Students

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Over the next year, Sosne Kondé Policy Solutions will be compiling articles, studies, and programs about effective school reforms that include a focus on individual students.  This will include such topics as:

  • Early education
  • Counseling and other mental health services
  • Tutoring
  • Mentoring
  • After-school activities
  • Wraparound services

Stay tuned!

July 15, 2016 – WRAPAROUND SERVICES

Emerging evidence (as evaluated by ChildTrends) demonstrates the effectiveness of “integrated student supports,” school-based approaches that advance students’ academic progress “by developing or securing and coordinating supports that target academic and non-academic barriers to achievement.” Organizations like City Connects, Communities In Schools, Community Schools, and Say Yes to Education offer varying approaches to comprehensively address students’ needs tied to hunger, homelessness, traumatic experiences, or lack of access to medical care or enrichment opportunities.  Part of a Brookings blog, this Brown Center Chalkboard memo sets forth the mounting peer-reviewed evidence that integrating wraparound supports for students brings a return of $3 to $1 when the costs of the comprehensive services are taken into account.  The memo’s authors are Lynch School of Education professors at Boston College, including the executive director of City Connects, a project housed in the Center for Optimized Student Support at the Lynch School.

August 11, 2016 – DIFFERENTIATION

A majority of teachers agree that differentiation is important, but challenging. Read more to clarify some misconceptions.

August 17, 2016 – EXTENDING THE SCHOOL LIBRARY’S HOURS

This article describes how the high school library stays open after-school for students to access technology.

August 19, 2016 – ADDRESSING STUDENTS’ MENTAL HEALTH

Efforts to address students’ mental health are improving, according to this commentary.

August 22, 2016 – SPECIAL EDUCATION & TECHNOLOGY

Special Education teachers would like to use technology more, but a study shows that they are not getting enough professional development to know what applications are available and how to use them. Read here.

Students August 30, 2016 – LEARNING TO WRITE

Writing is a critical gatekeeper skill.  This article provides resources on teaching that skill.

August 31, 2016 – DEMAND FOR AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS

The non-profit organization, Afterschool Alliance, released a new report, “America After 3PM Special Report: Afterschool in Communities of Concentrated Poverty,” which found high levels of participation in summer and after-school programs in low-income communities along with an even greater demand for these services. Read the Education Week summary.

September 6, 2016 – ISSUE OF STUDENTS’ CHRONIC ABSENTEEISM

The vast majority of the nation’s school districts struggle with students who are chronically absent, but the problem is especially concentrated in school systems that serve large numbers of poor students, a new analysis of federal data has found.  While nine out of 10 school districts experience some level of chronic absenteeism, around half of the 6.5 million students who were chronically absent in the 2013-14 school year are enrolled in just 4 percent of the nation’s districts, according to researchers Robert Balfanz and Hedy N. Chang.  Their analysis—Preventing Missed Opportunity—builds on nationwide chronic absenteeism data that was released in June by the U.S. Department of Education’s office for civil rights, which found that about 13 percent of all U.S. students missed three or more weeks of school in 2013-14.  Read the article here.  In the Every Student Succeeds Act, states are required to report chronic absenteeism rates, and districts will be allowed to use federal dollars on training to reduce the problem. It is one of several options that states can use in order to meet ESSA’s new requirement for a school quality indicator in addition to traditional measures such as standardized-test scores. For a January 2017 article on the challenge, read here.

September 7, 2016 – SUMMER LEARNING IS BENEFICIAL – IF STUDENTS SHOW UP

In a recently released RAND report on summer learning programs, “Learning from Summer: Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Urban Youth.” showed that students saw reading and math benefits that lasted into the school year.  however, the key finding highlighted the need for students to attend at least 75% of the classes, which is a challenge during summer months. See more.  The Wallace Foundation website provides the full report and the research brief.

September 13, 2016 – NEW HEADSTART RULES

On September 1st, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the updated regulations to the $8.6 billion Head Start program.  The final regulations will be effective November 7th.  HHS eliminated morning and afternoon programming when it increased the length of the day and year, but it concurrently streamlined about 30% of the 1400 prior regulations. The programs are still required to provide family engagement on health issues. The new standards replace “intermittent workshops and conferences” with a coordinated system of professional development, including individualized coaching for all educators. Finally, the new standards indicate that a child cannot be expelled from a program because of behavior, and suspensions are severely limited as well. Read more about how the new Head State rules aim to balance flexibility with oversight.  HHS is hoping that, as a result, Head Start graduates will be more ready to learn in kindergarten and able to learn throughout K-12.

September 20, 2016 – FOCUS ON SOCIAL & EMOTIONAL LEARNING

Researchers and advocacy groups alike recognize the importance of social and emotional learning and its effect on academic achievement.  In November, the Aspen Institute will convene a National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development.  This multi-year endeavor will explore how educators, policymakers, and researchers can “advance a new vision for what constitutes success in schools: the full integration of social, emotional, and academic development.”  Read more here.

September 23, 2016 – NEW RULES FOR CHILD CARE BLOCK GRANT

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued new rules for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, the federal funding source that helps low-income families pay for child care. Child-care programs that receive public money will have to meet stronger safety and quality standards, under the new rules released on Friday, September 23, 2016.

October 19, 2016 – PERSONALIZED LEARNING THROUGH TECHNOLOGY

“Personalized learning,” often with technology programs, is becoming an increasingly effective resource to help students who have fallen behind academically.  According to a report, however, a lack of high-quality curricula designed to support that personalized learning is stalling the effort.  For more information, read here.  For more articles on personalized learning, Education Week dedicated an October 19th Special Report, “Personalized Learning:  The Next Generation.”  This included a Question and Answer on “Lessons Learned” and a case example of personalized learning in Henry County, GA.

