Examining the Structural Determinants of Poverty, an Annotated Bibliography
The mission of the Committee on Socioeconomic Status (CSES) shall be to further the major purpose of the American Psychological Association — “to advance psychology as a science and a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare” — by ensuring that issues of socioeconomic status receive the full attention of the association. The committee will identify and act as a catalyst in the association’s efforts to address issues of SES and promote appropriate attention to SES in psychological research and practice. In this regard, the committee shall:
(a) collect information and documentation concerning SES;
(b) promote scientific understanding of the roles of poverty and SES in health, education and human welfare;
(c) develop approaches to the application of psychology that take into account the effects of SES on psychological development and well-being; and
(d) advocate for social policy that will alleviate or reduce the disparities between SES groups.
The Office on Socioeconomic Status is pleased to provide this annotated bibliography of resources that provide information about the structural determinants of poverty in the United States. The annotation for each reference listed in the bibliography provides a brief summary of the item’s contents. The bibliography contains listings of relevant books, research and technical reports, and scholarly literature. Given the large amount of literature on this topic, this bibliography provides only a purposeful sampling. In searching for materials to include in the bibliography, researchers carried out keyword searches of several major social science databases and of websites of federally funded poverty research centers in the U.S. The research centers examined included those housed at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis Center for Poverty Research); the University of Kansas (UK Center for Poverty Research), the University of Wisconsin (Institute for Research on Poverty); and Stanford University (Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality). The search intentionally excluded materials published prior to the 1996 Welfare Reform ACT, as that landmark legislation clearly altered the structural landscape in this country.
Certain acronyms are used throughout the bibliography. They are:
- DI: Disability Insurance
- EITC: Earned Income Tax Credit
- PRWORA: The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (typically referred to as “The 1996 Welfare Reform Act”)
- SNAP: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (typically known as the Food Stamp Program: FSP)
- SSI: Supplemental Security Income
- TANF: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (successor to Aid to Families With Dependent Children: AFDC)
- UI: Unemployment Insurance
Edelman, P. (2012). So rich, so poor: Why the wealthiest nation in the world is losing the battle against poverty. New York, NY: The New Press.
This book is a concise (162 pages exclusive of notes and references), comprehensive overview of the structural circumstances that contribute to poverty in America. The author first skillfully uses facts and figures to lay out the state of the national economy and its impact on poverty from the late 1960s to about 2010. The greater part of the book looks at the many efforts the nation has undertaken, primarily at the federal and state levels, but also at the municipal and community levels, to bring public policy to bear on the intractable problem of poverty. The slim volume manages to cover a host of topics that include employment policy (the 40-year drought of “good jobs”), housing policy, education policy, welfare policy and criminal justice policy. Of note, the author has a long personal history working in this field as a prominent antipoverty activist and scholar who famously resigned from the Clinton administration in protest over the near abolition of welfare. This is an excellent overview of the dire condition of the American economy and the state of governments’ efforts to address poverty in the last five decades.
Collings, J. L., & Mayer, V. (2010). Both hands tied: Welfare reform and the race to the bottom of the low-wage labor market. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago.
This succinct book (164 pages exclusive of notes and references) is an overview of the consequences of welfare reform, or “workfare,” and its effects on welfare recipients. Weaving together stories of 33 women who received welfare support, their situation in the local labor market, and the national and global economy, the authors discuss the great obstacles faced by women to pull themselves and their families out of poverty. Welfare reform provisions place women in low-wage jobs with no sick or paid leave, and, due to their working status, the women lose child care support. Cash assistance requires women to be placed irrespective of their skills or training, and they are unable to decline an offered position unless they reject cash assistance.
Newman, K. S., & O’Brien, R. (2011). Taxing the poor: Doing damage to the truly disadvantaged. Berkley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
This book brings to light tax policies in the United States, particularly in the American South and West, which are particularly detrimental to the poor. In some states, poor families pay not only income taxes but also regressive sales taxes that apply even to food for home consumption. As the authors describe, decades before California’s much ballyhooed passage of Proposition 13, many southern states had already initiated tax structures that kept property and corporate taxes artificially low. Instead, the sales taxes intended to replace uncollected revenue from property and business owners are extremely regressive and punish the poor. This book documents the historical progression of a tax policy that exacerbates the circumstances of the impoverished, contributing in often unrecognized ways to problems like obesity, early mortality, high school dropout, teen pregnancy and crime.
