The stories of 2019

December 24, 2019
A calendar for December 2019, with December 31 circled in red.

Before we turn the calendar to 2020, we’re taking one more look at some of the popular and interesting stories from 2019 that will stay with us.

A lesson plan for an impeachment inquiry

The closing months of 2019 were dominated by headlines of the inquiry, hearings, and eventual impeachment of President Donald Trump. Sigal Ben-Porath says that educators need to acknowledge that reality by bringing the conversation into their classrooms.

Sounds daunting? That’s why Ben-Porath created this plan. Take a look before the impeachment trial begins in the Senate.


Calculating the cost of college

How can a family know if it can afford a college if the college won’t provide a clear price? By law, American colleges are supposed to make it easy to decipher the real cost of a degree with a net price calculator. But as Laura Perna found, these calculators can often be confusing or even deceptive

Want to understand how net price calculators can trip up prospective students? We made this explainer video for you. 


Leveling the playing field in dual-language programs

Dual-language programs are on the rise in the US, but Latinx and affluent white students often have significantly different experiences in these programs. Nelson Flores said it’s time for schools, districts, and states lead efforts to reconsider how language proficiency is assessed — and to fundamentally reframe the expertise that racialized bilingual students bring to classroom settings.  


Finding a formula for the words

Researcher Manuel González Canché is a numbers guy -- but he’s also a collaborator. Through his collaborations, he has found that network analysis can help qualitative researchers see and present their data more clearly, and provide more transparency in their results.


The legacy of 1619

Two months after the New York Times Magazine published the 1619 Project she created, journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones was on campus to discuss the long legacy of slavery and segregation in America, and how this intersects with Philadelphia education.

 “Look at the racial makeup of your best schools and consider whose children are suffering,” she said. “If you believe in public schools, you have to fight for integration.” 


A democratic imperative

 Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong captured the world’s attention this fall. Writing in USA Today, Jonathan Zimmerman said the protests should be a call for American universities to better engage with the Chinese students on their campuses.


Penn GSE sets the standard

Penn GSE, its students, and its faculty were all recognized in 2019.

 Penn GSE moved into the #2 position in U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 rankings for graduate schools of education – its highest ranking ever. The School’s leadership in the world of education policy was again shown in the specialty rankings – the Education Policy Division remained #6 nationally, and the Higher Education Division moved up to #7. For a second year, Penn GSE’s Education Administration programs made the specialty rankings. Also debuting as top-ranked areas of strength were Penn GSE’s work in Educational Psychology and Curriculum.

 Professors John Fantuzzo and Laura Perna were elected to join the National Academy of Education, an organization dedicated to advancing high quality education research and its use in policy and practice.

 Four Penn GSE doctoral students, and a Ph.D. candidate in Penn’s history department, received prestigious National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowships, which supports individuals whose dissertations show potential for bringing fresh and constructive perspectives to the history, theory, analysis, or practice of formal or informal education anywhere in the world.

Additionally, Penn GSE Assistant Professor Sharon Wolf received an NAED/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship to further her research of early childhood education in sub-Saharan Africa.


The Best Books for Young Readers of 2019

To close out the year, Ebony Elizabeth Thomas leaves us with her picks for the best kid’s lit of the year. A perennial favorite at Penn GSE, her selections highlight beautiful stories of perseverance, love, loss, and self-discovery.