December 10, 2016 – BILINGUAL LITERACY CAMPAIGN

The Oxnard, CA district invested more than $13 million in campus and community infrastructure—including amassing an electronic lending library of more than 30,000 English-language and 4,000 Spanish-language books—as well as significant training for teachers and parents alike.  As a result, K-8 students collectively read more than a million books through the district’s reading program and showed growth on statewide reading tests.  Superintendent Cesar Morales is recognized by Education Week for his leadership in literacy.  Read here.

https://leaders.edweek.org/profile/cesar-morales-superintendent-literacy/

December 12, 2016 – GAO REPORT SHOWED INCREASED NEED FOR EARLY LEARNING INVESTMENTS

Research indicates that children in high-quality early learning programs, especially children from low-income families, show greater readiness for school and development of skills needed for lifelong success.  However, a recent analysis conducted by the U.S. Departments of Education (Ed) and Health and Human Services (HHS) shows that investments in early learning  are not meeting the needs of families across the country and many eligible families are not receiving services. According to a 2012 General Accountability Office (GAO) report, only 10 percent of those potentially eligible were receiving assistance under the Child Care and Development Block Grant, only 4 percent of those eligible were receiving Early Head Start services, and only 40 percent of income eligible preschool-aged children were enrolled in Head Start.  The 2016 interdepartmental review discussed the federal programs identified by GAO in 2012, including the eight programs identified with the primary purpose of promoting early learning for children from birth to age six, and determined that they remain severely underfunded.

December 12, 2016 – IMPROVING STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT BY MEETING CHILDREN’S COMPREHENSIVE NEEDS

In response to persistent achievement gaps and intensifying need among students, comprehensive approaches to student support are proliferating. Alternately known as “wraparound,” “collective impact,” “community schools,” “comprehensive services,” “Promise Neighborhoods,” “Full-Service Schools,” or “integrated student supports,” efforts have taken root in hundreds of schools and communities including Cincinnati, Tulsa, Jennings (Missouri), New York, and Hartford. National networks like Strive Together and the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, and programs like City Connects, Communities In Schools, and Bright Futures are responding, in widely varying ways, to urgent demand.  This memo by Brown Center Chalkboard, now a Brookings blog, provides detailed information on the national trends and the research that supports this approach.

December 13, 2016 – CHILD TRENDS RESEARCH

For almost four decades,  nonprofit research organization Child Trends has conducted rigorous research and analyses to improve public policies and interventions that serve children and families.  These include a variety of topics that affect education:

December 13, 2016 – ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS – MOST BORN IN U.S.

The majority of English-language learners (ELL) in U.S. K-12 schools were born in the United States, according to a Migration Policy Institute analysis.  Based on U.S. Census data, the Institute found that 82 % of prekindergarten to 5th grade English-learners and 65 % of 6th and 12th grade English-learners are U.S.-born. The rest of the article , however, notes that the numbers may be askew, because the analysis identifies 2.2 million ELL residents between the ages of 5 and 17, but that the U.S. Department of Education estimates more than double that amount attended schools during the 2013-14 school year (probably closer to 5 million, which suggests that millions of undocumented students are probably not counted accurately).  The Institute’s analysis is still valuable because it also documents that Spanish is the most comment language spoken (71 % of ELLs), and that the Limited English Proficient (LEP) population was less educated and more likely to live in poverty, and more likely to work in certain trades.  The Institute also noted the gender differences in employment practices, with 74 % of LEP men in the labor force compared to 48 % of LEP women; by comparison, 68% of English-proficient men were in the labor force compared to 59 % of women).  These numbers suggest some concerns about the pace at which students are learning English and some potential approaches to teaching ELLs and engaging with their families effectively.

December 13, 2016 – ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS – THE EARLIER THE BETTER

A recent study from Arizona, conducted by the Regional Educational Laboratory at WestEd, indicated that the earlier Limited English Proficient (LEP) students learned English, the more likely they were to graduate from high school.

  • “Long-term ELLs”—students who have attended school in the United States for four years or more without becoming proficient in English— fared the worse; only 49 % finished high school in four years.
  • “New ELLs”—those who were classified as ELLs after 6th grade and who entered high school with the designation—fared only slightly better, with 52 percent graduating on time.
  • Among former ELLs who became English-proficient between grades 2 and 5, 81 % graduated on time.

Read the report or the Education Week story.  For more on English Language Learners, read the May 11, 2016 edition of Education Week, including an article summarizing the research.

December 13, 2016 – STUDENT TRAUMA’S IMPACT ON LEARNING

According to this article, student trauma and unpredictable stress can impair cortical functions and learning ability.  Trauma cased by abuse, neglect, domestic violence, poverty, and other adversities can cause neural networks to stop working.  Traumatized students who are in a “persistent state of alarm” are less capable of concentrating in a classroom, and therefore learn at a slower rate, disengage, and ultimately fall behind. By contrast, children who feel “safe and connected” can learn more effectively.

December 13, 2016 – TRAUMA-INFORMED LEADERSHIP 

As noted in the previous Education Week article about brain science, schools in high-poverty communities are more likely to serve families that have experienced trauma. Whether families deal with homelessness, lack of access to food and health care, or unsafe neighborhoods with high crime rates, these adverse experiences trigger toxic stress—which has an impact on a child’s developing brain. If children do not receive support to deal with this stress, they are more likely to experience long-term academic and social-development delays. In this article, Topeka Superintendent Tiffany Anderson lays out five steps to address the issue with a systemic approach:

  • Get to know the community and schools your serve (conduct a gap analysis);
  • Build teacher and parent capacity;
  • Use data to drive interventions;
  • Engage community partnerships; and
  • Make space and time for well-being to de-escalate behavior.

December 13, 2016 – SCHOOL COUNSELORS

According to this article, states such as Minnesota, Tennessee, Colorado, and Indiana are making investments to build their corps of school counselors in the wake of mounting, quantifiable evidence that counseling support can be a powerful weapon in the battle to get more students through high school and into college. Minnesota’s new $12 million investment spans K-12, sending 40 counselors, 21 social workers, six school psychologists, three nurses, and seven chemical dependency specialists into schools. For its work in Indiana, the Lilly Endowment will award up to $30 million in grants for schools to design “comprehensive” counseling programs that will begin next October.  Colorado focused its counselor initiative on middle and high school with a goal of improving outcomes in low-income schools: fewer dropouts, more graduates, and more students enrolling in college.  It is working!  The initiative has reduced the dropout rate in participating high schools by 3.5 %, increased college enrollment by 13 %, and boosted Advanced Placement participation by 75 %. A study of the program found that for every $1 invested in counseling, the state saved $20 in potential incarceration expenses, social safety net services, lost tax revenue from earnings, and other costs related to students who would have dropped out of school.

