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University of Iowa News Release

Dec. 23, 2005

Marshalltown Native Wins Education Award For NCLB Research

Marshalltown native Erika Stevenson, who graduated this month from the University of Iowa with a master's degree in curriculum and supervision, has received the 2005 Iowa Educational Research and Evaluation (IEREA) Distinguished Research Award for a paper on the impact the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act has had on K-12 classrooms in Iowa.

Stevenson's "The impact of NCLB on Instructional Changes: A Consequential Validity Study," was presented recently at the IEREA's annual meeting. Stevenson coauthored the study with Kris Waltman, associate director of the UI College of Education's Center for Evaluation & Assessment.

The research upon which the paper is based is part of a larger, ongoing study about both the positive and negative impacts NCLB legislation has had on various aspects of education within Iowa public schools.

"This paper focused specifically on changes teachers have made to their curriculum and instructional practices and their reasons for making these changes," Stevenson said. "One important finding is that teachers of all disciplines are feeling compelled to make changes involving reading instruction. While this increased focus can result in improved achievement in reading, it is important to examine if there are 'costs' to other important content areas and learning goals.

"I was delighted to be recognized by members of the Iowa educational community who have contributed so much to the ever-expanding knowledge of our field," Stevenson added. "I think it's important that researchers, practitioners, and policymakers continue to have a venue like IEREA in which to share knowledge and support one another."

Stevenson is continuing to assist with research into NCLB and will present further findings at the American Educational Research Association and the National Council on Measurement in Education conferences in April 2006. Next month, she plans to go to Thailand to teach English.

"After that I may pursue a doctoral program or look for work in coordinating tutoring programs for non-profit organizations," Stevenson said.

A daughter of Becky Stevenson of Marshalltown and the late Dennis Stevenson of Round Rock, Texas, Stevenson graduated from Marshalltown High School in 1992 and received her undergraduate degree in English with an endorsement to teach grades 7-12 from Iowa State University in 1996.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007, stephen-pradarelli@uiowa.edu.