Learning About ESSA — and the Whole Child

Shaw Elementary School

Children aren’t the only ones who have a lot to learn about school.

According to an analysis done by Education Week, elected officials and state education leaders also have lessons to learn.

“At a pivotal time for state education policy, half the nation’s state legislatures have at least one new education committee chairperson this year, and a quarter of state schools chiefs are less than a year into the job, according to an Education Week analysis,” the magazine explains in its article, “Steep Learning Curve on K-12 as State Leaders Take New Seats.”

The article adds:

“This year’s large freshman class of key education policymakers has advocates and district leaders on edge as state leaders scramble to finalize the accountability plans due by next fall under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).”

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The Weekly Connect 2/20/17

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:

Plans to implement ESSA (the Every Student Succeeds Act) get a thumbs up from Betsy DeVos, the new U.S. Secretary of Education.

Latino children lag in math skills, but there are ways to close this gap.

A British study says that moving into poverty can damage children’s mental health, and

ADHD is linked to delayed brain development.

To read more, click on the following links. Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 2/13/17

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:

Betsy DeVos is the new U.S. Secretary of Education… and John King, who just stepped down as education secretary, is going to lead the Education Trust, a national nonprofit that promotes high educational achievement for all students.

A strong, positive school climate can protect middle school students from the upheavals of adolescence and help them do better in math and reading.

Research shows that New York’s work with community schools is paying off.

More preschools are providing health education as the links between health and learning receive more attention.

To read more, click on the following links. Continue reading

The View from Room 205 – Chicago Public Media Looks at Poverty in an Elementary School

Image courtesy of Chicago Public Media

Can schools make the American dream real for poor kids?

That’s the question Chicago Public Media asks in its multimedia story, “The View From Room 205.”

“The little kids I’m going to tell you about are fourth graders,” reporter Linda Lutton says in the audio section. “They go to William Penn Elementary on Chicago’s West Side.”

On the first day of school, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, head of Chicago Public Schools at the time, tells the students, “There’s no dream you can’t achieve, if you stay focused and persistent.”

It’s this phrase, “focused and persistent,” that the story confronts by asking whether children and public schools can overcome the challenges of poverty on their own.

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The Weekly Connect 1/23/17

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:

ESSA (the Every Student Succeeds Act) remains in the news as policymakers wrangle over implementing the law.

Is the federal government investing too much in early education? No it isn’t, federal officials say. A report from the U.S. Departments of Education and of Health and Human Services says federal investments in early education are not meeting the needs of families across the nation.

It’s not news that high school students care about what their peers think, but it is concerning that some students are willing to forego educational opportunities – such as an SAT prep course – if they think it will hurt their social image. Researchers call this “effort stigmatization.”

Health care officials in Massachusetts have come up with a program to help infants, newborns, and toddlers whose parents are addicted to opioids. S

To read more, click on the following links. Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 1/16/17

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:

The Supreme Court is considering what “some educational benefit” means as it considers a case on public school education for disabled children.

Thanks to “urban-education programs,” teachers are learning how to talk about racism so that they can communicate more effectively with their students.

Results on an international math test suggest that early childhood education might be having a positive impact on students’ math scores.

Obesity-linked diagnoses are up – and kids are eating 200 percent more fake sugar.

High school students in New York City are learning about farming – it’s a way to expose them to more career options.

To read more, click on the following links. Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 1/9/17

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:

ESSA (the Every Student Succeeds Act) remains in the news as educators figure out how to put the spirit of the law into practice.

Stress is driving many teachers out of their profession, and that turnover hurts schools’ efforts to educate children.

In 2016, researchers found evidence that the benefits of early education last over time – contradicting research that had found that these benefits fade.

And adults who were poor as children can experience significant psychological damage. “Why? In a word, stress.”

To read more, click on the following links. Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 12/26/16

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-emotional learning is gaining ground across states as educators increasingly see it as a way to give students an edge.

A Texas Supreme Court ruling that found the state’s inequitable school funding to be constitutional is now bumping up against research that says investing more money does improve educational outcomes. “States that send additional money to their lowest-income school districts see significantly more academic improvement in those districts than states that don’t.”

If schools started an hour later, and teenagers got more sleep, their scores on standardized tests would rise, researchers say.

Last week, researchers found that schools had more law enforcement officers than school counselors. Now Education Week reports that states are beefing up their school counseling corps.

And Massachusetts gets credit for building a world-class school system, according to the Ed Week Top Performers Blog.

To read more, click on the following links. Continue reading