2012 News Stories

2012 News Stories

  • January 2012 News Stories

  • February 2012 News Stories

  • March 2012 News Stories

  • April 2012 News Stories

  • May 2012 News Stories

  • June 2012 News Stories

    • Chicago Tribune Quotes David Figlio on Reasons for Catholic School Enrollment Decline
      SESP professor David Figlio commented that Catholic schools had a "century of strength" coming from the initial explosion of construction starting in the late 1800s, but demographics began to shift, spreading out the Catholic population.

    • Irene Romulo Wins National Hunger Fellowship
      Irene Romulo, a social policy major, was awarded a 2012 Congressional Hunger Fund Fellowship, which provides both grassroots and public policy experience. She is the first Northwestern winner in four years.

    • Talk by Jim Spillane Kicks Off New Teacher Leader Program
      To launch a new teacher leader curriculum, the Master of Science in Education program hosted an alumni event on May 29 featuring a talk by professor James Spillane on “Teachers Who Lead and Leaders Who Teach.”

    • National Review References David Figlio's Findings on School Choice
      Responding to a New York Times piece criticizing school voucher programs, the National Review cites professor David Figlio's finding that the competitive pressure placed on public schools as a result of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program (which provides vouchers to low-income children and a tax credit to contributing corporations) was “associated with greater improvements in students’ test scores.”

    • Zackary Ruelas (MS10) Wins Golden Apple Award
      Zackary Ruelas (MS10), a third-grade teacher at St. Malachy School in Chicago, is one of 10 recipients of the 2012 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching.

    • Student Affairs Office Becomes a High-Tech Model Space
      Centered on students and infused with technology, the renovated SESP Students Affairs Office will be a model for other schools across the country.

    • Center for Talent Development Energizes Campus This Summer
      The summer program of the Center for Talent Development (CTD) is bustling with exciting new classes, programs at six sites and an enrollment increased by 250 over last year.

    • Mike Horn: Designing Interactive Games for Museums
      Assistant professor Michael Horn is known for the interactive exhibits he designs for museums. In his quest to determine what makes a museum exhibit engaging and educational, he and his colleagues designed and tested a tabletop touchscreen game to help museum visitors understand evolution and the diversity of life.

    • SESP Offers New Master’s Program in Teacher Leadership
      The Master of Science in Education (MSEd) program is now offering a curriculum that aligns with Illinois’s new teacher leader endorsement. The new curriculum is designed for teachers with interest in school leadership positions such as curriculum director or department chair.

    • Hannah Nielsen (BS09) Named Assistant Coach at Colorado
      Lacrosse great Hannah Nielsen (BS09) was named assistant women's lacrosse coach at the University of Colorado. At Northwestern, she won the Tewaaraton Trophy and the Honda Sports Award as the best player in the country both her junior and senior seasons, and she was the Big Ten Athlete of the Year as a junior in 2008.

    • New York Times Cites David Figlio's Research in Article about Romney's Stance on Vouchers
      As president, Mitt Romney may seek to overhaul the federal government’s largest education programs into a voucher-like system, which he said would introduce marketplace dynamics to drive academic gains. SESP professor David Figlio co-authored a recent study of Florida's voucher program, which found that test scores at public schools, faced with competition, went up.

    • Civic Engagement Students Present Capstone Projects
      Students completing SESP's Civic Engagement Certificate Program in 2012 presented posters for their capstone projects at a reception on June 1.

    • Seven SESP Graduates Named NUPIP Fellows
      Seven 2012 graduates of the School of Education and Social Policy were selected as fellows of the Northwestern University Public Interest Program (NUPIP). Jane Merrill, Nadia Ahmed, Steven Chau, Brittany Fawcett, Leah Martinez, Emily Roskey and April Stewart will work with Chicago nonprofit organizations as members of the new NUPIP cohort of fellows.

    • Senior Honors Students Present Research
      Thirteen School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) seniors in the undergraduate honors program presented posters of their research projects on June 1.

    • SESP Convocation Inspires Graduates to Improve People’s Lives
      “You leave here well prepared to be leaders and innovators,” Dean Penelope Peterson told the graduates of the School of Education and Social Policy at Convocation on June 15.

