City Connects helps tackle “The Great Divide”

Last fall, the Boston Globe told a tale of two students — Jada Pierre and Britney Mendez – that shows how harmful educational inequities can be. 

We read this article – part of the Globe’s series, “The Great Divide: Race, Class, and Opportunity in our Schools” – and we were struck anew by the stark description of educational inequalities across Massachusetts.

For Jada and Britney – both high school students and both the children of immigrants living in Boston – a key difference was where they went to high school. Jada attended Newton South, located in one of Boston’s wealthier suburbs. Britney went to Brighton High, “a floundering city school,” the Globe says, “where fewer than 30 percent of graduates earn a college degree or other credential within six years of graduating.” 

In 2016, state education officials labeled Brighton an “underperforming school,” which meant that the district had to come up with a turnaround plan. In addition, many of the school’s students have “significant unmet needs beyond campus, ranging from mental health concerns to immigration anxieties. Most are poor, and many arrive at Brighton after struggling at other schools.”  Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 1/21/20

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:

Middle school coaches can help curb dating violence.

San Francisco parents declare state of emergency over failure to educate black children.

Memphis shifts to universal screening for its gifted program — instead of relying on teacher recommendations — and finds that more students qualify.

To read more, click on the following links.

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City Connects launches in Chattanooga/Hamilton County

Hamilton County School System photo by Dan Henry / DanHenryPhotography.com

 

“We are getting services to kids faster and more intentionally than we were before,” Program Manager Jennifer Bronson says of how City Connects is working in Hamilton County, Tenn., home to a socio-economically diverse group of students in Chattanooga and surrounding suburban and rural areas. “We are being deliberate.” 

This is a story of how City Connects, which launched in eight county schools last September, is generating data and information that help schools understand students’ needs and meet them. 

Because of a community effort called Chattanooga 2.0, the region was already looking at workforce and education challenges. This led to joining By All Means, a program run by the Education Redesign Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) that helps close educational achievement gaps.  Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 1/13/20

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:

Sleep has a big impact on test scores, especially for boys.

More children on Medicaid will be able to access health services in school.

Fugees Academy, located in both Georgia and Ohio, provides intensive education for children who are immigrants.

Children’s use of anti-depressants jumps by more than 20 percent after school shootings.

To read more, click on the following links.

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How City Connects could improve the Nation’s Report Card

Across the country, there are student opportunity gaps that — the evidence shows — City Connects can help close. 

We were reminded of the depth of these gaps late last year, when the U.S. Department of Education released “The Nation’s Report Card.” The report card shares the results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, (the NAEP test) which is administered by the National Center for Education Statistics. 

And, unfortunately, the NAEP scores are troubling. 

“America’s fourth and eighth graders are losing ground in their ability to read literature and academic texts,” the New York Times reports. “Two out of three children did not meet the standards for reading proficiency.”  Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 12/16/19

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:

Social media use is associated with disordered eating patterns.

Courts are protecting the rights of transgender students.

Homelessness makes it tough for New York City students to get an education.

To read more, click on the following links.

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The Weekly Connect 12/9/19

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:

Special needs students and English language learners have more positive impressions of their schools’ mental health services.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signs a bill that will invest $1.5 billion in education.

U.S. students’ test scores lag on international exam.

To read more, click on the following links.

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The Weekly Connect 11/25/19

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:

A study finds that most educators find it hard to access research on education.

A survey shows that teachers think lawmakers are not doing enough to prevent school shootings.

A new dental clinic offers free services to students in Utah.

To read more, click on the following links.

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