New Study of COVID-19’s Impact on Dane County 4K Classes Finds ‘Silver Linings’ Amid Pain

March 15, 2022   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

​How to sustain positive outcomes seen during the pandemic—such as increased connection between teachers and parents through new communication technologies and more planning time for teachers—is an important question for districts going forward.


Deputy State Superintendent to Visit for Informal Q&A on DPI’s Current and Future Directions

February 18, 2022   |   By WCER Communications

Join John Johnson, Deputy State Superintendent, for a discussion of the current priorities and future directions of Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction. The program will take place from noon-1:30 p.m. CT in Room 159 of the Education Building.


MSAN Institute Issues Call to School of Education Researchers for Equity-Centered Proposals

February 9, 2022   |   By WCER Communications

Proposals are due March 1 for 60-minute breakout sessions for the two-day, professional development program focused this year on sharing research-based strategies and promising practices around social-emotional learning and radical self-care, as well as those that increase students’ academic achievement and sense of belonging.


New Immersive Simulator Lets Game Players Reimagine Land Use Based on Real Science

January 13, 2022   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

UW–Madison researchers teamed with a New England conservation nonprofit to create an online learning game that lets players model how different zoning choices would affect the environment, jobs, housing and other real-world factors for any location in the contiguous United States.The free game, known as iPlan, lets players simulate different land-use scenarios and see the changing effects on their community.


WIDA Using $2.6M Grant to Help Rural Educators Improve Multilingual Literacy Instruction

December 14, 2021   |   By WIDA Communications

WIDA, an educational services organization within the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education, has been awarded $2.6 million from the U.S. Department of Education to launch Rural Educators Self-Reflecting and Practicing Equity-Centered Teaching with English Learners (Project RESPECT), a program that will help rural K-8 teachers provide effective and equitable literacy instruction for multilingual learners.


UW–Madison Evaluation Experts Partner with Students, Staff at Capital High

November 23, 2021   |   By WCER Communications

A central piece of the partnership this year is WEC helping students learn the skills involved in culturally responsive research and evaluation at Capital High, which is organized around project work and experiential learning. In keeping with that focus, the course syllabus includes a hands-on project in which students will each design, complete and report out on an evaluation study. Enrollees at Capital High, who are generally from low-income backgrounds and the majority of whom are students of color, will do their evaluations in collaboration with scholars, educators and mentors from Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD), the Madison community and UW−Madison.


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.