    • Learning Sciences Alums Iris Tabak, Josh Radinsky Named Journal Editors
      Learning Sciences alumni Iris Tabak (PhD99) of Ben Gurion University and Joshua Radinsky (PhD00) of the University of Illinois at Chicago were named the new editors of the widely respected Journal of the Learning Sciences.

    • Symposium, Hands-On Workshops Promote Biotechnology Teaching
      A series of workshops to promote the teaching of biotechnology in Chicago Public Schools kicked off with a June 19 symposium featuring pioneering Northwestern University cancer researcher Teresa K. Woodruff. The event also connected educators to the partners sponsoring the workshops — Northwestern’s Office of STEM Education Partnerships, Baxter International, and Lindblom Math and Science Academy.

    • Health Literacy Initiative Aims to Improve Patient Care
      The Health Literacy and Learning Program (HeLP) leads national studies responding to communication gaps between medical providers and patients, including drug labels. The Feinberg Medical School project relies on learning sciences research with SESP associate professor David Rapp.

    • Wall Street Journal Cites David Figlio's Research on School Vouchers
      An opinion piece on the education policies of the presidential candidates cites professor David Figlio's study of Florida's tax credit scholarship program. His research found that "greater degrees of competition are associated with greater improvements in students' test scores following the program's introduction."

  • July 2012 News Stories

    • Jim Spillane Describes SESP Doctoral Programs for EducationDegree.com
      Professor James Spillane discusses the doctoral programs at the School of Education and Social Policy -- Learning Sciences and Human Development and Social Policy. Both were the first of their kind and remain distinctive degree programs.

    • Time Magazine Quotes David Figlio on Online Teacher Training
      In a Time magazine article about online teacher training, professor David Figlio expresses skepticism about the effectiveness of online course work. Figlio's research has compared online and in-person courses.

    • National Science Teachers Association Promotes Remote Labs
      The National Science Teachers Association recommends that teachers seeking to provide their students with real-world lab experience and access to scientific equipment consider remote laboratories accessible online (iLabs), developed by the Office of STEM Education Partnerships. “Remote labs are an important new tool," comments SESP professor Kemi Jona.

    • Research by David Uttal Underscores Impact of Training in Spatial Thinking
      Training is effective for improving spatial skills, Northwestern researchers found through the first comprehensive analysis of studies on such interventions. Improving spatial skills is important because children who do well at spatial tasks are likely to achieve highly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

    • Brian Reiser on National Panel to Recommend Overhaul of K-12 Science Assessments
      Professor Brian Reiser, a member of the National Research Council (NRC) expert panel that recommended a new framework for science education in the United States, now is participating on an NRC panel to recommend more effective assessment of science learning.

    • WGN-TV: Hailey Danisewicz Leads as Counselor and Role Model at Camp for Kids with Cancer
      Senior Hailey Danisewicz is a counselor at Camp One Step at a Time, run by an organization that provides recreational and educational programs for children with cancer. At 14, Daniesewicz decided to have her lower leg amputated, which she said was the best decision she ever made, and kids at the camp see how much she can do with her prosthetic leg.

    • Danielle Keifert Wins Award at International Learning Sciences Conference
      Learning sciences doctoral student Danielle Keifert won an award for best student paper at a recent international conference in learning sciences. The paper documents the naturally occurring ways in which very young children encounter opportunities for scientific inquiry in their everyday lives.

    • Claire Lew (BS11) Heads Chicago Events to Ignite Inspiration
      Claire Lew (BS11) is leading an event series called IgniteChicago to bring together people for sharing and inspiring others. IgniteChicago evenings feature five-minute presentations by people with ideas, and the next event is scheduled for August 13.

    • MSEd Student Sugandhi Chugani Wins Education Pioneers Fellowship
      Sugandhi Chugani, a graduate student in the Master of Science in Education (MSEd) program, was awarded an Education Pioneers Fellowship to work with Chicago Public Schools on a project to improve the transition to community college.

  • August 2012 News Stories

  • September 2012 News Stories

    • John Shurna (BS12) Signs to Play with New York Knicks
      The New York Knicks have signed former Wildcat forward John Shurna to a partially guaranteed contract, making him the first Northwestern player to make the NBA since 1999. Shurna led the Big Ten in scoring last year, was named first team All-Big Ten and is on the all-time NU lists for points (2,038), games played (130) and blocked shots (136).