Shipler, D. K. (2004). The working poor: The invisible in America. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.
"The Working Poor" (300 pages exclusive of notes and references) shatters the perception that America is a country in which prosperity and security are the inevitable rewards of gainful employment. The work presents a detailed account of the reality of people categorized as the “working poor.” They are store clerks and factory workers, farm laborers and sweat-shop seamstresses, illegal immigrants in menial jobs, people saddled with immense student loans and paltry wages, those who were formerly incarcerated or homeless, and those exiting welfare. Shipler argues that liberal and conservative policies are both partly right as he unravels the forces that confine people to the realm of employment at subsistence wages. And unlike most works on poverty, this book also offers compelling portraits of teachers and other professionals who deal with the same realities as the working poor and employers who struggle against razor-thin profits and competition from abroad.
Short, K. (2011). The research supplemental poverty measure: 2010. Current Population Reports, November, 1–24. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/hhes/povmeas/methodology/supplemental/research/Short_ ResearchSPM2010.pdf
This report explains efforts to update the federal measure of poverty. The official measure of poverty was implemented in 1969 and represented the cost of a minimum diet multiplied by three. Based on mounting concerns with the measure, the Census has undertaken the development of a supplemental poverty measure (SPM) that incorporates basic expenditures on food, clothing, shelter and utilities, and adjusts for in-kind benefits (e.g., food stamps) and a range of household expenses (e.g., medical).
Johnson, C. (2007). A re-count of poverty in U.S. central cities: Just who and where are the urban poor? Urban Studies, 44, 2283–2303.
Using a comprehensive measure based on cash income rather than head count, Johnson reexamines levels of urban poverty. This comprehensive measure of income includes the market value of food stamps, housing subsidies, energy subsidies and school lunch subsidies; the implicit return on home equity; and the earned income tax credit (federal, state, payroll and property). Although measuring using the comprehensive measure showed a slight increase in the number of individuals who were considered living in poverty, the difference for residents of urban centers was not statistically significant.
Pressman, S., & Scott, R. H., III. (2009). Who are the debt poor? Journal of Economic Issues, 43, 423–432. doi:10.2753/JE10021-3624430215
This article examines the debt poor, defined by the authors as individuals and families who have more consumer debt (installment debt, credit card debt, motor vehicle debt, education loans, payday loans, and medical loans) than those categorized as poor, but also they do not qualify for government support, such as Medicaid. Pressman and Scott also report that the numbers of those who fall into the debt-poor category have changed over time.
Moretti, E. (2010). Poverty, inequality, and cost of living differences (DP2010- 07). In University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research Discussion Paper Series. Retrieved from http://www.ukcpr.org/Publications/DP2010-07.pdf
Criticizing the limitation of current measures in understanding regional differences in poverty, Moretti discusses the inclusion of cost of living when conducting research on poverty. Moretti proposes two measures to represent the local cost of living: rental costs rather than home prices and non-housing goods and services (e.g., the price of pizza and a haircut). Using these two measures, Moretti finds that income differences between the unskilled and skilled labor forces in metropolitan areas are not as great as previously understood. Moretti also presents a theoretical framework that considers the role of college graduates affecting wages and cost of living in metropolitan areas.
Haveman, R. (2009). What does it mean to be poor in a rich society? In M. Cancian & S. Danziger (Eds.), Changing poverty, changing policies (387– 408). New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.
This chapter introduces additional aspects of poverty such as living in an unsafe area, being socially isolated, and living in a squalid house. These aspects of poverty are not captured by the absolute income poverty measure. Haveman explains several different measures of poverty — such as relative income poverty, “capability” poverty, asset poverty and subjective poverty — that accommodate aspects of poverty beyond the income. An argument for using a broader poverty measure is made.
