Blog Archives

AERA & AAPSS Briefing Focuses on Inequality and Public Education

The American Academy of Political and Social Science (AAPSS) and the American Educational Research Association (AERA), both COSSA members organizations, hosted a Congressional briefing on March 22 entitled, In the Age of Inequality, Does Public Schooling Make a Difference? The event discussed the effects of public schooling since the “Coleman Report” of 1966, a groundbreaking and controversial study that found schools have little influence on inequality in America, and instead students’ growth is determined by their socioeconomic status and race. AAPSS and AERA welcomed four panelists who discussed their research on public schooling’s influence on the opportunities of underserved youth. AERA Executive Director Felice Levine introduced the event’s four panelists, many of whom were featured in the November 2017 volume of AAPSS’s scholarly periodical The ANNALS, a special issue focused on “The State of Unequal Educational Opportunity.”

The first panelist was Heather Hill, a researcher at the University of Michigan, who stated that providing data on school-readiness in communities helps provide a metric to measure whether public schools influence student growth. The second panelist, Stanford University researcher Sean Reardon, concluded that schools can influence student growth, but measuring that influence is complex. He presented a study that showed that while a national average of third graders in low-income communities have significantly lower test scores than wealthier students, some states such as Tennessee have successfully implemented strategies that have equalized opportunities across the board. This is evidence that students’ grades can be influenced by regional public school systems because other states, such as Florida, show a decrease in student grades from third to eighth grade.

Brown University researcher Susan Moffitt presented on the importance of early education programs and economic assistance for families. Schools have a more positive effect on students when partnering with programs such as Head Start, nurse-family partnerships, and income support such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The final panelist, Prudence L. Carter of the University of California, Berkeley, focused on discrimination at the individual school level as well as the national level. She stated there are unequal outcomes for African American students even in “so-called good schools.”  African American students have limited access to honors programs and are more likely to be suspended or expelled compared to their peers. Carter stated that it is important for us to recognize that this is a result of systemic racism, and societal and policy inequalities need to be radically improved to prevent further inequalities in schools.

This article was contributed by COSSA’s spring intern, Dakota Leonard of Arizona State University.

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Posted in Issue 7 (April 3), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

COSSA Board Chair Felice J. Levine Answers “Why Social Science?”

why-social-scienceOur last Why Social Science? guest post of 2017 was contributed by Felice J. Levine, Executive Director of the American Educational Research Association and Chair of COSSA’s Board of Directors, who reflected on the inaugural year of Why Social Science? Read it here and subscribe.

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Posted in Issue 1 (January 9), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

AERA Offering Congressional Fellowship Opportunity

The American Educational Research Association (AERA), a COSSA governing members, is inviting education researchers to apply for its 2018 Congressional Fellowship Program. The program offers doctoral scientist from any field of education research the opportunity to spend as year as a resident scholar within a Congressional office.  More information is available on the AERA website. Applications are due by December 15, 2017.

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Posted in Issue 24 (December 12), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

Annual AERA Brown Lecture to Feature Alfredo J. Artiles

The American Educational Research Association (AERA), a COSSA governing member, will hold its 14th annual Brown Lecture in Education Research on October 19 in Washington, DC. The 2017 lecture will be delivered by Alfredo J. Artiles, Dean of Graduate Education and the Ryan C. Harris Professor of Special Education at Arizona State University. Artiles’ work focuses on the intersection of disability with other socio-cultural differences and how to better understand and address related educational disparities. More information on Artiles and the lecture, including how to register to attend in person or watch via webcast, is available on the AERA website.

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Posted in Issue 18 (September 19), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

The American Educational Research Association Answers “Why Social Science?”

Twhy-social-sciencehis week’s Why Social Science? guest post comes from Juliane Baron of the American Educational Research Association, who writes about how education research has challenged our assumptions about how we learn and helped us improve the way we teach students. Read it here and subscribe.

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 5), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

COSSA Members Join March for Science

Several COSSA member organizations, including the American Anthropological Association, American Association of Geographers, American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, American Sociological Association, Linguistic Society of America, Society for Social Work and Research, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues have partnered with the March for Science. COSSA had previously announced its partnership with the March in February (a complete list of partner organizations is available here). The March will take place on April 22 in Washington, DC and at more than 300 satellite locations around the world.

Like science more generally, the March for Science is nonpartisan. It is not intended as a protest or demonstration against any one party or politician’s position. Instead, the event will be a celebration of science, promoting positive messages about the ways scientific research serves humankind. Those interested in following COSSA’s activities related to the March can sign up to receive periodic email updates.

