The MSU President’s Education Forums were established in 1998 and are an outreach strategy to inform policy makers and education leaders about current education policy issues and to open discussion around research and best practice in specific education policy areas. These annual forums are sponsored by Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon and by the College of Education through the Office of K-12 Outreach. These forums, which are by invitation only, are well attended by state legislators and their staff members, State Board of Education members, Michigan Department of Education staff, leaders of local and intermediate school districts and association representatives. Each year the forums provide an opportunity for continuing conversations around critical national and state policy issues. Presentations are made by key MSU College of Education faculty and national authorities who address critical policy issues. The Michigan EPFP's affiliation with the Education Policy Center at MSU and the Office of K-12 Outreach enables the EPFP Fellows to participate in these forums. While attendance is encouraged, these forums are optional policy experiences for the Michigan EPFP Fellows. A luncheon is provided and reservations are required.
The 2009 and 2010 forums are listed below:
October 27, 2009
Too Much or Too Little, The Case for the American High School
Policymakers need to understand how the educational system works in order to craft effective policies. Using international data, Dr. William Schmidt, University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University will explain the structure of the American high school and how it impacts the learning opportunities available to students. His key point: The practice of tracking, which begins in the middle school, together with the proliferation of courses, creates a chaotic situation in which many students end up with an illogical sequence of courses in mathematics. This is a serious problem, because mathematics is central to future learning opportunities.
William H. Schmidt received his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Concordia College in River Forrest, IL and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in psychometrics and applied statistics. He carries the title of University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University and is currently co director of the Education Policy Center, co director of the US China Center for Research and co director of the NSF PROM/SE project and holds faculty appointments in the Departments of Educational Psychology and Statistics. Previously he served as National Research Coordinator and Executive Director of the US National Center which oversaw participation of the United States in the IEA sponsored Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). He has published in numerous journals including the Journal of the American Statistical Association, Journal of Educational Statistics, and the Journal of Educational Measurement. He has co-authored seven books including Why Schools Matter. His current writing and research concerns issues of academic content in K-12 schooling, assessment theory and the effects of curriculum on academic achievement. He is also concerned with educational policy related to mathematics, science and testing in general. He was awarded the Honorary Doctorate Degree at Concordia University in 1997 and received the 1998 Willard Jacobson Lectureship from The New York Academy of Sciences. Dr. Schmidt is a member of the National Academy of Education.
November 17, 2009
Pay a Little Now or a Lot Later: The Importance and Effectiveness of Early Literacy Education
Literacy skill is at the heart of school success. Low literacy is associated with a broad range of negative life outcomes, from low civic participation to unemployment to incarceration. A robust body of research demonstrates that we can have short- and long-term effects on literacy development in the first years of life. Drawing on the Report of National Early Literacy Panel and several studies conducted in Michigan, Dr. Nell K. Duke will identify a broad range of programs and policies that can make a difference in children’s literacy development.
Dr. Nell K. Duke is a professor of teacher education and educational psychology, an affiliate of the program in school psychology, and co-director of the Literacy Achievement Research Center (LARC) at Michigan State University. Duke received her Bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College and her Masters and Doctoral degrees from Harvard University. Duke’s work focuses on early literacy development, particularly among children living in poverty. Her specific areas of expertise include development of informational literacies in young children, comprehension development and instruction in early schooling, and issues of equity in literacy education.
February 16, 2010
Dr. Suzanne Wilson is a University Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Teacher Education and director of the College of Education’s Center for the Scholarship of Teaching. Her work spans several domains, including teacher learning, teacher knowledge, and the connection between educational policy and teachers’ practice. She has conducted research on history and mathematics teaching and has reviewed the literature on teacher professional development and teacher education. Her current work focuses on developing sound measures for tracking what teachers learn in teacher preparation, induction, and professional development programs.
April 20, 2010
Dr. Sonja Gunnings-Moton is assistant dean for student support services and recruitment and an assistant professor of counseling. She has major responsibilities for program efforts fostering the recruitment and retention of under-represented groups to undergraduate and graduate programs, including direction of the Broad Partnership and the Urban Educators Cohort Program. Her interests in the field of counseling psychology include clinical practice and managed care, mood disorders among women of color, and adult learner relationships in school settings.
For more information see President's Education Forums.