December 13, 2016 – USING RTI APPROACH ON SOCIAL SKILLS IN KENTUCKY DISTRICT

Tucked in the Appalachian mountains of eastern Kentucky, Marin County school district is using its $1.5 million School Transformation Grant to implement a multi-tiered system of supports called “Project Achieve” in its middle and high schools. It is helping improve student behavior and school climate.  Implementing a multi-tiered system helped the district pull together what had been scattered efforts.  For more, read here.

December 14, 2016 – RESPONSE TO INTERVENTION 

Education Week’s December 14th edition focused on reporting about “Response to Intervention” (RTI).  It explored the challenges facing educators as they adopt RTI for new uses, scale it up to more schools and districts, and use it to improve learning for all.

December 22, 2016 – MOST-READ BLOG POSTS ON ENGLISH-LANGUAGE LEARNERS

Read here for a list of the most-read blog posts from Education Week’s “Learning the Language Blog” in 2016.  They include articles that concluded:

  • 2/12/2016 – A Stanford University Graduate School of Education study of six high schools with higher-than-average academic outcomes for English-language learners found that the schools share common design elements, including intentionally hiring immigrants and former ELLs, as well as frequent communication between staff members and families in their home languages and the availability of wraparound services that can help students achieve their fullest potential.
  • 8/12/2016 – Spanish-speaking parents looking to help their children learn English should start by developing their literacy and numeracy in their first language, according to recently published research from the University of Missouri.
  • 8/16/2016 – Educators and education advocates submitted more than 20,000 comments on draft regulations for the Every Student Succeeds Act, and many of them questioned what the new federal K-12 law means for the nation’s millions of English-language learners.

December 30, 2016 – ESSA IMPACT ON ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS

For more information on the impact of ESSA on ELLs, read this article. The final ESSA accountability regulations mandate that states develop a timeline for ELLs to become proficient in English and exit the specialized services they receive. To that end, the U.S. Department of Education’s recent guidance made it clear that states are allowed to use their Title III funds to help identify ELLs who are struggling, make sure their English-language-proficiency tests match up with English-language-proficiency standards, and align state content standards with English-language-proficiency standards.

December 30, 2016 – EARLY CHILHOOD EDUCATION PART OF ESSA PLANS

According to this article, states are looking for ways to weave early-learning goals, funding strategies, and ways to support local districts’ preschool efforts into the school accountability plans they’ll be submitting to the U.S. Department of Education this year under the Every Student Succeeds Act. “Since ESSA is all about reducing achievement gaps, it is just logical to focus on early learning,” said the senior project director of the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes, which is financed by the Education Department and works to support states as they prepare their ESSA plans and seek to take advantage of new funding opportunities under the law.

January 10, 2017 – PRE-SCHOOL LINKED TO HIGHER MATH SCORES

At least one year of preschool linked to higher math scores on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).  Read more.

January 12, 2017 – GRANT FOR 8th GRADE AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS

A new grant competition opened up for out-of-school time programs serving middle school students. The Aim High grant competition will provide $1.95 million over three years to out-of-school time (OST) programs serving disadvantaged students.  Sponsored by the New York Life Foundation and Afterschool Alliance, the grants are part of the foundation’s efforts to help underserved students in 8th grade progress to high school on time.  For more information, read here.

January 19, 2017 – ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS

As noted in this Fordham Institute article, “If we strategically expose children to new experiences and environments, we can change their trajectories and interest levels significantly.” Focusing on one example, a “STEAM education program that we run at the San Francisco 49ers, our path to enrichment is paved using football and Levi’s Stadium to demystify and “cool-up” subjects like environmental sustainability, structural engineering, and physics.”

January 21, 2017 – SOCIAL PROMOTION 

In New Mexico, disagreement existed regarding students who failed to pass the 3rd grade proficiency test for reading. Despite this failure, 96 % of them were promoted to 4th grade.  Read more here.

January 24, 2017 – YMCA SUMMER PROGRAMS IMPACT LEARNING 

Students who participate in YMCA summer programs make learning gains. The programs use a curriculum, which ws developed by BELL, a nonprofit that works to improve the lives of children in under-resourced communities. BELL is an acronym for Building Educated Leaders for Life. Tested before and after the program, participants gained an average of two months in reading skills and 1.5 months in math skills. Read here.

January 25, 2017 – INCREASE IN SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS

According to an Education Week article, the enrollment and percentage of special education students has increased again, with more significant increases in specific categories of disabilities over others.  As of fall 2015, 5.9 million students were identified under IDEA, which constitutes 8.8% of U.S. residents aged 6 – 21 years old. Over the last 10-years:

  • Due to the effective use of Response to Intervention (RtI), the number of students with learning disabilities decreased to 2.3 million (the largest categories of needs);
  • There were significant decreases in the number of students classified with emotional disturbance (345,000), intellectual disabilities (412,000), and speech and language impairments (1 million);
  • There were significant increases in students diagnosed with autism (546,000 – a 144% rise over 10-year span) and “Other Health Impairments” (OHI) (including ADHD) (887,000 students – a 49% increase over the 10-year span); and
  • The other disability categories—hearing impairments, visual impairments, deaf-blindness, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairments, and traumatic brain injury—are a small proportion of students with disabilities and have remained stable around 400,000 in total.

January 30, 2017 – NEED FOR REMEDIATION IN COLLEGE

This Hechinger Report details the significant percentages of high school graduates who need to take remediation classes in math or English in college. The problem is nationwide, and it should inform K-12 education reforms.

January 30, 2017 – DUAL LANGUAGE LEARNERS — FRESNO, CA

New America created a video about an innovative program for Dual Language Learners in Fresno, California, whose school district population includes 67% Hispanic, 11% Asian, 10% White, and 9% African-American, and speaks more than 50 different languages, most commonly Spanish, Hmong, and Khmer.

January 31, 2017 – IMPORTANCE OF STUDENT-TEACHER RELATIONSHIPS

This article highlights the importance of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs over Benjamin Bloom’s stages of cognitive domain. Teacher-student relationships prepare students for effective learning.  See blog.

