School of Social Policy & Practice

Negotiating a truce in the war on drugs

A Penn Law symposium brought together experts from the legal, law enforcement, social work, and policy camps to discuss how to refocus the decades-long fight to be less punitive and more protective.

Gwyneth K. Shaw

In the News

Philadelphia Inquirer

Standardized tests like SAT and ACT favor students with family wealth

Ezekiel J. Dixon-Román of the School of Social Policy & Practice wrote an opinion piece about standardized testing. “While the SAT has been characterized as a ‘wealth test,’ wherein student performance tracks with family income, families’ accumulated assets are rarely measured in association with college admissions tests,” he wrote. “There is good reason to consider this factor more closely.”



As Democrats spar over guaranteed jobs, universal basic income and $15 minimum wage, which would best help Americans?

Ioana Marinescu of the School of Social Policy & Practice said that, in an ideal world, universal basic income would better improve the lives of Americans than a $15 hourly wage. The former is “a more ambitious plan, for sure, and therefore the rub is the cost,” she said.


Andrew Yang injected Silicon Valley’s favorite economic idea into the Democratic debate. Silicon Valley isn’t so happy about that

Amy Castro Baker of the School of Social Policy & Practice said universal basic income is looking increasingly possible now that it’s been embraced by the tech world. However, she cautioned, “if we move forward, but without the science of knowing how to best implement, we could create other forms of inequality.”


Fast Company

Food, clothes, utilities: How people are using their cash from the country’s biggest basic income pilot

Amy Castro Baker of the School of Social Policy & Practice has released new data on how recipients of a monthly $500 stipend used their funds. Approximately 40% of purchases went to food, 25% went to home goods, and 12% went to utilities.


WAMU Radio (Washington, D.C.)

Shattered: Intimate partner gun violence

The School of Social Policy & Practice's Susan B. Sorenson is quoted on the likelihood that domestic abusers own guns.