Danziger, S. K. (2010). The decline of cash welfare and implications for social policy and poverty. Annual Review of Sociology, 36, 523–545.
This comprehensive review first provides a review of the cash welfare policy history and the context that led to the shift from AFDC to TANF. Danziger then provides a critical analysis of the literature on how reforms have been implemented and how they have affected poverty. A particular focus is on the effects of welfare reform on the children of single mothers, both employed and unemployed.
Hildebrandt, E., & Stevens, P. (2009). Impoverished women with children and no welfare benefits: The urgency of researching failures of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. American Journal of Public Health, 99, 793–801.
Currently PRWORA does not require any follow-up on those who have exited TANF, regardless of their reasons. Hildebrant and Stevens find that women who are on TANF hold low-wage jobs (with no benefits) that they often lose due to child care or other child-related issues. Hildebrant and Stevens attempt to examine what happens to families after they leave TANF, with a particular focus on families who have reached their 60-month time limit, as they are the most vulnerable.
Newman, C., Todd, J. E., & Ver Ploeg, M. (2011). Children’s participation in multiple food assistance programs: Changes from 1990 to 2009. Social Service Review, 85, 535–564.
Participation in food assistance programs among very poor, poor and near-poor households are compared using the 1990 and 2008 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation. The study finds that, overall, children participate less in food assistance programs when their household income volatility rises, suggesting that children in very poor households are at greater nutritional risk. The study also finds that those who receive TANF are likely to be participating in food assistance programs, suggesting that children who fall into the near-poor group may be at risk by not participating in TANF or food assistance programs.
Shaefer, H. L., & Wu, L. (2011). Unemployment insurance and low-educated, single, working mothers before and after Welfare Reform. Social Service Review, 85, 205–228.
Using the Survey of Income and Program Participation, this study examines the use of UI, cash welfare and food stamps among low-educated, single mothers between 1990 and 2005. Single mothers experienced an increase in UI eligibility but not an increase in UI benefits when compared to their childless peers. Because of declining cash assistance, UI becomes a more common income support for this population than cash assistance, and the probability of accessing the FSP increases among single mothers.
Waldfogel, J. (2009). The role of family policies in antipoverty policy. In M. Cancian & S. Danziger (Eds.), Changing poverty, changing policies (pp. 242–265). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
This chapter examines the various family policies in place to assist low-income families in the forms of income support policies, paid leave policies and child care. The chapter also questions the effectiveness and the challenges of child support enforcement policies, pregnancy prevention programs and marriage promotion policies, all put in place with the intent of reducing poverty in single-parent families, generally headed by mothers. Waldfogel advocates encouraging all the adults in a family to work, rather than focusing on the disadvantage that comes with absent fathers.
Anyon, J. (2005). Federal policies maintain urban poverty. In Radical possibilities: Public policy, urban education, and a new social movement (pp. 29–45). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.
This chapter provides a brief overview of two federal policies that contribute to urban poverty: minimum wage legislation and federal policies that prevent union organizing. Anyon argues that the increases in minimum wage rates and wages in general for low-skilled workers have not kept pace with the increases in living expenses in many regions of the country. As well, workers with unions are more likely to have employer-provided pension and medical coverage, while lowwage nonunion workers generally lack such benefits. Anyon provides a particular emphasis on low-skilled Black and Latino workers and their worsening position in the labor market.
Bitler, M., & Hoynes, H. W. (2011). Immigrants, welfare reform, and the U.S. safety net (NBER Working Paper No. 17667). Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.
The welfare reform in 1996 affected immigrant participation in a range of federal programs, including TANF, SNAP, SSI, Medicaid, State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and UI. Bitler and Hoynes take an in-depth look at the changes in these safety-net policies in relation to immigrants. They compare patterns of participation among immigrants and natives. They also examine within-group differences in participation by SES among the immigrant population. Bitler and Hoynes find that the poverty rate for children in immigrant-headed households has increased since the enactment of welfare reform policies compared to children in native-headed households.
