The Weekly Connect 12/18/17

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 are no longer homeless continue to do as poorly on state tests as their peers who continue to be homeless.

A long-range study says pre-school is paying off in Tulsa, Okla.

The deadline has passed, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which protects 9 million low-income children, still hasn’t received funding from Congress.

Charts and graphics drawn from this year’s research studies highlight issues and challenges in education.

To read more, click on the following links.

Research & Practice

Elementary Students Report Higher Engagement, More Pride in Schoolwork Than Older Peers
Education Dive: Most students report feeling engaged in school and taking pride in their work — but engagement drops as students get older, and less than half of middle and high school students feel that what they are learning in school is relevant to their lives outside of school, according to YouthTruth Student Survey results.

No Longer Homeless, but Still Struggling in School
The New York Times: For homeless children, the negative effects don’t end when they move into a new home. Formerly homeless students continue to struggle in school for years, scoring as poorly on state tests as their peers with no place to live, according to a study from the Education Trust-New York.

Does Preschool Pay Off? Tulsa Says Yes
NPR Ed: In a new report published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, researchers were able to show that Tulsa’s pre-K program has significant, positive effects on students’ outcomes and well-being through middle school. The program, which serves seven out of 10 4-year-olds in Tulsa, has attracted lots of national attention over the years because of the on-going debate over the benefits of preschool and whether those benefits are long-lasting. William Gormley, a professor of public policy at Georgetown and one of the lead researchers, says the Tulsa findings offer convincing and compelling evidence that they are.

Study: Black, Latino Preservice Teachers Demonstrate More Multicultural Awareness
Education Dive: Districts looking to hire teachers who have the skills to work with an increasingly diverse student population might want to begin recruiting young people working in summer camps, after-school programs, and other community organizations that serve black, Latino and other minority children, a new study published in the Journal of Teacher Education suggests. 

Healthy Eating Linked to Kids’ Happiness
Science Daily: Healthy eating is associated with better self-esteem and fewer emotional and peer problems, such as having fewer friends or being picked on or bullied, in children regardless of body weight, according to a new study published in the journal BMC Public Health. Inversely, better self-esteem is associated with better adherence to healthy eating guidelines. 

When Yoga Becomes a Respected Part of The School Day
The Hechinger Report: Visit a public elementary school in Kentucky’s Jefferson County and you may find students doing partner yoga poses. The activity, part of a massive study of a “whole-child” education program called the Compassionate Schools Project, has several purposes. It seeks to integrate the development of a student’s mind and body by combining fitness with health education, social and emotional learning, and support for academic achievement. 

For Foster Care Kids, College Degrees Are Elusive
Huffington Post: The vast majority of kids in foster care want to attend college. But research shows that foster youth are much less likely to go to college than other high school graduates. One review of multiple studies estimated that approximately 20% of foster youth who graduate from high school attend college, compared with 60% of high school graduates overall. And foster youth who make it to college are much more likely to drop out before earning a degree, even compared with first-generation college students.

Policy

State Education Finance Systems Take Center Stage
U.S. News & World Report: School funding is center stage in many state capitols as legislators attempt to make state education finance systems more equitable, especially for school districts that serve lots of students in need of extra supports, such as poor students, students with disabilities and those learning English. But given the complexities of school finance systems, the lack of education policy expertise among those who control the purse strings, as well as the political landmines that come with any attempt to alter funding streams, lawmakers who have broached the topic have rarely succeeded in crafting truly equitable systems.

The Clock Is Ticking Louder for the Children’s Health Insurance Program
Ed Week Politics K-12 Blog: When the Sept. 30th deadline approached for reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program, no one seriously thought that Congress would let the bipartisan health plan expire. When the deadline passed, there was still little concern: States still had money available in their coffers to pay for the $14 billion program, which serves about 9 million children whose parents earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but who can’t afford insurance for their children on the open market. But now, more than two months later, the program still has not been funded by Congress, and no funding plan is on the immediate horizon. See related article: Reuters “With No Deal On Children’s Health Plan, U.S. States Scramble For Plan B.” 

State Report Cards Improving, Education Data Experts Say
Education Dive: State education report cards are providing more timely and useful data that goes beyond assessment results to include information on school climate, teacher collaboration, and family engagement, but further improvements — such as using simpler language and fewer acronyms — would make the reports even more accessible, according to a Data Quality Campaign report.

Around the Nation

10 Charts That Changed the Way We Think About America’s Schools in 2017
The 74 Million: More than two-thirds of America’s 74 million kids attend K-12 schools that employ tens of millions of teachers, administrators, and staffers. The resulting educational and retirement costs represent most states’ biggest expenditures. Yet for a subject so large, our conversations around education are shot through with unchecked or contradictory platitudes. To provide clarity, the 74 Million has collected 10 notable charts from a collection of this year’s research studies.

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