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Posted in Issue 6 (March 21), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

AERA Extends Deadline for Congressional Fellowships

The American Educational Research Association (AERA), a COSSA Governing Member, has extended the deadline for the 2017-2018 Congressional Fellowship Program. Applications are due January 17, 2017 for fellowships that run from September 1, 2017 through August 31, 2018. The fellowship aims to “use education research skills to inform public policy in a Congressional office in Washington, D.C.” Interested candidates can apply here.

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Posted in Issue 1 (January 10), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

AERA Holds Six-City Centennial Lecture Series

As part of a year-long celebration of its centennial year, the American Educational Research Association (AERA), a COSSA governing member, is holding a Centennial Lecture Series, which reflects AERA’s “fundamental commitment to connecting education research on significant issues to wide public and policy audiences across our country.” The six-city series kicked off in Brooklyn in November 2016 and will continue through April 2017.

Webcasts of the November 30 lecture featuring Patricia Gándara discussing Educating Immigrant Students and Emergent Bilinguals (In an Anti-Immigrant Era), and the December 6 lecture in Seattle with Bruce McCandliss on Early Education and the Brain: Making Novel Connections are now available.

Future lectures include the following:

  • Los Angeles, CA — Wednesday, January 11, 2017, Bridget Terry Long, Supporting College Student Access and Success
  • Oklahoma City, OK — Wednesday, February 22, 2017, Deborah Lowe Vandell, The Opportunities and Challenges of Early Child Care and Education
  • Detroit, MI — Thursday, March 23, 2017, Charles Payne, The Limits of Schooling, the Power of Poverty
  • Boston, MA — Wednesday, April 12, 2017, Russell Skiba, School Discipline: Issues of Equity and Effectiveness

For more information and/or to register to attend the lectures, visit AERA’s website.

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Posted in Issue 23 (December 13), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

AERA Releases “Ed-Talks”

The American Educational Research Association (AERA), a COSSA governing member, has released over thirty “Ed-Talk” videos, which feature discussions of cutting-edge research on education and learning. Additionally, AERA released research fact sheets to provide more details on the findings and research presented in the “Ed-Talks”. These presentations were given at a forum held in Washington, DC as well as the AERA annual meeting in April of 2016. More details can be found here.

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Posted in Issue 18 (September 20), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

AERA Briefing Examines the Supreme Court Decision in Fisher v. UT Austin

On June 28, the American Educational Research Association (AERA) held a briefing, After Fisher: What the Supreme Court’s Ruling Means for Students, Colleges, and the Country, to discuss the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Fisher v. University of Texas, Austin (Fisher II). A distinguished panel of civil rights and education research experts focused on the impact of the Fisher II ruling and its implications for ensuring quality education for all students. The Court’s June 23 ruling reaffirmed “the compelling governmental interest in promoting student-body diversity in higher education and upheld the constitutionality of the University’s race-conscious admissions policy under the narrow tailoring requirement of strict scrutiny.” According to Angelo Ancheta, Counsel of Record for AERA et al. Amicus Curiae Brief, the Court’s ruling is “fully supported by the scientific literature on diversity.” This includes research on the educational benefits of diversity, the harms of racial isolation, critical mass, intra-racial diversity, and research refuting claims that race-conscious admissions policies harm minority students.

In addition to Ancheta, panelists included Gary Orfield, University of California, Los Angeles; Theodore Shaw, University of North Carolina School of Law at Chapel Hill; Liliana Garces, Pennsylvania State University; and Sheila Flores, New York University. Felice Levine, AERA executive director, moderated the session. The panelists addressed the constitutional findings of the ruling and its implication for civil rights, how the ruling comports with research on benefits of diversity in education, research as an asset and continuing opportunities, implications of Texas processes to other institutions and states, and opportunities and priorities for future research.

Orfield emphasized that the decision suggests “future opportunities and priorities for rigorous research.” He stressed the need for a shift in the research focus from “developing basic justification for campus diversity to better understand how campuses can achieve rich diversity in their admissions, recruitment, and student aid systems and to better understand how to achieve diversity across campus and across academic fields.” Shaw noted that “Fisher II is a victory for proponents of diversity and affirmative action.” Moreover, “diversity and affirmative action remain alive in higher education, repeatedly sustained and even strengthened by the Supreme Court.”

Flores emphasized that as educators and stakeholders there are key messages that need emphasis including “demography, data quality, and the continuing need for equity policies, in addition to effective diversity policies.” Garces added that as postsecondary institutions strive to meet the guidelines articulated in Fisher II, they can pull from the extensive body of evidence “documenting whether race-neutral admissions policies are workable and available, and whether they suffice to further their mission-driven interest in the educational benefits of diversity.”

A broadcast and additional information is available on AERA’s website.

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Posted in Issue 14 (July 12), Update, Volume 35 (2016)


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