WCER Director Courtney Bell Appointed to National Committee for Equitable STEM Learning

November 15, 2021   |   By WCER Communications

WCER Director Courtney Bell is one of 15 experts selected nationwide to serve on a new, ad-hoc committee created by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) to provide practical, evidence-based guidance to make STEM learning in the PreK–12 system equitable.

Chosen from among more than 350 nominations, committee members are recognized teachers, researchers and scholars in a range of academic disciplines focused on the science of learning, cultural inclusivity and improved teaching of STEM subjects for historically underserved children.

The National Academies’ Committee on Equity in PreK–12 Stem Education will provide “actionable recommendations” for education policy and program stakeholders following a period of rigorous study. Committee members will determine how best to support educational equity in the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics at all levels through high school.

Annual MSAN Student Conference Draws More and Younger Students After Going Online

October 27, 2021   |   By WCER Communications

WCER’s MSAN Consortium of multiracial school districts is moving its annual conference for high school students online this year, just as it did last fall for the first time because of the pandemic. As a result, organizers have been able to expand access to the program that kicks off Wednesday to more students, including younger ones, which has long been a goal, MSAN Executive Director Madeline Hafner says.

“One of our dreams at MSAN has been to replicate what is so amazing about our high school conference for our middle school students, but that’s very hard to do when kids have to travel,” Hafner says, noting districts would have to pay for more chaperones for younger students to alleviate concerns.

“But when we do it virtually, they could all come,” she adds. “One of the gifts of the pandemic was being able to open up the conference virtually to middle schools.”

Don’t forget: 2021 WIDA eConference features Pulitzer Prize-winning author, sessions on new WIDA resources

September 28, 2021   |   By WIDA Communications

The 2021 WIDA eConference, which takes place on October 14, features a keynote address by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen. It also includes sessions led by and for educators, plus sessions on new WIDA resources – and how to use them in the classroom – like Marco ALE, a Spanish language arts framework, the WIDA ELD Standards Framework, 2020 Edition and WIDA Screener for Kindergarten.

WIDA Español releases Marco ALE, a brand-new Spanish language arts framework

September 28, 2021   |   By WIDA Communications

Check out Marco ALE, a Spanish language arts framework from WIDA! Available now are two Marco ALE documents — Aplicación para la actualización y desarrollo de estándares and Aplicación para la enseñanza. These documents inform Spanish language arts standards development and instruction and are meant to guide states, districts and teachers as they implement Marco ALE.

New Research Brief Examines How Wisconsin’s Technical Colleges Adapted to COVID-19

September 23, 2021   |   By WCER Communications

The first research brief from WCER Principal Investigator Xueli Wang’s three-year, NSF-funded study of change and innovation in technical education finds Wisconsin’s tech colleges have moved rapidly to revamp services and instructional practices to serve students and meet their critical needs since March 2020.

A College Completion Program for Both Sides of the Aisle

September 16, 2021   |   By Jerome Lucido and Nicholas Hillman and Donald Hossler

There is growing momentum behind the idea that higher education needs a Title I-type program. We strongly support these efforts. To maximize the policy’s potential impact, we believe any federal Title I-type program in higher education must establish both ambitious and achievable thresholds on two key metrics: (1) the percentage of Pell Grant students enrolled and (2) the percentage who graduate or successfully transfer to another postsecondary institution.

Universal School Lunches Have Enormous Potential — If the Program’s Flaws Are Fixed

September 2, 2021   |   By Andrew Ruis

Andrew Ruis, associate director for research in WCER’s Epistemic Analytics lab, writes about the promise and problems of the National School Lunch Program on its 75th anniversary in this perspective piece for the Washington Post.

Waukesha And The National School Lunch Program

September 1, 2021   |   By WPR's Central Time

​WCER’s Andrew Ruis, an expert on public health and the history of U.S. school lunch and nutrition programs, speaks on WPR’s Central Time program about the effectiveness of the current national school lunch program’s ‘Seamless Summer Option’ during the pandemic, and why Waukesha’s school board had initially opted out of the program offering free lunch to students of all income levels.

New Paper Summary: Study Reveals How Teaching Practices in Communication Courses Reveal Need for Socioculturally Informed Faculty Development

August 19, 2021   |   By WCER Communications

WCER researchers Matthew T. Hora, Ross J. Benbow and Changhee Lee have published a new paper in the Journal of the Learning Sciences showing the three factors most important to teaching decisions in communications courses are prior experience in industry, social networks and student skills.

Critical Race Theory: Debate over Classroom Instruction in Wisconsin

August 17, 2021   |   By Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Jeremy Stoddard, a WCER researcher and professor of curriculum and instruction in the School of Education, was among those testifying against a package of bills in the Wisconsin legislature last week that would, among other things, bar teachers from teaching “race or sex stereotyping.” While the governor is expected to oppose the measures, Stoddard, reading a statement authored by School of Education Dean Diana Hess, warned that if they pass, “it will have a chilling effect inhibiting teachers from teaching a full account of history.” Hess was unable to attend the session in person.

A Closer Look: Andy Garbacz Using $4M Grant to Probe Family-School Partnership Intervention

August 2, 2021   |   By WCER Communications

The research team led by Principal Investigator Andy Garbacz will examine how a family-school partnership intervention impacts behavior, practices and relationships for elementary school students at risk of serious emotional disturbance.

CRECE Seeks Applications for Undergraduate Research Fellows Program

July 27, 2021   |   By WCER Communications

The program’s goal is to diversify the research communities that address early childhood education issues. CRECE hopes to do this by providing mentored research experiences to traditionally underrepresented and other minoritized undergraduate students.

Know Your Madisonian: From Philadelphia Public Schools to President of the National Academy of Education

July 22, 2021   |   By Elizabeth Beyer, Wisconsin State Journal

The life story and career trajectory of WCER researcher Gloria Ladson-Billings—UW-Madison School of Education professor emeritus and a nationally renowned leader in education—is chronicled in this in-depth Q&A from the Wisconsin State Journal’s Know Your Madisonian feature.

Paul Fanlund: Racist Bogeymen and the ‘Limits of Liberalism’

July 19, 2021   |   By Paul Fanlund, The Capital Times

Straight talk on critical race theory from WCER/SoE’s Gloria Ladson-Billings, with @CapTimes’ Paul Fanlund, who first referenced her earlier interview with National Public Radio, when she explained, “So critical race theory is a series of theoretical propositions that suggest that race and racism are normal, not aberrant, in American life.” When Fanlund then asked how she and other Black leaders stay committed rather than growing despondent over CRT misrepresentations, she says she takes the long view: “I am old enough to remember the hate that was spewed at Martin Luther King. Now there is practically no major city in the country that does not have a street named for him.”

Video Games for High Quality Equitable Learning

July 12, 2021

David Gagnon, Director of WCER’s Field Day Lab, discusses the educational advantages of using video games and simulators as teaching tools in this video for University Place on PBS Wisconsin. David explains how games offer opportunities to actively learn new concepts and to fail without real world consequences.