The Weekly Connect 10/16/17

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 use of kindergarten assessments offers mixed results.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos shares her vision for “American education.”

A study of New York City’s Community Schools.

To read more, click on the following links.

Research & Practice

Creating Buy-In for SEL at Your School
Edutopia: For social and emotional learning to become widespread in schools, educators who are already dedicated to it have to encourage their hesitant colleagues. In his book Lessons in Leadership, award-winning journalist Steve Adubato has studied the process of getting buy-in

Kindergarten Assessments Begin to Shape Instruction
Education Week: Kindergarten entry assessments, which some states call “kindergarten readiness assessments” or “kindergarten entry inventories,” are intended to guide a teacher’s instructional practice. They may include direct assessment of children’s skills, teacher observations, or both. They’re intended to give teachers a well-rounded picture of the whole child, including his or her academic, social, and physical development. While these assessments are becoming more widespread they’re offering mixed results for teachers and for school districts. 

Public Libraries: Untapped Resource for Schools?
New America: A recent survey of more than 400 public library directors provides new evidence of how public libraries are transforming to help families build digital literacy skills and become familiar with new technology. The results, published in Public Library Quarterly, raise the question: Are public schools doing enough to take advantage of these local resources? 

Building Students’ Resilience on the Bus
Edutopia: According to the Center on the Developing Child, the presence of adequate adult support can help to buffer ongoing adversity. There are several brain-aligned strategies bus drivers can implement with all students before and after school. These strategies promote relationship and emotional regulation, creating a culture of unified support for everyone on the bus.

Grades in First Year of High School Can Predict Later Academic Success
Education Dive: While test scores are often used as indicators of student achievement, a new report shows that, a student’s grade point average in 9th grade may be the most important predictor of later academic success.

School Year ‘Relative Age’ Causing Bias in ADHD Diagnosis, Says Research
Science Daily: Younger primary school children are more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder than their older peers within the same school year, according to new research published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal.

Policy

DeVos Outlines Vision for ‘American Education’
U.S. News & World Report: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has shared her vision and policy priorities for education in a document that has been uploaded to the Federal Register. In the document are 11 proposed priorities for use in competitive grant programs that “reflect the Secretary’s vision for American education.”

Around the Nation

Five Takeaways from A New Study Of New York City’s Massive ‘Community Schools’ Program
Chalkbeat: In the largest effort of its kind, Mayor Bill de Blasio has stocked over 200 high-needs schools with an array of social services that he hopes can overcome the effects of poverty and improve student learning. The initiative has cost the city hundreds of millions of dollars and attracted the attention of districts across the country that are interested in so-called “community schools.” How is this costly and complex experiment working? Pretty well — despite some ongoing challenges, according to a recently released Rand Corporation study, the first attempt to answer this high-stakes question. 

K12 Is Moving to Ease Food Insecurity
District Administration: When the New York City Department of Education announced that all public school students will now receive free lunch, it joined a growing number of cities around the country trying to ease food insecurity and end the phenomenon of “lunch shaming.” Large cities such as Boston, Detroit, and Baltimore already take advantage of the federal Community Eligibility Provision, which allows districts in low-income areas to serve free breakfast and lunch to students without collecting household applications. 

Ohio Gets $35 Million Federal Grant to Boost Child Literacy
U.S. News & World Report: The Ohio Department of Education says the bulk of funding from the three-year grant will be distributed to schools and early childhood care providers such as preschools to improve language and literacy development for children up through 12th grade. State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria says the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Grant from the U.S. Department of Education boosts efforts to improve literacy outcomes for vulnerable children.

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