The Weekly Connect 9/4/17

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:

Children who start school when they’re older do better than their younger classmates.

Children who struggle with paying attention have worse grades later in life.

Some states are cutting standardized testing to create more time for instruction.

In the midst of politically turbulent times, Philadelphia’s teachers, school staff, and school administrators are being trained to keep immigrant children safe.

To read more, click on the following links.


Oldest Kids in Class Do Better, Even Through College
NPR The Two-Way: Children who start school at an older age do better than their younger classmates and have better odds of attending college and graduating from an elite institution. That’s according to a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Closing Failing Schools Doesn’t Help Most Students, Study Finds
Education Week: Schools with a higher enrollment of black and poor students are more likely to be shut down for poor performance, and the majority of students displaced by closures do not end up in better schools. But for those students who landed in better schools, their academic progress outpaced that of students in low-performing schools that remained open, according to new research by the Center for Research and Education Outcomes at Stanford University.

Minority Students Still Missing Out on Special Education, New Analysis Says
Ed Week On Special Education Blog: In a study looking at students who took the National Assessment for Educational Progress, researchers examined nearly 400,000 reading scores of students in 4th, 8th, and 12th grades. Results published in the journal Educational Researcher found that among 4th grade students whose reading achievement was in the lowest 10% nationally, 74% of White students were receiving special education services, compared to 44% of black students.

Inattentive Kids Show Worse Grades in Later Life
Science Daily: Researchers found that inattentiveness in childhood was linked to worse academic performance up to 10 years later in children with and without ADHD, even when they accounted for the children’s intellectual ability. The results, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, highlight the long-term effects that childhood inattention can have on academic performance, and they suggest that parents and teachers should address inattentiveness in childhood.

US Children Are Not Following Guidelines That Prevent Obesity
International Business Times: As the number of obese children in the U.S. increases, a new study finds guidelines aimed to prevent childhood obesity are not being followed, according to researchers from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. For the study, researchers observed children’s diet and physical activity for 24 hours. Among 400 preschool children, only one child followed the prevention guidelines over the course of a single day at daycare and at home, researchers found.

Having A Best Friend in Your Teenage Years Could Benefit You for Life
KQED Mind/Shift: A recent study published in Child Development suggests that bonds from adolescence might have an outsized role in a person’s mental health for years. Researchers followed 169 people for 10 years, starting when they were 15 years old. When the researchers evaluated the participants at the conclusion of the study, the ones who had close, emotional links showed improvement in their levels of anxiety, depression and self-worth. In other words, they reported less depression and anxiety and more self-worth at 25 than they had at 15 and 16.


States Begin Shedding Standardized Tests in K-12
District Administration: In just the last few months, several districts and states have eliminated tests and cut assessment time to make room for instruction and reduce stress. The average student takes 112 mandated standardized tests from pre-K through grade 12, according to the Council of the Great City Schools. Many states are studying K-12 assessments to determine the purpose of each exam and exactly how many tests are mandated at the state and local levels. 

New Federal Rule Could Force States to Lower Graduation Rates
Education Week: A little-noticed change in the country’s main federal education law could force many states to lower their high school graduation rates. In Indiana, the state faces the prospect of having to lower its graduation rate from 89 percent to 76 percent, a move its state superintendent fears could harm its economy and reputation.

Around the Nation

More Americans Give Top Grades to Public Schools
Education Week: Americans’ support for public schools has risen in the last year—across the country and across the political spectrum—but the public also wants schools to go beyond academics to provide more career and student health supports, according to the 49th annual education poll by Phi Delta Kappa International. The percentage of Americans rating K-12 education quality—at both the national and local levels—at an “A” or “B” is the highest it has been since the 1980s.

The Urban-School Stigma
The Atlantic: Urban schools don’t inspire much confidence these days. Politicians and policy leaders routinely bemoan their quality. Middle- and upper-income parents have expressed misgivings, too. With relatively little fuss, they’ve simply picked up and moved—departing from city school systems at ever-greater rates. Each year, it seems, urban schools serve larger concentrations of poor students, racial minorities, and English-language learners. As higher-income families depart, resources go with them, and schools are faced with the daunting prospect of doing more with less.

In Charged Climate, Philly Teachers Learn How to Keep Immigrant Students Safe
The Philadelphia Inquirer Education News: Responding to pleas from teachers, advocates, and students, the Philadelphia School District this year is implementing mandatory training in keeping the system’s tens of thousands of immigrant children safe and supported in the current political climate. Every school-based employee, from principal to cafeteria worker, is to receive instruction in everything from what information to release if immigration agents arrive at a school to how to communicate with parents who speak another language.


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Author: City Connects

City Connects is an innovative school-based system that revitalizes student support in schools. City Connects collaborates with teachers to identify the strengths and needs of every child. We then create a uniquely tailored set of intervention, prevention, and enrichment services located in the community designed to help each student learn and thrive.

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