Virtual School Meanderings

April 9, 2021

Report Overpromises in Its Advocacy for Teacher Micro-Credentials

A think tank report review from the National Education Policy Center.

April 8, 2021

Contact:
Michelle Renée Valladares: (720) 505-1958, michelle.valladares@colorado.edu
Elena Aydarova: (334) 844-7784, eza0029@auburn.edu

Report Overpromises in Its Advocacy for Teacher Micro-Credentials

An NEPC Review funded by the Great Lakes Center

Key Takeaway: New America report lacks validity and reliability in promoting the benefits of micro-credentials in place of traditional professional development.

EAST LANSING, MI (April 8, 2021) – New America recently published a report, Harnessing Micro-Credentials for Teacher Growth: A National Review of Early Best Practices, that champions ways that micro-credentials have been used to allow teachers to move up the career ladder, receive higher pay, or renew their licenses.

Elena Aydarova of Auburn University reviewed the report and found scarce evidence to support its ambitious claims of how micro-credentials could remedy the shortfalls of traditional professional development for teachers.

The report, along with an accompanying implementation guide, offers recommendations for how to implement and integrate micro-credentials into states’ human resources systems.

However, Professor Aydarova explains, without incorporating any of the extensive research-based knowledge on teaching, effective professional development, and teacher effectiveness policies, the report fails to recognize that micro-credential use alone does not improve teaching or student learning. This can create problems rather than provide solutions. Moreover, the report’s implementation guide starts with the idealistic assumption that states, districts, and school leaders have the capacity to select and ensure the high quality of micro-credentials before they are offered to teachers.

Professor Aydarova also points out that the primary role of micro-credentials is to assess whether teachers have acquired a particular skill, so they require additional resources to provide teachers with opportunities to develop that skill. Since micro-credentials on their own cannot provide opportunities for teacher growth and require the existence of effective professional development systems to work, the report’s title and guidelines are misleading.

Even if implemented, Professor Aydarova concludes, the report’s plan for expanding the use of micro-credentials could not deliver on its promises.

Find the review, by Elena Aydarova, at:
https://www.greatlakescenter.org

Find Harnessing Micro-credentials for Teacher Growth: A National Review of Early Best Practices, written by Melissa Tooley and Joseph Hood and published by New America, at:
https://d1y8sb8igg2f8e.cloudfront.net/documents/Harnessing_Micro-credentials_for_Teacher_Growth_.pdf

NEPC Reviews (http://thinktankreview.org) provide the public, policymakers, and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. NEPC Reviews are made possible in part by support provided by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice: http://www.greatlakescenter.org

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), a university research center housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Visit us at: http://nepc.colorado.edu/

About The Great Lakes Center
The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform. Visit the Great Lakes Center Web Site at: https://www.greatlakescenter.org. Follow us on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/greatlakescent. Find us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/GreatLakesCenter.

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The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.

Visit the Great Lakes Center website at https://www.greatlakescenter.org/

March 31, 2021

Report Offers Only a Clouded Understanding of Youth Engagement

A think tank report review from the folks at the National Education Policy Center.

March 26, 2021

Report offers guidance on math instruction for dual language students

Always important and interesting reads from the folks at the Great Lake Center.

Inside Look

Great Lakes Center’s exclusive subscriber email featuring key points, information and social media content about reviews and research

March 25, 2021READ IN BROWSER
Hello, Great Lakes Center subscriber:

We reviewed a recent Bellwether Education Partners report on engaging families of dual language students in early mathematics learning.
Our reviewer found the report fails to adequately utilize available research but can inform policymakers and educators about engaging young dual language students in developing basic math skills.

Read on to learn more.

Dr. Gretchen Dziadosz

Executive Director
Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice

REPORT REVIEWED

Think Twice Reviewer Sylvia Celedón-Pattichis, a professor of bilingual and mathematics education at the University of New Mexico, reviewed “Language Counts: Supporting Early Math Development for Dual Language Learners.”

WHAT THE REVIEWERS FOUND

The Bellwether Education Partners report claims to provide information to make research-based decisions.
Celedón-Pattichis found the report omits studies that are key to advancing our understanding of the capacity of young dual language students to engage in rigorous mathematical concepts when given opportunities to do so.
Further, in the report’s recommendations for teacher education and professional development, it misses the opportunity to address what early childhood educators need to know about how young DLLs develop languages.
She further finds the report could have been more helpful to policymakers and educators if it used existing studies that demonstrate how students develop languages and how their home language can be used in learning basic math skills. The report does contribute to a basic understanding of the benefits and challenges involved in engaging dual language families.
Nonetheless, Celedón-Pattichis  finds the recommendations in the report valuably inform policymakers and other stakeholders as they build asset-based programs that can support families and communities in engaging young DLLs in mathematics learning.

