The Weekly Connect 10/17/22

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

Here are some of the things we’ve been reading about this week:

A study says schools would need $500 billion more in federal funds to make up for lost learning time. 

States are taking different approaches to early learning assessments.

Schools will have to meet the needs of the country’s growing Latino student population

To read more, click on the following links.

Research & Practice

Schools Need Billions More to Make Up for Lost Learning Time, Researchers Argue
Education Week: Student recovery from the pandemic will come with a price—$700 billion, a new study finds—and, so far, federal COVID-relief aid isn’t covering it. A recent study published in Educational Researcher says schools would need around $500 billion more than the $190 billion allocated through ESSER and the American Rescue Plan to recover fully from the pandemic’s academic damage. The study recommends accountability structures be in place to measure the effective use of federal aid to districts, especially if another educational crisis occurs. Additionally, funding should be allocated in more flexible and dynamic ways, like relying on updated data around spending declines or learning losses. See related article: The 74 Million “$700B: That’s How Much It Will Cost to Fix Pandemic Learning Loss, Study Says.

A Third of Parents Say Their Child Struggled in School During 2020-21
K-12 Dive: Nearly a third of parents, 31%, say their child struggled in school during the 2020-21 school year, according to a Child Mind Institute survey of 3,200 parents of children and adults ages 24 and younger. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, just 11% of parents said their child struggled in school. In the survey, 40% of parents also reported their child’s mood worsened during the global health crisis due to issues such as anxiety and higher stress, and 31% said their child went through a traumatic event. Just 45% said a pediatrician, family doctor, or mental health professional asked if their child experienced stressful or traumatic events.


How Can Schools Measure Student Poverty Beyond Free and Reduced-Price Meal Data?
K-12 Dive: With universal school meal policies gaining traction, districts are starting to explore how they would gauge student eligibility for programs serving low-income children if they no longer had free and reduced-price data to rely on, speakers said during a webinar held by AASA, the School Superintendents Association, and the Food & Research Action Center. Possibilities include using data from direct certification, state income tax systems, or the U.S. Census to gauge family income, speakers said. Instead of gauging free and reduced-price meal eligibility, direct certification — which currently identifies children on Medicaid or other programs for automatic school meal eligibility — has been suggested for use as an alternative indicator of student poverty. 

A State Scan of Early Learning Assessments and Data Systems
New America: Early learning assessments are a critical source of information. Educators can use assessment data to tailor instruction, help families better understand their children’s development, and support state and local leaders’ ability to make policy and resource allocation decisions. New America interviewed 53 state partners about their assessment and data practices to provide examples of different approaches. Areas addressed include how early learning assessments are selected in different states, whether or not states require specific assessments for providers that participate in the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), whether or not states have specific considerations for assessments for dual language learners, and whether or not states have a system that houses early learning data. 

Around the Nation

Latino Student Population in the US is Booming. Are Schools Prepared?
USA Today: The growing number of Hispanic or Latino students in public schools means their success is crucial to that of the whole country. Yet schools in places facing booms in Hispanic or Latino student enrollment have a long way to go in accommodating the needs of those students. For example, Hispanic or Latino students saw greater declines than their non-Hispanic or Latino white peers on recent standardized tests. Education experts, advocates, and parents say these students need lessons and school environments that consider their diverse ethnic backgrounds, more access to information translated into Spanish, a greater number of Latino educators, and better support as they pursue higher education. And, to keep students enrolled, all these changes should happen quickly.

Intentional Partnerships Help San Diego-Area District Improve School-Parent Relations
K-12 Dive: Poway Unified School District in San Diego is crediting intentional changes to policies and procedures, as well as improved district-family relationships, for declines in special education litigation against the district and increases in early efforts to resolve disputes. Between the 2017-18 and 2021-22 school years, the district had a 59% decrease in due process cases, an 11% decrease in litigation settlement costs, and a 22% decrease in attorney fees, even as the district saw a 25% increase in the number of students qualifying for special education services. The district improved special education procedures, such as increasing access to student screenings for learning challenges and verifying that those procedures were being followed. The district also increased professional development opportunities and the availability of evidence-based curricula.

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Author: City Connects

City Connects is an innovative school-based system that revitalizes student support in schools. City Connects collaborates with teachers to identify the strengths and needs of every child. We then create a uniquely tailored set of intervention, prevention, and enrichment services located in the community designed to help each student learn and thrive.

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