The Humanities & Business Education In an Economic Crisis: A Podcast

January 5, 2021   |   By Aspen Institute

As colleges weigh whether to welcome students back to campus this fall, they do so under the burden of financial pressures on higher education that have been building for over a decade. Among these pressures is a question increasingly prominent in media: Given the rising cost of tuition, what is the return on investment of a college education?

CCWT releases report on internships at HBCUs

January 5, 2021   |   By WCER Communications

The Center for Research on College to Workforce Transitions, which is housed in the School of Education’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research, has published a new research brief examining internships at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The report, titled “What do we know about internships at HBCUs? A review of the literature and agenda for future research,” was authored by UW–Madison’s Matthew Hora and Jacqueline Forbes, with Deshawn Preston of the United Negro College Fund.

Millions of ELL Students Face Prospect of In-Person, Federal Testing During COVID-19

January 5, 2021   |   By Corey Mitchell, Education Week

The disruption to in-school learning caused by the global pandemic this year has hit the nation’s 5 million English-language learners especially hard.

These students often lack access to dependable internet and technology, have non-English-speaking parents who struggle to support their remote learning, and have lost crucial access to teachers and classmates who have in prior years helped them develop their language skills.

Gates Foundation awards WCER’s Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions $1.1 million to serve national audience

January 5, 2021   |   By Lynn Armitage, WCER Communications

The Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions (CCWT), housed at UW‒Madison’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research, has been awarded a $1.1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

What did we learn? Gloria Ladson-Billings is not excited about ‘going back to normal’

December 28, 2020   |   By Yvonne Kim, The Cap Times

In April, Indian novelist Arundhati Roy published a series of essays, including one titled “The pandemic is a portal.”

“Nothing could be worse than a return to normality,” Roy wrote in Azadi: Freedom. Fascism. Fiction. “Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.”

This idea has been the year’s biggest takeaway for Gloria Ladson-Billings, University of Wisconsin-Madison professor emeritus, author and education researcher. The COVID-19 pandemic is a portal, she said, for educators in Madison and across the country to rethink how they teach.

Wisconsin sees 9,600-student increase in homeschooling

December 28, 2020   |   By Scott Girard, The Cap Times

The number of students homeschooling this year rose by more than 9,600 after two consecutive years of growth in the hundreds.

The uptick to 26,641 homeschooled students comes as no surprise amid the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has created for education, including some districts remaining entirely virtual while others are entirely in-person.

Madison School District and UW-Madison team up to tackle literacy inequality

December 15, 2020   |   By Elizabeth Beyer, Wisconsin State Journal

The Madison School District and the UW-Madison School of Education announced Monday the formation of a joint early literacy task force to analyze teaching methods for reading and make recommendations to the district to reduce achievement gaps. The goal of the task force is to use literacy as a strategy to make sure all district students receive quality grade-level instruction.

We are Listening! RERIC partners with rural Wisconsin

December 11, 2020   |   By Lynn Armitage, Wisconsin School News (Wisconsin Association of School Boards)

The Wisconsin Association of School Board’s magazine, Wisconsin School News, profiles UW-Madison’s Rural Education Research & Implementation Center, a first-of-its-kind center in Wisconsin dedicated to improving educational outcomes for rural students, families and schools through rigorous, partnership-based research. Based in the School of Education’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research, the center has identified five urgent research strands to ground its work: mental and behavioral health; teacher preparation, recruitment and retention; STEM education,; equity and diversity and research preparation and training.

WCER Improving Mentoring Relationships for Next Generation of Academic Science Leaders

December 7, 2020   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

WCER experts Christine Pfund and Angela Byars-Winston are leading a $1.2 million program providing culturally aware mentorship education for dissertation advisers of leading PhD students in the sciences from diverse backgrounds throughout the country. Byars and Pfund also designed leadership training for the mentees, who were selected for research support as future academic science leaders by the renowned Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Maryland.

UW-Madison researcher’s instrument design fuels groundbreaking international study of teaching and learning

November 18, 2020   |   By Janet L. Kelly, WCER Communications

This week the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) announced the findings of the Global Teaching InSights: A Video Study of Teaching, which looked directly into the classrooms of 700 teachers across eight countries and economies to capture on video how each taught the same mathematics topic to their students.

Essential to the study’s success are observation systems designed by Courtney Bell, a principal investigator of the study and a UW–Madison learning sciences professor who directs the School of Education’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research. In building these systems collaboratively with global teaching experts, Bell’s team created the first standardized observational instruments used to measure the teaching and learning of the same unit of instruction across multiple countries.

Dual VETWAYS studies show social support is key to successful academic outcomes for student military

November 11, 2020   |   By Lynn Armitage

The transition from military to college life can be a socially difficult one for military service members and veterans (SSM/Vs). However, members of this unique and talented student population stand a better chance of success when they are supported by a strong network of fellow students, veteran coordinators, faculty or other higher education practitioners, according to two separate reports by the Veteran Education to Workforce Affinity and Success Study (VETWAYS).

VETWAYS is a three-year $556,000 project funded by the National Science Foundation, launched last year at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research in UW–Madison’s School of Education. The project is focused on the college-to-workforce pathways of SSM/Vs from five, four-year University of Wisconsin System institutions: Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee, Oshkosh and Stout. In the last academic year, more than 3,000 veterans attended UW System universities.

The promise of quality digital learning for all students

October 30, 2020   |   By Lynn Armitage

When Annalee Good, an educational researcher and evaluator from UW-Madison, and her colleagues began studying the use of digital tools in classrooms a decade ago, they never imagined a global pandemic would drive the adoption of at-home online learning at warp speed.

COVID-19 has caused a dramatic, sweeping change to education. Whenever students and teachers fully return to in-person classrooms, school districts must take a critical look at the role of digital tools and decide how to move forward. Schools must be vigilant to ensure their online learning systems contribute to the equitable education and academic outcomes of all students, particularly the historically underserved.

Madison School District should improve communication between 4K, kindergarten teachers, report finds

October 29, 2020   |   By Scott Girard

Better communication between 4-year-old kindergarten teachers and their 5-year-old kindergarten counterparts in the Madison Metropolitan School District could improve student outcomes in transitioning to kindergarten, a new report found.
A Madison Education Partnership research brief released this month outlines some of the challenges facing teachers during student transitions from 4K to elementary school and offers a host of recommendations to improve.

Americans with lower education levels suffer more pain than people with more education

October 29, 2020   |   By JEFF RENAUD, Western News

Americans with university degrees or higher level of education endure substantially less pain than those who are less educated, according to an international study led by Western University. With more than half of U.S. adults reporting chronic pain, the study will help health-care professionals and policymakers better target relief, the researchers said.

“Pain affects quality of life of individuals and their families,” said Western sociology professor Anna Zajacova. “It is an incredibly important health condition that we must try to understand better. And like many other seemingly personal issues, there are powerful social forces driving pain in society. Education is one of those forces.”

Why online school works better for this Madison family

October 26, 2020   |   By Michelle Baik

The switch to virtual schooling has been a challenge for many families, but one Madison family has been doing it for years. They say virtual learning works better for them.

Ian Santin is a 12th grader at the Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin, an online school. After attending middle school in the Madison Metropolitan School District, Ian made the switch five years ago. He said his ADHD made it hard to focus in the classroom.

Amy Santin says her son is a better student now, due to more flexibility in his five to six hours-long day. She said, “We can provide an environment that’s conducive to him. He can take movement breaks. He’s just a lot happier, and he’s actually started to enjoy learning.”