News from WCER

First Analysis of UW System Hmong Undergrads Finds Low & Declining Enrollments, Grad Rates

February 14, 2020   |   By Janet L. Kelly

A team of HMoob (Hmong)* American undergraduates mentored by UW–Madison education researchers in WCER’s Center for Research on College to Workforce Transitions has completed the first analysis of University of Wisconsin System student data disaggregated by race and ethnicity for the state’s largest Asian ethnic population.They find that except for UW–Oshkosh and UW–Green Bay, UW System enrollment of HMoob Americans is proportionally low and declining, particularly at the state’s flagship UW–Madison campus.


Teacher-Guided Play Seen as Key to Deeper Student Learning

February 14, 2020   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

An errant paper airplane, and a teacher’s insightful response to it, led to one of the best examples of successful play-based learning in a classroom that Angela Pyle, a faculty member in early childhood education at the University of Toronto, has witnessed in her extensive research.

Termed “inquiry play,” it’s a type of teacher-guided play in which an instructor seizes on young students’ expressed passions for a topic or activity, even if it means shifting gears to pursue an unexpected interruption as a multi-faceted learning opportunity.


WIDA Receives $4 Million to Support Multilingual Learners with Cognitive Disabilities

January 14, 2020   |   By Katie Stenz, WIDA

Educational tools and resources for assessing a small but important group of students, multilingual learners challenged with the most significant cognitive disabilities, now will become reality thanks to a $3.998 million U.S. Department of Education grant awarded to WIDA.


WEC Evaluators Recommend Sharing Best Practices as Student Career Planning Spans State

January 14, 2020   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

Capstone experience of completing and presenting a final project was most often named by students as the “most beneficial” activity for them to do, along with job-shadowing, in the state-required Academic and Career Planning (ACP) program, a WEC evaluation shows.


Latest Gear Learning Game, ‘Newt’s Voyage,’ Teaches Laws of Physics by Feel

December 16, 2019   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

Players learn scientifically sound concepts about motion and gravity as they fly virtual spaceships around the moons of distant planets.


What’s Right With Rural

December 4, 2019   |   By Lynn Armitage

We hear a lot about the challenges of rural education: declining enrollment, limited resources and funding, difficulty recruiting teachers and keeping them. And at UW‒Madison’s Rural Education Research & Implementation Center (RERIC), much good work is being done to improve educational outcomes in the state’s distant, sometimes forgotten classrooms.

But on a recent day in November, the narrative shifted when 19 STEM teachers from 18 rural school districts in Wisconsin traded stories at the third annual Teacher Speakout! sponsored by RERIC, housed at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. This exchange of ideas between teachers, researchers, policymakers and rural advocates turned into a public display of spirit, grit and passion for what is right with rural education.


WIDA Seeks Input on English Language Development Standards Edition 2020

November 20, 2019   |   By WIDA

WIDA, a leading support organization for multilingual learners, educators and families, is seeking public input on the 2020 edition of its English Language Development Standards. The research-based nonprofit includes a consortium of 40 U.S. state education agencies as well as an international consortium of more than 400 international schools. WIDA invites anyone involved in multilingual learner education to share their views by completing an online survey by Dec. 15, 2019.


Rural Teachers & UW–Madison Education Researchers Share Perspectives on STEM Education in Wisconsin

November 13, 2019   |   By Lynn Armitage

The Rural Education Research and Implementation Center (RERIC) will host 19 rural STEM educators from 18 school districts around Wisconsin for the third annual Teacher Speakout!, Friday, Nov. 15, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, 1025 West Johnson Street, 13th Floor; followed by field trips on Saturday, Nov. 16 from 8 a.m. to noon starting at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.

The goal of Teacher Speakout! is to bring the voices of rural teachers into a collaborative, public forum with researchers, legislators and rural school advocates.


WCER Project Explores Academic & Career Pathways of Undergrad Military Service Members & Veterans

November 8, 2019   |   By Lynn Armitage

A new research project focused on the experiences of undergraduate military service members and veterans enrolled in Wisconsin universities has recently been launched at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, part of UW-Madison’s School of Education. The Veteran Education to Workforce Affinity and Success Study (VETWAYS), a three-year $556,000 project funded by the National Science Foundation, will seek to better understand the unique social experiences and challenges this special student population encounters as they progress through college and into the workforce.


Health and Education: More Schooling Equates to Healthier, Longer Lives

November 1, 2019   |   By Karen Rivedal

A critical intersection exists between education and health, according to a consensus of researchers and evaluators from the University of Wisconsin‒Madison who have been working closely with rural schools, the community-school model and Native American communities in Wisconsin.


UW−Madison Mentorship Experts Anchor Federal Push to Diversify Biomedical Workforce

October 31, 2019   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

UW−Madison will continue to play a leading role in the second and final phase of a sweeping federal investment in better research mentoring, with responsibility for two major grants in the $43 million follow-up push to boost diversity of students, staff and faculty researchers in the biomedical sciences.


MSAN Student Conference Aims to Empower Next Generation of Equity Leaders

October 22, 2019   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

More than 200 high school students and their chaperones from 19 U.S. school districts will be in Madison Wednesday through Saturday for the MSAN Student Conference, presented by the UW-Madison School of Education annually to develop student leaders dedicated to ending racial disparities in achievement and opportunity.


Wisconsin Partnership Program Awards $1M to One City Schools and UW-Madison Education Research Team

October 17, 2019   |   By Janet L. Kelly

A team of early childhood educators and university evaluators, including WCER’s Beth Graue and Tenah Hunt, won a $1 million community impact grant from the Wisconsin Partnership Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. The five-year grant will be used to train teachers, document and evaluate Madison’s innovative One City Schools. Graue and Hunt will work with One City to develop and implement a multilayered professional development and evaluation process.


New Wisconsin-Minnesota Education Partnership Wins $6.3M Federal Award

October 16, 2019   |   By Janet L. Kelly

A new collaboration of Wisconsin and Minnesota education researchers formed to support education priorities in each state has won a five-year, $6.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The overall goal of the project, directed by Steven Kimball and WCER colleague Alisia Moutry, as well as the University of Minnesota’s Kim Gibbons and Education Analytics’ Ernest Morgan, is to improve the academic achievement of elementary and secondary school students in the two-state region by advancing the use of evidence-based practices.


WCER Experts Explain Critical Intersection between Education, Health

October 8, 2019   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

University researchers and evaluators versed in rural schools, the community-school model and the schooling of Native American children in Wisconsin shared their expertise and latest evidence-based findings recently in a public hearing at the state Capitol focused on the critical intersection between education and health.