    • Doing Research to Help Solve School Problems
      Associate professor Jonathan Guryan and a team of investigators are providing hundreds of elementary and middle school students with adult mentors, with the goal of increasing attendance and student engagement at school. The idea is to transform low graduation rates into new commitments to learning.

    • Mapping How Young People Learn
      It's no secret that when young children play, it's often serious business for them, helping them comprehend how the adult world works. What may be surprising is exactly how learning takes hold before kids ever enter a classroom. David Uttal, professor of education and psychology, is known for inventive research on how young children acquire knowledge. Spatial learning is a prime area of research for Uttal.

    • Center for Talent Development Holds Fall Educator Conference October 13
      The Center for Talent Development 2012 Fall Educator’s Conference on October 13 will focus on the new Common Core Standards and their impact on gifted education. Joyce VanTassel-Baska, professor emerita at College of William and Mary and founder of the Center for Talent Development, will be the guest speaker.

    • Zoe Goodman (BS12) Blogs about Interning with Reproductive Freedom Project in Philadelphia
      In her final blog entry, Zoe Goodman (BS12) reflects on what her summer internship at the Clara Bell Duvall Reproductive Freedom Project at the ACLU of Pennsylvania has meant.

    • Master's Student Catherine Sedun Tells Tribune about Combatting Binge Drinking at Northwestern
      High school teacher Catherine Sedun, as part of her internship in the Higher Education Administration and Policy master's program, headed the Red Watch Band program at Northwestern to teach students to recognize warning signs of alcohol poisoning. The Chicago Tribune includes her comments in an article on preventing binge drinking.

    • SESP Newly Certified Teachers Have 95% Job Placement This Year
      Job placement for newly certified graduates of SESP teaching degree programs rose to 95 percent this year. As of August, 53 of the 56 students certified in 2012 who sought employment had jobs teaching school. In fact, all of SESP’s newly certified teachers who sought jobs in Illinois are employed.

    • Kemi Jona Works on State Effort to Establish STEM ‘Learning Exchanges’
      Preparing Illinois students for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is the goal of a new state plan to establish “learning exchanges” linking educational opportunities and business resources. SESP research professor Kemi Jona, director of Northwestern University’s Office of STEM Education Partnerships (OSEP), has been involved in the state effort and advises one of the new learning exchanges.

    • SESP Opportunities Fund Supports Student Initiatives
      For School of Education and Social Policy undergraduates who want to make a difference through extracurricular initiatives, the SESP Opportunities Fund can make their wishes come true. Last year Mark Birhanu, Jessica Holden, Ellyn Pena, Heather Polonsky, Erica Rodriguez, Aireale Rodgers, Lauren Saunders, Ali Szemanski and Jasmine Wiggins received grants from the fund, which is intended to encourage innovation and service.

    • Seven SESP Faculty and Staff Members Make Northwestern Honor Roll
      Seven School of Education and Social Policy faculty and staff members were named the 2011-12 Faculty and Administrator Honor Roll. Based on student voting, Associated Student Government selected Dorie Blesoff, Alissa Chung, Danny Cohen, David Figlio, Meg Kreuser, Susan Olson and Megan Redfearn for this year’s honor roll.

    • New Scientist Cites David Figlio's Study Showing Effect of Aging Population on Schools
      In an article about U.S. demographic trends that highlights a crossroads for aging whites and young Hispanics, New Scientist cites professor David Figlio's finding that where there is a large racial mismatch between the school-age population and the elderly, spending on schooling is lower. The study was reported in the Journal of Public Economics.

    • Remote Online Labs Spark Student's Passion for Science
      The "cool science experiments" offered by OSEP's remote online laboratories sparked a passion for science in Ashley Rosales. A graduate of Lakes Community High School and now a college biology major who wants to study infectious diseases and also improve the environment, she tells the story of how she got inspired.

    • Kelin McDavid Receives Kappa Fellowship for Elementary Teaching
      Kelin McDavid, who graduated from Emory University and taught at a private preschool in Atlanta, is the second Master of Science in Education student to be awarded the Kappa Kappa Gamma fellowship.

