WWS Awarded Rights to Publish Preeminent Child Policy Journal, The Future of Children

Apr 8, 2004
Woodrow Wilson School





The Woodrow Wilson School has announced that the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, a major philanthropic organization and the publisher of The Future of Children research journal, has awarded the rights to publish The Future of Children after a highly competitive bidding process to the WWS, as part of a collaboration with the Washington D.C-based Brookings Institution. The Woodrow Wilson School and Brookings will assume full editorial responsibilities for the journal, the leading publication on children’s policy in the United States, and will partner to develop outreach programs and materials that help inform legislators, policymakers, practitioners and media about critical, child-related research and issues.

Three Princeton faculty members who also direct Woodrow Wilson School policy research centers will become editors of the journal, which has published thirty issues since its founding by the Packard Foundation in 1991. Sara McLanahan, a professor of sociology and public affairs and the director of the Wilson School’s Bendheim-Thoman Center for Research on Child Wellbeing, will become editor-in-chief of The Future of Children; senior editors will include Christina Paxson, a professor of economics and public affairs and the director of the School’s Center for Health and Wellbeing, and Cecilia Rouse, a professor of economics and public affairs and the director of the School’s Education Research Section. Isabel Sawhill, vice president and director of the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution, and Brookings senior fellow Ron Haskins will fill out the journal’s permanent editorial staff. Elisabeth Donahue, a lecturer at the Woodrow Wilson School, will be associate editor of The Future of Children, and will integrate relevant journal topics into graduate-level courses taught at Princeton.

“We are pleased and excited that the David and Lucile Packard Foundation has chosen the Woodrow Wilson School and the Brookings Institution to publish The Future of Children,” commented Anne-Marie Slaughter, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School. “This is a superb demonstration of the high quality of scholarship and research generated by our three centers under the direction of Professors McLanahan, Paxson, and Rouse. The ongoing collaboration between the Wilson School and Brookings in the area of children’s policy will allow us to combine our strengths to produce the best scholarship with the maximum impact on policymakers and practitioners in children’s policy.”

Later this year, Packard, the Woodrow Wilson School and Brookings will release a jointly produced issue on Children of Immigrant Families. In January, 2005, the Woodrow Wilson School and Brookings will begin independently publishing The Future of Children. For each issue, the editor-in-chief and senior editors will select the topics and content for the journal in conjunction with an advisory board. Funding for the journal will be provided by a consortium of foundations.

Since 1991 the primary objective of The Future of Children has been to promote effective policies and programs for children by providing policymakers, program leaders, and the media with timely, objective information based on the best available research. The journal offers comprehensive, cross-disciplinary articles by leading scholars and policy practitioners that focus on issues related to children. The new editorial staff will work to inform and influence national, state and local policy on children’s issues by choosing cutting edge topics of importance to policymakers, such as the racial and ethnic test score gap, childhood obesity, and promoting marriage among low-income families; by producing reliable and balanced articles that give policymakers the information they need to make sound decisions; and by using a variety of creative methods to disseminate the findings of each issue.

Complementing the publication of each journal issue will be a series of outreach programs by Princeton University and the Brookings Institution, designed to inform key constituents about pressing children’s policy issues, and which will target Congressional Committee members and staff, U.S. administrative agencies focusing on social policy impacting children, organizations representing local and state officials, issue advocates, and the media. Outreach activities will include an annual national conference sponsored by the journal, Congressional briefings, press conferences, and stakeholders seminars. The journal’s website, www.futureofchildren.org, allows visitors to access to the journal in electronic format, as well as other materials, such as policy briefs, statistics and other child policy research data, and video webcasts of journal-related events.

“There is a huge gulf between academic research and public policy,” said Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution. “This journal will give Brookings and Princeton a unique opportunity to show how knowledge can be applied to public policies that affect children and families. We intend to demonstrate both that research knowledge can actually improve the effectiveness of policies for children, and that policymakers will pay attention to research if it is presented in timely fashion and in a manner that is as clear and credible as possible.”