Fernandez & Baker Published in the Routledge Handbook of the Sociology of Higher Education

Handbook of Sociology of Higher EducationFrank Fernandez and Professor David P. Baker wrote a chapter titled “Educational Transformations: Work and Government Policy in the Schooled Society.”  The handbook is available through Routledge’s International Handbooks series.


New Book! “The Global Testing Culture” Edited by William C. Smith

Smith (2016)

Dr. William C. Smith edited The Global Testing Culture: Shaping Education Policy, Perceptions, and Practice, the latest volume in the Oxford Studies in Comparative Education series. 

“This book problematizes this culture by providing critical perspectives that challenge the assumptions of the culture and describe how the culture manifests in national contexts. The volume makes it clear that testing, per se, is not the problem. Instead it is how tests are administered, used or misused, and linked to accountability that provide the global testing culture with its powerful ability to shape schools and society and lead to its unintended, undesirable consequences.”

The volume includes an introduction by Smith and 15 chapters written by experts from around the world.  Click here to read more.



Team Wins Poster Award at Population Association of America Conference

Haram Jeon and Bryan Mann presented their paper (with Julia Mahfouz 9-Bryan-Mannand David P. Baker) titled “Women’s Empowerment, Educational Attainment, and Contraceptive Use in Latin American/Caribbean Countries” at the 2015 Population Association of America (PAA) research conference in San Diego, California.  The team demonstrated that educational attainment has an independent effect on contraceptive use across several countries. The poster won an award ribbon for best poster in their session!

Tobacco Study Funded by Population Research Institute

Penn State’s Population Research Institute (PRI) funded a new experimental study titled, “Education Level and Perceptions of Low Nicotine Cigarette Messaging.”  The study will evaluate prevention responses to reduced nicotine tobacco cigarettes, differentiating by education level and will examine the effects of education on perceptions of these health messages. The team will also consider how smokers and non-smokers with different levels of education respond to health messages related to reduced nicotine products.  The study builds on the research team’s previous research on the Population Education Transition (PET) Curve.  The project will be conducted by co-principal investigators Steven Branstetter, David Baker, Paul Eslinger, Nathan Dieckmann, Ellen Peters, William Smith, and Ismael G. Munoz.

Ford and Baker win Spencer Foundation Grant

Dr. David Baker is co-principal investigator (with Dr. Karly Sarita Ford) on a new research project that was funded by the Spencer Foundation.  The project is titled “The Educational and Cognitive Transformation of Social Opportunity and Inequality” and builds on Baker’s previous work on the changing nature of work, education, and society.  The project will use a series of international datasets to answer the following research questions: What is the impact of cognitive job skills and educational credentials on occupational outcomes for cohorts of young American adults between 1992 and 2012? How do advanced degrees and cognitive skills from schooling influence labor market opportunity and disadvantage for groups that vary by gender, race, immigrant status and parental education? And to put the American case in greater context, what is the relationship between education and cognitive abilities and labor market outcomes in other highly developed national economies?