Higher Education News

Explore the States Data

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 13, 2017 - 4:00pm
Sort data on nearly 50 measures to see how your state is doing in comparison to others.
Categories: Higher Education News

When White Supremacists Descend, What Can a College President Do?

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 12, 2017 - 5:58pm
The chaos in Charlottesville, Va. this weekend added a dangerous element to what was already expected to be a contentious climate when students return to college this fall.
Categories: Higher Education News

As White Supremacists Wreak Havoc, a University Becomes a Crisis Center

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 12, 2017 - 1:19pm
The University of Virginia canceled a day of programming as white supremacists clashed with counter-protesters in Charlottesville. Scenes of violence were broadcast nationwide.
Categories: Higher Education News

White Nationalists' March at UVa. Ends in Violence at Statue of Thomas Jefferson

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 12, 2017 - 6:34am
Several attendees struck others with torches, and police arrested at least one person, according to news reports. The university's president, Teresa A. Sullivan, condemned the violence.
Categories: Higher Education News

U.S. Asks Court to Put Hold on Lawsuit as It Reviews 2011 Title IX Guidance

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 11, 2017 - 6:50pm
The Education Department asked for a 90-day suspension of proceedings in a lawsuit over its guidance on campus sexual-assault policy, because it is “reviewing” the guidance at the center of the case.
Categories: Higher Education News

For One Astronomer, a Solar Eclipse Illuminates Progress for Women in the Field

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 11, 2017 - 5:30pm
In the 19th century, as an eclipse neared, the U.S. government refused to send female scientists to get a closer look. Times have changed, but the discipline still struggles with harassment and sexism.
Categories: Higher Education News

Want Your Eclipse With a Side of Greasy Hash Browns? This Professor’s Got You Covered

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 11, 2017 - 4:20pm
Riffing off of a Twitter joke, a professor charted Waffle House locations in the path of the August 21 solar eclipse.
Categories: Higher Education News

Public Records Appear to Have Been Altered by Former General Counsel, U. of Florida Audit Finds

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 11, 2017 - 2:51pm
The auditors mostly stopped short of issuing formal findings, but their report identified multiple irregularities in how records requests seem to have been handled.
Categories: Higher Education News

Lawsuits From Students Accused of Sex Assault Cost Many Colleges More Than $200,000

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 11, 2017 - 12:43pm
The financial burden of defending against allegations that a college mishandled a sexual-misconduct case can be significant, a new analysis finds.
Categories: Higher Education News

Preparing and Developing Culturally Responsive School Leaders

U.S. Department of Education Blog - August 11, 2017 - 10:59am

Standard 3 of the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) reads, “Effective educational leaders strive for equity of educational opportunity and culturally responsive practices to promote each student’s academic success and well-being.” How do we take this important aspiration and realize it through our practices and actions?

In June, our school’s administrative team hosted a two-day Climate Summit for our entire staff. The aim was to collaborate around our school’s newly defined core values; clarify our common practices around creating a safe and positive school climate; articulate our social-emotional learning plans for the upcoming year; and standardize our discipline practices to ensure consistency, fairness, and, most importantly, increase opportunities for our students to be in class, rather than excluded.

As part of this summit, I shared a slide featuring an infographic illustrating the school to prison pipeline. In sharing this slide, I explained to our team that if we do not change some of our practices to be more culturally responsive and engage all of our students in learning, we will be enabling this system to perpetuate, rather than disrupting it.

Engaging teachers and your school team in a conversation about race and equity and disproportionality in discipline data is not an easy task. Every school leader wants to close achievement gaps, serve the whole child and ensure their teachers feel supported and safe. How do we engage in the bold and complex conversations around our data, practices and policies while understanding the role of institutionalized racism in an ever-changing school landscape? Ensuring all school leaders, at every stage of their career are well-prepared, reflective, constant learners engaging in culturally responsive leadership is essential.

On June 27, the Principal Ambassador Fellows hosted the Principals at ED Principal Preparation Summit at the US Department of Education in Washington, DC. This was the third gathering we hosted this year focused on school leaders.

The convening included nearly 40 participants across the education spectrum. The theme of the day was preparing and developing culturally responsive school leaders.

Our students are increasingly diverse and varied in their assets and needs and yet achievement gaps and opportunity gaps continue to persist. School leaders set the tone, the priorities, and the way of being in their schools, and are critical to ensuring access to a quality, engaging, rigorous, and relevant school experience.

The day focused on problem-solving across domains of school leadership, specifically addressing two questions: 1. How do principal preparation programs address developing culturally responsive leadership? 2. What components can be built into programs that address this area for principals that will allow them to personalize and build better learning conditions for all students? The day also included a listening session with Secretary DeVos.

The assembled educators and thought partners collaborated on various strategies that can be implemented by local school districts, principal preparation programs, and more informally through networks of school leaders collaborating together. These include intentionally recruiting teacher leaders to become principals; fostering collaborative networks among principals; and aligning systems of support for administrators across their careers.

