Curry's Daphna Bassok In National Spotlight Twice This Winter

Just three weeks before leaving office in January, former President Barak Obama named 102 scientists and researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Daphna Bassok, associate professor in the Curry School of Education, was listed among them.

According to the White House, the recognition is the highest honored given by the US Government on science and engineering career professionals in the early stages of their careers.

Bassok, associate director of EdPolicyWorks, the research center in partnership with the Curry School and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, was one of only two education researchers to make the list.

"I congratulate these outstanding scientists and engineers on their impactful work," President Obama said. "These innovators are working to help keep the United States on the cutting edge, showing that Federal investments in science lead to advancements that expand our knowledge of the world around us and contribute to our economy."

Two months after receiving the PECASE award, Bassok was given a second nod for her research excellence.

Each year the American Educational Research Association (AERA) announces its most read education research articles. In March, the organization published their list of most read articles for 2016. Topping the list at #1 was Daphna Bassok's Is Kindergarten the New First Grade?

In this ground-breaking study, Bassok and her team found that kindergarten classrooms nationwide have changed dramatically since the late 1990s and nearly all of these changes are in the direction of a heightened focus on academics, particularly literacy.

"In less than a decade we've seen the kindergarten experience essentially transformed," said Bassok, assistant professor at the Curry School of Education. "Academic skill-building has really taken center stage in today's kindergarten classrooms, in a way that just wasn't the case" before the late 1990s.

Bassok's study came in at #1 based on the number of times it was accessed online.