January 31, 2017 – QUALITY PRE-K LINKED WITH 3RD GRADE READING PERFORMANCE – TEXAS

A New America report on Texas pre-K found that offering full-day programs, investing in quality pre-K, and overall elementary school ratings on academic indicators were associated with children’s third grade success in reading.

February 8, 2017 – REALL PROGRAM TO PREVENT STUDENTS FROM DROPPING OUT 

Intended to reduce school dropouts, the Reality Enrichment and Life Lessons (REALL) program, developed in 2010 in Missouri, includes a 4-hour simulation of a student who has dropped out of high school.  Read here.

February 8, 2017 – HEAD START TEACHER CREDENTIALS

This Bellweather Report examines the Head Start workforce ten years after the bachelor’s degree mandate, and found that while the bachelor’s degree mandate succeeded in raising the credentials of Head Start teachers, it did not alleviate – and in fact may have exacerbated – other challenges related to recruiting, retaining, and compensating a high-quality Head Start workforce.  The report also finds that teacher credentials, compensation, and retention vary considerably across individual Head Start programs, types of Head Start providers, and states. Finally, Bellweather’s analysis revealed the strong interconnection between Head Start and the larger early childhood workforce and how these systems can complement or impede one another.

February 13, 2017 — A SAFETY NET THAT WORKS

The American Enterprise Institute published “A Safety Net that Works,” a multi-chapter report on the safety net that works and better helps poor Americans increase their earning.

February 13, 2017 – TUTORING

“Intensive tutoring” works, according to new research, as described in the following The74 article.

February 14, 2017 – STUDENT MISTRUST IMPACTS ENGAGEMENT, BEHAVIOR, AND OUTCOMES

According to a study published in Child Development Journal, researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and Yale and Stanford universities found that students’ sense of unfairness and mistrust in the school can have lasting outcomes. “Wise feedback”—interactions that show teachers have high standards for students and believe in their potential—can increase their trust, they found in a smaller, simultaneous experiment.  Read here for details.

February 14, 2017 – PITALLS OF RTI FOR STUDENTS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES

At the Learning Disabilities Association of America conference in February 2017, researchers presented their analysis of the Response to Intervention (RTI) model, differing policies, and inconsistent timing, as applied to students with learning disabilities.  The paper focused on the responses from state special education officials was published in the March 2016 issue of Contemporary School Psychology.  A second report, which included responses from district-level officials, was published in the December 2016 issue of Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal.  Read the Education Week summary.

February 14, 2017 – DONORSCHOOSE.ORG HELPING TEACHERS HELP STUDENTS 

Teachers are using DonorsChoose.org to raise money to help students in need. Read here.

February 14, 2017 – ACHIEVEMENT GAP IN MATH BETWEEN HISPANIC AND WHITE STUDENTS STARTS BEFORE KINDERGARTEN

Achievement gaps in math between Hispanic students and their white counterparts set in before kindergarten, according to a new report by the Child Trends’ Hispanic Institute:

For Hispanics in the United States, the educational experience is one of accumulated disadvantage. Many Hispanic students begin formalized schooling without the economic and social resources that many other students receive, and schools are often ill equipped to compensate for these initial disparities. For Hispanics, initial disadvantages often stem from parents’ immigrant and socioeconomic status and their lack of knowledge about the U.S. education system. As Hispanic students proceed through the schooling system, inadequate school resources and their weak relationships with their teachers continue to undermine their academic success. Initial disadvantages continue to accumulate, resulting in Hispanics having the lowest rates of high school and college degree attainment, which hinders their chances for stable employment. The situation of Hispanic educational attainment is cause for national concern.

The study analyzed data from a longitudinal study by the National Center for Education Statistics that tracked nearly 10,400 students’ progress from kindergarten through 5th grade starting in 2010, among other sources.  At the beginning of kindergarten, Hispanic students’ math skills already trail behind those of white students by the equivalent of three months.  However, full-day kindergarten can help ameliorate those gaps.

February 22, 2017 – HELPING POOR STUDENTS BREAK DOWN BARRIERS TO EDUCATION

Lauded as a “Leader to Learn From,” W. Burke Royster, Superintendent of 77,000-student Greenville County district, instructs his staff to conduct detailed examinations of students’ attendance, behavior, and academic record.  That work is a central tenet of his pledge to keep students—especially those in some of the district’s poorest communities—in school, engaged in their learning and firmly on track to graduate.  Known as OnTrack Greenville, the district has forged partnerships with social service providers and community organizations to spot, and knock down, hurdles to students’ ability to learn and thrive in school. Read more.

https://leaders.edweek.org/profile/w-burke-royster-superintendent-keeping-students-on-track

February 27, 2017 – KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS HAVE STRONG SKILLS 

Kindergarten students in 2010 started school with noticeably stronger literacy, math, and behavior skills across the board compared to their peers that started school just 12 years earlier, says a study published this month in the journal Educational Researcher.  The new research was developed by the same researchers who found in a 2014 study that the kindergarten classrooms of today are more like the 1st-grade classrooms of years past.  Read more.

February 28, 2017 – ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS NOT GETTING ENOUGH SUPPORT

Schools are not giving English Language Learners (ELL) enough support, according to a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

March 1, 2017 – TV WATCHING IMPACTS STUDENTS’ READINESS

Young children who watch more than two hours a day of television show decreased skills in math and executive functioning—the collective term for cognitive abilities related to attention, focus, and self-control—with low-income children faring the worst compared to children from higher-income families who viewed the same amount of TV.  The Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics published the study in February. The association between television viewing and a child’s math and executive functioning skills was highest for children in families at or below about $21,200 a year, which was the poverty line at the time the data was collected about 8 years ago. The effects on middle-income children, which in this study was defined as an average of $74,200 a year for a family of four, were smaller than for less-affluent children, but statistically significant. But no effect on school readiness was noted on television-watching children who came from families at or above $127,200 a year. See a summary here.

March 2, 2017:  UNLOCKING ESSA’S POTENTIAL TO SUPPORT EARLY LEARNING

The New America and the BUILD Initiative wrote a paper that offers an introduction to ESSA and explores major provisions that have implications for the nation’s youngest learners.

