This first brief in a series about income share agreements looks at the potential of ISAs to serve low-income undergraduate students by examining the underwriting criteria used to select ISA recipients, estimating the size of the ISA market given its current structure and funding providers, and estimating the number of students who might plausibly be offered an ISA in an expanded market.
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19 Nov 2015
The case for using toilets—less fecal pollution leads to better health—might seem self-evident, but 2.5 billion (according to United Nation’s estimates) of the world’s poorest still don’t have them. And it’s harder to press that case than might be imagined. After all, the causal link between fecal contamination and human health is a scientific fact while the decision to buy or use a toilet is governed more by such variables as cost, tradition, and culture than by science. When it comes to behavior change, effective outcomes depend wholly on recipients’ decision-making—a process that’s rarely understood, much less taken into account in project design.
16 Oct 2015
New types of agricultural advisory systems for farmers in Kenya set up plant clinics, like those for human health, where trained plant doctors provide farmers with science-based diagnoses and advice. AIR experts Juan Bonilla and Andrea Coombes comment on the latest evaluation of the Plantwise program and indications that it is having positive effects on farmer wellbeing.
8 Sep 2015
In this commentary, Pooja Reddy Nakamura, an AIR senior researcher explores the question of when to introduce English to children in multilingual contexts. Rather than introducing it at the first opportunity, she suggests grouping classes by local language achievement skill—not just age—and introducing written English only after the local language threshold has been reached.
25 Aug 2015
Peter Cookson reviews “The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates,” the divergent stories of two poor young African American men who share the same name. Cookson asks, "What kind of policies are needed so that all children can discover what it means to be free?" Can strong families and relationships help prevent more acts of violence and create productive communities?
4 Jun 2015
Bullying is on the decline, but evidence is mounting that it is even more toxic for children and adolescents than previously thought. In this commentary, David Osher suggests the need for an interim strategy until anti-bullying efforts are in full force, such as the infusion approach, which integrates anti-bullying initiatives into other school-wide activities.
6 Apr 2015
This is an anniversary year for both Medicare and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Medicare was passed 50 years ago in 1965 and the ACA was passed five years ago. These anniversaries bid us to consider lessons that can improve our healthcare system instead of accepting the benign neglect implicit in much of public discourse on health.
28 Mar 2015
In a New York Times op-ed, Bill Gates writes passionately about the lack of an effective international system to contain and defeat a future pandemic. He urges the United Nations to create a new organization responsible for worldwide planning and coordinated response. AIR researchers Julia Galdo and Alicia Eberl-Lefko contend the responsibility for preparing belongs to all of us.
23 Mar 2015
More than a dozen years after it was reauthorized as the No Child Left Behind Act, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is under hot debate. Why the heat? Although the act has boosted student achievement (a major goal), not all students demonstrated proficiency on state tests by 2014 (the real endgame). Nor has the act’s aim of making sure all students have access to an effective teacher been met.
12 Mar 2015
Events in Ferguson and the Justice Department’s new report on policing raise questions about fragile police-community relationships in vulnerable communities. AIR expert Patricia Campie asks, "are we measuring the right things?" Over time, combining measures of what matters to community members with conventional crime data could help restore two-way trust and combat the hopelessness many now feel.