One of the day’s participants remarked, “The Summit has forced me to recommit to my mentor work for new principals, and re-energized my view around the value of veteran principals.”

Another participant noted, “It was good to hear multiple perspectives and feel less like we are working in silos.”

Investing in developing culturally responsive principals requires collaboration, time and engagement from a variety of sectors. Most importantly, it requires courageous leaders at all levels who are willing to reflect, model, learn and lead in order to disrupt systems that fail to serve all students.

Dana Nerenberg was a 2016-17 Washington Principal Ambassador Fellow

The photo at the top is from a Principals at ED gathering at the U.S. Department of Education occurring prior to the gathering referred to in this post.

The post Preparing and Developing Culturally Responsive School Leaders appeared first on ED.gov Blog.

Categories: Higher Education News

Could Grades Be Counterproductive?

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 10, 2017 - 8:16pm
A University of Georgia professor’s offer to change students’ grades upon request raises intriguing questions.
Categories: Higher Education News

An Anti-Hate Group Has This Advice for When the Alt-Right Comes to Campus

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 10, 2017 - 7:10pm
The Southern Poverty Law Center lays out some strategies for student activists who want to oppose speakers with racist views but avoid a spectacle on their campuses.
Categories: Higher Education News

Purdue Wins State Approval for Controversial Deal With Kaplan U.

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 10, 2017 - 4:13pm
Opposition was not expected from Indiana, and the transaction now moves to the U.S. Education Department for additional review. One outspoken critic outlined his objections in a letter to a top department official.
Categories: Higher Education News

Former Official Sues Southern U. Over Termination

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 10, 2017 - 12:37pm
Brandon Dumas, a former vice chancellor on the Baton Rouge campus, was fired a few days after the university said it would investigate a sex tape allegedly involving a student and an employee.
Categories: Higher Education News

Big-Time Sports Programs Tighten Rules on Athletes With Sexual-Assault Records

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 9, 2017 - 9:00pm
The wealthiest athletic conferences and some of their members have taken steps to bar players who commit sexual misconduct or other forms of violence. Advocates wonder if the bans will work in practice.
Categories: Higher Education News

In Higher Ed’s Mental-Health Crisis, an Overlooked Population: International Students

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 9, 2017 - 4:10pm
Some come from cultures that see mental illness as weakness or fiction. When the stress of being in college alone and far from home becomes too great, it’s sometimes the job of advisers to teach them that the disorders — and the dangers — are real.
Categories: Higher Education News

Eight Lessons Learned From Piloting the Rapid Cycle Evaluation Coach

U.S. Department of Education Blog - August 9, 2017 - 2:23pm

Mrs. Lowerre’s class” by diane horvath is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

For the last 18 months, the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education, in partnership with the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the Department, has been working with Mathematica Policy Research and SRI International to build the Rapid Cycle Evaluation Coach (the RCE Coach). The RCE Coach is a free, open-source, web-based platform to help schools and districts generate evidence about whether their educational technology apps and tools are working to achieve better results for students. The platform was released in Beta in October 2016 and updated in January 2017. The RCE Coach currently includes two types of evaluation designs:

  • matched comparison, which creates two similar groups of users and non-users of an ed tech application already in use at a school site and;
  • randomized pilot, which randomly assigns participants to groups of users and non-users of an ed tech application that has not yet been implemented.

While the tool is free and open for any school or district to use (and many have done so already, with over 1,700 individuals registered), we worked closely with 12 districts to pilot the RCE Coach, and six of the pilots are already complete. The pilots spanned the two evaluation designs and studied how selected math or literacy products affected student academic achievement. Below are eight lessons we’ve learned from these initial pilots.

Lesson 1. The central problem addressed by the RCE Coach — the need for better evidence for making decisions about whether to use ed tech in schools to inform implementation of best practices and procurement — has broad resonance in the field.

In conversations with district staff, we heard repeatedly that people want to know whether the technology they use is making a difference for students and is worth the cost, and that evidence should be more rigorously and systematically generated.

Lesson 2. Moving from broad to narrow research questions is an important part of the process.

Rapid-cycle evaluations — rigorous, scientific approaches to research that provide decision makers with timely and actionable evidence of whether operational changes improve program outcomes — work best for narrow questions that address specific implementations of technology, but most districts start from a different point.

Many of our pilot districts stated their research questions in very broad terms. For example, they wanted to know whether technology in general is moving the needle or whether a school wide technology-based intervention is working. Rapid-cycle evaluations can be most useful in examining whether components of a school improvement plan are having the desired effect on student outcomes or whether the desired effect is coming from one particular technology for a targeted group of students.

Lesson 3. The RCE Coach needs to have the flexibility to meet districts where they are.

Many districts want to know if the technology they are already using is helping students, but they lack the ideal conditions for a causal impact study. For example, a school may have rolled out a new app to all students, but only certain teachers actually used it with their students.

Therefore, it is important that the RCE Coach help users determine what types of analyses are possible and appropriate given their unique circumstances. It’s also important to be clear about the strength of the evidence provided under these different cases so that districts can use the information appropriately.