  • October 2012 News Stories

    • MSLOC Students Earn Coveted Spot in National Human Capital Case Competition
      Master of Science in Learning and Educational Change students Amanda Dawson and Swati Surupria were selected for the 2012 National MBA Human Capital Case Competition as members of a Northwestern team composed of SESP and Kellogg students. Only 12 teams from across the nation were selected for the sixth annual competition, held October 18 to 20 in Nashville.

    • Alumni Invited to SESP Reunion Weekend Events on October 26
      A dean’s reception in the new Student Affairs Office and a Classes Without Quizzes talk by SESP professor Kemi Jona are the SESP highlights of Reunion Weekend on October 26. Alumni are invited to attend.

    • Thomas Cook Honored with Peter Rossi Award for Program Evaluation
      Thomas Cook will receive the 2012 Peter H. Rossi Award for Contributions to the Theory or Practice of Program Evaluation at the fall conference of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. Cook is a professor of sociology, psychology, education and social policy at Northwestern University.

    • New York Times Recognizes Northwestern as Leader in Voter Registration, Quotes Dan Lewis
      Northwestern is a leader among colleges initiating their own voter registration drives, according to the New York Times, which quotes professor Dan Lewis on difficulties in the voter registration process this year. Lewis is director of Northwestern University’s Center for Civic Engagement, which started incorporating voter registration into its freshman orientation last year.

    • Close-Up on Innovative Technology School Designed by Kemi Jona and Colleagues
      VOISE Academy, designed by a team including SESP professor Kemi Jona, Chicago Public Schools leaders and a distance learning specialist, is one of the first fully blended high schools in the country. Students at the school on Chicago's West Side receive laptops at school, and their instruction is a mix of web-based and in-person teaching.

    • WTTW Features Maddie Orenstein (BS10) as Leader of 'Dream Team' for College-Bound Undocumented Students
      Maddie Orenstein (BS10) started the Dream Team, an after-school group for undocumented students at Schurz High School in Chicago, where she is a career and college counselor. Chicago Tonight on WTTW featured the group on a televised segment on October 17.

    • Chris Grodoski (MS03) Named Middle School Art Educator of the Year
      Christopher Grodoski (MS03), an art teacher at Franklin Middle School in Wheaton, Illinois, received the 2012 Illinois Middle School Art Educator of the Year award from the Illinois Art Education Association. This award recognizes exemplary contributions, service and achievements.

    • NPR Story Features Katherine Magnuson (PhD03) on Childhood Stress and Poverty
      An NPR story on "Parenting in Poverty" features Katherine Magnuson (PhD03), a professor at the University of Wisconsin who researches poverty and childhood development, discussing how instability and unpredictability cause mental and physical stress in children.

    • OSEP Receives Grant from Google for Mobile Computer Labs for Schools
      The Office of STEM Education Partnerships (OSEP) received a grant from Google to enhance its mobile computer lab loaner program, called Project ACCESS. The project provides much-needed technology to middle and high school STEM classrooms and labs throughout the Chicago area.

    • Carol Lee Advances Education Research Internationally
      Professor Carol Lee is advancing education research on a global scale through her work with the World Education Research Association. The WERA is an international alliance of research organizations that aims to advance education research as a scientific and scholarly field globally.

    • SESP Campus Leaders Reach Out to Others
      From community service to athletics and entrepreneurship, SESP undergraduates demonstrate their leadership on campus in many ways. Meet a few of SESP's campus leaders: Lauren Ackerman, Kameron Dodge, Aria Fiat, Jessica Holden, Meesoh Kim, Kate Mattax, Levi Mele, Daniel Nissani, Ellyn Pena, Becca Portman, Laura Santamaria and A.J. Tomiak.

    • Uri Wilensky Wins New Grants for Science Learning Technology Projects
      Professor Uri Wilensky has received National Science Foundation grants for two major new projects aimed at helping students learn science better with cutting-edge technologies. One project, called InquirySpace, will develop a web-based platform for middle and high school students to experience scientific inquiry in a deep and authentic way. A second project will design and study computer models for high school students to learn evolutionary biology and computational thinking.

