The Weekly Connect 10/7/19

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These are some of the things we’ve been reading about:

Three or more hours of social media use can hurt adolescents’ mental health.

A California law calls for more screenings to identify developmental delays in young children.

In Detroit, children wear “talk pedometers” that count the words they hear and speak.

To read more, click on the following links.

Research & Practice

KIPP Middle School Students More Likely to Enroll in College, Seek 4-Year Degrees
Ed Week Inside School Research: Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) schools were first created to help more low-income and minority students get to college. Twenty-five years later, the first independent longitudinal evaluation of the nation’s largest charter school network finds it is meeting that goal. Students who choose to attend KIPP middle schools are nearly 13 percentage points more likely than their peers to enroll in a four-year degree program after high school, according to a new Mathematica study that followed 1,177 students who applied to 13 KIPP middle schools from 2008-2010.

As Colorado Invests More in Preschool, a Gold-Standard Study Shows Benefits of Full-Day Classes
Chalkbeat: A new study shows large literacy gains and other benefits for full-day preschoolers as they enter kindergarten compared with their half-day peers. These are timely findings given the surge of new publicly funded preschool classrooms in Colorado. The new evidence, gleaned from a study of students in the Westminster school district north of Denver, comes amid the launch of statewide, free, full-day kindergarten and the expansion of free state-funded preschool for students with certain risk factors. The new study found that full-day preschoolers had significantly better scores on tests of receptive vocabulary — the set of words they understand and can apply to the world around them.

Early-Childhood Programs More Segregated than K-12
Education Dive: Early childhood programs — including center- and home-based settings — are twice as likely as kindergarten and 1st-grade classrooms to have all black or all Hispanic children. They’re also less likely to be “somewhat integrated” with 10-20% of children being black or Hispanic, according to a new Urban Institute study comparing segregation in K-12 schools with the variety of learning arrangements for children 5 and under. The analysis of national early childhood and K-12 datasets shows home-based early childhood programs, such as family childcare homes, are more likely than center-based sites to be segregated. See related article: EdSurge “Serving Mixed Ages is Hard. Here’s How One Child Care Provider Makes it Work.”

The Big Number: 3 or More Hours a Day of Social Media Use Hurts Youths’ Mental Health
The Washington Post: Might time spent on social media — YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the like — affect young people’s mental health? Yes, says a report by Johns Hopkins’ and other researchers, published in JAMA Psychiatry. For instance, they found that 12- to 15-year-olds who typically spent three or more hours a day on social media were about twice as likely to experience depression, anxiety, loneliness, aggression, or antisocial behavior as were adolescents who did not use social media. As the youths’ social media time increased, so did their risk, making them four times more likely than nonusers to have these problems if they spent more than six hours a day on social media.

Policy

What the Harvard Affirmative Action Victory Means for Students Who Face ‘Endemic Inequalities’ in K-12 Schools
The 74 Million: District Judge Allison Burroughs upheld Harvard’s admissions process, which considers students’ race as one of multiple factors. In doing so, Burroughs rejected the plaintiff’s argument that the process discriminated against Asian-American applicants. The ruling in the high-profile legal fight comes with national implications as colleges and universities seek to foster racially diverse student bodies. But it also affects high school students gauging their admissions chances at any number of schools, including elite institutions like Harvard.

Identifying Developmental Delays is Target of New California Law
EdSource: More young children in California will be screened for developmental delays under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The new law, Assembly Bill 1004, requires doctors to screen children enrolled in Medi-Cal for developmental delays using surveys recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and at three specific times — 9 months, 18 months and 30 months. The screenings are designed to help a doctor determine if a child is developing normally or has some delays that need attention. The screenings could reveal that young children might need speech or language therapy, for example, or occupational therapy to work on motor skills.

New Lab Aims to Reduce Food Waste in Maine Schools
Journal Tribune: Primary schools, secondary schools, and universities consistently deal with managing food waste. According to the Natural Resources Council of Maine, students are likely to waste more than seven million pounds of food every year. However, a new law may reduce that figure. The laws calls on the state Department of Education to “develop a school food sharing policy to encourage schools and food banks to work together to collect whole and packaged school cafeteria surplus or leftover food and share it with the community.”

Around the Nation

How to Stop Bullying in Schools: What Works, What Doesn’t
Today: While school districts across the country spend millions of dollars each year to combat bullying, not all anti-bullying programs work equally — and some of the most common approaches, it turns out, don’t work very well at all. Several recent studies have shown that anti-bullying programs can reduce bullying activity by 19 to 20 percent and reduce victimization by 15 to 16 percent, Limber said, but it depends on the program. Experts agree that schools need to have clear policies around bullying recognition/response and that bullying prevention should be integrated into school curriculum. See related article: Chalkbeat “Fighting Bullying with Kindness: Every Student in the Detroit District will get Weekly Classes in Respect, Compassion.”

Wearable Device Counts Words Detroit Parents Say to their Young Children
Detroit Free Press: Parents may want to have a few words with their children before sending them off to school. But ideally, they should have millions of words with them before the first day of class. Researchers say that the number of words a child is exposed to in the first four years of life can have a big impact on their brain development, language acquisition, and school readiness. Detroit is one of five cities chosen to launch a new program that equips children with special recording devices known as talk pedometers. They work like regular pedometers but instead of counting steps, they count how many words a child hears and speaks during the day. The data is then used to assist parents in upping the word count for children as a way to prepare them to excel in school. See related articles: Brookings “What Cutting-Edge Neuroscience Tells Us About Early Childhood Development” and The Hechinger Report “How You Talk to your Child Might Make them Smarter.”

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