The Weekly Connect 7/31/17

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:

The benefits of nurse home-visiting programs for children and their mothers.

Grant funding for teacher training is rejected by the House Appropriations Committee.

How K-12 might be affected if the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) is overhauled.

To read more, click on the following links.

Research

Study Looks at Link Between Readiness, Post-Recession Rise in Poverty
Ed Week Early Years Blog: A study published in the journal Children and Youth Services Review finds more children are living in high-poverty neighborhoods following the Great Recession—and that has implications for school readiness. In 1998, 36% of children lived in moderate-low, moderate-high, and high-poverty neighborhoods. By 2010, that number had increased to 44%. “The results are worrying because we found that these children who live in poor neighborhoods regardless of their family’s poverty status start school almost a year behind in terms of academic skills compared to children in low-poverty neighborhoods,” said Sharon Wolf, the study’s lead author.

Social-Emotional-Learning Researchers Gather Input from Educators
Education Week: In the increasingly popular fields of student engagement, social-emotional learning, and school climate, educators and researchers sometimes feel like they are working in totally different worlds. While researchers tout long-term studies that show economic and academic benefits of such efforts, teachers say they sometimes struggle to apply the findings in classrooms. So, when a national organization set out to craft a research agenda for what it calls social, emotional, and academic development of students, organizers sought to build a bridge between the two worlds, inviting both educators and scientists to the table to discuss what excites them, what challenges them, and what should come next.

Home Nursing Visits Provide Wide-Ranging Benefits for Mothers, Young Children
EdSource: Children born to low-income, first-time mothers who received home nursing visits showed increased mental health, stronger social and emotional development, and academic gains, according to researchers who analyzed the impact of the Nurse-Family Partnership program, one of the largest home visiting programs in the country. See related article: Ed Week Early Years Blog “Home-Visiting Study Explores Long-Term Benefits from Early Intervention.”

 Fierce Debate Over Sign-Language Use by Some Deaf Students
Education Week: New research, published in the journal Pediatrics, suggests that the long-term use of sign language holds back the speech and reading skills of children who use devices known as cochlear implants. These implants bypass damaged parts of the ear and send electrical impulses directly to a user’s auditory nerve. Supporters of sign language, on the other hand, say that a visual language is an essential foundation of literacy for deaf children, even for those who use cochlear implants.

Policy

House Committee Rejects Democrats’ Bid to Restore Education Funding, Protect Teacher Training
The 74 Million: The House Appropriations Committee rejected efforts by Democrats to restore money for federal teacher training grants and other education programs as members considered a bill that cuts funding for the Education Department overall. The bill would cut the education department’s budget overall by about $2.4 billion, with $2.1 billion of that coming from the teacher assistance grants. 

Four K-12 Issues to Watch in Health-Care Overhaul
Education Week: The Trump administration and congressional Republicans are in the midst of trying to replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—better known as Obamacare. And the process could have big implications for the nation’s schools when it comes to special education funding, teacher benefits, and more. What are the major issues at stake for K-12 educators, and how do these two GOP bills—the Senate’s “Better Care Reconciliation Act” and the House’s “American Health Care Act”—differ from the law now in effect?

School Culture, Policies Drive Use of Restraint and Seclusion
Disability Scoop: An analysis looking at rates of restraint and seclusion of those with disabilities in American schools across two years finds that most districts rarely employ the practices while a small group of districts report “exceedingly high rates.” In many cases, however, researchers found that variation between high-use and low-use districts was most pronounced within the same states.

Around the Nation

Why Americans Think So Poorly of the Country’s Schools
The Atlantic: Each year, parents responding to the Phi Delta Kappa poll report high levels of satisfaction with their kids’ education. Asked to assign letter grades to their children’s schools, the vast majority of parents—generally around 70%—issue As and Bs. When asked to rate the nation’s schools, however, respondents are far less sanguine. Reflecting on public schools in general, a similar share of respondents—roughly 70%—confer a C or D. 

U.S. Children Gain Ground in Home Supports, Federal Data Show
Ed Week Inside School Research Blog: While child lead-poisoning problems have spurred concerns nationwide, new data from 23 federal agencies that work with children suggests children’s physical environments have become healthier and their homes more supportive, but both still show room for improvement.

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