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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Toyota, Dallas Independent School District, and SMU Simmons School of Education and Human Development formed a partnership one year ago to develop a new STEM-focused school in West Dallas. This past year, the partnership successfully laid the foundation for collaboration and planning.
“Our partnership works because Toyota helps us understand industry goals,” says Simmons Dean Stephanie Knight. “Dallas ISD, one of the largest school districts in the country, knows how to help public school students thrive and the West Dallas Community stakeholders provide insight into its needs. SMU is charged with providing research and evaluation that will enable us to improve public education.”
Six core teams have been actively engaged in co-design, focusing on curriculum, professional learning and distributed leadership, building design, community development, and research and evaluation. These teams also have participating members from West Dallas communities.
Additionally, support teams have focused on developing data infrastructure to support research and continuous improvements, developing communications strategies, and anticipating long-term sustainable funding.
Planning for the school is supported by a three-year, $2M grant from Toyota to Simmons. The school is expected to open in 2021.
The Simmons School welcomes two new faculty members and administrators, Anthony Petrosino, Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Outreach, and Tim Jacobbe, Professor and Chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning.
Petrosino served most recently as an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas at Austin, where he co-founded the nationally recognized UTeach program for teacher preparation in STEM.
He is a recipient of more than $17M in research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Education, and the McDonnell Foundation. He currently has two active NSF funded projects. Petrosino is a learning scientist whose research focuses on scientific and mathematical reasoning in the context of experimentation, data modeling, and the development of expertise in STEM related fields.
Jacobbe, formerly an associate professor at the University of Florida’s College of Education, focuses his research on statistics and mathematics education. He assesses statistical concepts and the development of resources impacting the way teachers and undergraduate students learn content.
His contributions to statistics education were recognized by the American Statistical Association when they named him a Fellow for outstanding contributions to the field in 2016.
Both he and Petrosino will work on the development of the new West Dallas STEM school, which is planned in partnership with the Dallas Independent School District, Toyota and Simmons.
Peter Weyand, Glenn Simmons Endowed Professor in the Department of Applied Physiology, explains why Usain Bolt is the fastest sprinter in the world and how his record holds. Weyand, a renown biomechanist, is cited by the Sporting News’ article, August 2019.
Weyand directs SMU’s Locomotor Performance Laboratory to explore the scientific basis of fitness, performance, and health using whole-body biomechanical and physiological approaches.
Alexandra Pavlakis, assistant professor in Education Policy and Leadership, researches the effects of homelessness on students, so when APM Reports decided to do a documentary on children who get uprooted from schools repeatedly, Pavlakis was consulted.
Her insights on the increasing population of homeless students are featured in “Students on the Move: Keeping uprooted kids in school.” The documentary was distributed to 300 public radio stations, including KERA 90.1 in North Texas. The station aired the documentary August 18, 2019.