Curry Education Research Lectureship Series Fall 2014

For the current Curry Education Research Lectureship Series, please visit our website.

Catherine P. BradshawA Partnership-Based Approach to Scaling-up Evidence-based Programs to Prevent Behavior Problems in Schools

Catherine Bradshaw, Professor & Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development, University of Virginia
Friday October 10th 2014, 11:00-12:30 PM 
VIDEO is available online

Catherine Bradshaw, Ph.D., M.Ed. is a Professor and the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia (U.Va.); prior to her current appointment at U.Va., she was an Associate Professor and the Associate Chair of the Department of Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She holds a doctorate in developmental psychology from Cornell University and a master’s of education in counseling and guidance from the University of Georgia.

Her primary research interests focus on the development of aggressive behavior and school-based prevention. She collaborates on research projects examining bullying and school climate; the development of aggressive and problem behaviors; effects of exposure to violence, peer victimization, and environmental stress on children; and the design, evaluation, and implementation of evidence-based prevention programs in schools. She presently collaborates on federally supported randomized trials of school-based prevention programs, including Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and social-emotional learning curricula. She also has expertise in implementation science and coaching models.

Dr. Bradshaw works with the Maryland State Department of Education and several school districts to support the development and implementation of programs and policies to prevent bullying and school violence, and to foster safe and supportive learning environments. She collaborates on federally-funded research grants supported by the NIMH, NIDA, CDC, and the Institute of Education Sciences. She is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Research on Adolescence and the editor of Prevention Science. She is a coeditor of the Handbook of School Mental Health (Springer, 2014).

Abstract: This project focuses on a state-wide effort to scale up an evidence-based model called Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) across the state of Maryland. This decade-long partnership has provided training to over 900 schools with the goal of reducing behavior and mental health problems, improving school climate, and optimizing academic outcomes for students in grades K-12. A more recent effort has been launched to address issues related to equity and the over-representation of students of color in discipline and special education data. A series of partnership-based research projects has been launched by the Maryland State Department of Education, Sheppard Pratt Health System, and researchers at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Virginia, which have leveraged federal funding from NIMH, US Department of Education, IES, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute of Justice, SAMHSA, etc. to conduct rigorous research on PBIS and to integrate other evidence-based models within the tiered prevention framework. This session will focus largely on the formation of the PBIS Maryland Partnership and recent efforts to provide training related to cultural proficiency.


Information, Choice, and Decision-Making: Field Experiments with Adult and Student School Choosers

Susanna Loeb, Professor of Education, Stanford University
Friday November 14th 2014, 11:00-12:30 PM 
VIDEO is available online

Susanna Loeb is the Barnett Family Professor of Education at Stanford University, founding director of the Center for Education Policy Analysis, and Co-Director of Policy Analysis for California Education. Her research addresses policies affecting educator workforce development, school finance and school governance.

Abstract: What families know and believe about the schools available to them can define the behaviors of school choosers and school choice markets.  We conducted field experiments with school choosers in Milwaukee, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia.  In Milwaukee and DC, randomly selected families received booklets with school information and ratings.  We observed that families selecting middle schools in each city tended to enroll their children in higher-rated schools in response to the information treatment, while families selecting high schools in each city tended to enroll their children in lower-rated schools.  To examine why these groups responded differently, and to learn more about information’s effects upon more proximate decision-making processes, we conducted an experiment at a Philadelphia high school fair.  Randomly selected adult and 7th/8th-grade student attendees received a school information booklet prior to completing a survey.  The treatment led adult school choosers to prioritize higher-rated schools, demonstrate increased knowledge of their alternatives, feel more confident in their abilities to choose schools, and prioritize the academic characteristics emphasized in the booklets.  The treatment had virtually no effects upon student school choosers.  We discuss this adult-student distinction in the context of our observation that students appear deeply involved in choosing their own high schools (after likely being less involved in choosing their own middle schools).


The Politics of Educational Research

Jeff Henig, Professor of Political Science and Education, Teachers College Columbia University
Friday December 5th 2014, 11:00-12:30 PM 
VIDEO is available online

Jeffrey R. Henig is a professor of political science and education at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he also serves as chair of the Department of Education Policy & Social Analysis. He is the author, coauthor, or co-editor of ten books, including The Color of School Reform: Race, Politics and the Challenge of Urban Education and Building Civic Capacity: The Politics of Reforming Urban Schools both of which were named--in 1999 and 2001, respectively--the best book written on urban politics by the Urban Politics Section of the American Political Science Association, and Spin Cycle: How Research Gets Used in Policy Debates: The Case of Charter Schools, which won the American Educational Research Association’s Outstanding Book Award in 2010. His most recent book, The End of Exceptionalism In American Education: The Changing Politics of School Reform, was published by Harvard Education Press in 2013.  

Abstract: How should serious researchers think about the intersection of politics and education policy? The most common formulation is to construe politics as a source of interference and bias. Politics is the process through which research agendas get manipulated to sidestep challenging notions, research designs get twisted to confirm favored hypotheses, and findings get skewed to buck up the status quo. From this perspective, researchers should build as high a wall as possible separating themselves from the dynamics of politics and peer over that wall only cautiously and with both feet on the other side. But politics and policy are inextricably bound and if researchers want their work to contribute to usable knowledge they need at the very least to understand the relationship and there is a chance they need to do more than that. Building on his study of the politics of charter school research, Professor Henig will offer general reflections on the politics of education research as they play out in controversial areas like market-based reform, high stakes testing and teacher assessment.