March 6, 2017 – HELPING STUDENTS FIND THEIR ACADEMIC PASSIONS 

In this guest blog, the director of Director of Assessment for New Tech Network (NTN) a national nonprofit working with schools, districts and communities to redesign teaching and learning for a modern world, describes how to find students’ passions.  He relied on a recent visit to the Aveson School of Leadership, their TK-5th grade school, and when asked how they go about advising young students around the pursuit of essential questions in project based learning and in the creation of personal “passion projects,” their answer was instructively simple: “We have to make time to really listen to each student. The goal has to be to find out what makes them tick.”

March 6, 2017 – PROJECT-BASED LEARNING & SCIENCE FAIR 

This guest blog discusses the benefits of Project-Based Learning (PBL) and the possibilities for the Science Fair of the 21st Century.

March 17, 2017 – MIGHTY WRITERS AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM 

A Philadelphia non-profit organization runs “Mighty Writers” after-school and on weekends. Read more.

March 17, 2017 – NUANCED ANALSSIS OF PRESCHOOL FADE-OUT EFFECT

Poor instruction can undo the effects of high-quality preschool experiences. But instruction has to be more than good to sustain preschool effects; it has to build strategically on the gains made in preschool. Currently, instruction in the early elementary grades is typically not well aligned with—and therefore does not make effective use of—the advantages high-quality preschool confers. Recent analyses of national data by Vanderbilt University’s Mimi Engel and her colleagues, for example, indicate that much of the math instruction children receive in kindergarten repeats material they have already mastered before entering kindergarten. Repetition gives the children who did not have the benefit of preschool an opportunity to catch up, but it does not build on the gains children made in preschool, and thus does not make good on the preschool investment.  Read here.

March 22, 2017 – LITIGATING STANDARD FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS 

On January 11, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District (Case No 15-827), referring to words such as “significant” and “meaningful.”

  • Family’s argument:  The lawyer represented the Colorado student with autism, now 17, whose parents contend that the individualized education program (IEP) offered by his school failed to provide any educational benefit to him.  He argued that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) “does not permit a school district to provide a child with a disability a barely more than de minimis educational benefit.” Instead, IDEA requires “the school to provide instruction and related services to the child that are reasonably calculated to provide substantially equal educational opportunities.”
  • Administration argument:  The Obama Administration lawyer argued that a valid IEP is “a program that is reasonably calculated to make significant educational progress in light of the child’s circumstances,”  and he clarified, “we would say significant progress toward grade-level standards, not as close as possible to grade-level standards.”
  • District’s argument:  The lawyer representing the school district from Douglas County, Washington defended the ruling last year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, in Denver, that provided that court’s interpretation of a 1982 Supreme Court decision, in Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley. Under Rowley, a “free, appropriate public education” under the IDEA must confer “some educational benefit” on the student. The 10th Circuit court defined “some educational benefit” as requiring a benefit that is “merely more than de minimis,” or trivial, which is a lower standard than some other federal appeals courts have applied, such as a “meaningful benefit.”

Click on the following links for some of the news coverage:  Education Week summary, Denver Post article and SCOTUSBLOG court documents and analysis, and Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law summary and amicus brief.

As described by in this “Understood” blog post, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Rowley that a deaf child, who was an excellent lip reader, didn’t have a right to an interpreter. The court said that an IEP “must be reasonably calculated to enable the child to receive educational benefits.” In other words, it has to provide what seems like a reasonable amount of support, but not the best or most that’s available.  Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) provides a “basic floor of opportunity” that levels the playing field, the court wrote. However, a school doesn’t have to “maximize” a student’s potential. After that ruling, many federal courts used the analogy that kids have the right to a “serviceable Chevrolet,” not a “Cadillac,” when it comes to services.  In this Supreme Court case, the debate is whether that standard needs to be stronger. The problem, however, is that each case is based on individual circumstances (of the student and the school’s capacity), litigation costs may rise dramatically, and costs to schools would rise to cover a higher standard.

On the other side, “For the first time in its 150-plus year history, the school superintendents association (AASA) has chosen to author our own amicus brief for the Supreme Court given the high stakes for school districts if the Court rules in favor of the petitioner (Endrew) and not the respondent (Douglas County School District). Why? If the petitioners prevail, even schools that meticulously abide by IDEA’s extensive procedural requirements would have to be prepared to justify that every student’s IEP is reasonably calculated to provide a “meaningful” or “substantial” educational benefit. Not only would this standard be totally impractical and counter-productive, it would also go against Congressional intent since Congress has never even contemplated redefining the standard set by the courts under Rowley of “some educational benefit” despite several recent reauthorizations.” Read more here.

On March 22, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Endrew F in a unanimous 8-0 decision.  “When all is said and done, a student offered an educational program providing ‘merely more than de minimis’ progress from year to year can hardly be said to have been offered an education at all,” Chief Justice Roberts said.  “The IDEA demands more. It requires an educational program reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.” For more details, see Education Week summary.

March 24, 2017 – MEASURING AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS 

A national nonprofit that runs an after-school program in seven U.S. cities, the All Stars Project (ASP), has a unique youth-development model, and is also working to develop a new metric for measuring the success of such programs. ASP has developed tools that measure four different domains of development:

  • Relational capabilities (Can students create new relationships?),
  • Vocational competence (professional dress, business etiquette),
  • Positive self perception, and
  • World perception  (seeing themselves as part of a broader world).

Read more here.

March 27, 2017 – WAYS TO IMPROVE HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATES 

Written by John Gomberts of America’s Promise and Jenny Nagaoka from the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, this Education Week article details six ways to improve high school graduation rates.

March 27, 2017 – IMPACT OF TRANSITIONAL KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM – SAN Francisco 

According to a recent study, students in the California-mandated “transitional kindergarten” program outperformed their peers, however, results were stronger for certain groups of students. The pre-literacy advantages were concentrated on minority students, with the economically diverse group of Asian students seeing the most benefits.  Curiously, however, “pre-literacy skills” were affected, but not the ability to read.

