Current Funded Projects

More Than Just Safety: School Security Measures and Academic, Behavioral, and Social Outcomes

Funder: Institute of Education Sciences

Funding amount: $1,698,525

Role: Principal Investigator

This study examines schools’ use of security measures and their association with a variety of academic, behavioral, and social outcomes. A major priority for schools is to keep students and school personnel safe, and a variety of security measures are used to maintain safety. However, little research has examined the outcomes associated with these common practices. Many critics are concerned about issues of equity, suggesting that school security measures have particularly negative effects on students of color and low-income students because of the heightened surveillance of already marginalized students.

 To address these issues, we take three approaches. First, we are analyzing data from four nationally representative datasets collected by the National Center for Education Statistics. These surveys represent the perspectives of students, teachers, and principals, and address a variety of academic (e.g., grades), behavioral (e.g., crime rates), and social (e.g., student-teacher relationships) outcomes. We also focus on issues of equity, examining differences by (a) race and income at the individual level, and (b) racial and socioeconomic composition at the school level. Second, we are replicating these analyses using data from a partner school district. Third, we are conducting case studies that examine how school security measures are used in practice. In partnership with two school districts, we are studying which security measures are used, how various stakeholders perceive those security measures, and how they understand the academic, behavioral, and social aspects of their schools.


The Nashville Longitudinal Study of Youth Safety and Wellbeing

Funder: National Institute of Justice

Funding amount: $4,916,000

Role: Investigator

The goal of the NLSYSW is to create a multi-cohort longitudinal dataset addressing the interplay between schools and communities among children and youth in Nashville, TN with a particular focus on safety and well-being. The data used in this study come from school administrative records, student surveys, local law enforcement, a student-led neighborhood mapping initiative, and a variety of other sources.