Read the full review on the Great Lakes Center website or on the National Education Policy Center website.

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE

The report is helpful for those making decisions about the components needed to increase the number of high-quality early childhood mathematics programs that place families, communities and students at the center of their work. The home languages of dual language students can be an asset in teaching math. Engaging their families in the process helps ensure dual language students have equal opportunity to engage in math learning.

TALKING POINTS TO REMEMBER

  1. A Bellwether Education Partners report presents information about engaging families of dual language students in early mathematics learning.
  1. The report fails to adequately use existing research but can inform policymakers and educators about supporting families and communities in engaging young dual language students in basic math.
  1. Engaging families of these learners provides students with equal opportunities in math. The report is useful for those making decisions about childhood mathematics programs that keep students at the center of their work.

SOCIAL SHARES

Want to share this Think Twice Review with your social networks? We drafted some sample social media posts for your use.
A new report offers information on engaging families of #DualLanguageLearners in #math. A new report offers information on engaging families of #DualLanguageLearners in #math.
A @NEPCtweet review found a new report can be useful for those who teach math to dual language students. A @NEPCtweet review found a new report can be useful for those who teach math to dual language students.
Home languages of #DualLanguageLearners can be an asset in teaching math. A new report offers insight on how to engage families and students in #matheducation. Home languages of #DualLanguageLearners can be an asset in teaching math. A new report offers insight on how to engage families and students in #matheducation.
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Think Twice, a project of the National Education Policy Center, provides the public, policymakers and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. The project is made possible by funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.
Copyright © 2019 Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

Our mailing address is:
Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice
PO Box 1263
East Lansing, MI 48826-1263

March 19, 2021

Policymakers must address challenges of unaccompanied immigrant children

A new policy report from the folks at the Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice.

Inside Look

Great Lakes Center’s exclusive subscriber email featuring key points, information and social media content about reviews and research

March 18, 2021READ IN BROWSER
Hello, Great Lakes Center subscriber:
Starting in 2014, children from northern Central American countries and Mexico fled violence and poverty in their countries and, upon arriving in the United States, were apprehended at the border. These cases averaged 50,000 each year, with the largest numbers seen in 2019.
Many of these children arrived unaccompanied or became so when separated from a parent or another adult. The Great Lakes Center sponsored a policy brief addressing the education of these children and their experiences.

Read on to learn more.

Dr. Gretchen Dziadosz
Executive Director
Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice 

SUMMARY

Upon arriving to the U.S., unaccompanied immigrant children are expected to navigate a multitude of unique and challenging scenarios, including a complicated immigration legal system and overcrowded detention centers, abuse and anti-immigrant rhetoric.
These challenges predate the Trump administration, but Trump’s immigration policies, particularly those since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, have made the injustices worse. Lopez finds the Biden administration must work to alleviate the trauma suffered by these children to ensure they receive necessary educational support.
Lopez examines what available research can tell us about these children’s experiences in detention, shelters or foster care and in public schools. She also considers the legal requirements and research as to how schools can support unaccompanied immigrant children.
Lopez concludes the brief with recommendations for national policymakers, district and school leaders, as well as researchers.

Read the full policy brief on the Great Lakes Center website or on the National Education Policy Center website.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Lopez’s recommendations for policymakers include:
  • Ceasing child and family detention separation.
  • Prioritizing the unification of children with families or sponsors.
  • Developing stronger coordinated processes between the various agencies interacting with unaccompanied immigrant children.
  • Pushing for accountability from detention centers and shelters to ensure educational access.
  • Creating guidance documents and fact sheets explaining policies that protect these children.
  • Providing resources and funding for schools and districts educating these children.
Recommendations for school leaders include:
  • Partnering with social workers and mental health professionals to bring in school-based support to address trauma unaccompanied immigrant children face.
  • Implementing equity-centered models that allow these children to learn in ways that leverage the knowledge they bring to schools.
  • Partnering with legal service providers to address lack of access to legal support for these children.
Recommendations for researchers include:
  • Partnering with schools, districts and others to provide guidance about policies to protect unaccompanied immigrant children.
  • Examining the impact of COVID-19 on these children’s educational experiences.
  • Extending existing research documenting the lives of undocumented students in schools.

