The Weekly Connect 10/9/17

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:

Students who had teachers of the same race reported feeling more cared for and said they were more interested in their schoolwork.

Teenagers’ online friendships provide emotional support.

Congress has let the Children’s Health Insurance Program — which covers 9 million children — expire. If action isn’t taken soon, school children could be affected.

The high school dropout rate among Hispanics reaches an all-time low.

To read more, click on the following links.

Research & Practice

Can Preschool Really Narrow Achievement Gaps?
Ed Week Inside School Research Blog: new study, published in the American Educational Research Journal, of more than 12,000 students in 11 states finds low-income and minority children are, on average, enrolled in lower-quality preschool classrooms than their higher-income and white peers. The findings raise questions about the ability of publicly funded preschool to narrow achievement gaps. See related article: The Washington Post “By Age 3, Inequality Is Clear: Rich Kids Attend School. Poor Kids Stay with A Grandparent.

If Your Teacher Looks Like You, You May Do Better in School
NPR Ed: new study found that when students had teachers of the same race as them, they reported feeling more cared for, more interested in their schoolwork and more confident in their teachers’ abilities to communicate with them. These students also reported putting forth more effort in school and having higher college aspirations. See related articles: Ed Week Teaching Now Blog “Teachers Report Weaker Relationships With Students of Color, Immigrants” and The 74 Million “Hiring More Teachers of Color and Raising the Teacher Hiring Bar Not Mutually Exclusive.” 

Early Bilingualism Helps with Learning Languages Later in Life, Study Shows
Ed Week Learning the Language Blog: Bilingual people may be better equipped to learn new languages than those who only speak one language, according to a study published in the academic journal Bilingualism: Language and Cognition. The research points to a distinct language-learning benefit for people who grow up bilingual or learn another language at an early age. 

New Research Finds “Magic 8” Preschool Classroom Practices
The Hechinger Report: A new study, published in the journal Child Development, found that eight key teacher actions can make the difference between a mediocre preschool classroom and an excellent one. Here’s the list, dubbed “The Magic 8,” by the principals of the three Early Learning Centers studied. 

Teenagers’ Friendships Online Provide Emotional Support, Study Finds
Ed Week Digital Education Blog: Friendships that form face-to-face carry over onto Snapchat, Instagram, and other digital platforms. And for the most part, talking with friends online provides the same kind of support and validation for teenagers as seeing friends offline, according to a new review study of teenagers’ virtual social interactions published in the journal Adolescent Research Review.

 

Policy

No State Will Measure Social-Emotional Learning Under ESSA. Will That Slow Its Momentum?
Education Week: When the Every Student Succeeds Act was enacted, speculation swirled that states might use it as a launching pad to use measures of students’ social and emotional competencies to determine whether their schools are successful. Nearly two years later, not a single state’s plan to comply with the federal education law—and its broader vision for judging school performance—calls for inclusion of such measures in its school accountability system. 

9 Million Kids Get Health Insurance Under CHIP. Congress Just Let It Expire.
The Washington Post: Congress just allowed the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provided low-cost health insurance to 9 million children, to expire. If action is not taken soon to restore the funding, the effects will become obvious in schools across the country, with many of the children in the program unable to see a doctor for routine checkups, immunizations, visits when sick and other services.

 

Around the Nation

 

High School Dropout Rate Among Hispanics Reaches All-Time Low, Study Finds
Ed Week High School & Beyond Blog: The high school dropout rate among Hispanic students has dropped sharply in the past decade. According to a report released by the Pew Research Center, in 1996, 34% of Hispanic students had left high school before earning their diplomas, but by 2016, that number had fallen to 10%, an all-time low.

Teachers Say State Standards Are Good for Instruction. But Testing? Not So Much.
Ed Week Teacher Beat Blog: About 9 out of 10 math and English/language arts teachers say having state standards is good for classroom instruction, according to a recent survey from the RAND Corporation. But less than one-third of teachers say they support the use of the current state tests to measure whether students have mastered those standards.

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