    • Dan McAdams Named Henry Wade Rogers Professor
      Dan McAdams, professor of psychology and human development and social policy, has been named the Henry Wade Rogers Professor in Psychology. His investiture, including a medal ceremony and talk, will be held at 4 p.m. on December 7 in Annenberg Hall.

  • November 2012 News Stories

    • Kemi Jona to Speak at November 28 Town Hall on Educational Technology
      Professor Kemi Jona, director of the Office for STEM Education Partnerships at Northwestern, is one of the experts speaking at a town hall conference call on "Education Technology: The Revolution in Digital & Distance Learning" on November 28. Jona's topic relates to content personalization.

    • Nanotechnology Event for Educators Features Northwestern Scientists
      Scientists from Northwestern University discussed their cutting-edge work at an inaugural nanotechnology event for educators and students. Office of STEM Education Partnerships assistant director Michelle Paulsen helped to plan the event to showcase the world of nanotechnology and show how nanotechnology can be incorporated into the high school science curriculum.

    • Alumni Share Their Career Paths with Undergraduates at Career Event
      A career event with alumni over Reunion Weekend gave undergraduate students insight into potential careers and reinforced connections with alumni.

    • Guardian Cites David Figlio's Finding That School Grading Affects Teacher Turnover
      The Guardian cites professor David Figlio's study of Florida's school grading, which found that it had a detrimental effect on teacher turnover. The researchers said, "Schools that were 'shocked' downwards – and thus faced the most pressure to improve – lost more and higher quality teachers."

    • Huffington Post Features HDSP Study Showing Breastfeeding Lessens Stress
      A new Human Development and Social Policy study found that women with the best stress hormone patterns were the ones who breastfed their babies but refrained from sharing a bed with them. The women who fared the worst were those who co-slept and didn't breastfeed.

    • Kits 'n' Cats at NU Day Inspires Evanston Students about College
      One hundred Evanston Township High School sophomores got a unique look at Northwestern University when they visited campus on October 30. The twice-yearly Kits ‘n’ Cats at NU day is intended to increase college awareness among Evanston sophomores who haven’t yet decided about college.

    • New York Times Highlights Linda Teplin's Juvenile Project
      New York Times describes professor Linda Teplin's ambitious research project that for 17 years has closely tracked more than 1,800 youths in Chicago who entered the juvenile justice system at an early age. More than 80 percent have belonged to a gang; 70 percent of men and 40 percent of women have used a firearm, with average age of first gun use 14; 20 percent are incarcerated; and 71 percent of the men and 59 percent of the women are without jobs as adults. Of the 1,829 youths originally enrolled in the study, 119 have died, most of them violently.

    • Diane Schanzenbach Testifies Small Classes Key to School, Life Success
      Associate professor Diane Schanzenbach testified in a Texas school funding trial that long-term studies show students in smaller classes tend to do better on standardized tests and become better citizens, more likely to own their own homes and save for retirement. More than 600 school districts are suing the state of Texas, claiming its school funding is inefficient and unfair.

    • Center for Talent Development Investing Student Profiled in Wall Street Journal
      Oliver Leopold, who takes an investing class at the Center for Talent Development, has his own investing newsletter and includes what he learns in the articles. He is profiled by The Wall Street Journal.

    • Huffington Post: Miriam Sherin Comments on Educational Value of Watching TV with Kids
      After a new survey showing children watch more than 23 hours a week, professor Miriam Sherin advocates parental participation in appropriate TV programming for children.

    • U.S. News Features Liz Gerber's OpEd Piece: 'STEM Students Must Be Taught to Fail'
      In U.S. News & World Report, professor Elizabeth Gerber emphasizes the need to prepare student in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields to learn from failure. She notes that making mistakes is part of innovation.

    • With HP Grant, OSEP Will Build Mobile Apps for High School Students to Access Remote Labs
      The Office of STEM Education Partnerships (OSEP) received a $100,000 grant from HP to build mobile app interfaces for remote science laboratories. OSEP’s remote laboratory program allows high school and middle school students to run science experiments with online access to scientific equipment at universities worldwide.