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE

While there was extra awareness of the hardships facing unaccompanied immigrant children during the Trump administration, the injustices and challenges facing these children predated Trump and continue today. Despite fleeing their home countries due to violence or other challenges, unaccompanied immigrant children face a whole new set of obstacles when they are apprehended at the U.S. border. As border problems continue, it is critical policymakers and education leaders recognize the urgent and unique challenges facing these children and enact policy that protects them and assures their education.

SOCIAL SHARES

Want to share this Think Twice Review with your social networks? We drafted some sample social media posts for your use.
A growing number of #unaccompaniedchildren are apprehended at the U.S./Mexico border. Our research shows these children face unique #educational obstacles. A growing number of #unaccompaniedchildren are apprehended at the U.S./Mexico border. Our research shows these children face unique #educational obstacles.
#Unaccompanied immigrant children in the U.S. fled hardship in their home countries only to face additional obstacles upon entering the U.S. #Unaccompanied immigrant children in the U.S. fled hardship in their home countries only to face additional obstacles upon entering the U.S.
Policymakers and school leaders must work to address the educational challenges faced by #unaccompanied #immigrant #children who enter the U.S. Policymakers and school leaders must work to address the educational challenges faced by #unaccompanied #immigrant #children who enter the U.S.
Follow Us
Facebook
Twitter
Think Twice, a project of the National Education Policy Center, provides the public, policymakers and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. The project is made possible by funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.
Copyright © 2019 Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

Our mailing address is:
Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice
PO Box 1263
East Lansing, MI 48826-1263

March 17, 2021

Outdated Research and Ideas About Teacher Quality Render Report Useless

A think tank report review from the National Education Policy Center.

March 16, 2021

Contact:
Michelle Renée Valladares: (720) 505-1958, michelle.valladares@colorado.edu
Jamy Stillman: (303) 492-5648, jamy.stillman@colorado.edu

Outdated Research and Ideas About Teacher Quality Render Report Useless

An NEPC Review funded by the Great Lakes Center

Key Takeaway: Despite its urgent calls to improve teacher quality in the midst of educational struggles suffered because of COVID-19, a new NCTQ report fails to provide useful information that might help teacher prep programs do so.

EAST LANSING, MI (March 16, 2021) – Professors Jamy Stillman and Katherine Schultz of the University of Colorado Boulder reviewed 2020 Teacher Prep Review: Clinical Practice and Classroom Management. They found it unlikely to improve teacher preparation due to its use of invalid measurements, limited research base, and reliance on questionable methods.

The authors of the NCTQ report reviewed over 2,400 programs, including what NCTQ terms “traditional” and “alternative” programs in two areas: clinical practice and classroom management. Only 3% of traditional programs received the highest grade for their approaches to clinical practice, signaling their compliance with the internal standards set by NCTQ. Asserting that a “positive” environment is the product of classroom management, the report offers as a major conclusion that there was a 26% increase in the number of programs that taught five specific classroom management strategies.

Professors Stillman and Schultz explain how the report assumes that a methodology relying exclusively on review of publicly available program artifacts is a valid approach for determining program quality. They state further that the report largely ignores the body of empirical literature that investigates clinical practice and classroom management. Of particular note is the exclusion of scholarship that centers equity and justice.

The review concludes that the report, rather than analyzing the characteristics of successful programs preparing teachers for a wide range of contexts, is based exclusively on adherence to or compliance with NCTQ internal standards that are neither widely accepted nor evidence-based.

Find the review, by Jamy Stillman and Katherine Schultz, at:
https://www.greatlakescenter.org

Find 2020 Teacher Prep Review: Clinical Practice and Classroom Management, written by Laura Pomerance and Kate Walsh and published by NCTQ, at:
https://www.nctq.org/review/docs/NCTQ 2020 Teacher Prep Review_Clinical Practice and Classroom Management_Final_10.19.pdf

NEPC Reviews (http://thinktankreview.org) provide the public, policymakers, and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. NEPC Reviews are made possible in part by support provided by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice: https://www.greatlakescenter.org

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), a university research center housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Visit us at: http://nepc.colorado.edu/

 

About The Great Lakes Center
The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform. Visit the Great Lakes Center Web Site at: https://www.greatlakescenter.org. Follow us on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/greatlakescent. Find us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/GreatLakesCenter.

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 Follow on Twitter

The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.

Visit the Great Lakes Center website at https://www.greatlakescenter.org/

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