November 28, 2018


SXSW LogoMark your calendars to attend Dec. 10, noon – 1:30 p.m.

WCER’s Academic Staff Advisory Council (ASAC) and WCER Director Bob Mathieu invite all staff and faculty to attend the center’s fall semester Town Hall Meeting, which is being held Monday, Dec. 10 starting at noon in Room 259, Educational Sciences. And yes, as part of ASAC’s ongoing Lunch and Learn Series, a free lunch of pizzas and salads will be served!

Bob will share updates on recent news and initiatives. Just as important, you will be able to ask questions, share information and express your opinions during the meeting, which is meant to provide a time and place for an open exchange of ideas within the WCER community.

If you would like to submit questions or comments ahead of time, you may send an email to ASAC Chair by Wednesday, Dec. 5.  Your questions or comments will be submitted to Bob with your name and email address removed. For more information, contact Leah Nell Adams or Human Resources Manager Mary Hegge.


SXSW LogoNow that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it’s time to turn your attention to crossing items off your end-of-year to-do lists.

Get ready for finals. Make preparations for winter break. Find the ice scraper for the car. And if you’re a researcher — student, faculty or academic staff — register to present at the university’s 2019 Education Research Poster Fair.

End 2018 by getting prepared for 2019 and submit your application before the semester ends.

The annual poster fair is a chance to exhibit research and network with colleagues around campus.


Details for the 2019 Education Research Poster Fair are:

When: Friday, February 22, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Where: Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 330 N. Orchard St.
Schedule: 9-10 a.m. Presenters set up posters
10 a.m.-noon: Poster fair
Noon–12:30 p.m. Lunch, networking
12:30–1:30 p.m. Lunch continues, lecture

The poster fair fills to capacity every year, so registering early will guarantee your place at the event. Don’t put it off, register today!


WCER’s Jerlando Jackson, director and chief research scientist of Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB), has received a top honor from the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), a scholarly society with 2,000 members focused on higher education as a field of study.

Jackson, who is the Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education and a faculty member with the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, was honored with the CEP Mildred Garcia Award for Exemplary Scholarship (Senior) at the association’s annual conference.

The award recognizes superb scholarship focused on research about underrepresented populations of color.

Jackson studies organizational science in higher education, with a special interest in hiring practices, career mobility, workforce diversity and workplace discrimination. Read more here.


Two new staff positions at WCER have exciting implications for leadership, diversity and inclusion.

Mariana Castro, a senior member of the WIDA research group, will be the next deputy director of the center in a half-time appointment starting late next semester. In addition to administrative duties, Mariana will lead efforts to advance diversity and climate at the center – delivering on a call for action from the WCER community Bob Mathieu says he’s heard since he started leading the center in 2013.

Mariana brings a diverse background to the appointment, having worked at WIDA since 2006, leading several major initiatives and departments while earning her doctorate in 2015 from the School of Education’s top-ranked Curriculum and Instruction Department. She also is developing new teacher education programming for the department, a task that will keep her busy through next semester.

The second appointment, also half-time, already has begun. Shahanna McKinney-Baldon, the director of professional learning for the Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN), also has taken on the role of special assistant to the director for diversity and inclusion. She will guide activities that build on recommendations from the Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Workshop last May and work with Mariana on longer term strategic planning.

Shahanna brings much experience in organizational leadership around diversity and climate, including working as chief diversity officer for the Madison Metropolitan School District before joining WCER.

But improving climate and diversity at WCER isn’t just up to Shahanna and Mariana.

“As terrific as both of our colleagues will be in their new roles, making progress must be the work of our entire community,” Bob says. “This goal has my highest priority attention, and I know that Shahanna and Mariana will be offering each of you opportunities to work toward this center-wide goal together. I look forward to working with each of you.”


Congratulations to WIDA!

The Board of Directors for the National Science Teachers Association has approved an official affiliation with WIDA, the first step in WIDA becoming the recognized leader in STEM education for multilingual learners, WIDA Founder and Director Tim Boals says.

WCER’s largest project, WIDA advances academic language development and academic achievement for linguistically diverse students through high quality standards, assessments, research and professional development for educators.


SXSW LogoAs you go about your holiday preparations, don’t forget to chip in for those in need.

You can donate money online to provide meals from Second Harvest Foodbank through Dec. 21 here. It is part of NBC15’s Share Your Holidays campaign, and WCER’s goal is to collect $1,000 this year.

Organizers say a $1 donation can provide three meals and that 94 cents of every dollar benefits those in need. Last year, Second Harvest provided nearly 14 million meals in 16 Wisconsin counties, with 84 percent of the food used by emergency food agencies.

