In the News

by Lynn Bell

Some Recent Media Mentions of Curry


The Top Education Scholars

Curry School dean Robert C. Pianta was named the 19th most influential university-based scholar in the 2012 Edu-Scholar Public Presence Rankings, published by Rick Hess on an Education Week blog. The rankings name the top 110 university-based scholars contributing to the public debate about education.

Curry professor and world renowned expert on differentiated instruction, Carol Tomlinson, was 27th on the list. Also included was David Breneman (63rd), former Curry School dean and Newton and Rita Meyers Professor in Economics of Education, Sarah E. Turner (95th), professor of Education Policy, and Michelle Young (101st), professor in the Administration & Supervision program and director of the University Council for Educational Administration.

Three Curry School alumni also appeared on the list: Patrick J. McGuinn (M.Ed. ’01 Ed Policy Studies), Jonathan Plucker (Ph.D. ‘95 Ed Psych), and Michelle Reininger (M.Ed. ’01 Ed Policy Studies).


2012 U.S. News & World Report Rankings

Special Education Program:  5th
Secondary Teacher Education Program:  8th
Elementary Teacher Education Program: 10th

Administration & Supervision: 12th
Education Policy: 12th
Curriculum & Instruction: 13th
Ed Psych: Applied Developmental Science: 17th

The Curry School ranked 23rd among schools of education.


Huffington Post | Feb. 29
Teacher War Rages in NYC: Take an Olive Branch from Early Ed
By Susan Ochshorn

“A recent study by Robert C. Pianta, dean of the education school at the University of Virginia, found only 7 percent of children experienced good teaching throughout their elementary school years…. Observation of what really goes on in classrooms has often been sidelined in all the incendiary and obfuscating talk about teacher effectiveness and evaluation. But at the early end of the education spectrum, where standardized tests are not part of the territory, observation is alive and well. Reliable, data-intensive observation tools that zoom in on the heart of learning – interactions between students and teachers – are now in use across the country in Head Start classrooms, state prekindergarten, as well as in the early grades of elementary school. These emerging tools are helping us to pinpoint, with great specificity, how teachers interact with students in various circumstances, providing critical information about a classroom’s organization, emotional climate, and instructional support, all of which have been linked to good outcomes for young children.”

Read the complete post.


Daily Progress | Feb. 26
Good Question, Wanting Answer
by Robert C. Pianta

“If shifting the rules for tenure and renewal are going to lead to more effective teachers and more learning for Virginia’s schoolchildren, then these rule changes must be explicitly linked to solid performance evaluation and improvement systems.

“Passing the policy and leaving the details to get worked out locally is abdicating responsibility for what the policy can achieve for the common good. Teacher tenure is a big deal — if we change it then we better be ready to do it in a way that increases confidence of success. The evaluation process needs to be credible, valid and transparent. It needs rules and procedures that participants understand, trust and that work. And most of all, teachers and principals will need an assortment of known-effective resources to improve as practitioners.”

Read the complete op-ed.


Inside Higher Ed | Feb. 29
Not From My Wallet
by Kevin Kiley

“’We have seen periodic outbreaks of focus on middle- and upper-income families, and we may be entering another such period right now,’ said David Breneman, an economics professor at the University of Virginia who researches higher education policy. In the 1970s, when tuition was increasing at double-digit rates per year, Congress passed the Middle Income Student Assistance Act, which opened up some federal grant programs to families that made more than traditionally qualified for federal need-based aid.”

Read the complete post.


Inside Higher Ed | Mar. 9
‘World-Class’ vs. Mass Education
by Doug Lederman

“But Ritzen’s comments at the symposium drew significant pushback from many of the policy makers and other experts in attendance, said David W. Breneman, the Newton and Rita Meyers Professor in Economics of Education at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, who was among them. They argued, broadly, that ‘there is enough pressure on these countries to do this anyway,” Breneman said, and that “this is not the direction they should be working in.’ … Breneman said he was struck by how the conversation mirrored issues that he and his co-authors examined in their new book, Financing American Higher Education in the Era of Globalization (Harvard Education Press), in which many U.S. states (and leaders of public universities) have focused their limited funds on building elite research universities rather than on ‘the core, workhorse institutions that they tend to neglect’ — community colleges, regional public universities, and for-profit institutions.”

Read the complete post.


NPR | Mar 16
Violence In Schools: How Big A Problem Is It?
by Scott Neuman

Dewey Cornell, a clinical psychologist and education professor, says incidents like the one in Chardon, Ohio, and the infamous mass shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado and at Virginia Tech have reinforced a perception that schools can be dangerous places. “But that’s just not true,” says Cornell, who has been examining school violence for decades.

Read the complete article.


NBC29 TV |Mar. 6
UVA Professor Collaborates with Lady Gaga for Anti-Bullying

“Curry School of Education professor Dewey Cornell returned this week from the launch of Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation at Harvard University. ‘I really see this as kind of part of the civil rights movement – encouraging people to be tolerant, respectful to people of diverse backgrounds, race, physical appearances, sexual orientation,’ Cornell said.”

View news video.


ABC News.com | Jan. 13
Kathleen Edward, Girl Taunted Online While Battling Huntington’s Disease, Dies
By Kim Carollo

“Peter Sheras, a clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Virginia as well as an author of several books on bullying, said if Petkov did exhibit that type of behavior, it’s more indicative of an inability to settle disputes.

‘We don’t have very good skills at managing conflict,” said Sheras. “We don’t have enough mechanisms for socializing people into civility.’”

Read the complete story.