    • New Funding Boosts OSEP's Fuse Program and Other Initiatives in Network for Innovative Learning
      In an innovative partnership to help Chicago youth develop the skills needed to thrive in the 21st century's digital economy, Northwestern is participating with 33 other local organizations in the Chicago Hive Learning Network. This creative collaboration will expand with $2.2 million in new support. The Office of STEM Education Partnerships (OSEP) participates in the Hive Network through its Fuse program, which engages youth in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through hands-on exploratory challenges.

    • Jim Spillane Addresses Education Leaders in Hong Kong, Singapore
      Professor Jim Spillane shared his insights on school leadership with an international audience as he addressed education leaders, educators and researchers in Hong Kong and Singapore at major conferences in November. Spillane takes a global perspective on educational policy and reform.

  • December 2012 News Stories

    • Promote 360 Plans Host of Mentoring Activities for 2013
      Promote 360, the SESP student organization that fosters minority students’ well being, is planning a new focus on college mentoring activities this year.

    • Four Museums Nationwide Install Mike Horn’s ‘Life on Earth’ Exhibit
      Soon the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago will feature an innovative exhibit developed by SESP assistant professor Michael Horn and his colleagues at other universities. By the end of the year, the “Life on Earth” installation, which invites discovery about evolution and the history of life on Earth, will be open at four science museums nationwide.

    • Fuse Drop-In Program Ignites Teens’ Interest in Science and Arts
      The Fuse drop-in program draws young people into science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) with “cool” hands-on activities. The Office of STEM Education Partnerships continues to expand Fuse and will soon offer the informal learning program at two Chicago Public Library sites.

    • Kirabo Jackson Finds Non-Cognitive Skills Add to Teachers’ Impact
      Many experts question the value of tests alone to assess a teacher’s impact. A new study by assistant professor Kirabo Jackson adds weight to that view by showing that teachers influence important non-cognitive skills linked to adult success.

    • Students in SESP Philanthropy Class to Give Away $100,000
      Students taking a new School of Education and Social Policy course about philanthropy this spring will put their learning into action in a distinctive new way. The students not only will examine the history and practice of philanthropic giving but will actually give away $100,000 to nonprofit organizations that can impact children and adults.

    • 'Computational Thinking' Critical for New K-12 Standards
      The Office of STEM Education Partnerships hosted a workshop for educators on computational thinking on November 28, organized by Michelle Paulsen, Reach for the Stars coordinator. Educators learned how to use computational problem solving to strengthen K-12 science and math learning.

    • Dilara Sayeed (MS00) Takes Professional Development to the Global Level
      Dilara Sayeed (MS00) is taking her commitment to educator development worldwide with the establishment of a global teacher network. “For the rest of my career I’ll be working on the development of educators and school leaders,” she says.

    • Education Week: Brian Reiser Says Science Standards Require a Teacher-Learning Rethink
      Professor Brian Reiser, writing an opinion piece in Education Week with Jean Moon and Sarah Michaels, emphasizes the need to revamp professional development and preservice education for teachers to complement the Next Generation Science Standards.

    • Maddie Orenstein (BS10) Wins Fulbright Fellowship to Research Education in Chile
      Maddie Orenstein (BS10), a SESP social policy graduate, has won a Fulbright fellowship 2013 to study education in Chile. Her focus will be on high school students’ activism for college access.

    • SESP Faculty Discuss College Access at Quest Scholars Network Event
      At a Quest Scholars Network event, SESP faculty members Mesmin Destin, James Rosenbaum, dean Penelope Peterson and Northwestern President Morton Schapiro explored solutions to the inequity in college access. SESP student Daniel Nissani, co-president of the Quest Scholars Network, organized the event and acted as moderator for the panel discussion.

    • Young Entrepreneur Quotes Elizabeth Gerber on the Benefits of Crowdfunding
      In a Young Entrepreneur article assistant professor Elizabeth Gerber describes benefits to crowdfunding platforms, which enable entrepreneurs to raise money from consumers. They also provide communications experience and improvements to business plans.

    • Julie Kornfeld (BS11) Publishes Senior Honors Thesis
      A thesis written by Julie Kornfeld (BS11) as a SESP senior honors student was recently published in a widely read University of Oxford publication focusing on refugee issues. Kornfeld’s article in Forced Migration Review reports her research findings on the role of cultural orientation programs in overseas refugee camps and how they shape perceptions of resettlement in U.S. society.

