CORE Finds Positive Results for Summer Programs Run by the Dallas City of Learning Collaborative

Annie Wright, director of evaluation for CORE

The Dallas City of Learning, an organizational effort to fight student loss of learning during summer, received a positive assessment from the Center on Research and Evaluation at SMU Simmons.

Annie Wright, CORE’s director of evaluation, reported that the more students participated in summer learning programs, the more pronounced were the gains.

“What we’re seeing is that the effect of summer learning extends well into the school year,” Wright said.

The Dallas City of Learning is a partnership between the City of Dallas, Dallas ISD, and Big Thought. Read more.

Marketplace Radio Reports on Status of Student Loans Using Dominique Baker’s Expertise

More students from higher-income families are taking out loans to go to college, according to a Marketplace report on public radio. Assistant Professor Dominique Baker explains how higher-income families are more apt to chose more expensive schools and also use Parent PLUS, which allows borrowing up to the full cost of attendance.

Baker says, “Income is not wealth. That’s critical to keep in mind because there are some families that have the same amounts of income, but they have different economic resources that they can tap into to help support students through college.”  Read more.

Gándara Selected as Finalist for William T. Grant Scholars Program

Denisa Gándara, assistant professor of higher education in the Department of Education Policy and Leadership, is one of ten finalists for the William T. Grant Scholars Program. Early career researchers submit proposals for five-year research and mentoring plans designed to expand their skills and knowledge. Applicants are nominated by their institutions.

The ten finalists will be interviewed in February 2019 and four to six Scholars will be announced in March. Those selected will each receive $350,000 over five years and participate in annual meetings. The Scholars Program began in 1982 and has a rich history of supporting the development of early-career researchers in the social, behavioral, and health sciences.

Dean Knight Responds to DMN Commentary on the Moral Imperative to Bridge Dallas’ Economic Divide

The strength of a dedicated partnership between SMU Simmons, Dallas ISD, and Toyota to create a new STEM school in West Dallas will create new opportunities for students and their families, says Dean Stephanie L. Knight in a commentary published in The Dallas Morning News, November 26, 2019. Her op-ed was written in response to a city-wide challenge issued by the chairman of the Dallas Citizens Council to bridge the economic divide found in under-resourced areas.

Toyota awarded a $2 million planning grant to the Simmons School for the development of a new STEM  pre-K to eighth-grade school, and Dallas ISD anticipates opening the school in 2021. Read more.

Dean Stephanie Knight and leaders from SMU, Dallas ISD, and Toyota give updates on the STEM school at a meeting, Wednesday, September 11, 2019, at the Lakewest YMCA in West Dallas.

Professors Rouse Examine How Writing Provides Path for Learning Engineering Concepts

Professors Amy Gillespie Rouse and Rob Rouse published “Third Graders’ Use of Writing to Facilitate Learning of Engineering Concepts,” in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching. Their study extended work on elementary engineering instruction by implementing an integrated engineering and writing unit with 58 third-grade students.

“We argue that literacy, particularly writing, provides an effective and feasible method for incorporating engineering instruction into the elementary curriculum,” they state.

Amy Gillispie Rouse, Assistant Professor of Special Education, Dept. of Teaching and Learning.
Rob Rouse, Clinical Associate Professor, Dept. of Teaching and Learning

Dallas Innovates’ Roundtable: Dean Knight and Other Leaders Assess STEM

As a future workforce takes shape, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) plays a foundational role in education. To examine how business and education are collaborating on STEM, Dallas Innovates, a publishing venture between the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce and D Magazine Partners, invited a panel of experts to talk about the advancement.

Dean Stephanie Knight joined eight other leaders in the conversation, “STEM, STEAM, STREAM: In Dallas the Ingridients Are Here.” Read the three-part series:

Part One: https://bit.ly/31HcPTB

Part Two: https://bit.ly/2oedHBy

Part Three: https://bit.ly/2Jmes2R

 

Left to right: Oswaldo Alvarenga (Dallas ISD), Hilary Jackson (Capital One), Drexell Owusu (Dallas Regional Chamber), Jennifer Sampson (United Way of Metropolitan Dallas), Dr. Koshi Dhingra (TalkSTEM), Dr. Stephanie Knight (SMU Simmons School of Education), Dr. Jason Treadway (DCCCD), Sorabh Saxena (AT&T), and Byron Sanders (Big Thought). [Photo: Michael Samples]

 

 

Batenberg Discusses Gifted and Talented Education in Parents Magazine

Ann Batenberg, clinical associate professor of gifted education in Simmons, provides a framework for how gifted education is working in the U.S.

In a Parents magazine article, she discusses how a lack of federal laws pertaining to gifted education has lead to a lack of identifying and serving students. She also says using local norms may be better determinants than national testing. “High test scores have proven to be better at predicting the income level of a student, not their academic achievement,” she adds. Read more.

 

Luft Baker Publishes Research on Dallas Morning News Workshops for Parents on Early Childhood and Social Media Dissemination

Associate Professor Doris Luft Baker collaborated with The Dallas Morning News on workshops to inform a group of Spanish-speaking parents about early childhood development and learn to disseminate the information on social media.

Luft Baker studied the groups over the duration of the workshops and concludes the mothers who attended the workshops significantly increased their early childhood knowledge, and children whose mothers attended the workshops significantly increased their Spanish expressive vocabulary.

However, Luft Baker did not find significant effects of the workshops on parental technology knowledge and literacy knowledge. Her article is featured in the Bilingual Research Journal.

 

 

 

WFAA and KERA Feature VR Surgery Developed By Professors Bing and Cuevas

Virtual reality surgery developed by Simmons professors Tony Cuevas and Eric Bing was featured on WFAA TV to show how technology designed at SMU can save lives in Africa.

A lack of surgeons and an increase in women’s cervical cancer on the African continent led Bing and Cuevas to develop training for doctors to increase surgical skill, speed, and accuracy. They traveled to Zambia and designed the virtual operating room based on what they saw in use there.

The desire to save women’s lives is a big impetus, especially for Dr. Bing. His mother, who lived in the U.S., died from cervical cancer.  Read more.

KERA 90.1’s Justin Martin also interviewed Bing and Cuevas to explain the virtual reality advances in surgery. For a video with Cuevas instructing a student, click here.

 

Center on Research and Evaluation Receives Award for Advancing Early Childhood Outcomes

Child Care Associates (CCA), a significant Fort Worth nonprofit supporting the development of children from zero to five years of age, honored Simmons’ Center on Research and Evaluation (CORE) at its second annual luncheon, October 16.

CORE received the North Texas Early Childhood Leadership Award for improving children’s educational outcomes by helping establish research-based quality standards in classrooms, and by measuring outcomes accurately. CORE also was cited for engaging fully with its partners.

“Early education is a bright spot for education for those investing in education and innovation,” says CCA’s CEO Kara Waddell. “CCA created the award in 2018 to spotlight individuals and organizations who go above and beyond in advancing outcomes for young children.”

The early childhood organization also recognized philanthropist Happy Baggett, who has raised the visibility of early education as a key economic development factor in place-based planning.