April 4, 2017 – IMPORTANCE OF MENTORING

According to a 2014 study by the nonprofit MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, one in three young people ages 18 to 21—an estimated 16 million youths—report that they have never had a mentor of any kind, whether a family member or another older adult. For at-risk youths, the numbers are even higher: An estimated 9 million students don’t have mentors. This Education Week Commentary highlights the importance of mentoring.

April 4, 2017 – SHAPING INTEREST IN READING 

This article includes different bloggers’ suggestions for how educators can shape students as readers.

April 10, 2017 – THE POSITIVE IMPACT OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN TEACHERS 

The dropout rate drops by a third if African-American students have at least one black male teacher during elementary school. The impact is even stronger for black boys. Read The74million article.

APRIL 12, 2017 – PAYING FOR COLLEGE

A new report by the Manhattan Institute and New America analyzes how much families pay for college and explores how they are financing those expenses, broken out by income level, race and type of college.

April 12, 2017 – SCHOOLS SHOULD TELL PARENTS WHETHER THEIR MIDDLE SCHOOLERS ARE ON TRACK FOR COLLEGE

According to this Michael Petrilli opinion piece, “ Today’s conventional wisdom says that kids are too stressed out by the burdens we parents are placing on them, and we need to help them relax. Maybe that’s true for the tiny sliver of students who attend hothouse high schools in the bubbles where many of us happen to live. But for America at large, it’s exactly the wrong advice. We need the majority of parents and kids to be more stressed out. We need to shake them out of their complacency and tell them: You and your kids are heading toward a coming-of-age catastrophe, but you can avoid it if you act now! I’m referring to the fact that only about one-third of American teenagers leave the K-12 system ready to succeed in postsecondary education. Another third go to college unprepared, where they hit the brick wall of remedial coursework, and many of them-including almost all of the low-income students-drop out. That amounts to more than a million kids a year seeing their dreams dashed before they are old enough to legally drink a beer.”

April 13, 2017 – FINDING A MORE ACCURATE MEASUREMENT OF ECONOMIC DISADVANTAGE

Brookings researchers and policymakers devote considerable effort to understanding gaps in academic achievement between low-income students and their better-off classmates because the income-based achievement gap is a large and growing source of educational inequality in the United States. The test-score gap between high- and low-income students is 40 percent wider today than it was 25 years ago.  One widely-used marker for poverty in schools is a student’s eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch. But while nearly half of students nationwide are eligible for subsidized meals, only a quarter of US children live in poverty. These two statistics make clear that eligibility for subsidized meals is a blunt measure of economic disadvantage. This rough measure may be perfectly appropriate for determining which children should receive school lunch subsidies, but it may be less useful for other purposes, such as measuring income gaps in achievement, determining the effectiveness of educational interventions targeted to low-income families, or steering resources toward the neediest children. For now, it is the only measure available to the many researchers and practitioners who work with administrative data to evaluate the effects of educational programs, measure gaps in student achievement, and steer resources toward the neediest children.  However, these researchers applied a different, more meaningful approach to their analysis in Michigan schools. Read here.

April 2017 –  SCHOLASTIC’s GUIDED READING PROGRAMS

The new Scholastic Leveled Bookroom 4.0-a comprehensive literacy resource for grades K-6 that combines high-quality, leveled books with print and digital instructional materials to support educators.  According to research from the Scholastic Teacher & Principal School Report, teachers are most in need of culturally relevant titles, recently published books, multiple copies of popular titles, and high-interest, low-reading-level books. Moreover, one-third of teachers have fewer than 50 books available for students in their classroom libraries. Leveled Bookroom 4.0 increases student access to reading materials with 6,000+ authentic texts for whole-school learning, including both full-length, leveled books and Guided Reading Short Reads for close-reading lessons. Additional tools and resources include:

  • New digital management platform: The Accelerator, an online instructional planning tool for educators, provides 24/7 access to instructional materials and the ability to quickly search, sort, and track books on the shelves.
  • Teacher support: Available resources for educators include step-by-step setup and implementation guides, Next Step Guided Reading Assessment to identify students’ instructional reading levels, teaching cards for every title, and optional professional learning packages available for purchase-from full day sessions to job-embedded coaching.
  • Redesigned packaging: Bookrooms come pre-assembled and pre-stickered with Guided Reading levels for quick and intuitive setup and organization.

Scholastic also held a contest for K-6 school educators to win a whole-school literacy transformation, including a free Leveled Bookroom 4.0 (deadline May 2017).

April 17, 2017 – DUAL LANGUAGE PROGRAM – HOUSTON, TX 

According to a 2015 study by Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC), research-practice a program under the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University in partnership with the Houston Independent School District (HISD), all bilingual program types saw improvement in Spanish reading knowledge between kindergarten and third grade, but students in two-way bilingual immersion programs seemed to fare better. The same was true for overall achievement in English reading performance in fifth grade. Read more.

April 17, 2017 -SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING & STATE ESSA PLANS 

The new brief, published by Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), describes how states are incorporating social and emotional learning (SEL) into their plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and offers practical guidance for states as they apply for federal ESSA funding. Chicago-based non-profit CASEL advances the practice of promoting integrated academic, social, and emotional learning for all children in preschool through high school.

States have proposed five main strategies to integrate SEL approaches into their plans: developing vision statements, strengthening professional development, identifying evidence-based intervention for school improvement, leveraging Title IV funds, and making data transparent to the public.  For example:

Vision

  • South Carolina’s Profile of a Graduate identifies skills, and life and career characteristics that each student should have upon graduation.
  • Illinois articulates a whole child vision that includes the social, emotional and behavioral needs of students.
  • Massachusetts’ vision includes a core educational strategy to SEL, health, and safety.

Professional Development

  • Illinois will use Title II funds for SEL, cultural competency, behavioral health issues, and recognizing implicit bias, among other issues.
  • Massachusetts plans on sustained professional development and collaborative learning around cultural competency and SEL.
  • Ohio will promote the integration of its existing kindergarten-grade 3 standards for SEL into instructional practices.

School Improvement

  • Delaware will develop a resource hub to support low-performing schools with technical assistance and evidence-based practices that address SEL and school climate.
  • Connecticut will provide guidance to districts that identifies evidence-based interventions/practices in multiple areas, including school climate and social-emotional supports.