    • Kemi Jona and Evanston Teacher Mark Vondracek Describe Online Radioactivity Experiment
      In a new article in The Physics Teacher, SESP research professor Kemi Jona and Evanston Township High School physics teacher Mark Vondracek explain a remote radioactivity experiment that all high school students can access. They position the experiment as an example of a way for schools with limited science resources to improve their science students' learning.

    • DNAInfo.com: Jeanne Marie Olson Analyzes Data from Chicago Public Schools
      Learning and organizational change faculty member, researcher and designer Jeanne Marie Olson is applying her skills in systems analysis to the bureaucracy of Chicago Public Schools. She has teamed up with the citizen advocacy group Raise Your Hand to analyze CPS data on underused schools.

    • Teachers College Record Praises Jim Spillane's Latest Book on Diagnosis and Design
      Teachers College Record lauds Diagnosis and Design for School Improvement by professor James Spillane and Amy Coldren (PhD07) as "pragmatic and insightful." Reviewer Thomas Hoerr says, "Their analysis is an empowering one. By highlighting the barriers with which we dance each day, they enable us to think about how to diagnose and design so that the constraints can be overcome."

    • Washington Post Cites Kirabo Jackson's Study on Cash Incentives
      The Washington Post comments on a cash incentive program for students that is modeled after the Texas program assistant professor Kirabo Jackson studied. He found “the campuswide increases in the percentage of students in 11th and 12th grades who take AP or IB [International Baccalaureate] exams are driven primarily by increased participation among black and Hispanic students." He also found increases in ACT and SAT scores.

    • Michael Wolf's New Study Shows Medication Guides Too Complex to Be Understandable
      A new study by assistant professor Michael Wolf finds that the information sheets stapled to prescriptions are too complex and difficult for people to understand, Reuters Health reports. His team is working on a how-to guide to make educational information more understandable.

    • Elizabeth Gerber in Huffington Post: Crowdfunding Fails Some Promising Entrepreneurs
      In a Huffington Post blog post, assistant professor Elizabeth Gerber writes about "crowdfunding," where budding capitalists reach out to thousands of people to ask for small amounts of money. But because some budding entrepreneurs lack a social network that includes people who can afford to give away money, crowdfunding is helping well-connected middle-class entrepreneurs -- and leaving many others' brilliant ideas behind.

    • Herald-Tribune: Fay Cook Says Politics of Social Security at Odds with Public Support
      The Herald-Tribune quotes professor Fay Cook about discussions in Washington on Social Security being at odds with the desires of the American public. Opinion polls reveal consistent bipartisan support for preserving Social Security in its existing form, and she urges caution in making changes.

    • Kemi Jona Comments on Advantages of Massive Open Online Courses
      Professor Kemi Jona tells InformationWeek of several advantages to the massive open online courses (MOOCs) that are increasingly popular. He says research suggests online environments may be more conducive to risk-taking and student participation. He thinks the current excitement about MOOCs is because of economics.

    • Fuse Drop-In Program for STEM Activities Adds Evanston Library as New Site
      The Office of STEM Education Partnerships will now offer the Fuse drop-in program at the Evanston Public Library. Fuse engages youth in science, technology, engineering, arts and math through hands-on exploratory challenges.

    • Freakonomics Features Diane Schanzenbach's Study Showing Benefits of Safety Net for Children
      A new study by associate professor Diane Schanzenbach finds significant health benefits resulting from food stamps in childhood. These impacts last for decades, according to this research, which is the first to document effects including a reduction of metabolic syndrome and increase in women's economic self-sufficiency.

    • CNN Blog: Miriam Sherin Says Grades Don't Tell Us as Much as We Think
      In a CNN blog, professor Miriam Sherin writes that report cards -- good or bad -- might not tell parents how much their children are learning. She looks at alternate ways to assess learning, as well as the pros and cons of grades.

    • Two SESP Students Win Undergraduate Research Grants
      SESP seniors Victoria Romba and Birong Wang were awarded $1,000 Undergraduate Research Grants during fall quarter from the Northwestern University Office of the Provost. Their research topics investigate early adulthood and the impact of language.