The Weekly Connect 4/19/23

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:

Using a curriculum rich in arts, history, and science led to reading improvements

Title IX athletic rules could be finalized by May.

Ohio plans to boost the graduation rates of special education students.

To read more, click on the following links.

Research & Practice

Using a Curriculum Rich in Arts, History, and Science Led to Big Reading Improvements
Education Week: More school districts are interested in using reading programs designed to build students’ broad knowledge about the world by focusing their reading and writing on specific topics in social studies, science, and the arts. Now, a new study of one of these approaches has shown positive results for students’ reading comprehension. In a new working paper, a team of researchers studied what happened when schools took this approach. After controlling for race, gender, and free and reduced lunch eligibility, the researchers found that in schools that used a program designed to build broad knowledge about the world, students scored a statistically significant 16 percentile points higher on end-of-year state tests than a control group of students who did not.

Study: Gifted Education Too Often Excludes English Learners, Students With Disabilities
Chalkbeat: In schools across the country, students who are learning English as a new language and students with disabilities are under-identified as gifted and talented. State policies can improve the representation of those students, according to a new study from NWEA. The study looked at whether states mandate identification of gifted and talented students, whether states mandate that schools have formal gifted and talented education plans, whether the plans have to be approved by the state, whether states audit for compliance, and whether giftedness is considered an exceptionality under the state’s special education laws. The study found that state mandates for schools to offer services, requirements for formal gifted education plans, and regular audits for compliance are correlated with much higher rates of gifted service availability and equity for English learners and students with disabilities. 

Schools With More Black and Latino Students Likelier to Have Police
Education Week: Predominantly Black and Latino schools are more likely to have on-site law enforcement than those with largely white enrollment, a new analysis from Urban Institute finds. This disparity exists in both high- and low-poverty schools. The findings come as federal lawmakers and the Tennessee legislature debate boosting funding for school police and armed security officers. Critics of school police, as well as some researchers, have questioned whether an increase in on-site officers really makes students safer. In recent years, student activists have called for removing police from schools or for limiting their roles in student discipline through carefully crafted agreements with districts.


Title IX Athletic Rule Could Be Finalized In May
K-12 Dive: The U.S. Department of Education intends to release its final Title IX athletic rule in May, alongside its broader Title IX rule already expected next month. The Title IX athletics proposal, which would make a one-sentence change to the Department of Education anti-sex discrimination regulations, was released last week and has a 30-day comment period. It would require that if schools adopt sex-based criteria for athletics teams limiting or denying transgender students’ participation, the criteria must “be substantially related to the achievement of an important educational objective” and “minimize harms to students whose opportunity to participate on a male or female team consistent with their gender identity would be limited or denied.” See related articles: The 74 Million “Biden Plan Would Forbid Across-the-Board Bans on Transgender Participation in School Sports” and Education Week “Schools Couldn’t Ban All Trans Athletes Under New Title IX Proposal.”

Around the Nation

How Ohio Plans To Boost Its Special Education Graduation Rate
K-12 Dive: The Ohio Department of Education is putting a renewed focus on supports to keep students with disabilities on track to earn a general high school diploma. The goal is to increase the rate to 70% by 2025, up from the 2020 graduation rate of 59% for students with disabilities. Approaches for raising graduation rates in the state’s Comprehensive State Systemic Improvement Plan — also known as Each Child On Track — include engaging students and families in postsecondary transition planning, implementing early warning systems for identifying students at risk of not earning a diploma, and working with various partners to support students, staff and families. Students who are provided with rigorous curriculum and opportunities to reach their full potential have better postsecondary outcomes, according to Ohio officials and national experts.

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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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