Title IV grants

  • Connecticut will develop a Next Generation Student Support System that will provide tiered supports to districts to improve school conditions for student learning.
  • Massachusetts will collaborate with the state’s Safe and Supportive Schools Commission to develop tools for districts to use as part of their needs assessments.

Data

  • Iowa will measure three domains of conditions for learning: safety, engagement, and environment as its school quality/student success indicator.
  • Ohio will use student engagement as its school quality/student success indicator by incorporating data on chronic absenteeism and student discipline incidents.

April 17, 2017 – 10 STEPS TO IMPLEMENT RESPONSE TO INTERVENTION (RTI) EFFECTIVELY

The AIR Policy Center explores how the Response to Intervention (RTI) framework can be used to meet all students’ needs, including those struggling with academic or behavioral challenges. The authors use first-hand examples from AIR’s work in a Brooklyn public school.

 

April 19, 2017 – SCIENTIFIC STUDIES ON PRESCHOOL

Earlier this week, a group of well-known early-childhood researchers attempted to answer that question of the importance of early childhood education.  In “Puzzling It Out: The Current State of Scientific Knowledge on Pre-Kindergarten Effects,”  they offered a nuanced take on the value of prekindergarten through six “consensus statements.”  This Education Week article also gives a summary of the report.

April 20, 2017 – READY TO LEARN

The “Ready to Learn” Television program, a Title IV initiative in the Every Student Succeeds Act that supports the development of research-based media that promote early learning and school readiness, particularly for children in low-income communities.  Read more about the Ready to Learn program here.

April 22, 2017 – GIFTED STUDENTS

In this American Conservative article, the author describes how parents of gifted children face “egalitarian dogmas and an anti-intellectual culture” which limits their chances of needed services.

April 23, 2017 – KEEPING STUDENTS ACCOUNTABLE WITH WEEKLY CLASS LOGS 

To promote setting goals and keeping track of individualized learning, this teacher describes the use of weekly class logs.  Read here.

April 2017 – GUIDED PATHWAYS TO COLLEGE COMPLETION 

The Policy Snapshot by Education Commission of the States, Guided Pathways to College Completion, briefly defines guided pathways, provides summary information on 2016 and 2017 legislative activities, and includes examples of legislation and board policies from previous years.

April 30, 2017 – STUDENTS WITH UNDOCUMENTED PARENTS

According to a new report from The Education Trust-West, about 250,000 undocumented children between the ages of 3 and 17 are enrolled in California public schools. But three times as many California students – 750,000 – have undocumented parents. That’s one in eight children enrolled in California schools, said Ryan Smith, the group’s executive director. Whether a student is undocumented, participates in the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, or is part of a family with both undocumented and legal residents, “the fear of detention and deportation affects the entire family,” Smith told The 74. Nationwide, about a quarter of students are immigrants or children of immigrants. Read more here.

May 3, 2017 – SUMMER STUDENT READING

This 7th grade English teacher writes about how to transform school culture through summer reading in four steps:  (1) purposeful planning, (2) high expectations, (3) persistence, and (4) celebration.  Read more here.

May 8, 2017 – NEW STUDIES ON STUDENT ABSENTEEISM

Three new studies on student absenteeism can show school districts how to tweak their actions and increase attendance rates.  Transportation and busing matters, little absences can add up (including when students cut classes), and early warning programs are effective. See more here.

May 10, 2017 – BIPARTISAN APPROACH TO EDUCATION

David Jacobson of the Education Development Center in Massachusetts, writer of a P-3 Learning Hub Blog, notes that there are four education priorities that share bipartisan agreement, because they are all based on research:

  • Address the whole child (including socio-emotional learning);
  • Deepen family engagement and support (indicating that the “war over family” is over and referencing the Strengthening Families framework);
  • Strengthen neighborhoods and communities; and
  • Start early (citing P-3 initiatives in Union City, NJ and Montgomery County, MD).

May 2017 – STUDENTS USE HARRY POTTER FANDOM TO BECOME ACTIVISTS

In this example, the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) has engaged students worldwide.  Recognizing the difficulty in sustaining activism and civic engagement, the author recommends that organizers use stories for a common language, center learners as heroes, and embrace humor.  Read more.

May 14, 2017 – STUDENTS NEED CONNECTION

Students need connection to grow.  Offline connectedness develops self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, relationship skills, and social awareness. Read here.

May 15, 2017 – PERSONALIZED GUIDANCE SYSTEM & AVID – Oregon

A longitudinal study based on the College Readiness Initiative, which was implemented in 39 grant schools throughout Oregon, shows that a personalized guidance system or AVID program can provide benefits to students.  It strengthens academic and social supports, readying the students for college. Read here.

 

Spring 2017 – BLOG SERIES ON EARLY LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES & ESSA  

New America  and the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) are partnering on a blog series highlighting early learning opportunities and challenges under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  In this series, authors will also discuss how states are including early learning in their state ESSA plans, using examples from those plans that have been submitted to the U.S. Department of Education for approval.

Blog Posts:

May 3, 2017 – HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION – NEW REPORT

The 2017 Building a Grad Nation report is a comprehensive analysis of the progress and challenges of reaching the goal of 90 percent on-time high school graduation rate by 2020.  Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University authored the report.

At 83.2 percent, the national graduation rate is at an all-time high. Most notably, low-income students made up nearly half of the class of 2015. All told, 2.8 million more students have graduated from high school since 2001, resulting in significant benefits for young people, the economy, and the nation.  While progress continues, skepticism in the media has cast doubt on the validity of gains in graduation rates. Questions include:

  • How do we address the skepticism around rising high school graduation rates?
  • Which states and districts are models for success?
  • What can we do to help our nation achieve its commitment to equitable access?

http://gradnation.americaspromise.org/report/2017-building-grad-nation-report

May 2017 – FREE WIFI & INTERNET ON SCHOOL BUSES FOR RURAL SC STUDENTS

For some students in Berkeley County, South Carolina, going to school means a 90-minute commute each way on a yellow school bus. Now, Google is helping those kids make the best use of that time by providing free wifi and internet connections on 28 of those buses, turning each into a “Rolling Study Hall.” “It addresses the needs of students that don’t have wifi or internet access in their home.” That description applies to many of the children in the rural towns of St. Stephen and Cross. For them, the first-in-the-state program is a wireless lifeline, providing a connection to the wider world and letting kids who don’t arrive home until late in the day get a jump on their homework. The program is funded through a Google Community Grant that provided nearly $180,000 to equip buses that serve six Title I schools – two high schools, one middle school and three elementary schools – in the district. Then, to make sure every student could use the free wifi, Google handed out 1,700 backpacks containing Chromebooks. For more info, read here or Live5 News.

