The last couple months' worth of ECS' e-Connection may be accessed
below. Please note that key items from previous issues appear in various
places on the ECS website. For example, "Good Reads" have been
placed in the "Research and Readings" category of the Education
Issue sites to which they pertain. Items from "What States Are Doing"
also appear in the Education Issue sites under the category by the same
December 10, 2014
New from ECS
State-by-state third-grade reading policies
If children do not have proficient reading skills by third grade, their ability to progress through school and meet grade-level expectations diminishes significantly. Well aware that all students should be reading at grade level by the end of third grade, many state policymakers have enacted three possible solutions: indentifying deficits, providing interventions and retention.
State standard setting
Academic standard setting, whether it’s by states or under the Common Core, has been a bone of contention of late, and the 2015 legislative season promises more of the same. This brief describes state standard-setting processes and provides profiles of eight states’ standard-setting and review processes, as well as the measures used by those states to validate their standards.
Few ELLs wind up in advanced placement
ELLs in high school are often confined to low-track core subject courses with little access to the high-level courses important for college preparation. High school ELLs’ underachievement will persist until they are given greater access to advanced coursework. In the school examined, staff assumptions about students’ abilities to succeed in high-track courses and ingrained school systems effectively blocked ELLs from participating in more rigorous coursework. (New to the ECS Research Studies Database)
What States Are Doing
$10 million for mentorship
Ohio community organizations, faith-based groups and businesses are being asked to partner with each other to form mentorship programs. Applications are being taken through February 20 by the Ohio Department of Education for programs in those districts having a high percentage of students in poverty and a high number of students not graduating on time.
High school career tech courses expanded
The Louisiana Department of Education announced the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) has approved new Course Choice providers which include, for the first time, TOPS Tech Early Start providers as required by Act 737 of the 2014 Regular Legislative Session. Through Act 737, TOPS-Tech Early Start provides tuition for high school juniors and seniors to pursue an industry-based occupational or vocational education credential in a top-demand occupation while still in high school.
Latticing school leadership
After taking a look at how different leadership development systems in the United States and England responded to similar challenges, Jonathan Supovitz argues the English system may be valuable in a U.S. context. Vertically, England school leadership consists of school principals, senior leaders and middle leaders; laterally, school networks allow for exchanges, hence the phrase "lattice for school leadership." (Consortium for Policy Research in Education)
States failing to protect juvenile records
Although juvenile court has been viewed as a court of second chances, many states fail to protect juvenile records, thus impeding successful transition to adulthood for millions of youth. A state-by-state analysis of laws concerning public access to juvenile records, this report also provides a national overview and proposes standards to mitigate collateral consequences of exposure. (Juvenile Law Center and Community Legal Services of Philadelphia)
Moving up the teacher pay scale — or not
A look at 113 districts examines which districts push teachers up the salary schedule the fastest. Assuming teachers live where they work, San Francisco and New York City lost points on cost of living. Rochester looked good with a top salary of $120,582, but it would take 48 years to get there. Boston scored for taking only seven years to reach $75,000. (National Council on Teacher Quality)
Helping school choosers
K–12 school choice policies' success largely depends on school choosers who may have limited information about their options, limited resources to commit to conducting a search, and limited capacities for processing information and making informed decisions, according to this report. Governments and organizations can help inform families by broadening the set of schools to consider and indicating school performance amid school profiles. (American Enterprise Institute)
Public charters' popularity grows
More than one in five school children attends a public charter school in 43 communities, up from 32 last year. According to the ninth annual survey regarding public charters, the three largest urban communities with public charters are New Orleans (91 percent of students enrolled), Detroit (55 percent) and Washington D.C. tied with Flint, Mich., (44 percent). (National Alliance for Public Charter Schools)