Events & Activities

IAS Distinguished Lecture
Can School Improvement Reduce Inequality? (Wednesday 27 Mar 2019)


Many social scientists have concluded that school improvement can have little effect on inequality in a world where enduring neighborhood and family inequality constrain the life chances of low-income children. In this lecture, the speaker will present new theory that explains a) why low-income children benefit more from early schooling than do high-income children; b) why this equalizing effect diminishes with child age; and c) why elementary school improvement can be a powerful strategy for reducing inequality. The theory is based on a counter-factual account of the consequences of school attendance. Empirical evidence on the expansion of schooling based on data from eight societies supports this theory. He will also share new evidence from two randomized trials that illustrate the potential power of ambitious pre-school and elementary school reform to promote the cognitive skills of low-income minority children. Desegregation of neighborhoods and schools, while desirable, is not necessary to produce these effects, which have theoretical implications for improving the health and well-being of children born in poverty.


About the speaker

Prof. Stephen Raudenbush received his EdD in Policy Analysis and Evaluation from Harvard University in 1984. He then joined the Michigan State University as an Assistant Professor in Research Design and Statistics and moved to the University of Michigan in 1998 as a Professor. In 2005, he joined the University of Chicago and is currently the Lewis-Sebring Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Sociology.

Prof. Raudenbush’s research interest is in statistical models for child and youth development within social settings such as classrooms, schools, and neighborhoods. He is best known for his work on developing hierarchical linear models, with broad applications in the design and analysis of longitudinal and multilevel research. He is currently studying the development of literacy and math skills in early childhood with implications for instruction; methods for assessing school and classroom quality; and methods for heterogeneous effects of interventions.

Prof. Raudenbush was elected a Member of the US National Academy of Sciences (2012), a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2001), and a Member of the US National Academy of Education (1998). He also received numerous awards including the Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education Award from the American Educational Research Association

For attendees’ attention


  Seating is on a first come, first served basis.
  Light refreshments will be served from 4:30 to 5:00 pm.


Prof. Stephen RAUDENBUSH, Lewis-Sebring
Distinguished Service Professor, The University of Chicago
March 27, 2019 (Wednesday)
IAS Lecture Theater, Lo Ka Chung Building, Lee Shau Kee Campus, HKUST
Seating is on a first come, first served basis.