The Weekly Connect 5/22/17

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

Students with learning and attention issues are three times more likely to drop out of school.

A survey of 2,500 parents found that when it comes to their children, parents tend to rank math as lower in importance than reading.

House Democrats have introduced a school infrastructure spending plan.

New York City Mayor Bill Di Blasio plans to extend pre-K to his city’s 3-year-olds.

To read more, click on the following links.

Research

Students with Learning and Attention Issues Three Times More Likely to Drop Out
The Journal: One in five children have learning and attention issues, or brain-based challenges in reading, writing, math, organization, focus, listening comprehension, social skills, motor skills, or a combination of these, according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD). In a new report, the NCLD examines why students facing these issues are three times more likely to drop out of school.

Do Parents See Math as ‘Less Useful’ Than Reading?
Education Week: Parents have taken to heart public-awareness campaigns urging them to read to their children every night. But math initiatives have not gained as much traction—even as emerging evidence suggests early math may be one of the most critical school-readiness skills. A survey of more than 2,500 parents found that they generally rank math and science as lower in importance and relevance to their children’s lives than reading.

After the Bell: Youth Activity Engagement in Relation to Income and Metropolitan Status
Carsey School of Public Health:
Research shows that youth engagement in extracurricular activities and employment positively impacts student achievement and future earnings. Yet it also shows that the income gap in extracurricular participation is increasing — and that higher-income households are spending significantly more time than lower-income households on structured extracurricular and enrichment activities. This brief begins to illustrate what youth may be doing with their time and how activities vary by socioeconomic status and place of residence.

Policy

Trump Budget Reported to Use Title I, Research Aid to Push Choice
Ed Week K-12 Politics Blog: President Donald Trump’s full education budget proposal for fiscal 2018 would make notable cuts to the U.S. Department of Education, and leverage existing programs for disadvantaged students and K-12 innovation to promote school choice. Trump’s full education funding blueprint would cut $9.2 billion, or 13.6 percent, from the Education Department’s current $68 billion budget. 

New charter schools debate: Are they widening racial divides in public education?
The Washington Post: The nation’s schools have become more segregated by race and class over the past two decades, according to federal data, and some research indicates that charter schools are more likely to be segregated than traditional public schools. Some charter advocates say they are more interested in creating good schools for marginalized children as quickly as possible — no matter the consequences for the racial makeup of enrollment. 

School Infrastructure Spending Plan Introduced by House Democrats
Ed Week Politics K-12 Blog: Legislation that would direct more than $100 billion into building and upgrading school infrastructure around the country was introduced by Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., the House education committee’s top Democrat. The Rebuild America’s Schools Act of 2017 would be tailored for schools in high-poverty areas, and it would direct money to high-speed broadband internet as well as school construction.

Around the Nation

Tiered Systems of Support: Practical Considerations for School Districts
MDRC: Students make progress at their own speed, which means schools have to find tailored ways to support students’ learning. To do so, many schools are turning to tiered systems of support, which are usually implemented in three levels. There are, however, few clear guidelines for schools seeking to implement tiered support systems. There are no standards regarding required services or practice quality, no national monitoring institution, nor is there a single program developer. And under the Every Student Succeeds Act, states and districts are now fully responsible for implementing approaches that address students’ needs. This brief provides some practical considerations for schools contemplating tiered approaches. 

With a major but little-noticed move, New York City signals that learning starts at birth
Chalkbeat: Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to extend pre-K to 3-year-olds, a massive expansion of his popular Pre-K for All program. But a little-noticed element of the proposal could be just as significant: He called for the Department of Education to take over programs that reach children as young as six weeks old. Under the proposal, the education department would assume responsibility for EarlyLearn programs, which currently fall under the purview of the city’s child welfare agency, the Administration for Children’s Services.

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