I am pleased to invite you to a conference on “Education and Educational Research in an Era of Accountability: Insights and Blind Spots“, to be held on February 7-8, 2007, at the Pyle Center [map], near the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Attendance is free, and we very much hope that members of the local educational community will be able to attend. The conference is sponsored by the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A schedule detailing the presentations is attached.
The conference will examine the impact on schools of the increased accountability, rationalization, and standardization of education symbolized and accelerated by the No Child Left Behind Act. It will also look at recent shifts in educational research that are associated with these trends, out of which a new emphasis on, and a new definition of, “scientific research” have emerged.
The conference will start Wednesday evening, February 7th, with a keynote address by Professor Richard F. Elmore, who is the Gregory R. Anrig Professor of Educational Leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Co-Director of the Consortium of Policy Research in Education. Professor Elmore will be introduced by Dean Julie Underwood of the UW School of Education. He is particularly interested in complex efforts at the school level to improve the quality of instruction. He seeks to understand how current state and federal accountability systems can work to support those efforts, as well as how these systems may unintentionally work at cross purposes with school and district level efforts. His recent works include School Reform from the Inside Out and the co-edited Redesigning Accountability Systems for Education.
Thursday’s conferences sessions, on February 8th, will include a philosopher’s reflections on criteria for judging school improvement; a session by scholars whose research exemplifies the value of quantitative studies of school programs and their effects; and a session by scholars who look at dimensions of current programs that some believe can more readily be understood by participating in the lives of school or talking with educational providers and participants. All of the sessions will consider questions about what is gained and lost by the current emphasis on “accountability” and “scientific research.”
All sessions will allow time for audience participation. We hope to draw a rich mix of scholars, students, and practitioners that will encourage stimulating conversation on these subjects. We very much hope that you will join us at this event, and that you will share this invitation and information about the conference with your colleagues.
Michael R. Olneck
Professor and Conference Convener
Education and Educational Research in an Era of Accountability: Insights and Blind Spots
A conference sponsored by the
Department of Educational Policy Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison
February 7 – 8, 2007
Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St., Madison
Wednesday, February 7, 2007, Pyle Center (check Events Board for room location)
7:00 PM Keynote Address
Richard F. Elmore, Gregory R. Anrig Professor of Educational Leadership, Harvard University; Co-Director, Consortium for Policy Research in Education
“Education and Educational Research in an Era of Accountability”
Thursday, February 8, 2007, Pyle Center (check Events Board for room location)
8:30 – 9:00 AM Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:00 – 10:00 AM Philosophical Perspectives on Evaluating Education Reforms
Harry Brighouse, Professor of Philosophy and Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“Values in Evaluation: Why Empirical Evidence is Never Enough”
10:15 AM –
12:00 PM Studying Education Reforms with Quantitative Methods: Emerging Directions and Findings
Adam Gamoran, Professor of Sociology, Educational Policy Studies, and Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis; Director, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“From Discipline-Based Theories to Practical Knowledge: Measuring “What Works” in Education”
Geoffrey Borman, Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, Educational Policy Studies, and Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“Final Reading Outcomes of the National Randomized Field Trial of “Success for All””
Douglas Harris, Assistant Professor of Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“Reconciling the Short-Term Demands of Accountability with the Long-Term Goals of Education and Research”
1:15 – 3:00 PM. Studying Education Reforms with Qualitative Methods: Emerging Directions and Findings
Mary Haywood Metz, Professor of Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Accountability “Shines a Light” on the Products of Schools: Studying School Life Outside the Circle of That Light
Patricia Burch, Assistant Professor of Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“Markets and the Implementation of Federal Education Policy: The Case of Supplemental Education Services”
Elizabeth Graue, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction; Director of Graduate Training, Wisconsin Center for Education Research; Wisconsin-Spencer Doctoral Research Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“Square Pegs, Round Holes, and Contested Agendas: Doing Policy Relevant Research in a Culture of Accountability”
3:15 – 4:00 PM Conference Summary, Synthesis, and Further Discussion
Michael Olneck, Professor of Educational Policy Studies and Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Registration and Fees:
The conference is free and there is no pre-registration.
Go to http://www.uwex.edu/about/directions/.
Public parking is available at the Lake and Frances Streets ramps, and the Helen C. White public parking area. Limited parking closer to the Pyle Center is sometimes available for $9 / day. To obtain a permit before the conference call the Pyle Center Front Desk at 608 / 262-5956.
For More Information:
Call the Department of Educational Policy Studies at 608 / 262-1760.
This conference is made possible, in part, by a generous contribution from the University Lecturers Committee.