The John T. Gorman Foundation strives to be data-driven and results based and seeks to promote information and ideas that advance greater understanding of issues related to our mission and priorities. In our effort to promote these values and inform the work on our priority areas, we offer these research and best practice resources collected from reputable sources across the country. The library also includes briefs and reports the Foundation has commissioned or supported, a listing of which can be found here.
We invite you to check back often, as this list is regularly updated.
ACEs and counter-ACEs: How positive and negative childhood experiences influence adult healthNumerous studies over the past two decades have found a link between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and worse adult health outcomes. Less well understood is how advantageous childhood experiences (counter-ACEs) may lead to better adult health, especially in the presence of adversity. Published in the Child Abuse and Neglect International Journal, this study from Brigham Young University concludes that counter-ACEs protect against poor adult health and lead to better adult wellness. When ACEs scores are moderate, counter-ACEs largely neutralize the negative effects of ACEs on adult health. Ultimately, the results demonstrate that a public health approach to promoting positive childhood experiences may promote better lifelong health.
Measuring Student Poverty: Dishing Up Alternatives to Free and Reduced-Price LunchFor decades, state policymakers and researchers have used receipt of free and reduced-price lunch as a way to estimate student poverty, but changes to the program have made it a less reliable proxy. This is in large part because of the expanded use of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), which provides free lunch to all students in qualifying schools and districts. An accurate count is critical for distributing funding and assessing achievement gaps, so some states use other measures, looking only at participation in safety net programs or using census estimates. This tracker from Urban Institute shows how each state estimates its share of low-income students for funding and accountability purposes and what share of students were enrolled in CEP schools.
Applying the Research and Evaluation Provisions of the Family First Prevention Services ActThe federal Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 (Family First Act) has changed the landscape of federal child welfare funding in significant ways to support children to remain safely in their homes and encourage family-based placement when foster care placement is necessary. With specific requirements around evidence-based programs and tools, the legislation expands opportunities to use research and data to drive decision making and direct funding to ensure that children and families receive the most effective services. This brief from Child Trends outlines these research and evaluation requirements and highlights next steps for state agencies, legislators, and researchers to achieve the Family First Act’s goals.
A Spotlight on Professional Development in Head Start
September 4, 2019 – Young ChildrenUsing data from the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), Mathematica explores professional development among Head Start staff. The brief finds that training and conferences are the most common kind of professional development among program and center directors, although program directors are the most likely to report participating. The Office of Head Start’s Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center is identified as an especially useful technical resource, and there are few differences in the kinds of supports available across programs. However, smaller programs do struggle to provide some specific resources to staff, and the report concludes by recommending targeting additional resources to smaller centers, and center directors (rather than just program directors).
Born to Win, Schooled to Lose
The New Economy and Child Care: Nonstandard-Hour Work, Child Care, and Child Health and Well-Being
Child Care Subsidy Stability Literature Review
July 19, 2019 – Young ChildrenThe Administration for Children and Families released a new literature review on childcare subsidy stability. The report finds that “implementation and administration of subsidy policy may be as important for subsidy stability and the policies themselves;” that longer-term use of subsidies is more important than uptake rates in ensuring childcare arrangement stability, and that longer eligibility periods are associated with subsidy stability. The report concludes with a call to acknowledge policy context in childcare subsidy research.
Does Head Start work? The debate over the Head Start Impact Study, explained
July 19, 2019 – Young ChildrenA publication from the Brookings Institution’s Brown Center Chalkboard initiative dives deeply into the mixed reports around the Head Start Impact Study, with attention to the methodological issues in the study. Due to challenges in random assignment in the original study, some “control group” students actually enrolled in Head Start, and vice versa. Using sophisticated modeling techniques, the Brookings report concludes that Head Start indeed improves cognitive skills. The report also suggests that while increasing experimental education research can be useful, researchers and policymakers should also retain a focus on the methodical rigor of the actual study, not just its design.
Child Care and Early Education Equity: A State Action Agenda
June 28, 2019 – Young ChildrenA report from CLASP details action steps for state policymakers seeking equity in child care and early education. Specific agenda items include evaluation of policies and consultation with experts (including low income families); supporting workforce development through training and compensation; expanding the reach of existing efforts like child care subsidies, quality standards systems, and Head Start; and making specific strategic investments in early childhood programming.