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School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Afterschool Program Reduces Mobility Among Some Families

An afterschool program for children and families was found to substantially reduce the school mobility of Black students who otherwise were especially likely to change schools. Improved relationships among families help explain this finding.

High rates of student mobility pose serious problems for students and for schools. Students who move from school to school often have lower test score gains in reading and mathematics, lower self-esteem, trouble fitting into school, and higher dropout rates. High student turnover also can result in problems within the family and hinder school reform efforts, as it is difficult to sustain progress with transient students.

Black and Hispanic students are more likely to change schools than White and Asian American students, due in part to economic disadvantage. Their frequent moves lead to an increased risk of underachievement in school. Immigrant students and English language learners have above-average mobility rates as well, which results in it taking longer for them to achieve English proficiency. Read more.

Quantifying Uncertainty: David Kaplan Explains the Usefulness of Bayesian Statistics

To most academics, and even many statisticians, the world of Bayesian statistics remains a dark and dangerous realm, rarely visited and greatly feared.

To David Kaplan, Bayesian statistics are enlightening, capable of bringing clarity to difficult problems. But as much as Kaplan, a professor of quantitative methods and chair of the Department of Educational Psychology at UW–Madison, advocates for the increased use of Bayesian methods in quantitative research, he warns that researchers should make their initial forays with caution.

“Thanks to greater computing power, Bayesian calculations can now be completed even on a tablet, which can give researchers a powerful tool for gaining new insights from their data analyses,” Kaplan said. “However, there are major differences in paradigms and methodologies that need to be understood before just plugging data into that fancy new software on your iPad and putting the results in a research paper.” Read more.

Department Chairs Become Instructional Leaders

Distributed throughout a high school, department chairs are ideally positioned to help increase student learning, and yet they receive little or no formal training, and there is no universally accepted job description. Due to the ambiguities and multifaceted responsibilities of the role, the department chair is considered one of the most stressful positions in a high school.

The principal of a high school is in a position to help department chairs exert a positive influence on instruction and student learning, and yet this rarely occurs. As a consequence, the role of department chair has been called “the most underutilized leadership position” in high schools today (L. David Weller, University of Georgia). Read more.





Eric Knuth and colleagues have received a new $3.5 million grant to continue their research into early algebra instruction. The grant is their third grant for this work (See

Bonnie Doren receives Distinguished Career in Rehabilitation Research Award

Colleagues recall work of education research pioneer Klausmeier
Herbert J. Klausmeier, a UW-Madison professor emeritus of educational psychology who played the leading role in founding the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, passed away on May 20 at the age of 98. Read more.

Families and Schools Together (FAST) is listed in the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP), meaning it rates highly for quality of research and readiness for dissemination


A private university in Chicago has become the first in the country to make video games a varsity sport; David Williamson Shaffer comments (23 June,

Susan Smetzer-Anderson praises Madison Metropolitan School District Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham's work to address the achievement gap in the city's schools. (28 May, The Cap Times)

The Wisconsin HOPE Lab receives praise for its planned two-year evaluation of Copley Retention Systems' student retention software (12 May, Chronicle of Higher Education)

Ryan Adserias discusses gender identity, gender expression, and the use of gender pronouns (6 May, Wisconsin Public Radio)


Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and LearningCenter for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning

Center on Education and Work

Children, Families & SchoolsChildren, Families & Schools

CRPBISCulturally Responsive Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports

Consortium for Policy Research in EducationConsortium for Policy Research in Education


CALLComprehensive Assessment of Leadership for Learning

CCHERCulture, Cognition, and Evaluation of STEM Higher Education Reform

Epistemic GamesEpistemic
Games Group

Exploring the alignment between workforce and education

Formative Language Assessment Records for ELLs in Secondary Schools

Interdisciplinary ITPTraining Program in the Education Sciences

Investing in Family Engagement

LSFFLongitudinal Study of Future STEM Scholars

Mobilizing STEM for a Sustainable FutureMobilizing STEM for a Sustainable Future

Minority Student Achievement NetworkMinority Student
Achievement Network


Strategic Management of Human CapitalStrategic Management of Human Capital

Surveys of Enacted CurriculumSurveys of Enacted Curriculum

System-wide Change for All Learners and EducatorsSystem-wide Change for All Learners and Educators

Talking About Leaving, Revisited

TDOP: Teaching Dimensions Observation Protocol

TransanaTracking the Processes of Data Driven Decision-Making in Higher Education


Value-Added Research CenterValue-Added Research Center

WIDA ConsortiumWIDA Consortium

WeilabWisconsin's Equity and Inclusion Laboratory


What Factors Make College Affordable for Low-Income Students?

Many students from low-income families leave college before completing a degree, sometimes attributing their departure to college “unaffordability.” What does this mean to them? With college costs continuing to rise, and the income gap between students who finish college and those who do not increasing, answering the question of college affordability is more important than ever. Read more.

The Network Seeks to Transform Public Education

The Wisconsin Collaborative Education Research Network brings together education researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to advance and facilitate innovation in education.

Funded by Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction, the UW–Madison School of Education, and WCER, the Network creates collaborative, interdisciplinary opportunities to share knowledge and turn research into effective practices that improve education both inside and outside of schools. Read more.