If you prefer to write a check, make it payable to Second Harvest Foodbank and bring it to the front desk of WCER’s Business Office, which also will accept cash donations. A bin for donated food items also is available outside the Business Office through Nov. 28.


Four WCER staff members are partnering with lead researchers at Northwestern University and six other institutions on a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop and implement a program to change the way undergraduates are taught science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects.

WCER’s Don Gillian-Daniel and Robin Greenler are leading Wisconsin’s portion of the grant, at $514,711. They are to create and deliver teaching content that improves the ability of current and future STEM faculty to design courses and create learning environments that are welcoming to all students. The courses and workshops will be offered face to face, online and in online/in-person blended formats.

Lucas Hill and Julia Savoy will do collaborative research on the WCER project and evaluate its development progress and success, providing feedback for team members.

The other partners in “Inclusive Learning and Teaching in Undergraduate STEM Instruction,” are the University of Michigan, Des Moines Area Community College, Washington University in St. Louis, Boston University, the University of Georgia and Marshalltown Community College in Iowa.  Over five years, training will be developed to prepare more than 500 current faculty and 4,000 STEM doctoral and postdoctoral scholars to improve STEM learning for more than 25,000 students.


Beth Graue, director of WCER’s newly launched Center for Research on Early Childhood Education (CRECE), is among those involved with one of 11 selected proposals out of 46 ideas submitted that are aimed at increasing the net income of 10,000 Dane County families by 10 percent by 2020.

Graue’s proposal, a multi-party collaboration formed as part of the competitive Alliance for the American Dream Initiative, seeks to transform the early childhood and after-school programming time sectors with a range of proposed new supports and programs for parents, caregivers, service providers and employers.

It is part of the first phase of DreamUp Wisconsin, the local effort to implement the initiative led by the university’s Institute for Research on Poverty. Graue helped develop the multi-pronged approach with key partners including the city of Madison, the university’s School of Social Work, Reach Dane and the Wisconsin Early Childhood Association.

All 11 proposals received $10,000 each for further development in the Schmidt Futures-funded competition, in which three finalists will be selected. Schmidt Futures has vowed to fund at least one winning proposal from each of the four chosen university/community collaboration sites: UW-Madison, Arizona State University, Ohio State University and the University of Utah.


Grodsky Comments on Absenteeism, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Nov. 15, 2018

The Future of Learning? Well, It’s Personal, National Public Radio, Nov. 19, 2019

(With comments from Rich Halverson)


Nov. 29 10 am-1 pm WCER Director’s Office, workshop to develop WCER Values Statement, Room 259, Ed Sci

Nov. 30 Noon-1:30 pm ITP in Education Sciences seminar, “Accountability Comes to Preschool: Lessons from a Research Practice Partnership in Louisiana,” Daphna Bassok, Room 259, Ed Sci

Dec. 3 2:30-4 pm Department of Educational Psychology, “Assessing Complex, Collaborative Problem Solving Using Quantitative Ethnography,” David Williamson Shaffer, Room 259, Ed Sci

Dec. 5 Noon-2:00pmWIES Lecture Featuring Virginia Flood and Benedikt Harrer, Room 159, Education Building

Dec. 5 12:15-1:30 pm Brownbag Bag for UW-Madison Students, Staff & Faculty: On Community Engagement and Public Scholarship, Eve L. Ewing, Assistant Professor, University of Chicago, Lathrop Hall, First Floor, Virginia Harrison Parlor, 1050 University Ave.

Dec. 5 6-7 pm Eve L. Ewing Presents Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Free & Open to the Public, Madison Central Library, 201 West Mifflin St.

Dec. 10 Noon-1:30 pm Lunch and Learn: Director’s Town Hall Meeting, Room 259, Ed Sci


PVL 96327 — Assistant Director of Professional Learning

PVL 96475 — Director of Research, Policy and Evaluation

PVL 96561 — Professional Learning Specialist

PVL 96776 — Net Full Stack Developer


Kevin Forgard, senior information processing consultant, WIDA Professional Learning – Design, Dec. 10

Bernard Gallagher, senior information processing consultant, WIDA Professional Learning – Design, Dec. 10


“Teaching-focused Social Networks Among College Faculty: Exploring Conditions for the Development of Social Capital,” Ross Benbow and UW-Madison’s Changhee Lee, Journal of Higher Education, 2018.





“Teachers at the Table: Voice, Agency and Advocacy in Educational Policymaking,” Annalee Good, 2018. (book)





“Through the Labor Market Looking Glass: An Inquiry into Principal-Teacher Race Congruence,” Peter Goff and UW-Madison’s Yasmin Rodriguez-Escutia and Minseok Yang, 2018. (working paper)