The Weekly Connect 3/26/18

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:

Increasing immigrant children’s access to early care and education.

A bill in Vermont’s Senate would set up efforts to prevent childhood trauma.

Reports of student bullying have declined.

To read more, click on the following links.

Research & Practice

Tracking Outcomes from Age 3 to 35: New Results from the Chicago Child-Parent Centers
New America: A new study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, on the Chicago Child-Parent Center (CPC) Program finds program participants were more likely to earn post-secondary degrees than their counterparts who were not enrolled. The Chicago CPC program is an early education program for children ages three to nine from low-income neighborhoods that has a strong family engagement component. The study is the first to examine a large scale PreK-3rd grade intervention and its effects on educational attainment through midlife.  

Good Leaders Make Good Schools
The New York Times: Sean Reardon of Stanford compared changes in national test scores between third and eighth grade. He found that Chicago students were improving faster than students in any other major school district in the country. Chicago schools are cramming six years’ worth of education into five years of actual schooling. How is Chicago doing this? The city has a rich civic culture, research support from places like the University of Chicago, and a tradition of excellent leadership, from Arne Duncan to Janice Jackson as well as the obsessive, energetic drive of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Toronto studied 180 schools across nine states and concluded, “We have not found a single case of a school improving its student achievement record in the absence of talented leadership.” 

Study Identifies Practices That Increase Immigrant Children’s Enrollment in Preschool
Education Dive: While most children of immigrants are U.S. citizens, their participation in preschool lags behind those of children whose parents were born in the U.S. The study focuses on four cities where the enrollment of immigrant children from low-income families is unusually high — Dearborn, Mich.; Atlanta, Georg.; King County, Wash.; and Houston, Texas. The researchers sought to identify the practices that help to increase access. These include partnerships with immigrant-serving organizations, a straightforward enrollment process, and welcoming environments, according to a report by the Urban Institute.

In Washington, Trauma Feeds the School-To-Prison Pipeline, Particularly for Girls
Ed Week Inside School Research Blog: Identifying and responding to students’ trauma early could help plug the school-to-prison pipeline for girls of color—but disproportionate discipline of these students is more likely to exacerbate the damage done to them. A report released by Georgetown University’s Juvenile Justice Initiative and the nonprofit advocacy group Rights for Girls found girls in Washington D.C. are being arrested and incarcerated more often and younger than in years past—and black girls are now 30 times as likely to be arrested as white girls. 

Black and Latino Children Are Often Overlooked When It Comes to Autism
NPR: Autism Spectrum Disorder is a disease that affects people of all races and ethnicities, but research shows that African-American and Latino children with autism are diagnosed at older ages than white children, giving them less of an opportunity for proper intervention and treatment. See related article: Disability Scoop “Autism Symptoms Rarely Isolated, CDC Researchers Say.”

‘Boost Bags’ Help Students at Boston School Get Through the Weekend
CBS Boston: Often schools are on the front line of social issues impacting families, because those issues can affect how children learn. At Edison K-8 in Brighton, 40 children who struggle with food insecurity receive Boost Bags every Friday to help their families get through the weekend. Another problem: More than 3,000 children in the Boston Public Schools are dealing with homelessness. Every school gets a certain amount of money to support the students and their families.

Policy

State Policies for Assessing Access: Analysis of 2016–2018 Child Care Development Plans
The Early Childhood Data Collaborative: A large body of research has established that high-quality early care and education (ECE) has benefits for young children’s cognitive and social-emotional development that can lead to improved outcomes later in life, especially for children who are economically disadvantaged. To address these disparities, there has been a growing effort to develop policies that increase access to ECE. A research report examines how states and territories are addressing, or plan to address, the new requirements and goals on ECE access that are in the Child Care and Development Fund reauthorization. See related articles: New America “Dual Language Learner Data Gaps: The Need for Better Policies in the Early Years” and LA Times “Money Matters in Education, as Long as You Spend it at the Right Time and on the Right Students.” 

Vermont Senate Backs Program That Would Prevent Childhood Trauma
VT Digger: The Vermont state Senate has approved a bill aimed at addressing the long-term health and social effects of severe childhood trauma. The legislation, S.261, which now goes to the House, is designed to bolster the state’s support for children and families who have experienced “toxic stress.” Exposure to severe stress has been shown to alter brain chemistry and affect behavior. A major provision of the bill is to add a new “director of prevention and health improvement” to the Agency of Human Services. 

Betsy DeVos Is About to Defend Her Budget. Keep These Three Things in Mind
Ed Week Politics K-12 Blog: DeVos will pitch the Trump administration’s fiscal 2019 budget plan for the Department of Education to the House appropriations subcommittee that oversees federal money for K-12. It’s a safe bet that DeVos’ public appearance before lawmakers will draw a crowd, given the hub-bub over her recent “60 Minutes” interview. So what else can we expect besides the hot glare of the spotlight? Be sure to watch for three elements. See related article: Politico “Devos Defies White House in Dismantling Education Budget Office.”

Indianapolis, Puerto Rico, and Three Other Districts Raise Their Hands for Funding Pilot
Ed Week Politics K-12 Blog: Indianapolis, Puerto Rico, and three other school districts have applied to join the Every Student Succeeds Act’s weighted student-funding pilot during the 2018-19 school year. Through the program, participating districts can combine federal, state, and local dollars into a single funding stream tied to individual students. English-language learners, children in poverty, and students in special education—who cost more to educate—would carry with them more money than other students.

Around the Nation

Student Bullying Is Down Significantly
U.S. News & World Report: The percentage of students reporting that they’ve been bullied has dropped by more than a third since 2007, according to federal data. The new figures say that 20.8% of students reported being bullied in 2015, continuing a downward trend that dates back to 2007, when 31.7% of students reported being bullied. A similar – though not as significant – decrease was also seen in students reporting being called a hate-related word, with 7.2% reporting such an experience in 2015 down from some 9.7% in 2007.

Poll: Most U.S. Teachers Want Gun Control, Not Guns to Carry
NPR Ed: Nearly three-fourths of U.S. teachers do not want to carry guns in school, and they overwhelmingly favor gun control measures over security steps meant to “harden” schools, according to a new Gallup poll. The nationally representative poll of nearly 500 K-12 teachers was conducted after the Parkland, Fla., shooting and student protests brought national attention to the issue of gun violence.

Virginia Beach Schools Use Yoga and Meditation to Help Students with Stress and Test Scores
The Virginian Pilot: It’s 10 a.m. on a Tuesday morning at Creeds Elementary School in Pungo, Va., and Dave Wiggins’ fifth-graders stand quietly in a room that’s dark except for the glow of mini string lights. Each student plants their feet firmly on a blue-patterned yoga mat, waiting for a video on a large screen to begin. Then, “Yoga with Adriene” begins. In an outdated and unused computer lab, Creeds uses yoga to help kids relax and begin to think mindfully about their day, according to principal Casey Conger. “Our goal as a school is to meet the needs of the whole child,” she said.

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