Virtual School Meanderings

April 15, 2018

Worth A Read

A regular Sunday feature.

Worth A Read

Who’s really driving student outcomes?

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 09:00 PM PDT

Anthony R. Meals shares the important role that education support professionals (ESP) play in supporting students in schools. “School buses are more than just modes of transportation, and drivers offer more than a safe passage to and from school. Research suggests that simply by greeting students at the classroom door, teachers can have positive effects on their attention throughout a lesson (Allan Allday & Pakurar, 2007). Similarly, our bus drivers are the first to greet students as they head to school, and that morning interaction can set the tone for their day. An unpleasant exchange can put students on edge before they even arrive on campus; a positive one can give them a boost.”

50-State Comparison: State Summative Assessments

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 09:00 PM PDT

Jill Mullen and Julie Rowland Woods have compiled a 50-state comparison of state summative assessments after ESSA implementation. “This information was collected from state department of education websites and through contact with state department staff, and therefore may not reflect what is required in state statute or regulation. State assessment systems vary widely, and the information below may not fully capture the unique qualities of each system.”

Educators Push Teacher Pay Penalty Into National Spotlight

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 09:00 PM PDT

Tim Walker discusses teacher walkouts and the teacher pay penalty. “According to a new EPI analysis by Sylvia Allegretto, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley, teacher pay (adjusted for inflation) fell by $30 per week from 1996 to 2015, while pay for other college graduates increased by $124. Even when accounting for benefits, the teacher compensation gap widened by 9 percent, to 11.1 percent over that same time frame.”

The 2017 NAEP Results: Nothing To See Here?

Posted: 09 Apr 2018 09:00 PM PDT

Morgan Polikoff writes about the recent release of the 2017 NAEP results. “Overall, while this year’s results are not the sexiest, the NAEP data offer an important barometer. I conclude that educational progress is real, but stalled, and that we may need new and sustained policy efforts to resume the gains we saw in the 1990s and 2000s.”

School nurses: An investment in student achievement

Posted: 09 Apr 2018 09:00 PM PDT

Erin Maughan looks at the important role school nurses across the country play in schools. “Regardless of how nursing positions are funded, they provide a strong return on investment, especially in the areas of immunizations, mental health services, and the treatment of chronic conditions.”

On nation’s report card, Michigan students remain in back of class

Posted: 09 Apr 2018 09:00 PM PDT

Ron French and Mike Wilkinson discuss the release of the 2017 NAEP results and implications for Michigan. “According to NAEP results ‒ from tests given to a sample of students in every state in 2017 ‒ Michigan ranks 35th in fourth-grade reading skills. That’s up from 41st in 2015, but still notably lower than the 28th the state was ranked in 2003, the first year Michigan participated in the test. Michigan also saw a small improvement in state rankings in fourth-grade math (38th, from 42nd), eighth-grade math (33rd, from 34th) and eighth-grade reading (30th, from 31st).”

How Can We Build Community Labor Partnerships for Strong Schools?

Posted: 08 Apr 2018 09:00 PM PDT

John Jackson shares the results of a new report on community-labor partnerships. The report utilizes case study examples from St. Paul, MN and Austin, TX. “This report is designed to support community and labor groups that are ready and willing to engage in meaningful relationship building and collaboration to work together to address systemic and policy issues that have contributed to the achievement gap, especially for youth of color.”

Evidence-Based Learning Opportunities Help Both Teachers and Students

Posted: 04 Apr 2018 09:00 PM PDT

Liam Goldrick discusses coaching and mentoring programs for teachers. “More work is required to expand the collection of evidence-based models that help teachers learn and improve on the job. We fundamentally believe in funding what works, not what doesn’t. But we oppose the elimination of public funding for educator learning… The promise of educator development is tremendous but, as yet, unfulfilled. As an educational community, we must work harder to ensure that every teacher has the chance to thrive professionally and that every student receives quality teaching no matter their school or classroom.”

Michigan schoolchildren facing high rates of homelessness

Posted: 04 Apr 2018 09:00 PM PDT

Kristen Kerecman shares data from a recently released analysis of educational outcomes experienced by homeless students. “To complement the data, U-M also released a student homelessness map to illustrate how many children in the state’s school districts experience homelessness and housing instability. Poverty Solutions — a U-M initiative dedicated to the prevention and alleviation of poverty — developed the map to help policymakers and local stakeholders think about the impact of homelessness in their area and to identify resources to support some of the state’s most vulnerable children. The map focuses on the percentage and number of students experiencing homelessness in each school district and the percentage of low-income students experiencing homelessness, where data is available.”

Discipline Disparities for Black Students, Boys, and Students with Disabilities

Posted: 03 Apr 2018 09:00 PM PDT

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviewed discipline disparities in schools. “This report examines (1) patterns in disciplinary actions among public schools, (2) challenges selected school districts reported with student behavior and how they are approaching school discipline, and (3) actions Education and Justice have taken to identify and address disparities or discrimination in school discipline.”

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