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Here are some of the things we’ve been reading about this week:
A new study finds that Head Start has a positive, intergenerational effect.
A bipartisan bill in Congress would extend pandemic-generated, free school meal programs.
Schools need a plan to help the thousands of students who will struggle with Long COVID.
Schools implement four-day weeks to recruit and retain teachers.
To read more, click on the following links.
Research & Practice
Study: Head Start Provides Opportunities to Break Cycle of Poverty Across Generations
K-12 Dive: The federal Head Start program has contributed to multi-generational positive outcomes, including increases in education attainment and wages and decreases in teen pregnancy and criminal involvement, according to a study from the University of Notre Dame and Texas A&M University. The study’s authors say this is the first large-scale examination of the intergenerational effects of the 57-year-old Head Start program, created to improve the school readiness of preschool children from low-income families. The study largely focused on second-generation outcomes, with researchers consistently finding that increased Head Start exposure for mothers led to significant improvements in their children’s outcomes. One finding shows higher education attainment for children of Head Start participants resulted in an estimated 6% to 11% increase in wages for those second-generation children through age 50.
Looping: Here’s What Happens When Students Have the Same Teacher More Than Once
Education Week: When students have a teacher for more than one year, they benefit academically and behaviorally, a new working paper shows. The study captures all instances of repeat student-teacher matches—a teacher who happens to move from 2nd to 4th grade, a high school math teacher who teaches multiple grade levels, and a teacher who “loops” with her same class for two years. Researchers found that repeat teachers are linked to slight increases in students’ test scores in math and English/language arts across all grade levels. The gains were most pronounced among higher-performing students and white female students. Repeat teachers are also correlated with a slightly reduced number of absences and suspensions across all grade levels. Male students of color benefit the most from this effect, which is significant since this group of students is the most likely to be suspended and disciplined.
Bipartisan, Bicameral Keep Kids Fed Act Would Extend Some School Meal Waivers
K-12 Dive: A bipartisan, bicameral group of four congressional leaders introduced an 11th hour bill, aiming to continue some of the federal pandemic school nutrition waivers set to expire June 30. The $3 billion Keep Kids Fed Act package is budget neutral, meaning it would not increase net federal spending. For the 2022-23 school year, the legislation would extend summer meal program waivers, continue no-cost waivers like relaxed nutritional standards to help with supply chain disruptions, and increase federal reimbursement rates for school lunch by 40 cents and breakfast programs by 15 cents. Students who are eligible for reduced-price meals would receive free meals, too.
Long-awaited Title IX Proposals Include Protections for LGBTQ Students
K-12 Dive: LGBTQ and pregnant students, as well as pregnant employees, would for the first time be protected under Title IX regulations, the U.S. Department of Education announced in releasing its much-awaited Title IX proposed rules. However, the Education Department said it will launch a separate rulemaking process to address how Title IX applies to school athletics. The timeline for that is yet to be announced. The regulations, which were first expected to be released in May, come after more than a year of review by President Joe Biden’s administration. While the proposed regulations do include notable changes from former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ iteration, they also keep certain measures in place, such as not requiring live hearings. The new regulations also add to the definition of sexual harassment, which was expanded in 2020 to include sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.
Around the Nation
Thousands of Students Will Face Long COVID. Schools Need to Plan Now
Education Week: School has wrapped up for the year, affording educators a moment to heave a sigh of relief. But now, as they dive into planning for next year, a big challenge looms, and most aren’t facing it: How will they support the students who will struggle daily with long COVID? Education Week asked several national and regional organizations of school districts and superintendents how their members are planning to manage the needs of students with lingering effects of COVID. They all said the issue hasn’t risen onto districts’ radar yet, even though tens of thousands of children nationally will likely face those struggles. That worries medical and legal experts. “Schools need to start talking about this,” said Donna Mazyck, the executive director of the National Association of School Nurses.
Can Four-Day School Weeks Keep Teachers From Leaving?
EdSurge: With teacher morale seemingly at an all-time low, school districts are looking for ways to keep educators from burning out and quitting. One idea: Give them an extra day off. Districts around the country are announcing plans to adopt four-day school weeks in the fall. While this approach is used by districts at times to cut costs, a common motivation now is teacher recruitment and retention as non-stop pandemic stress has staff leaving in pursuit of work-life balance. The policy typically involves lengthening the remaining four school days after one weekday is cut from schools’ schedules. About 660 schools in 24 states were using four-day weeks before the pandemic caused school closures in 2020, according to a Brookings Institution’s estimate, a six-fold increase compared to 1999. It’s increased since then.
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