Virtual School Meanderings

June 4, 2014

AERA 2015 Annual Meeting Submission System Now Open

Also from yesterday’s inbox…

Dear AERA Members and Past Annual Meeting Attendees,

I am writing to encourage you to participate in the 2015 AERA Annual Meeting to be held Thursday, April 16Monday, April 20 in Chicago, IL. Joyce King, AERA President and Beverly Gordon, Chair, 2015 Program Committee, are pleased to announce this year’s Annual Meeting Theme: “Toward Justice: Culture, Language, and Heritage in Education Research and Praxis”. Now is the time to advance a paper or session submission for consideration by a division, special interest group, or committee and to volunteer as a chair or discussant.

Deadline for Paper and Session Submissions is July 22
Please review the Call for Submissions as it contains important information about this year’s Annual Meeting theme and submission requirements. Please login to advance a paper or session submission. After you login, click ‘My AERA’ at the top of the page. On the ‘My AERA’ page, scroll down to the 2015 Annual Meeting and click ‘Online Program Portal’.

Please pay special attention to the six elements that must be addressed in the narrative paper submissions even if the results, conclusions, or findings are not complete or final at the time of the submission. Also, please indicate your preferred type of session and willingness to present in alternative formats at the time of submission.

The Professional Development Call for Proposals is also open.

Volunteer to Serve as a Chair or Discussant by August 29
Please review the Call for Volunteer Session Chairs and Discussants and consider volunteering. Please log in to volunteer as a chair or discussant. The quality of the AERA Annual Meeting depends on education researchers with appropriate expertise who serve as chairs and discussants for paper sessions and roundtables.

Please contact the Meetings Team at annualmtg@aera.net or (202) 238-3200 with any questions and I look forward to your participation in an enriching 2015 Annual Meeting.

Kind regards,

Laurie Cipriano, CMP
Director of Meetings

American Educational Research Association
1430 K Street, NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20005​​

June 2, 2014

AERA Highlights: May 2014

Also from Friday’s inbox…

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May 2014

Research Advocacy Issues
AERA News

AERA Calls
Beyond AERA
New on the AERA Website
AERA in the News


Research Advocacy Issues

House Passes IES Reauthorization Bill: AERA Prepares for Potential Senate Action
The House of Representatives approved a bill to reauthorize the Institute of Education Sciences on May 8. The Strengthening Education through Research Act passed by a voice vote.
House Passes NSF Appropriations Bill: Damage to Social and Behavioral Sciences Less Than Feared
After over 17 hours of debate, the House of Representatives voted last night, 331-87, to pass the fiscal year 2015 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations bill that funds the National Science Foundation. 
FIRST Act, Slashing SBE Funding, Moves to House Floor 
Despite strong opposition from the National Science Board and most science and higher education organizations, the House Science Committee passed the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act on May 28.


AERA News

Past President Maxine Greene Dies
AERA Past President Maxine Greene, a professor emeritus and the founder and director of the Maxine Greene Center for Social Imagination, the Arts, and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, died May 29 at age 96.
AERA Features Innovative Research at Capitol Hill Exhibition
AERA showcased groundbreaking education research at the Coalition for National Science Funding’s 20th Annual Capitol Hill Exhibition at the Rayburn House Office Building on May 7.
New JEBS Editors Announced
AERA has named Daniel McCaffrey and Li Cai as the new editors for the Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics. McCaffrey and Cai will begin reviewing manuscripts on July 1, 2014, and will become editors of record for a three-year term beginning in January 2015. 


AERA Calls

Call for Annual Meeting Submissions – Submissions accepted June 2-22
The 2015 Annual Meeting theme is intended to focus our attention on justice—locally as well as globally—in a spirit of mutually respectful collaborative engagement with our disciplines and modes of inquiry in the context of the world around us.
Call Prospective Nominees for 2015 AERA Elections – Deadline: July 25
The Nominating Committee invites AERA members to submit recommendations on prospective nominees for the office of President-Elect and for two Members-at-Large. 
Call for Award Nominations – Deadline: October 15
The submission deadline for all 2015 AERA-sponsored awards is October 15. Nominations for all awards must be submitted electronically using the AERA award nomination e-form. 
Call for Nominees and Applications for American Educational Research Journal Editorship
The Journal Publications Committee of AERA invites nominations and applications for the editorship of the American Educational  Research Journal.


Beyond AERA



New on the AERA Website



AERA in the News

More AERA in the News



AERA Highlights is published by the American Educational Research Association monthly to inform members and others interested in education research about the latest news and developments in AERA and in the field.
Editor: Felice J. Levine
Managing Editors: Tony Pals and John Neikirk
ContributorsLauren Green, Bridget Jameson, Paula Skedsvold, Christy Talbot, Martha Yager


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This email was sent to mkbarbour@gmail.com. You are receiving this email because of your association with AERA. Click the following link to change your preference or opt out of AERA emails: preferences

American Educational Research Association
1430 K Street, NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20005
www.aera.net

May 19, 2014

AERA ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to Oppose the FIRST Act!