Baum, C. (2008). The effects of food stamps on exiting welfare and becoming employed for welfare recipients (DP2008-03). In University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research Discussion Paper Series. Retrieved from http:// www.ukcpr.org/Publications/DP2008-03.pdf
Using a sample from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79), Baum tracks welfare recipients who are either employed or not employed and examines the effects food stamps have on leaving welfare and employment. After welfare reform, receiving food stamps increases the probability that unemployed mothers on welfare will remain on welfare once employed, although employment significantly reduces the amount one can receive in food stamps.
Cancian, M., Haveman, R., Meyer, D. R., & Wolfe, B. (2000). Before and after Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: The economic well-being of women leaving welfare (Special Report No. 77). Madison, WI: Institute for Research on Poverty. Retrieved from http://www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/sr/pdfs/sr77.pdf
Using data from before and after the implementation of TANF, the study compares the well-being of those who left welfare under early Wisconsin reforms and those who left under the later more stringent TANF program. Earnings were lower in the second cohort, consistent with the hypothesis that the new welfare regime pushes people with fewer employment skills into the labor market where they accept lower-paying jobs, joining the ranks of the working poor.
Hetling, A. (2011). The importance of region and state welfare rules for disconnected single mothers (DP2011-04). In University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research Discussion Paper Series. Retrieved from http://www. ukcpr.org/Publications/DP2011-04.pdf
Using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (2001-2003) and the Urban Institute’s Welfare Rules Database, the study compares single mothers in southern and non-southern states to examine how welfare policies influence mothers’ chances of having an income less than 200 percent below the poverty line, being unemployed and not receiving public assistance. In general, Hetling finds that single mothers living in states with more flexible welfare rules and lower unemployment rates are less likely to be disconnected from either welfare or work. As well, African-American and Hispanic women were generally less likely to be disconnected than their White counterparts.
Jacknowtiz, A., & Tiehen, L. (2007). Transitions into and out of the WIC program: A cause for concern? (DP2007-02). In University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research Discussion Paper Series. Retrieved from http://www.ukcpr.org/ Publications/DP2007-02.pdf
This study examines the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (ECLS-B). The program provides nutrition counseling, health referrals and food assistance to low-income pregnant and parenting mothers with children under the age of 5 years. Findings indicate that women from more advantaged households are more likely to delay entry into the program or exit around the time a child becomes 1 year old, four years prior to the mandatory cut-off. Thus, the program is utilized more fully by those experiencing greater poverty.
Allard, S. W. (2009). Rethinking the safety net: Gaps and instability in help for the working poor. Focus, 26, 27. Retrieved from http://www.irp.wisc.edu/ publications/focus/pdfs/foc261d.pdf
Using the Multi-City Survey of Social Service Providers data on Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., Allard critically examines social services (job training, child care, substance abuse, mental health treatment) for the working poor. Such services are distinct from cash assistance programs, and access is constrained by local availability. These services are also sensitive to economic downturn, although services are more needed during times of economic hardship.
Ziliak, J. P. (2011). Recent developments in antipoverty policies in the United States (DP2011-05). In University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research Discussion Paper Series. Retrieved from http://www.ukcpr.org/ Publications/DP2011-05.pdf
Using data from the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (2000–2010), this paper examines antipoverty and tax policies from the past decade and their influences on poverty. Three types of income were analyzed to better assess changes in poverty rates: income restricted to private income sources; private income combined with cash transfer payments; and a combination of private income, cash transfer payments and net tax payments. Ziliak finds that although spending on social programs has increased, the poverty rates have not changed significantly and the safety net is less effective for those living in deep poverty.
Albelda, R. (2011). Time binds: U.S. antipoverty policies, poverty, and the well-being of single mothers. Feminist Economics, 17, 189–214.
This article examines the dilemma of single mothers who are both caregiver and participant in welfare programs. To meet TANF eligibility requirements, mothers must work and care for a child while managing the sometimes stringent demands of the welfare program. Recognizing these challenges, Albelda makes suggestions such as providing paid leave benefits for low-wage jobs that are typical for these single mothers. Albelda also suggests policymakers should consider revamping and streamlining the application processes for welfare programs to reduce the amount of time required of applicants.
