September 17, 2021

2021’s States with the Best & Worst School Systems (Wallet Hub)

Coffman Featured in WalletHub Story on States with the Best and Worst Schools

Professor of Education Teresa Coffman

Professor of Education Teresa Coffman

College of Education Professor Teresa Coffman was recently featured in WalletHub’s recent piece on States with the Best and Worst School Systems. Dr. Coffman answered a series of questions, including the following:

In evaluating the best and worst school systems, what are the top 5 indicators? 

The following five key indicators tend to be used most often when considering a school system’s performance:

  • Student academic achievement,
  • Instructional quality,
  • School climate,
  • Graduation and attendance rates, and
  • Satisfaction of teachers, administrators, staff, caregivers, and students.

In lower-performing schools, funding has an impact on each of these five indicators. Teachers may be qualified to teach, but many may be first-year teachers with limited mentorship opportunities within the lower performing school resulting in higher turnover. The ability to provide quality resources might be reduced and the connection between home and school might not be as united as it could be thereby limiting communication and support.

Districts with the best school systems typically have higher funding, more experienced teachers and if there are new teachers’ strong mentorship programs, established student supports, multi-faceted resources, and more community and caregiver connectedness between the school and the surrounding neighborhoods. Read more.

Coffman Discusses Inequity in U.S. School Districts on WalletHub.com

Professor of Education Teresa Coffman

Professor of Education Teresa Coffman

College of Education Professor Teresa Coffman was recently interviewed for a WalletHub.com article on “States with the Most and Least Equitable School Districts.” The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the discrepancies that already existed between more affluent schools districts, which tend to receive a greater amount of funding per students, and those that are less affluent, the article states. Coffman was one of six professors from universities across the country to share their expertise.

Dr. Coffman: It has become common knowledge, and unfortunately an almost accepted practice, that many of our nation’s teachers pay for their classroom supplies out of their own pockets because of the inequity in funding. This means that particular groups of students are left behind, even before the instructional day begins in a school. Currently, the coronavirus pandemic and the need for schools to move to virtual learning due to the contagious nature of this disease has placed a spotlight on the inequities in opportunity within communities and funding for schools. Even beyond funding, this has resulted in varying questions relating to the purpose of our public schools as it relates to the needs of our country and all who live in its jurisdiction by many state leaders, parents, and community members. Read more.

States with the Most & Least Equitable School Districts (WalletHub)

Kansas teachers will get little required training on how to run classrooms online (The Mercury)

Coffman Interviewed on Online Training for Teachers

Professor of Education Teresa Coffman

Professor of Education Teresa Coffman

Professor of Education Teresa Coffman was interviewed for an article in The Mercury (Manhattan, Kansas) entitled, “Kansas teachers will get little training on how to run classrooms online.”

After the sudden shift to online classes in March, more training is the last thing some Kansas teachers are thinking. Instead, they’ve been using their summer vacation time to decompress.

“This has been an extremely stressful time,” said Teresa Coffman, a professor of education at the University of Mary Washington. “Teachers need a little bit of a break.” Read more.

Education Professors Host 5th Annual EdTech Conference (individual.com)

UMW professor named innovative educator of the year (Fredericksburg.com)

UMW Professor Named Innovative Educator of the Year

Professor Teresa Coffman uses new technologies to teach her education graduate students. Teresa Coffman, University of Mary Washington professor of education, was recently named the 2014 Innovative Educator of the Year by the Virginia Society for Technology and Education. The VSTE created the award as a way to give recognition to teachers who implement and encourage “innovative educational practices –especially those that champion the smart integration of technology.” “Dr. Coffman consistently demonstrates her professional commitment to and passion for innovative teaching that is grounded in compelling research,” said Mary Gendernalik-Cooper, dean of the College of Education. “She brings these qualities to bear with her students in ways that encourage them to think differently about who they are becoming as educators, and how their uses of technologies will shape transformational learning experiences for their own students.” 11-2014-Intern-Google-Glass-(3) Coffman’s areas of expertise and scholarly research include educational theory, pedagogy, technology in instruction, and teacher preparation. She is also the author of “Using Inquiry in the Classroom: Developing Creative Thinkers and Information Literate Students” and “Engaging Students through Inquiry-oriented Learning and Technology.” Coffman’s most recent venture into technology is researching how Google glass can be utilized in the classroom. “I’m examining how we can improve upon our practice as educators and learners by using technology,” said Coffman. She explains how asking questions in class quickly escalates with the curiosity of students and the technology is so easy that students say, “OK glass, tell me how this works.” Coffman sees the future of education integrated with technology, “Teaching needs to be more transformational. We need to extend beyond the creativity into innovative thought that can help us solve real world problems.”

Coffman Receives Innovative Educator Award

Teresa Coffman, Professor of Education, was selected as the 2014 Innovative Educator of the Year through the Virginia Society for Technology in Education (VSTE) for her work throughout the state with the use of innovative technologies in teaching and learning. She will be presented with the award at the December 2014 Conference where she will also present on new and emerging technologies.