More examples of the US Government getting involved in neo-liberal pseudo-science.  Will it ever end?

Dear AERA Members,

I am writing to share this Action Alert with you from the Consortium of Social Science Associations—one of AERA’s key coalitional partners.

We urge you to take steps to let your representatives know immediately that there is no place in the reauthorization process for politicizing support for science. The National Science Foundation merits a reauthorization bill that does not intrude on how science is funded or the competitive review process related to how priorities are set.

Thanks in advance. If you write, we would value your letting us know at govrelations@aera.net.

Best wishes,

Felice

Felice J. Levine, PhD
Executive Director

The Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology Act of 2014 (FIRST Act) seeks to cut the National Science Foundation’s Social, Behavioral and Economic (SBE) sciences directorate by more than $50 million—over 22 percent. The bill would also undermine NSF’s merit review process be proposing to micromanage and politicize the grant-making process.

The FIRST Act will be considered by the House Science, Space and Technology Committee on Wednesday, May 21.  Write to your Member of Congress now and ask that they oppose the FIRST Act!

Take Action

April 30, 2014

AERA Highlights: More Than 14,400 Attend Annual Meeting

From Monday’s inbox…

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April 2014

AERA News
Research Policy and Funding
New From IES
Upcoming Deadlines
New on the AERA Website
AERA in the News


AERA News

More Than 14,400 Attend Annual Meeting
Across divisions and SIGS, emerging scholars and veteran researchers all reported that Philadelphia was the place to be for an important exploration of “The Power of Education Research for Innovation in Practice and Policy.” 
James D. Anderson Selected to Deliver 2014 Brown Lecture
James D. Anderson has been selected by AERA to present the 2014 Brown Lecture in Education Research, October 23, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.
AERA Makes Nine Grants Through ERSP Initiative
Nine projects were selected in February to receive awards through AERA’s Education Research Service Projects initiative, designed to encourage education researchers to offer their pro bono expertise to groups that have expressed a need for such assistance.
AERA Showcases NSF-Funded Research at USA Science and Engineering Festival
AERA was among 700 exhibitors participating in the USA Science and Engineering Festival held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., on April 26–27. 
AERA Member Named 2013 Presidential Early Career Scientist
AERA member Young-Suk Kim, an associate professor of reading and language arts in the School of Teacher Education at Florida State University, was announced in December as a Presidential Early Career Scientist.


Research Policy and Funding

National Science Board Warns FIRST Act Would Undercut Science Innovation
In a rare public statement on pending legislation, the National Science Board criticized the proposed Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act, currently under consideration in the House of Representatives.
House Committee Advances IES Reauthorization Bill
The House Education and Workforce Committee advanced the proposed reauthorization bill for the Institute of Education Sciences, the Strengthening Education through Research Act, by a voice vote on April 8.
Friends of IES Launches Coalition Effort 
Friends of IES, a new coalition of organizations focused on highlighting the important role of the Institute of Education Sciences in supporting education research, launched on March 13 with its first meeting. 
Key Staff Changes Announced at NIH, AAAS, and NEH
Changes in key leadership positions at the National Institutes of Health, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Endowment for the Humanities were announced this month.


New From IES



Upcoming Deadlines



New on the AERA Website



AERA in the News

More AERA in the News



AERA Highlights is published by the American Educational Research Association monthly to inform members and others interested in education research about the latest news and developments in AERA and in the field.
Editor: Felice J. Levine
Managing Editors: Tony Pals and John Neikirk
ContributorsMorgan Banea, Nathan Bell, Lauren Green, Alastair Hamilton, Bridget Jameson, Christy Talbot, Martha Yager


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Bookmark and Share


This email was sent to mkbarbour@gmail.com. You are receiving this email because of your association with AERA. Click the following link to change your preference or opt out of AERA emails: preferences

American Educational Research Association
1430 K Street, NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20005
www.aera.net

April 7, 2014

AERA 2014 – Examining Variation in Achievement Impacts Across California’s Full-Time Virtual Schools

This is the twenty-fourth session – and final one for Monday (and the conference) – that I am blogging from the 2014 annual meeting of the American Education Research Association (AERA) in Philadelphia.  This session was a part of a symposium that was described as:

Virtual Schools in the United States 2014: Politics, Performance, Policy, and Research Evidence

In the past decade, virtual education has moved quickly to the top of the K-12 public education reform agenda. Though little is known about the efficacy of online education generally or about individual approaches specifically, states are moving quickly to expand taxpayer-funded virtual education programs. The main purpose of this session is to understand the specificities of today’s virtual school movement as it moves from novelty to mainstream. Drawing from a rich array of theoretical perspectives and content disciplines, we will examine the performance of full-time, publicly funded K-12 virtual schools, describe the policy issues raised by the available evidence, assess the research evidence that bears on K-12 virtual teaching and learning, and offer research-based recommendations to help guide policymaking.