Cotter, D. A. (2002). Poor people in poor places: Local opportunity structures and household poverty. Rural Sociology, 67, 534–555.
Simultaneously examining individual and structural factors that contribute to rural poverty, Cotter looks at the contributions of the labor market environment in reducing a household’s chances of getting out of poverty. The study finds that low-income families living in a nonmetropolitan area manage more effectively when the head of the house or the spouse works, but poverty rates are higher in nonmetropolitan areas. Also, higher paying jobs that can pull families out of poverty are more difficult to find in nonmetropolitan areas. Living in a nonmetropolitan area and the labor market characteristics of that nonmetropolitan area both contribute to household poverty.
Kalleberg, A. L., Reskin, B. F., & Hudson, K. (2000). Bad jobs in America: Standard and nonstandard employment relations and job quality in the United States. American Sociological Review, 65, 256–278.
Nonstandard work is defined as “part-time work... day labor and on-call work, temporary-help agency and contract-company employment, independent contracting and other self-employment”; and bad jobs are defined as those with low wages, lack of health insurance and lack of pension benefits. Kalleberg and colleagues acknowledge that nonstandard jobs have the benefits of being flexible for both employers and employees, however, nonstandard jobs also are more likely to be bad jobs; and nonstandard jobs can increase income inequality when skilled workers have to settle for them.
Wilson, W. J. (2008). The political and economic forces shaping concentrated poverty. Political Science Quarterly, 123, 555–571.
Reviewing the history of housing policies, highway construction planning, and other city-related policies, Wilson illustrates how poverty came to be concentrated in urban areas. Wilson also discusses race as a contributing factor in the decision making of such policy implementation. Inner-city joblessness is the most significant contributor to urban poverty, and changing policy to create a better urban economy is the way to alleviate urban poverty.
Anyon, J. (2005). Jobs and public transit mismatches. In Radical possibilities: Public policy, urban education, and a new social movement (pp. 75–91). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.
This chapter examines the difficulties experienced by people living in poverty in inner-city communities. The increasing sprawl of cities has led to the creation of many entry-level jobs in the surrounding suburban areas, rather than in cities. The chapter analyzes the mismatch in public transit systems that are not connecting urban workers to suburban areas where jobs are located and concludes that zoning laws are also problematic in that they limit the construction of affordable housing in suburban areas in proximity to jobs. Anyon suggests ways to create more jobs in urban areas.
Blank, R. M. (2009, Fall). Economic change and the structure of opportunity for less-skilled workers: Talks about employment (or lack thereof) and poverty. Focus, 26(2), 14–20. Retrieved from http://www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/ focus/pdfs/foc262c.pdf
Manufacturing jobs have declined, and less-skilled workers have been finding more jobs in other areas, such as service-industry, retail-trade, health-industry and clerical. However, having to look for jobs in other areas can be disruptive for less-skilled workers. Blank examines the changes in wages for various wage levels, starting from the 1970s, and cautions readers to think about the Great Recession of 2008. Blank suggests that changes in the macroeconomy will not be enough to reduce poverty since unemployment will still remain high. Other suggestions are to increase minimum wage, maintain a level of EITC and find ways to raise the skill level of workers.
Cascio, E. (2006). Public preschool and maternal labor supply: Evidence from the introduction of kindergartens in American public schools (DP2006- 05). In University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research Discussion Paper Series. Retrieved from http://www.ukcpr.org/Publications/DP2006-05.pdf
Using data from the Decennial Censuses from 1950 to 1990, this study examines whether the availability of kindergartens encourages maternal employment. Cascio finds that among single mothers with 5-year-old children and no younger children, there was an increase in labor participation. This was not found among other groups of women with children, such as married women. With the increase in public kindergartens, there was a shift away from private child care programs, and Cascio suggests opening public preschool programs in areas with high at-risk populations.
