others have argued that students are better off attending colleges where they are about average in terms of academic ability and suffer worse outcomes if they attend schools that are “out of their league” at which they are “ov...
Article
Many students arrive at college unprepared to do college-level work, facing a host of college readiness assessments and developmental education coursework. In this article, we examine how a student’s readiness to take college classes upon entry to the university is related to four longer term postsecondary outcomes. We utilize a unique longitudinal...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we focus on California high school students' transition to community colleges. Our unique dataset tracks five cohorts of California high school juniors into their freshmen year at in-state community colleges. We evaluate the extent to which high school achievement tests (currently not utilized by community colleges in course placement...
Article
Educational researchers frequently study the impact of treatments or interventions on educational outcomes. However, when observational or quasiexperimental data are used for such investigations, selection bias can adversely impact researchers’ abilities to make causal inferences about treatment effects. One way to deal with selection bias is to us...
Article
The increasing use of state-mandated public high school exit exams is one manifestation of the current movement in U.S. public schooling toward more explicit standards of instruction and accountability. Exit exam requirements implicitly argue that raising the bar for graduation creates incentives both for students to work harder in school and for s...
Article
In this paper we investigate how participation in the Early Assessment Program, which provides California high school juniors with information about their academic readiness for college-level work at California State University campuses, affects their college-going behavior and need for remediation in college. Using administrative records from Cali...
Article
Full-text available
Community colleges have become an important entryway for students intending to complete a baccalaureate degree. However, many question the viability of the transfer function and wonder whether students suffer a penalty for starting at a two-year institution. This paper examines how the outcomes of community college entrants compare to similar stude...
Article
This article examines the challenges of measuring school racial composition in a multiracial society, particularly the difficulty in specifying school racial composition when there are large numbers of students representing multiple racial groups. We employ two specifications of school racial composition to illustrate the strengths, weaknesses, and...
Article
We analyze how Proposition 209 changed the percentage of matriculating students who are African American or Latino at each public, private non-profit and proprietary four-year and two-year college in the state of California. We find that Proposition 209 led to a decline in African American enrollment at public four-year colleges and an increase in...
Article
This chapter explores the factors influencing Latino college choice and finds that even when we control for socioeconomic background, academic preparation, and degree intention, Latinos are more likely than white or African American students to begin postsecondary study at community colleges than at four-year institutions.
Article
A number ofpublic school districts in the United States have adopted income-based integrationpolicies-policies that use measures offamily income or socioeconomic status-in determining school assign-ment. Some scholars and policymakers contend that such policies will also reduce racial segregation. In this article this assumption is explored by comp...
Article
Over the last half-century, many researchers have studied and written about school desegregation and race in American schools. Most studies on the benefits and costs to school desegregation are primarily from the 1960s and 1970s in response to the changes brought about from "Brown," the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the "Green" case in 1968--a decisio...
Article
This article uses survey data on 15,800 high school students from 3 urban school districts to investigate the impact of school-level support for higher educational attainment and school racial composition on students' actual educational aspirations. We examine students' perceptions of school support for postsecondary participation and test alternat...
Article
This study evaluated whether or not there was a compelling educational interest in diversity within the Jefferson County, Kentucky, public schools. High school students (mainly juniors) completed the Diversity Assessment Questionnaire, which asked about their experiences with diversity in their schools and classrooms. It also examined students' fut...

Citations

... Sending "light touch" affirmation and supportive feedback emails to students (3-4 times a quarter/semester) is a practice that has been shown to be effective in maintaining student engagement in an on-ground course (Carrell et al., 2019). This practice speaks directly to the goal of maintaining student morale, making the student feel like the professor cares about them as an individual, and reducing anonymity (Felten et al., 2016). ...
... A growing body of research indicates that textbooks may be particularly powerful tools in the effort to equalize OTL. The vast majority of teachers use textbooks in most of their lessons, making them the backbone of the curriculum (Polikoff, 2018) and ubiquitous in a typical student's schooling experience (Blazar et al., 2020). Research suggests that textbook choice may be important for student achievement, with several studies indicating that the choice of textbook can affect standardized test scores in mathematics (Agodini et al., 2010;Bhatt et al., 2013;Bhatt & Koedel, 2012;, though a recent large study found no such effects (see Blazar et al., 2020). ...