The actual session is described in the online program as:

Examining Variation in Achievement Impacts Across California’s Full-Time Virtual Schools
Charisse Atibagos Gulosino, University of Memphis; Jonah Liebert, Teachers College, Columbia University

Perhaps the most significant current trend in education reform is the growth of virtual (online) schools (Watson et al., 2011, 2012). While these schools offer the potential to radically restructure the way that teaching and learning happens, they also present challenges for researchers and policymakers who want to know whether they work. Specifically, the extent to which virtual schools depart from traditional brick-and-mortar schools creates difficulties with respect to assessing what these schools are doing in terms of teaching and learning and how well they are doing it.

This study uses longitudinal student-level data covering all full-time virtual schools (thirty-two total) in California from 2010-2012 to study the effect of virtual schools on student performance. Based on our web-based research, all full-time virtual schools in California are contracted to run as charter schools. Full-time virtual schools are defined as those schools in which instruction is delivered entirely or primarily through online methods (Watson et al., 2012). However, students self-select into virtual schools, making it difficult to estimate the effects of these schools on achievement. This study addresses this challenge using propensity score matching (PSM). Following the counterfactual framework (Rosenbaum & Rubin 1983; Rubin 1974), PSM matches virtual school students (“treatment” group) to those who are non-virtual school students but similar in all other preexisting observed characteristics (“control” group), based on a propensity to attend a full-time virtual school. In addition, this study addresses selection bias due to both observed and unobserved covariates. Previous studies employing the PSM approach have focused mainly on selection bias due to observed covariates (Chevalier & Viitanen, 2003). Using the Rosenbaum bounds method (Rosenbaum 2002), we evaluate the extent to which selection bias on unobserved covariates would nullify propensity score matching estimates of the effects of virtual schools.

The data for this study come from the California Department of Education (CDOE). The Department maintains longitudinal records on all public school teachers and students, including test scores (CALPADS), demographic data, enrollment and attendance information. This study supports our larger project’s focus on heterogeneity in the achievement effects of charter school attendance across demographic groups in California. We focus on the difference in impact between virtual school students and non-virtual school students in our sample, primarily because of the finding of large positive impacts in urban charters and non-significant or negative impacts in non-urban charters has been noted in our prior analysis.

Although virtual schooling is gaining ground in the K-12 classroom (Molnar et al., 2013), its impact on academic performance remains largely unexplored. Considered one of the largest markets of virtual school programs in the United States, California offers a fertile context for the study of virtual school impacts and thus serves as the focus of our study. Ultimately, our study focuses on discovering which policy-amenable aspects of virtual schools—their characteristics and conditions— are related to their ability to maximize student learning and close the achievement gap.

While a part of our symposium, this portion was not part of the National Education Policy Center’s report Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2014: Politics, Performance, Policy, and Research Evidence.

This was a difficult one for me to follow, as it was highly statistical.  The other difficulty was that the presenter was not able to present the results.  Basically, the California Department of Education has indicated that they are unable to verify the data that Charisse and her team have collected – even though the data has come from the California DoE’s own website – they have forbidden her from presenting the data (something I was led to believe came about after she submitted her AERA proposal).  She – and others in the room – were hopeful that this might be worked out at some stage.

Some notes that I was able to capture.  Her data was from the 2010-11 school year to the 2012-13 school year.  It used a PMS feeder school model to address selection bias (a technique commonly used by CREDO in their studies of charter schools and cyber charters).  She used a multivariate analysis strategies, that had three matching procedures, as a way to try and compare apples to apples.  That’s about all I was able to get from the procedure – and, as I mentioned, she was unable to present the actual data.

A couple of resources that she did mention that helped inform her work included:

Cassandra Guarino, Ron Zimmer, Cathy Krop, and Derrick Chau. Nonclassroom-based Charter Schools in California and the Impact of SB 740. RAND: MG-323-EDU, February 2005.

Ron Zimmer , Richard Buddin, Derrick Chau, Brian Gill, Cassie Guarino, Laura Hamilton, Cathy Krop, Dan McCaffrey, Melinda Sandler, and Dominic Brewer. Charter School Operation and Performance: Evidence from California. RAND: MR-1700, July 2003.

So I wanted to share those as well.

This is me officially signing off from AERA 2014…

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