The Weekly Connect 9/11/17

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

To boost reading comprehension, ask children simple questions about what they have read – including “why” questions.

President Donald Trump is ending DACA — the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. It is an Obama-era effort to protect an estimated 800,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children.

New York offers free lunch for all public school children.

To read more, click on the following links.

Research

Teaching Methods Go from Lab to Classroom
Science News: Moving from the lab to a classroom, with all its disruptions and distractions, is key for pinning down what works, under what conditions, and for whom. In the process of tweaking some of the most promising tools and strategies for classroom use, educators hope to find ways to help low-performing students gain skills that already pay off for their more successful peers. The efforts described here from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Research draw on new, innovative training methods to boost learning in K-12 classrooms. 

Many Worry That Students of Color Are Too Often Identified as Disabled. Is the Real Problem the Opposite?
Chalkbeat: It’s true that 15% of black students in the U.S. are identified as disabled, while only 13% of white students are. Some worry that misplacing black students in special education segregates them and lowers expectations for their success. The latest study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Educational Researcher, joins other recent research in calling these concerns into question — and suggests that bias may be at work in the other direction. See related article: U.S. News & World Report “New Study Questions Links Between Race, Disability in Students.” 

One Key Question May Help Children Get Deeper Meaning from Stories
Ed Week Early Years Blog: A new paper published in the online journal Cognition finds that asking that simple question can help young students get a lot more out of stories that are read to them. The paper includes the results of two related studies which find that simply asking children “why” questions about a story can help them to pick up the story’s overarching theme, or moral. 

New Tool Alerts Teachers When Students Give Up on Tests
Education Week: How much can a test really tell you if a student gives up while taking it? Quite a lot, as it turns out—if teachers know exactly when and how a student disengages. That’s what some schools nationwide started to do earlier this summer, using real-time alerts during a computer-based adaptive test to spot students going off task. The alerts are part of an ongoing research project between NWEA and the 50,000-student Santa Ana school district, a member of the California Office to Reform Education district consortium.

Policy

Trump Cancels DACA, Impacting Tens of Thousands of Students and Teachers
Education Week: President Donald Trump will end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era program that gives protection to an estimated 800,000 immigrants who came to the United States illegally as children. The decision leaves the undocumented residents, an undetermined number of whom work and learn in the nation’s K-12 schools, in a state of limbo. The Trump administration’s decision could also affect the lives of children born in the United States.

A High-Stakes September for Teachers and Leaders
New America: September brings some critical deadlines for lawmakers. States are working to finalize their Every Student Succeeds Act plans before the September 18 deadline set by the U.S. Department of Education; and by September 30, Congress must decide how to fund programs under ESSA for fiscal year 2018. Given this timing, it is difficult for states to plan how they will leverage ESSA to support teaching and learning in their schools. 

Beyond the Core: Advancing Student Success Through the Arts
Education Commission of the States: This Education Trends report explores research on how the arts bolster the development of deeper learning skills, provides examples of programs that successfully increased access to the arts in education in public schools, and includes state- and local-level policy considerations. 

Will Congress Continue Health Care For 9 Million Children?
NPR Shots Blog: A popular federal-state program that provides health coverage to millions of children in lower- and middle-class families is up for renewal Sept. 30. But with a deeply divided Congress, some health advocates fear that the Children’s Health Insurance Program could be in jeopardy or that conservative lawmakers will seek changes to limit the program’s reach.

Around the Nation

Chronic Absenteeism: These Schools Struggle with a Big, Often Hidden, Problem
Ed Week Rules for Engagement Blog: When a large number of students miss school regularly, it affects learning for everyone, even the kids who show up, a new analysis says. More than seven million students nationwide missed 15 or more school days during the 2013-14 school year, the most recent federal data on chronic absenteeism show. But the problem is especially concentrated in a small portion of schools, according to the report by Attendance Works. 

Americans Value Schools That Prepare Students for the Workplace, Poll Shows
Education Dive: Americans express strong support for classes that give students career skills. Americans also favor the idea of certificate or licensing programs that can help qualify students for jobs, according to the 2017 PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. 

Why Does High School Still Start So Early?
Slate Magazine: The latest data, part of the 2015–2016 National Teacher and Principal Survey (conducted by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics), show an average high-school start time of 7:59 a.m. and an average middle-school start of 8:04 a.m. That’s much earlier than the 8:30 a.m. start time recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and others, based on the myriad health and academic risks too-early start times pose.

New York City Offers Free Lunch for All Public School Students
The New York Times: Lunch at New York City public schools will be available free of charge to all 1.1 million students beginning this school year. This move has been long sought by food-policy advocates and many members of the New York City Council, who said that some students would prefer to go hungry rather than admit they cannot afford to pay for lunch.

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