The Weekly Connect 5/15/17

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:

Three studies provide insights that states could use to curb absenteeism.

Bullying has a harmful, lasting impact.

School advocacy groups are worried about how the House’s Health Care bill could impact Medicaid.

Increasing graduation rates for English Language Learners.

To read more, click on the following links.

Research

Student Absenteeism: Three New Studies to Know
Ed Week Inside School Research Blog: For improving achievement, boosting student attendance seems like the lowest of the low-hanging fruit. But new research on chronic absenteeism reveals surprising details can make a difference in whether students make it to class. Here are a few studies states might want to consider as they work to improve attendance.

All in the Family: Supporting Students through Family Engagement in ESSA
New America: Research demonstrates that engaging families in the learning process nurtures positive outcomes for both young children and their families. Benefits for the child appear across multiple domains in early childhood development, including literacy and language, social and emotional development, and cognition. Families also benefit from increased knowledge about evidence-based parenting skills and gaining access to activities and supports that build family resiliency and well-being, such as health and mental health care, social services, and educational and workforce opportunities.

Bullying’s lasting impact
Science Daily: A new study published in the journal Pediatrics found that kids who are bullied in fifth grade are more likely to suffer from depression in seventh grade; and have a greater likelihood of using alcohol, marijuana or tobacco in tenth grade. See related article: Mind/Shift “School Bullying Is Down. Why Don’t Students Believe It?

Be mindful: How a tech tool can help
The Hechinger Report: The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence has partnered with ClassDojo, makers of an app that is used in millions of classrooms nationwide, to share researched-based educational practices meant to facilitate mindfulness among youngsters. A recent survey by ClassDojo and the Yale Center found that most teachers wanted to incorporate these mindfulness lessons in the classroom, but only 13 percent had the tools to do so.

Exposure to racism harms children’s health
Science Daily: New research from the American Academy of Pediatrics illustrates the unhealthy effects racism can have on children, with reported exposure to discrimination tied to higher rates of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, as well as decreased general health.

Policy

The Worrisome Relationship Between Population Projections and State Spending on Kids
Governing Magazine: An analysis by the Urban Institute found that states that spend more per child tend to have better outcomes when taking public education, health and social services into account. The analysis also found regional trends: States in the Northeast are more likely to spend more while states spending less than $7,000 per child are mostly in the South and West. Julia B. Isaacs, who co-authored the study, says “these wide disparities in public investment raise concerns about whether children nationwide are on equal footing when pursuing the American Dream.”

Charter School Accountability Under ESSA
Education Commission of the States: This policy analysis provides a brief overview of school accountability over the past several years, and it discusses how the Every Student Succeeds Act’s (ESSA’s) accountability provisions apply to charter schools. It also provides examples of how states are addressing charter schools in their draft ESSA state plans. 

Health Care Bill’s Changes to Medicaid Alarm School Advocacy Groups
Ed Week Politics K-12 Blog: The American Health Care Act, which passed the House, makes changes to Medicaid spending that has some education organizations up in arms. The change to health care law bases state allocations of Medicaid money in part on how many people are in particular populations. Supporters of the change see it as way for states to be more creative with how they use dollars for Medicaid. But groups such as the AASA, the School Superintendents Association, the National School Boards Association, the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, and the two national teachers’ unions are saying the bill would harm children.

Around the Nation

Increased Opt-In Rates Boost Confidence in Higher Student Achievement Rates
Center for American Progress: Nationwide, student achievement is ticking upward thanks to the implementation of more rigorous academic standards. By the 2015-16 school year, the majority of states used the Common Core State Standards, or similarly rigorous state standards for at least three years. This approach seems to be paying off—across all 50 states, more students are meeting these stronger state learning standards.

4th Graders Are Getting ‘Thin’ Diet of Science Instruction, Analysis Shows
Ed Week Curriculum Matters Blog: A new report from Change the Equation found that more than half of 4th graders spend less than three hours a week on science, and 1 in 5 students get less than two hours. The data also show that students who spend more time on science tend to score higher on the NAEP science test.

What Can Educators Do to Increase Graduation Rates for English-Learners?
Ed Week Learning the Language Blog: Schools that want to improve the educational prospects for English Language Learners should take account of what’s happening in their students’ lives outside the classroom, a new report from the research arm of America’s Promise Alliance finds.

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