Good, Burch Examine the Potential Dangers of Privatizing Digital Education
Digital education may be an innovative path forward for the American public schools system, but many of the existing virtual teaching programs have serious flaws, according to a new book co-authored by WCER researcher Annalee Good and former UW–Madison Assistant Professor and WCER researcher Patricia Burch.
The book, Equal Scrutiny: Privatization and Accountability in Digital Education, is set for publication in May. In it, the authors point out that the trend for private education technology contractors to provide schools with digital education programs leads to concerns about the quality of services, who is served, and who benefits. Read more.
Common Core Standards Do Not Account for Diversity
A professor considers the Common Core Standards in the context of students she has taught and the historical inequities that have plagued American schools. She asks: How can a “common” and assumedly “core” set of standards address social inequity and ensure that all children become highly literate?
Many students live in poverty. Yet, even if their achievement lags behind that of their classmates, they bring to their schools rich, diverse experiences.
Can a set of common standards address racism and poverty that interfere with student achievement?
Can common standards address and reduce the achievement gap?
Will common standards tap into, and build on, the unique experiences students bring to the classroom?
UW–Madison education professor Catherine Compton-Lilly says, “No.” Read more.
Examining Past NSF Grants: A Step Toward More STEM Graduates
Each year, the National Science Foundation (NSF) spends tens of millions of dollars pursuing one of its highest priorities: increasing the number of students entering and completing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). In fact, the NSF set a goal of increasing the number of well-prepared graduates with STEM degrees by one-third, or about one million graduates, by 2020. At the same time, the NSF seeks to improve the quality of STEM education at all levels, noting that maintaining American preeminence in these fields of study is critical to the country’s continued global economic success.
Eric Grodsky, Associate Professor of Sociology and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and WCER researcher, recognized that more might be learned by collectively studying the STEM grants awarded through the NSF’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program (STEP). A new $1.3 million NSF grant awarded to Grodsky and Chandra Muller of the University of Texas–Austin, titled “Building on STEP to Understand STEM Entry and Persistence,” will do just that. Read more.