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.

The Roots of ‘Critical Race Theory’

June 29, 2021   |   By Frederica Freyberg, PBS Wisconsin

UW–Madison’s Gloria Ladson-Billings, a professor emerita in the School of Education, was interviewed by Frederica Freyberg on PBS Wisconsin’s “Here and Now” program, for a segment titled, “The Roots of Critical Race Theory.” When asked by Freyberg to define critical race theory in layman’s terms, Ladson-Billings explained it as “an attempt to begin to understand racial disparity.”

“If you look over the history of the nation, we started out in 1600 up into the mid-20th century literally saying that the reason that there were racial disparities is because there were biological and intellectual deficiencies. We’ve finally put that myth to rest and eugenics has fallen out of favor,” she said.

“I would say in the next few years we began to look at issues of equal opportunity. So we had the Brown decision … we had Reconstruction, we had … the civil rights movement, the Voting Rights Act. So we’ve had opportunities, but they all get rolled back. … So critical race theory is yet another way to think about, how do we understand racial disparity.”

Freyberg asked Ladson-Billings whether critical race theory teaches hate of white people, as some have claimed. “Absolutely not,” Ladson-Billings said.

Badger Talks: Is the pandemic affecting our memory?

June 22, 2021   |   By Veronica Rueckert, University Communications

In this Badger Talks video, WCER researcher Haley Vlach walks us through the reasons why the pandemic has been so challenging for our memory. Vlach is an associate professor of educational sciences and an expert on how memory develops. Vlach says the pandemic robbed us of our “memory cues,” in-person reminders of things we needed to do or to recall that are typically part of our daily routine in non-pandemic life. (Find video link via URL).

LaVar Charleston named UW–Madison’s next chief diversity officer

June 22, 2021   |   By Doug Erickson, University Communications

Charleston also has had a long affiliation with WCER, where he helped found Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB). He served in numerous capacities at Wei LAB, including assistant director and coordinator of the Research and Evaluation Division. Jerlando Jackson, current Wei LAB director and chief research scientist, chaired the 14-member search and screen committee formed to help find a new chief diversity officer for campus.

Online Internships Fail to Meet Expectations

May 19, 2021   |   By Lindsay McKenzie

New research from WCER’s Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions suggests online internships that took place during the pandemic failed to provide effective learning experiences when compared with in-person experiences. How can colleges encourage employers to do better?

New Study Reveals Only 22% of College Students Did Internships During COVID Pandemic

May 18, 2021   |   By CCWT/WCER Communications

The first rigorous study of online internships during the pandemic uses survey data from 9,964 students at 11 colleges and universities, yielding valuable insights for students, employers and university officials going forward.

Wisconsin schools look to continue, expand future virtual options

April 22, 2021   |   By Amanda St. Hilaire, Fox 6 Milwaukee

Students across Wisconsin had no choice when school buildings shut down one year ago. Now, even as school districts point to the rapid shift to virtual learning as a factor in declining academic performance, administrators are exploring the idea of expanding future online learning.

“Districts that are able to get on top of that more quickly will be much better positioned to meet families’ needs,” Wisconsin Center for Education Research scientist Dr. Bradley Carl said. “And conversely, districts that don’t get going with that are going to lose enrollment.”

New projects study root causes of inequalities and how to reduce their effects

April 15, 2021   |   By Natasha Kassulke, UW-Madison News

Fifteen projects — from improving doctor-patient communications for high-risk patients, to using data to understand racial differences in how Americans handle civil legal problems, to better understanding the factors that influence success and well-being of Hmong-American students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison — have been chosen for the Understanding and Reducing Inequalities Initiative.

U.S. Educators Meeting Online in MSAN Institute to Advance Anti-Racist School Leadership

April 15, 2021   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

Conference attendees are sharing current research and learning promising practices to eliminate barriers to learning and create a more equitable educational environment for students of color.

Report: Outcomes-Based Funding Models Need to be Made More Equitable

April 7, 2021   |   By Sara Weissman, Diverse Issues in Higher Education

More than 30 states have outcomes-based funding models, which allocate money to colleges and universities at least partly based on various metrics for student success. But a new report by The Education Trust – examining outcomes-based funding formulas across the country from 2017 to 2020 – argues that these models perpetuate inequities in the ways they’re currently designed.