The Weekly Connect 11/14/16

The new edition of The Weekly Connect is now posted. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox! Here are some of the things we’ve been reading about:

ESSA (the Every Student Succeeds Act) continues to unfurl: Among its many provisions, the new law will reveal disparities in school spending.

Teachers are in the news. A new campaign promotes their ability to reduce stress for traumatized students… and while classrooms are becoming increasingly diverse, the teaching profession is losing African-America teachers who leave at higher rates than their white colleagues.

Families and schools continue to face daunting mental health challenges: parents may not recognize children’s post-traumatic stress disorder; and middle school suicides have reached an all-time high. Fortunately, research suggests that music therapy can reduce depression in children and adolescents.

How are principals doing? Researchers looking at one principal prep program are struggling to find good data.

To read more, click on the following links.

Policy

ESSA reporting requirements will reveal spending disparities within districts
Education Dive: How much does your school spend, on average, per student? Most principals and administrators can’t answer that question. But changes brought on by the Every Student Succeeds Act means they will soon have to. ESSA requires states to report per-pupil expenditures for every local education agency and school in the state on annual report cards. 

Research

New campaign promotes power of teachers to reduce stress of traumatized students
Ed Source: A national campaign is recognizing the power of teachers to lower the levels of stress hormones in a child’s body and strengthen the neural connections needed for learning and self-control. The campaign, called Changing Minds, is a partnership of the U.S. Department of Justice, the nonprofit group Futures Without Violence and the Ad Council. Changing Minds cites research that suggests the impact of these relationship extends to preventing or repairing imbalances in the brain that interfere with learning. 

The reason so many black teachers leave the job early
The Hechinger Report: As the nation’s classrooms become increasingly diverse, with non-white children now making up the majority of public school students, schools have made inroads in recruiting more teachers of color. But those educators tend to leave the profession at much higher rates than their white counterparts. Teachers of color currently represent only 18 percent of the nation’s teaching force and black teachers comprise just 7 percent of that workforce. 

Principals Work 60-Hour Weeks, Study Finds
Education Week: A national study shows that principals regularly clock more than a standard, full-time workload every week. On average, principals work nearly 60 hours a week, with leaders of high-poverty schools racking up even more time, according to the first nationally representative study of how principals use their time.

Data Fall Short When Evaluating Impacts of Principal-Prep Programs, Report Finds
Ed Week District Dossier Blog: In a two-year effort to examine how the graduates of five principal-preparation programs affected student outcomes once they were on the job, researchers came up against a major challenge: Good data were hard to come by. But despite the dearth of good data, the researchers with the George W. Bush Institute and the American Institutes for Research stressed that understanding whether principal preparation programs are training principals for the work conditions and challenges of the job is an “urgent” policy concern. The findings suggest that “focusing on reducing variation in the performance of graduates through training, selection, or other means and systematizing or better tailoring supports may be the keys to success in preparing effective school leaders.”

Around the Nation

Child Care Costs Exceed 10 Percent of Family Income for One in Four Families
Carsey School of Public Policy: Access to quality, affordable child care is critical for American working families, and it is a major focus of efforts to bring about more family-friendly workplaces. In this brief, we analyze families’ child care expenses and identify, among families with young children who pay for child care, the share that are “cost burdened,” spending more than 10 percent of family income on child care. More than half (52.3 percent) of poor families with young children are cost burdened by child care, compared to 39.3 percent of low income families and just 13.4 percent of families at or above five times the poverty threshold. 

Should School Schedules Shift to 9-to-5?
Ed Week Time and Learning Blog: There’s a big disconnect between school schedules and the schedules of most working parents. Schools are often closed when parents are expected to be at work. And school start and end times don’t align with the traditional work day causing lots of problems for moms and dads, especially those with low-wage jobs that don’t offer much flexibility. These are some of the findings of a study released by the Center for American Progress. Researchers say Title I funds could be used to design a 9-to-5 school day, and other federal funds could be used to provide extended learning time and to change the way schools handle professional development.

Parents May Not Recognize Kids’ PTSD
Psych Central: New research finds that young children may experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for years without it being recognized by their parents. University of East Anglia researchers investigated how children under 10 can experience PTSD weeks, months, and years after a traumatic event. They discovered that children’s suffering is often under-recognized by parents despite being shaped to a large extent by the parents’ own stress in response to the child’s trauma.

Music therapy reduces depression in children, adolescents, research finds
Science Daily: In partnership with Every Day Harmony, researchers found that children and young people, aged 8-16 years old, who received music therapy had significantly improved self-esteem and significantly reduced depression compared with those who received treatment without music therapy.

Middle School Suicides Reach an All-Time High
NPR Ed: A new report shows that, for the first time, suicide rates for U.S. middle school students have surpassed the rate of death by car crashes. The suicide rate among youngsters ages 10 to 14 has been steadily rising, and doubled in the U.S. from 2007 to 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2014, 425 young people 10 to 14 years of age died by suicide.

New study on salt may cause parents to shake up kids’ diets
CBS News: Nearly all American kids eat far too much salt according to a federal study – which says they’re at risk for high blood pressure, and heart disease. The recommended daily limit for sodium ranges from 1,900 mg a day for younger kids, to 2,300 a day for older ones. The new study found adolescents consumed 55 percent more sodium than recommended.

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