The Weekly Connect 5/7/18

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:

Teacher stress may be hurting student performance.

Colorado considers creating a law that would provide transportation to school for foster kids.

Detroit teachers use home visits to help improve school culture.

To read more, click on the following links.

Research & Practice

Most Teachers Report High Levels of Stress, Study Finds
Ed Week Teaching Now Blog: Most teachers experience high levels of burnout and stress—and that may be affecting their students’ achievement, a recent study found. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri and published in Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, measured the levels of stress, burnout, and coping abilities of 121 teachers at elementary schools in a Midwestern school district, as well as the effects of teacher stress and coping on student outcomes. 

We Need a Holistic Approach to Improving Student Outcomes
CommonWealth Magazine: Acknowledging the impacts of poverty and other out-of-school factors on learning, and recognizing the helpful role school improvement strategies can play in organizing effective and cost-efficient systems of student support, are both necessary if the next phase of education reform is to produce equal educational opportunity for all.

Is Curiosity as Good at Predicting Children’s Reading, Math Success as Self-Control? Study Says Yes
Ed Week Inside School Research Blog: Ever since the landmark “marshmallow test” highlighted the importance of early self-control in later achievement, educators have worked to find ways to build self-regulation among young children. But a new study in the journal Pediatric Research suggests boosting children’s natural curiosity may be equally crucial to their long-term learning. 

Quality Is Crucial to Sustaining Benefits of Pre-K, Studies Stress
Education Week: Plenty of early-childhood studies have shown that children who attend preschool start kindergarten with a measurable advantage over their peers who were not enrolled. But often, those same studies show that the academic progress of those two groups of children start to converge as the children move through school. Two new studies have tackled the topic of early education “fadeout.” And though they use different data sets, the researchers point to similar conclusions: For positive benefits to last, early-childhood programs have to be of high quality and can’t be seen as a one-shot inoculation that will sustain children throughout their academic careers. See related article: The Atlantic “The Perks of a Play-in-the-Mud Educational Philosophy.”

Autism Prevalence Increases: 1 In 59 US Children
CNN: One in 59 US children has autism, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new estimate is a prevalence rate of 1.7%, up from one in every 68 children (1.5%) in the 2016 report, which was based on data from 2012. The new figure was derived from 2014 estimates for 8-year-olds diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder in 11 communities across the nation. The new estimate represents a 15% increase from two years prior and a 150% increase since 2000.

Museums Are Dabbling in Teacher Training, and the Results Are Promising
Education Week: In New York, Urban Advantage, a long-running partnership between the Big Apple’s school district and local museums, zoos, and botanical gardens, gives every teacher enough vouchers for every student in his or her class, plus those students’ families, to return to the museums on their own. The program includes intensive, long-term professional development for teachers on-site at the partner institutions and out in the New York area. Newly released research results from an ongoing study suggest the approach shows some promise at boosting student-test scores and retaining early-career teachers. 

Risk Factors Involved in The Early Onset and Severity of Childhood Obesity
Science Daily: A family history of obesity, high blood pressure and lipid levels, type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease should all be considered high risk factors for the severity and early onset of childhood obesity, according to a new study published in the journal Frontiers in Endocrinology. The study also finds the most severely obese children show insulin resistance, which can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.


Key Takeaways and Emerging Issues from the Feds’ Massive Civil Rights Data Survey
Ed Week Inside School Research Blog: The U.S. Department of Education released its 2015-16 Civil Rights Data Collection, updating the most comprehensive database there is on opportunity gaps, discipline disparities, and other civil rights issues for more than 50.6 million students in nearly every K-12 public school in the country. The main focus of the initial reaction was on the deep and continuing racial gaps, in both discipline and access to the advanced academic courses students need to graduate prepared for college and careers. In case you missed it, here are some of the key takeaways from what we know so far.

Will Colorado Become the First State to Pass a School Transportation Law for Foster Kids Under ESSA?
The 74 Million: If the bill is approved and signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper, Colorado will be the first state to legislate the implementation of a federal law that compels school systems to ensure that, among other things, foster kids have a ride to school. The Colorado Department of Human Services confirmed that the bill has the governor’s support. Each school district must establish a child welfare liaison who works with the county foster care agency to “ensure that any necessary transportation and services are provided for the student in out-of-home placement to remain in the student’s school of origin.” 

What ‘A Nation at Risk’ Got Wrong, And Right, About U.S. Schools
NPR Ed: Very few government reports have had the staying power of “A Nation At Risk,” which appeared 35 years ago this month and stoked widespread concerns about the quality of American schools. The report’s narrative of failing schools — students being out-competed internationally and declining educational standards — persists, and has become an entrenched part of the debate over education in the U.S. Although there has been some progress, “the reason that we continue to mark the anniversary is that [the worry] still rings true,” says Michael Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

Around the Nation

School Safety App to Roll Out This Fall for Midview Schools
News 5 Cleveland: The Midview school system in Grafton is turning to technology to beef up its response to emergencies. Midview is one of just two school districts in Ohio about to roll out a new app that better connects those on the front lines of a crisis in the classroom to worried parents waiting for answers. The new app, called Villageworks, will eliminate any delay in information going out to parents, easing their fears and keeping them in the loop in real time. It also gives teachers a chance to share what’s happening in their immediate location.

‘It Opened Everything Up.’ How School Home Visits Are Changing Relationships in Detroit
Chalkbeat: Home visits by teachers and principals are popular across the country. But in Detroit, the stakes are higher. Detroit school leaders are trying to change the culture of schools that, for years, have been among the lowest performing in the nation, but experts say teachers can’t do that alone. Adding even more urgency, Detroit schools are constantly in danger of losing money as parents choose to exercise their options to attend dozens of district, charter, or suburban schools inside and outside their neighborhoods. That’s why Detroit district leaders this year announced a major expansion of school home visits with help from a $3 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Educators now get a $30 stipend per child for each home they visit. And parents are paid the same stipend. School staff members are also collecting data on the benefits of the program as they look to expand in the future. 

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