The following resources focus on the educational climate and betterment of those serving the K–12 educational community.

America Needs Public School Choice, Not Private School Vouchers We are in a moment of crisis for American public education. President Donald Trump and his Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos are pushing an effort to create the first federally funded national program to support private school education. In a nation long committed to a public schooling for students of all backgrounds, we could end up taking a critical step down the road to privatization of American education.

Early Elementary Strategies Preschool-Through-Third Grade  The U.S. Department of Education has released a report, Case Studies of Schools Implementing Early Elementary Strategies: Preschool-Through-3rd Grade Alignment and Differentiated Instruction,  which explores how educators might build on and sustain the positive effects of preschool. The report details a new case study of five school programs, examining two types of promising strategies to support children’s learning in early elementary school: 1) aligning instruction from preschool through third grade and 2) differentiated instruction.

K-3 Policymakers’ Guide to Action: Making the Early Years Count  A special report from the Education Commission of the States (ECS), K-3 Policymakers’ Guide to Action: Making the Early Years Count, summarizes policy components prioritized for a high-quality K-3 system by 12 of the nation’s top content experts. Experts argue that meaningful improvements in student academic outcomes depend on improving the kindergarten- through-third grade continuum.

50 State Comparison on Kindergarten  The Education Commission of the States issued a new 50 State Review that explores the different methods states use to fund both full-day and half-day kindergarten and examines the spectrum of full-day kindergarten program requirements across the country.

Massachusetts Outperforms the U.S. in Math, but Has Work to Do to Compete Globally  Since the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993, schools in the state have focused on strengthening students comprehension of so-called STEM topics—science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The first three areas depend largely on competency in the last one—math. (WBUR, April 10)

The State of American High School Graduates: What States Know (and Don’t) About Student Performance  Achieve released its annual report on college and career readiness, consisting of 51 individual state profiles and a cross-state comparison report. It shows that far too few states report data on indicators of college and career readiness, making it difficult for states to make good policy and practice decisions, and ultimately to improve student performance. Some states have made progress since last year in their public reporting, but there are still widespread disparities across states that are applicable to nearly all college and career readiness indicators.

New Reviews, an independent nonprofit that provides free web-based reviews of instructional materials, released new reviews of English language arts and math instructional materials. Educators from across the country worked diligently to analyze these materials and provide high-quality evidence that can support instructional decisions in classrooms nationwide.

State of the States Landscape Report: State-Level Policies Supporting Equitable K-12 Computer Science Education provides a 50-state landscape of computer science policies and can serve as a resource for states beginning to develop policy, implementing policy or that have already enacted policy related to computer science.

Analyzing Student-Level Disciplinary Data: A Guide for Districts  This report is designed to help school districts analyze their own student-level disciplinary data to answer important questions about the use of disciplinary actions such as whether these actions are disproportionately applied to some student subgroups and whether there are differences in student academic outcomes across the types of disciplinary actions that students receive. Prior to conducting any analysis of student-level disciplinary data, district analysts should define all data elements to be used in the analysis, establish rules for transparency (including handling missing data), and define the unit-of-analysis. The report provides examples of descriptive analyses designed to answer questions about the use of the disciplinary actions. SPSS data analyses syntax is provided to assist districts in conducting all of the analyses described in the report.

NYC schools pilot parent-teacher teams  Eighteen New York City schools have replaced traditional parent-teacher conferences with Academic Parent Teacher Teams. The model includes 75-minute parent education sessions scheduled throughout the school year, featuring lessons such as how to talk to children about schoolwork.  (Chalkbeat)