 

May 2017 – CONSENSUS AROUND PRE-KINDERGARTEN PROGRAMS

Some of the nation’s top researchers who’ve spent their careers studying early childhood education recently got together in Washington with one goal in mind: to cut through the fog of studies and the endless debates over the benefits of preschool.

They came away with one clear, strong message: Kids who attend public preschool programs are better prepared for kindergarten than kids who don’t.

The findings come in a report The Current State of Scientific Knowledge on Pre-Kindergarten Effects,” and the authors include big names from the early childhood world: Deborah Phillips of Georgetown University, Mark W. Lipsey of Vanderbilt, Kenneth Dodge of Duke, Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution, and others.

It lays out the current state of preschool education in the U.S. and what research can tell us about what works and what doesn’t. Among their key findings, drawing from across the research base, are:

  • Studies of different groups of preschoolers often find greater improvement in learning at the end of the pre-k year for economically disadvantaged children and dual language learners than for more advantaged and English-proficient children.

 

  • Pre-k programs are not all equally effective. Several effectiveness factors may be at work in the most successful programs. One such factor supporting early learning is a well implemented, evidence-based curriculum. Coaching for teachers, as well as efforts to promote orderly but active classrooms, may also be helpful.

 

  • Children’s early learning trajectories depend on the quality of their learning experiences not only before and during their pre-k year, but also following the pre-k year. Classroom experiences early in elementary school can serve as charging stations for sustaining and amplifying pre-k learning gains. One good bet for powering up later learning is elementary school classrooms that provide individualization and differentiation in instructional content and strategies.

 

  • Convincing evidence shows that children attending a diverse array of state and school district pre-k programs are more ready for school at the end of their pre-k year than children who do not attend pre-k. Improvements in academic areas such as literacy and numeracy are most common; the smaller number of studies of social-emotional and self-regulatory development generally show more modest improvements in those areas.

 

  • Convincing evidence on the longer-term impacts of scaled-up pre-k programs on academic outcomes and school progress is sparse, precluding broad conclusions. The evidence that does exist often shows that pre-k-induced improvements in learning are detectable during elementary school, but studies also reveal null or negative longer-term impacts for some programs.

 

  • States have displayed considerable ingenuity in designing and implementing their pre-k programs. Ongoing innovation and evaluation are needed during and after pre-k to ensure continued improvement in creating and sustaining children’s learning gains.

 

  • Research-practice partnerships are a promising way of achieving this goal. These kinds of efforts are needed to generate more complete and reliable evidence on effectiveness factors in pre-k and elementary school that generate long-run impacts.

 

  • In conclusion, the scientific rationale, the uniformly positive evidence of impact on kindergarten readiness, and the nascent body of ongoing inquiry about long-term impacts lead us to conclude that continued implementation of scaled-up pre-k programs is in order as long as the implementation is accompanied by rigorous evaluation of impact.

May 3, 2017 – SCHOOL LUNCH QUALITY AFFECTS STUDENTS’ PERFORMANCE

In 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The main goal of the law was to raise the minimum nutritional standards for public school lunches served as part of the National School Lunch Program. The policy discussion surrounding the new law centered on the underlying health reasons for offering more nutritious school lunches, in particular, concern over the number of children who are overweight. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that one in five children in the United States is obese. Surprisingly, the debate over the new law involved very little discussion as to whether providing a more nutritious school lunch could improve student learning. A lengthy medical literature examines the link between diet and cognitive development, and diet and cognitive function. The medical literature focuses on the biological and chemical mechanisms regarding how specific nutrients and compounds are thought to affect physical development (e.g., sight), cognition (e.g., concentration, memory), and behavior (e.g., hyperactivity). Nevertheless, what is lacking in the medical literature is direct evidence on how nutrition impacts educational achievement.

The Brown Center Chalkboard at the Brookings Institution fills this gap in a new study that measures the effect of offering healthier public school lunches on end of year academic test scores for public school students in California. The study period covers five academic years (2008-2009 to 2012-2013) and includes all public schools in the state that report test scores (about 9,700 schools, mostly elementary and middle schools). Rather than focus on changes in national nutrition standards, Brookings instead focused on school-specific differences in lunch quality over time. Read here.

May 26, 2017 – HOMELESS STUDENTS

According to the latest federal Condition of Education report, 1.3 million American students do not have a safe, stable place to sleep at night.  This is about2.5 % of students in 2014-15 school year.   As a prior federal study shows, living in a shelter can hinder young children’s academic progress even two years after gaining a stable home.  Read here.

May 24, 2017 – DYSLEXIA

The National Institutes of Health estimates that between 6 – 17 % of school-age children have some form of dyslexia, although not all students have been identified.  The article also summarizes a 2016 study by neuroscientists at MIT as to why dyslexia, typically considered a reading disorder, also creates learning obstacles in other academic areas.

MAY 18, 2017 – LOW EXPECTATIONS OF STUDENTS OF COLOR

A new study by NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, published in the journal Social Science Research, provides a new analysis of 10,000 high school sophomores and their teachers and adds to the growing body of research that indicates that teachers’ expectations of students matter, and that they tend to underestimate the academic abilities of students of color.  Read the Education Week summary or the NYU summary.

May 18, 2017 – GUIDE TO TEACHER ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS

Teaching Tolerance, an education project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, has published an online guide designed to help educators ensure that English-language learners and their families have equitable experiences at school. The primer offers advice on topics ranging from family engagement and anti-bias strategies to classroom culture and instruction. The recommendations were adapted from Critical Practices for Anti-Bias Education, the organization’s professional-development guide, and advice from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s legal team. Read more here.