CNA Education Update

July 2016
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In this issue:
CybersecurityThe Gender Gap in Cybersecurity
Juliana Pearson, Associate Research Analyst
Women and students of color are often underrepresented in in-demand STEM fields. One of the goals of CNA's recently launched project STEMwire  is to help policymakers and practitioners ensure that all students have equal access to high-quality STEM training. 

The gender gap in cybersecurity is a pressing example of inequities in STEM. Men are much more likely than women to pursue careers in cybersecurity, and recent research estimates that women make up only 10 percent of the cybersecurity workforce. This situation is especially alarming because the cybersecurity labor market is currently facing a shortfall of qualified candidates....
....The gender gap in cybersecurity begins long before young women choose a career. Girls are also underrepresented in high school computer science classes. Though nationwide more than half of students who take AP exams are girls, during the 2014/15 school year, only 22 percent of students who took the computer science AP exam were female. Girls also tend to be less confident in their abilities in computer science and related fields....
....Organizations nationwide are working to engage girls in computer science fields, including cybersecurity....CNA can apply rigorous quantitative and qualitative research methodologies to evaluate and inform similar programs. Implementation evaluation tools can help program leaders understand what is working well and how programs can be improved to serve students even more effectively. Through STEMwire, CNA Education researchers will partner with policymakers, educators, and leaders of community organizations to build a stronger research base on how we can effectively help all students succeed in STEM fields.

PattyQWe want to know: What do YOU think is the most important education issue right now?
What do you think is the most important education issue right now_ Tell us _CNA_Edu__ProgressforEd or email us by clicking here. W e are at an interesting point in American education. Developments such as the passing of ESSA and Perkins and the increasing availability of education data have fostered wider use of data and evidence to address issues in our education system, and at the same time it seems we are more aware than ever of the issues to be addressed. 

We want to continue the conversation arou nd these issues. Tell us what you think is the most important issue and why. We'll post responses on social media, and include them in our next newsletter if possible! Send your responses to us via Twitter or Facebook using #ProgressforEd, or shoot us an email at .

TeamGet to know our team
Pie chart of team degrees
The CNA Education team is a strong group of researchers, but we also bring a diverse background and well-rounded perspective to our work. Foreign language, communications, and anthropology are just a few additional areas of expertise. Find out who we are!

JulianaA chat with Juliana Pearson
Juliana Pearson Juliana Pearson is a CNA Education researcher who has expertise in education policy research - with an emphasis on college and career readiness, career and technical education, and workforce development - and experience in formative program evaluation data collection and analysis. She is currently earning a doctorate in education administration and policy studies from the George Washington University, and holds an M.A. in education policy from the George Washington University and a B.A. in sociology and anthropology from Earlham College.

Q: What made you want to become a researcher?
A: When I was 15 years old, I read Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol, which helped me understand the extent of the inequities in the U.S. education system and fired me up to want to do something about them. As a college student studying anthropology and sociology, I learned that education researchers can help educators and policymakers understand what's working and what's not. I also discovered that I enjoyed this type of work. My first job after my undergraduate studies was as a research assistant supporting work for the U.S. Department of Education, and the rest is history.

Q: Through your work, what is the most interesting/unexpected/important finding you have discovered?
A: I'm always excited when the study we are conducting reveals that a new policy or program is having a positive effect on participants. That means that the initiative is having a tangible effect on the people it is meant to help and changing their lives for the better.

Q: What is your favorite part of research/least favorite part of research?
A: I love qualitative research, which generally involves conducting interviews and focus groups and then coding the data to find analytical themes. Qualitative data collection allows me to get out into the field to talk to practitioners and students. It provides me the opportunity to understand a program or policy firsthand. I love hearing people tell their stories.

Q: If you were not a researcher, what would you do for a living?
A: Growing up, I wanted to write historical fiction for children. I would have probably pursued that path had education not piqued my interest. I'd set my stories in Minnesota and South Dakota, where my family lives.

VideoseriesUpcoming video series: Voices of CTE
As part of its new initiative STEMwire, CNA Education will be developing a series of short videos featuring leaders, practitioners, students, and policymakers who are involved in the world of career and technical education (CTE). Our goal is to spotlight new and innovative CTE programs and practices, highlight a variety of perspectives on CTE and workforce development, and generate conversations around how CTE programs can be used and improved to better equip students for promising careers, particularly those in STEM fields.

Keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook feeds, as well as our YouTube channel and the STEMwire webpage for updates!

ReadingWhat we're reading

Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce
June 2016
Georgetown CEW examined the post-Great Recession labor market landscape and found that the recession reduced low-skill blue-collar and clerical jobs, but that the recovery added primarily high-skill managerial and professional jobs. The report concludes that although jobs are back, the American economy continues to leave those without a college education behind.

National Center for Innovation in Career and Technical Education (NCiCTE)
June 2016
This report examines outcomes - such as student engagement, college readiness, and postsecondary enrollment - for grade 12 students who were enrolled in a Linked Learning certified pathway in California and compares them with outcomes for similar students who did not participate in a pathway program.

National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE)
January 2016
This report draws on results from a survey to diagnose equity issues in high school STEM classes. The report also offers strategies to address equity issues in STEM.

RTI International
December 2015
This paper outlines key considerations for putting career pathways into operation and provides a checklist of action items that states or local communities can use to assess the status of their sustainability efforts.

ResearchUpdatesResearch Updates
Linking Teacher Evaluations to Observable Characteristics

Lee, Leeds, and Robers (not pictured) from CNA Education met with MSDE to discuss study findings and topics for future research.
In the 2013/14 school year, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) fully implemented a Teacher and Principal Evaluation Model (TPE), which uses a combination of measures of professional practice and student growth to evaluate teacher and principal performance. CNA Education has been working to help MSDE assess the model's validity by identifying correlations between TPE outcomes and observable teacher characteristics. This month, CNA Education researchers Dr. Steve Lee, Dr. Daniel Leeds, and Mrs. Simone Robers met with MSDE leaders to present findings from their research that could help inform the model's improvement and implementation going forward.

New REL Appalachia Research Spotlights Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit Courses in Kentucky
For schools across Kentucky, dual enrollment and dual credit programs are an important feature of college readiness efforts. Two new REL Appalachia reports provide updated information about dual enrollment and dual credit programs in Kentucky, examining both program implementation and course participation and completion. The studies were conducted in partnership with REL Appalachia's Kentucky College and Career Readiness Alliance.

The first report, Dual Enrollment Courses in Kentucky: High School Students' Participation and Completion Rates, describes dual enrollment participation and completion rates for public school students in grades 11 and 12 from 2009 to 2013. Dual enrollment courses, in which students take college courses while still in high school, can be taken on a postsecondary campus, on a high school campus, or online.

The second study, The Implementation of Dual Credit Programs in Six Nonurban Kentucky School Districts, examines various aspects of dual credit program implementation in five rural districts and one suburban district.

For more information about these studies, visit the REL Appalachia website.

NewsandEventsNews and events
Congratulations to CNA Education researchers Dr. Christine Mokher and Dr. Julie Harris, who will be supporting Florida State University as it evaluates the long-term outcomes of a recent developmental education reform of the Florida College System. This work is being conducted under a 5-year, $3.3 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences. About this project

Education Week's blog "Rural Education" recently featured a post on REL Appalachia's study The Implementation of Dual Credit Programs in Six Nonurban Kentucky School Districts.

July 10-14, 2016
CNA researcher and REL Appalachia Deputy Director Chris Sun presented "Participation and pass rates for college preparatory transition courses in Kentucky" at the National Forum on Education Statistics in Washington, DC.

July 15, 2016
Researchers Kenneth Anderson, Ph.D., and Chris Sun attended the Deputy Director for Policy and Research Conversation at the Institute of Education Sciences.

July 20 and 21, 2016
Researchers Juliana Pearson and Chris Sun attended the Knowledge Alliance DC Days meeting in Washington, DC.

August 9-10, 2016
CNA Education's Simone Robers is attending The Campus Safety Conference in Long Beach, CA.
July 27, 2016
Georgetown, KY

August 12, 2016
Williamsburg, VA

August 25, 2016

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About CNA Education
We focus on:
  • Making effective use of data
  • Teacher quality
  • K-12 program effectiveness
  • Transitions from secondary school
  • College and career readiness / workforce development
We provide:
  • Applied research
  • Program evaluation
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