Center for Poverty Research. (2012). The role of labor market factors in transitions into and out of poverty [Policy Brief ]. Davis, CA: Ann Huff Stevens. Retrieved from http://poverty.ucdavis.edu/sites/main/files/file-attachments/policy_ brief_stevens_poverty_transitions_sp_2012.pdf
Using both individual characteristics (such as age, gender, race, length of time poor) and structural characteristics (such as state- and regional unemployment rates and wage levels), Stevens estimates the probability of moving into and out of poverty from one year to the next. Increases in area unemployment rates affected the exit rate from poverty and the re-entry rate of poverty. The study also found decreases in wages to predict lower chances of exiting from poverty.
Holzer, H. J. (2009). Workforce development as an antipoverty strategy: What do we know? What should we do? Retrieved from http://www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/focus/pdfs/foc262k.pdf
Support for workforce development policies has decreased. Holzer disputes arguments against supporting workforce development policies and programs, such as the labor market having changed too much to create workforce development programs, and explains the factors that contribute to workforce development program effectiveness. A few small-scale new programs intended for disadvantaged adults, ex-offenders, and at-risk youth are examined. Some characteristics of these new programs are that they combine education/training, direct ties with employers and supports (such as child care and transportation).
Vandell, D. L., & Wolfe, B. (2000). Child care quality: Does it matter, and does it need to be improved? (Special Report No. 78). Madison, WI: Institute of Research on Poverty. Retrieved from http://www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/sr/pdfs/sr78.pdf
Through examination of the literature, Vandell and Wolfe answer questions related to child care quality: whether it is of importance to greater society, the individual child’s development and maternal employment. The article has a subsection that reports child care costs affecting mothers’ employment decisions. Quality of child care can be determined by the level of warmth and stimulation the child receives, child-to-adult ratio, and safety and trustworthiness of the child care facility and provider. The studies reviewed by Vandell and Wolfe find that mothers who have access to better quality child care tend to stay in the labor force more than mothers who have access to only poor-quality child care.
Smeeding, T. M., Garfinkel, I., & Mincy, R. B. (2011). Young disadvantaged men: Fathers, families, poverty, and policy. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 635. Retrieved from http://www.irp.wisc.edu/ publications/focus/pdfs/foc281d.pdfThis article introduces a special edition of Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science that features articles on factors that affect single fathers. A significant number of young men with a high school diploma or less education have been incarcerated, are disadvantaged in the labor market (due to their low education level, incarceration history), have children and are therefore expected to contribute to child support, and experience public policy differently from others. One way fathers who do not live with their children are not supported by public policy is that they are ineligible for the EITC even when they pay child support. Currently, SNAP is the only income-support program widely available to young single men.
Astin, A. W., & Oseguera, L. (2004). The declining “equality” of American higher education. The Review of Higher Education, 27, 321–341.
This article examines the admission trends of higher education institutions. Over the past 30 years, students from the best-educated families have maintained the same high rate of access to highly selective colleges and universities; there was no change in the representation of low-income students in these institutions. In contrast, the overall number of families with parents who have middle level education has decreased, yet, the rate of access to selective higher education institutions for students from these families has declined. Socioeconomic status was found to directly affect chances of enrolling in highly selective institutions, even after controlling for standardized test (SAT) scores and high school grades, and those with higher test scores and higher grades tended to be from affluent families.
Hochschild, J. L. (2003). Social class in public schools. Journal of Social Issues, 59, 821–840. doi: 10.1046/j.0022-4537.2003.00092.x
This article examines the influences of socioeconomic class differences in schooling outcomes. States vary on how much money per student they spend. Wealthier school districts have better facilities and higher quality teachers, and students have greater access to resources. Many times students are tracked and these tracks result in different long-term academic outcomes, with low-track students having more negative outcomes.
Shen, J., & Poppink, S. (2003). The certification characteristics of the public teaching force: National, longitudinal, and comparative perspectives. Educational Horizons, 81, 130–137.
This article examines nationally collected longitudinal data on teachers with varying degrees of education, from no certification to full certification, from formal teacher-education programs. The authors find that schools in urban, poor neighborhoods, where there was a higher teacher turnover rate, tended to have more teachers who had fewer credentials. This is problematic because having teachers with more formal training has previously been found to demonstrate higher state achievement test scores.