Lesson 4. Having a champion in the right role at the school or district is crucial.

Rapid-cycle evaluations can fall into the tricky space of being perceived as important but not urgent. Thus, they are susceptible to delays when more pressing tasks arise.

We hypothesize that districts are most likely to complete the evaluations when there are staff dedicated to data analysis or curriculum directors who have less exposure to the pressures of day-to-day school operations. Over the next year, we hope to learn more about the skill sets necessary to successfully navigate the RCE Coach independently and how the RCE Coach can best be embedded into existing operations.

Lesson 5. Large systems may see the RCE Coach as a resource for local capacity building.

A large district with a central data analysis, program evaluation or research unit may choose to train staff in schools to use the RCE Coach in order to build local capacity and enable the study of more technologies than one central team could test alone. Several state departments of education also expressed interest in disseminating use of the RCE Coach into their districts.

Lesson 6. The RCE Coach can support common approaches to evaluation.

At present, within a district, people may use inconsistent approaches to evaluating the effectiveness (and cost-effectiveness) of ed tech. Consequently, weighing the relative effectiveness of different technologies and prioritizing use of resources can be challenging. One pilot district views the RCE Coach as a tool for supporting common approaches to evaluation across a school, district, or state so that decisions can be made based on more comparable information.

Lesson 7. Practices associated with collecting, reporting, and interpreting usage data are still emergent.

In theory, detailed information about whether and how students, teachers, and other users interact with systems, as well as about their performance on embedded evaluations, should be a treasure trove for ed tech evaluations. In practice, several obstacles impede routine use of these data for evaluation purposes.

Key obstacles include the following: (1) There is substantial variation in what types of user interactions are captured and how they are presented by developers; and (2) With usage data, there is wide variation in terms of availability and ease of use.

From a policy perspective, it may make more sense to encourage developers to invest in standardized reporting functionality than to encourage responsiveness to requests for customized reports. For the RCE Coach, we have developed several templates with common indicators of use, progress, and performance. However, we recognize that the development of standards for system data reporting is likely to be a long-term, more organic process.

Lesson 8. Ed tech developers are important partners for RCE.

Districts can in theory conduct RCEs without developer assistance, provided that they have information about who is using the technology and who is not. However, RCEs will often provide more meaningful insights about effectiveness and strength of implementation with the cooperation of developers. Moreover, a productive partnership can facilitate the process of assembling data sets and make best use of usage data.

A number of developers have shown interest in getting involved with the RCE Coach in order to demonstrate the value of their products and deepen engagement with districts. However, we have also encountered reluctance from a number of developers to participate in RCEs, primarily due to the risk of unfavorable results, the potential drain on time and staff, and their lack of control over implementation.

We hope that these fears will abate as RCEs become more established. We also hope that developers will come to view RCEs as an opportunity to learn how and when their products are most effective and to build their evidence base.

In the coming months, we are soliciting more districts to pilot with us. We are also collecting and building resources aimed at helping schools and districts determine concrete outcome measures for ed tech applications that fall outside of the student academic achievement realm. These include identifying outcomes for student non-academic achievement (like grit, motivation, self-awareness, engagement, etc.), and outcomes for ed tech that facilitate teacher professional development and staff productivity.

Additionally, as we continue to pilot the RCE Coach, we are planning to document, in detailed case studies, the areas that cause the most confusion in the rapid-cycle evaluation process. For example, be on the lookout for an upcoming resource that will be embedded directly in the RCE Coach that details how to design a successful pilot. This resource covers topics like randomization, number of participants, unit of assignment, data availability, and selecting meaningful probability thresholds. Additionally, we’ve added a facilitator’s guide on how to demonstrate the platform for those school and district leaders who would like to lead their own trainings on the RCE Coach.

We hope to see more schools and districts pilot the RCE Coach and continue to help us learn and grow from the lessons we’ve already gleaned. For those interested, you can fill out a brief survey here.

Jackie Pugh was a research fellow in the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education for a year, through May 2017.

Alexandra Resch is an associate director and deputy director of state and local education partnerships at Mathematica Policy Research, specializing in rapid-cycle evaluation and evidence-based decision making.

Rebecca Griffiths is a senior researcher in SRI International’s Center for Technology in Learning.

Cross-posted at: https://medium.com/@OfficeofEdTech/eight-lessons-learned-from-piloting-the-rapid-cycle-evaluation-coach-1f7f681af96f

The post Eight Lessons Learned From Piloting the Rapid Cycle Evaluation Coach appeared first on ED.gov Blog.

Categories: Higher Education News

Marygrove College to Eliminate All Undergraduate Programs

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 9, 2017 - 9:29am
To remain financially viable, the Board of Trustees decided to turn the Michigan college into a solely graduate institution.
Categories: Higher Education News

New Venture Will Offer Free Courses That Students Can Take for College Credit

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 9, 2017 - 3:00am
The leaders of Freshman Year for Free call it an “on ramp” to college. It’s backed by a philanthropy in New York City called the Modern States Education Alliance.
Categories: Higher Education News


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