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The Center for Urban and Multicultural Education is a research and evaluation center housed in the Indiana University School of Education at Indianapolis

Latest News

A panel of experts on race and education will discuss the problem of the "school-to-prison pipeline" during a public event Thursday, April 17. CUME education research coordinator Dexter B. Wakefield will serve as moderator.
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Student in Prison Cell

Congressman André Carson and Citizens Energy Group recently announced that CUME Associate Directory for Community Engagement Monica A. Medina has been selected for the 125 Neighborhood Leaders Award because she recognizes needs in our community and connects people to diverse resources to address those needs. On June 10th, Medina was also named "Latina Educator of the Year" by Mayor Ballard for her commitment to multicultural education and the development of innovative educational approaches in a community school context.
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Monica A. Medina

Presenters: Rob Helfenbein, John Houser, Suzanne Branon, Kari Carr, Gabe Huddleston, Nate Williams, Rose Jackson Buckley

As part of the 2013 Indiana Urban Schools Association Conference, CUME Director Rob Helfenbein and PhD students described the Center for Urban and Multicultural Education’s mission of creating connections of research, practice and education improvement for city schools and urban communities. Presenters described the Translational Research and Evaluation process of partnering with a variety of organizations and agencies to create ways in which to implement new systems, procedures, or routines predicated on research findings that are geared toward developing meaningful educational practices. Presenters also highlighted a variety of project partnerships with strategic priorities of encouraging cultural competency, improving education, narrowing the research gap, and providing rigorous program evaluation.

Download Sherick Hughes' Keynote Presentation from the conference (PPT)

CUME researchers and urban education PhD students present at IUSA conference

CUME Projects in the News

The Peabody Journal of Education has published an article from CUME drawing upon experiences of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), in collaboration with its adjacent neighborhoods, that illustrates the transformative and relevant impact of university and community engagement, as well as new pedagogical approaches to teaching, learning, and training.

John Houser of the Center for Urban and Multicultural Education at IUPUI dissected the [Mind Trust] plan in a detailed report, countering claims it makes of improvements in New Orleans and New York City... Houser's report raises serious questions about a plan in Indianapolis that is receiving too little scrutiny from those in authority.

Six months after the Mind Trust released its plan to reform Indianapolis Public Schools, researchers at Indiana University say the strategy relies on experiments in other cities that ultimately led to greater inequity among students and did not produce dramatic academic gains.

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette editorializes about the proposed REPA II changes to teacher and administrator licensure citing CUME's report on teacher licensure and certification documenting the positive impact from teachers prepared in university-based teacher education programs.

Developments in Education

The Equity Institute on Race, Culture and Transformative Action at IUPUI, CUME, and the IU School of Education at IUPUI have partnered with the Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) to provide an online cultural competency training program. With the goal of fostering culturally responsive healthcare delivery, the Cultural Competency team provides an internet-based, cultural competency program to service providers in Indiana. The team has expertise in assessment, evaluation, multicultural counseling, mental health, cultural competence, persons with disabilities, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT), intercultural communication, clinical psychology, and social justice.

This research report provides a review of the research and evidence pertaining to the Mind Trust proposal for Indianapolis Public Schools, with a focus on issues of equity. It reviews the available evidence pertaining to similar school reform efforts in New Orleans and New York City, as well as pertaining to some of the key aspects of the plan, such as mayoral control, alternative teacher certification, expansion of charter school options, and the role of education management organizations.

This research brief unpacks the definition of Year-Round Education and then presents the current thinking and research about its adoption and impact on students, teachers, and families.

This brief outlines the pros and cons of TFA as evidenced by independent research.

Issues identified in the research raise more questions about the long-term benefits of charter schools, their economic impact on traditional public schools, and the overall direction of the public education system.

The substantial variation in requirements among alternative certification programs raises questions about standards and minimum requirements, and more importantly, the impact on low-income urban and rural minority populations.

This report describes some of the major initiatives that the Indianapolis Public School (IPS) system has undertaken in the past decade and to highlight schools that have enjoyed a measure of success.

Joshua S. Smith and Robert J. Helfenbein, Jr. co-authored this book chapter about translational research in education.

Exploring the Racialized Experiences of Students of Color in Higher Education and Student Affairs Master's Programs

This presentation presents findings from a study that explored the racialized experiences of Students of Color in higher education and student affairs graduate preparation programs. Using a critical race methodology, the researchers interviewed 29 students from across the country enrolled in higher education and student affairs graduate preparation programs. Findings indicate students experience mismatch between their expectations of and experiences with their graduate programs, racial microaggressions perpetuated by peers and faculty, and an increased awareness of the intersections of their social identities. Implications for future research related to race and graduate education are also presented.


‘Fuel to My Passion’: The Experiences of Black Teacher Education Candidates at a Predominately White Institution

Using a critical race theory (CRT) framework, this paper explores the lived experiences of Black teacher education candidates in a predominantly white institution (PWI). The data from eight Black students enrolled in a teacher education revealed: (1) challenging experiences; (2) support factors; and (3) their dedication and desire to persevere.


Whiteness as Property: Race, Ability and Innocence in the School to Prison Pipeline

Using a combination of identity mapping, interviews, observations, and document analysis, Dr. Annamma collaborated with females of color labeled with emotional disabilities and their teachers to share what has constrained and enabled the success of these young women. Much of the literature suggested that special education was tied to the School to Prison Pipeline and that females of color with disabilities had unique experiences in that pipeline. This study utilized historically marginalized students and teachers as knowledge generators to address the School to Prison Pipeline in an empirically based fashion in order to determine the education trajectories of young women of color with disabilities and what we can learn in order to disrupt the Pipeline.


Examining the Impact of Project Lead the Way (PLTW) on College Outcomes in STEM

Abstract Forthcoming.


Investigating the Use of Quick Response Codes in the Gross Anatomy Laboratory

The use of quick response (QR) codes in institutions of higher education is becoming increasingly popular, yet literature concerning their use in medical education is scant. This study examined student perceptions of the usefulness of QR codes as study-aids in a Medical Gross Anatomy course and statistically analyzed whether this resource impacted student performance.


Toward a Relevant Policy Studies and Civics Coursework for Grades 9-12

Current literature reveals a crisis in knowledge and activism in the exercise of civic rights and opportunities among citizens in urban communities (Ben-Porath, 2013; Lazar, Sian, & Nuijten, 2013; Shiller, 2013). In-fact, from a historical and sociological perspective, many authors claim that urban students within the public education system are losing out on these arguably essential skills and the opportunities that they afford (Ben-Porath, 2013; Checkoway, 2013; Cohen & Chaffee, 2013; Curtis, 2012; Jenkins & Carpenter, 2013; McGovern 2013; Tyack, 1974). In light of this information, our study has two main goals. The first is to learn the interests and motivations of students in an urban secondary school environment toward increased activity in the political system (Bartlett, K., 2009; Reeve & Deci, 1996). The second is to “determine whether education programs can intervene” (Cohen & Chaffee, 2013, p.43) and how. With this presentation we will share the findings, to date, of our study and welcome input and feedback on our work.