The Weekly Connect 4/3/17

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

These are some of the things we’ve been reading about:

• Representative Bobby Scott (D-Virginia) has called for investing billions of dollars in “disconnected” youth – those who are not in school and not working – to help them get high school diplomas and workforce counseling and training.

• Less advantaged students tend to benefit from their teachers’ encouragement.

• How stereotypes can hurt Asian students.

Exposure to lead can affect children for decades.

To read more, click on the following links. 

Policy

Top Democrat Introduces Bill to Direct Over $5 Billion to ‘Disconnected’ Youth
Ed Week Politics K-12 Blog: Legislation introduced by the top Democrat in the House of Representatives on education would direct $5.5 billion in competitive and formula grants to provide more educational and career opportunities for young people who are not in school and not working. 

Trump’s Education Cuts Would Squeeze Charter, Private Schools
Ed Week Politics K-12 Blog: Private and charter schools were considered the big winners in President Donald Trump’s budget blueprint, which sought new money to expand student options. The problem for some schools of choice? Private and charter schools would be squeezed by the proposed cuts, just like regular public schools.

Research

Location Can Determine How Successfully Teachers Work Together
Ed Week Teaching Now Blog: A study from Northwestern University’s school of education and social policy, published in Sociology of Education, measured how distance in the school building—teachers’ proximity to each other’s classrooms as well as to other areas where teachers spend their time, such as restrooms and the lunchroom—affects the way teachers connect with one another to talk about academics, problems, and support. Research finds that teachers’ physical proximity to one another plays an important role in the way they interact and, ultimately, how successful they are at collaborating.

Teacher encouragement has greatest influence on less advantaged children
Science Daily: A new study finds that children from families with limited education have strongest long-term response to teacher encouragement, and are more likely to progress to university as a result. The findings, published in the journal Research in Higher Education, show that further education and social mobility policymaking might benefit from increased focus on the “relational aspects” of interactions between teachers and students. 

Stereotypes Turn Up Pressure on Asian Students, Lower Their Own Expectations
Ed Week Inside School Research Blog: Stereotyping Asian-American students as top-performers can change how they perceive support from parents, teachers, and friends and drag down their expectations for themselves, according to a study from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

Around the Nation

Later school start times catch on nationwide
District Administration: Many district administrators seem to agree that teenagers need more sleep. A new study indicates that attendance and graduation rates may match the science, too. Published in the journal Sleep Health, the study includes data for 30,000 students in 29 high schools from eight districts across seven states. Two years after a delayed start was implemented at these high schools, average attendance rates increased from 90% to 94%, and graduation rates increased from 79% to 88%. 

Community Walks Create Bonds of Understanding
Edutopia: When students lead teachers through their communities, the cultural exchange can have a transformational effect on school culture. These walking experiences allow educators to learn about students in their communities and on their terms. What are the most important places and landmarks in their neighborhoods? Who are the formal and informal leaders? Students create an itinerary, organize a teach-in, and host an experiential learning session for their teachers.

Are High School Students with Disabilities Prepared for Life After School?
Ed Week On Special Education Blog: A new, two-volume report exploring the experiences of students with disabilities was released. Volume 1 of the report compares students with disabilities to their typically developing peers. Volume 2 of the report compares students across disability categories. The research offers a snapshot of student experiences; it does not come with policy prescriptions. But these findings suggest that schools and parents face a lot of challenges in raising expectations for students with disabilities.

Lead exposure alters the trajectory of children’s lives decades later, study finds
The Washington Post: Children with elevated blood-lead levels at age 11 ended up as adults with lower cognitive function and lower-status occupations than their parents, according to new research that offers one of the clearest looks yet at the potential long-term health impact of the potent neurotoxin.

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