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Archive for the ‘K-12’ Category

 

Chrissy Howard, the new manager of Reading Success by 4th Grade, sums up her job with a question:

“How can I use any resource I have to help other people get what they need?”

For Howard this a tactical issue and a matter of social justice.

Launched by the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, Reading Success by 4th Grade has engaged the Springfield, Mass., community in the work of helping children become proficient readers by the end of third grade. The organization was led by Sally Fuller, who recently retired.

Howard joined the organization this summer just as it had found a new home at the Springfield Public Library.

“My job is to continue to bring people together and move the work forward,” Howard says. To do this, she has embarked on a listening tour where she has heard about what people need, want, and love as well as “what they found a little difficult; what challenges they’ve overcome, and how they did it together.” (more…)

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We’re scaling up Boston Saves to enroll every BPS [Boston Public Schools] kindergartener in a Child Savings Account. This expansion follows a successful pilot program. All of our kindergarteners will be automatically set up with a savings account for college or career training. To get the ball rolling, we deposit $50 in each account. We’ll offer families educational resources and online tools to help them save along the way. This is one way we are bridging wealth gaps and building financial empowerment in our communities.”

 

— Boston Mayor Marty Walsh in a message to his city’s students, families, teachers, and staff, Thursday, September 5, 2019

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Oregon has scored a huge victory for its children — and set an example that other states should study – by enacting the Student Success Act, which will invest $2 billion in education, with 20 percent ($400 million) allocated for early education.

“…now we can finally invest in an education system to empower every single student on the path to realizing their dreams for the future,” Oregon Governor Kate Brown said in a Tweet.

To finance this investment, Oregon will create a tax “on businesses that bring in at least $1 million in sales each year. They’d pay $250 and a point-five-seven-percent 0.57% tax. According to the Legislative Revenue Office in the capital, less than 10% of Oregon’s 460,000 businesses would pay the tax,” KOBI-TV reports.

This historic work is “the culmination of a legislative process that began more than a year ago when the Joint Committee On Student Success toured the state to learn more about what kids in Oregon need to succeed,” according to the Children’s Institute, a nonprofit organization founded by philanthropists and business community members.

“At every stop along the way, the message was clear: K–12 can’t do it alone. If we want to improve outcomes for Oregon’s students, we must start by supporting the health and development of young children before they reach kindergarten.” (more…)

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

 

Cities like Somerville work hard to boost children’s outcomes by making sure that preschool educators communicate with elementary school teachers.

Now a new research study points to some of the benefits of this approach.

The study – “Who benefits? Head start directors’ views of coordination with elementary schools to support the transition to kindergarten” – analyzes interviews of 16 Head Start directors.

The study found “numerous ways in which Head Start directors coordinate with elementary schools to share information about individual children and program practices,” according to the abstract.

This analysis “revealed that coordination may benefit children indirectly through both improved teaching practices, increased alignment and parent supports. Findings indicate the need for additional research to explore indirect links between coordination and children’s success.” (more…)

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Screenshot: Representative Alice Peisch’s Twitter page

 

On Friday, a large and diverse crowd – that included Governor Charlie Baker, New England Patriot football players, mayors, educators, parents, students, and legislators – gathered at the State House for an important hearing on education funding.

At the heart of the hearing were calls to update Chapter 70, the funding formula that calculates how much state funding Massachusetts public schools receive. The funding formula was put into place in 1993, and has not been updated in 26 years. In 2015, guidance for overhauling Chapter 70 was released in a report written by the Foundation Budget Review Commission, which was co-chaired by Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz (D-Boston), who was then a co-chair of the Joint Committee on Education, and by Representative Alice H. Peisch (D-Wellesley), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Education. (more…)

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How can K-12 education be improved?

Answers are being hotly debated. But according to a new report, too many people are overlooking a promising answer: K-12 should embrace early education.

“For years, the K–12 world has fundamentally underappreciated how the early years shape long-term educational outcomes,” the report — “Why The K-12 World hasn’t Embraced Early Learning” — explains.

Elliot Regenstein, a partner at the national education law firm Foresight Law and Policy, and the report’s author says:

“The goal of the paper is to provoke some much-needed conversation about strengthening the connection between K-12 and early learning. Massachusetts has always been a leader in education policy, and I hope it will be helpful to the state as it considers ways to continue improving its outcomes.”

In the report, Regenstein notes that there is good will to build on. (more…)

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To teach the whole child, a new report says, it’s best for teachers to braid academics together with social-emotional learning.

“The promotion of social, emotional, and academic learning is not a shifting educational fad; it is the substance of education itself,” the report says, adding, “Social, emotional, and academic skills are all essential to success in school, careers, and in life, and they can be effectively learned in the context of trusted ties to caring and competent adults.”

Released by the Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, the report — “From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope” — looks at its 36-year-old predecessor, a report called a “Nation at Risk,” and provides a “a more hopeful assessment” of education in the United States. (more…)

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