... However, this showed no improvement when compared to enrollment in the fall or no remediation at all. 17 Other universities have shown evidence of improved learning outcomes with prerequisite summer (early start) courses. 18 Bridging programs that involve only weeks of prerequisite work performed before the quarter have also been implemented. ...
... After high school graduation, CTE students are more likely to delay their educational goals or pursue shorter-term career interests (Laird et al., 2006). When they do enroll, CTE students are more likely to enroll in community colleges and earn a certificate or associate degree, but less likely to enroll in four-year institutions (Dietrich et al., 2016;Stevens et al., 2019). While little research has examined CTE high school students who enroll in a community college and transfer to a fouryear (Hioki et al., 2015), existing empirical data suggests that the transfer pathway is highly distinctive by CTE fields (Gottfried & Plasman, 2018a). ...
... Students who engaged in the EAP were 6.1% less likely to be remediated in English and 4.1% less likely to be remediated in math controlling for various student and school characteristics. Jackson and Kurlaender (2016) found that EAP participation for schools was associated with slightly higher CST scores. Additionally, the EAP did not appear to discourage those deemed unready for college from applying (Jackson, 2015). ...
... This can be regarded as 'transfer student success' favoured by university administration (Fauria & Fuller, 2015). CCs have been criticized for having a low institutional quality (Kurlaender et al., 2016) owing to the faculty being 'excessively nurturing' and inflation in grading practices, thus producing graduates academically under-prepared and with low or diverted educational aspirations (Carlan & Byxbe, 2000). Subsequently, TS are seen as being academically inferior (Xu et al., 2018). ...
... Lack of alignment in K-12 and college curricula is a systemic longstanding barrier for enrollment and success in postsecondary education (Kurlaender & Larsen, 2013;Perna, 2006;Perna & Armijo, 2014;Perna & Finney, 2014;Venezia et al., 2005). There is only minor evidence that TCSN activities have generated organizational responses to tackle this aspect of postsecondary enrollment and attainment. ...
... College-ready students are more prepared for postsecondary education and expectations, as well as for workforce, social, and political responsibilities than less college-ready students . One of the strong determinants of college outcomes is the development of pre-college academic skills and readiness (Fina, Dunbar and Welch, 2018;Jackson and Kurlaender, 2014;Olani, 2017). Because of their unpreparedness for college-level learning, many college entering students are assigned to non-credit-bearing remedial education Kallison, 2017;Relles, 2016). ...
... predictive. Multiple studies have examined the connections between retention and graduation (Austin ISD, 1982;Bowers, 2010;Curtis, Macdonald, Doss, & Davis, 1983;Dalton et al., 2009;Eide & Showalter, 2001;Gleason & Dynarski, 2002;Hess, Alfred, & Lauber, 1985;Roderick, 1994) Students who are overage compared to their grade-level peers are at high risk of dropping out of high school (Gleason & Dynarski, 2002;Kurlaender & Jackson, 2012;Roderick, 1994). A student becomes overage by being retained in lower grades or through course failure in secondary schools. ...
... Students who enter college, particularly those who attend open-access institutions, may fail to complete an intended degree for many reasons (Dawson et al., 2020). Some of these reasons may be due to the individual student's background: lack of continuing interest (Manski, 1989); weak information (Deil-Amen & Rosenbaum, 2002;Person et al., 2006); lack of preparation or ability, which may require additional developmental coursework (Bettinger et al., 2013;Kurlaender, 2014); or financial constraints that limit participation or require balancing work with school (Bettinger & Long, 2004;Dynarski, 2005;Ehrenberg & Mavros, 1995;Glocker, 2011;Siegfried & Stock, 2001;Singell, 2004;Volkwein & Lorang, 1996). Institutional differences may also matter. ...