Navigating Social and Emotional Learning from the Inside Out. This Wallace Foundation report provides 25 strategies for social-emotional learning (SEL) for elementary school students, and after school strategies. The report also provides research and case studies focusing on the importance of SEL.

Want to Improve Student Success? Prioritize Movement!  This Ed Note blog post comes from Alyssa Rafa, a policy researcher at Education Commission of the States, and discusses the importance of physical fitness in honor of National Physical Fitness and Sports month.

Building a Grad Nation, a report by GradNation, reveals that grad rates have increased nationwide to an all-time high of 83.2 percent, but not fast enough to reach their goal of 90 percent by 2020. GradNation is comprised of Civic Enterprises, Everyone Graduates Center, America’s Promise Alliance and Alliance for Excellent Education.

Report: Students with Learning and Attention Issues Three Times More Likely to Drop Out  One in five children have learning and attention issues, or brain-based challenges in reading, writing, math, organization, focus, listening comprehension, social skills, motor skills or a combination of these, according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD). In a new report, the NCLD examines why students facing these issues are three times more likely to drop out of school. (The Journal, May 17)

Practice What You Teach: Connecting Curriculum and Professional Learning in Schools  The Aspen Institute released a report by Ross Weiner and Sue Pimentel which makes the case for integrating curriculum into professional learning so teachers can focus on creating engaging learning environments, responding to the needs of their students, and continuously improving their craft. This report highlights the work being done by the Louisiana Department of Education, District of Columbia Public Schools, and West Virginia Teaching Lab to integrate the use of high-quality instructional materials with professional learning. It then offers six key takeaways for how system leaders can embark on this journey. Reviews, an independent nonprofit that provides free web-based reviews of instructional materials, released new grade/course-level math reports. Educators from across the country worked diligently to analyze these materials and provide high-quality evidence that supports the reviews.

Children Must Be Taught to Collaborate, Studies Say  The nonprofit Partnership for 21st Century Learning, along with Pearson, released a report breaking down three main aspects of collaboration that need to be taught: communicating with others, resolving conflicts, and managing tasks. As Education Week notes, “The ability to collaborate with others has become one of the most sought-after skills in both education and the workplace.” Developing skills for collaboration and group problem solving is one of the key components in the pursuit of high, comparable standards. The standards are fostering greater creativity and critical thinking, which can be reinforced when students are put together in group learning experiences. High standards also allow for collaboration not only among students, but also teachers. Consistent education standards allow teachers to collaborate with fellow educators in other states and districts and to share best practices to formulate plans to unlock students’ full potential.

Measuring the Impact of Lead Exposure on Learning and Cognition  Water crises are springing up in districts nationwide—but what does this mean for schools? (Education Dive, May 22)

New Hampshire—Goodbye ABCs: How One State is Moving Beyond Grade Levels and Graded Assessments  The term “grades” has become almost taboo among some educators in New Hampshire, where seven elementary schools are slowly ditching the word altogether through a program known as NG2. The program—short for “no grades, no grades”—is hallmarked by the schools shifting to a more competency-based assessment structure and removal of grade levels. (EdSurge, May 16)

Evidence for Early Literacy Intervention: The Impacts of Reading Recovery  Reading Recovery is a literacy intervention for first-graders and one of the most widely used reading programs in the world. In one of the largest randomized controlled trials ever conducted on an instructional program, the authors analyzed data from nearly 7,000 students between 2011 and 2015 to evaluate the program. The authors found that students who received Reading Recovery performed significantly better on a standardized literary assessment at the end of the intervention than those who did not. In addition, schools that had the lowest average student achievement tended to have the largest treatment effects, suggesting that low-achieving students benefit most from the program. English Language Learners and students in rural schools realized similar benefits to students overall. However, there was considerable variation from school to school in the size of Reading Recovery’s treatment effects. Findings from an exploratory study of long-term impacts on third-grade reading scores were inconclusive as a result of the small sample available for the analysis as most students in the study had not yet reached third grade.  (Consortium for Policy Research in Education)

SEL skills are essential for children; professional development for adults and appropriate measurement needed too, journal authors conclude: Saying that the field of social and emotional learning “is at a crossroads,” the editors of an issue of the journal The Future of Childrenfunded in part by The Wallace Foundation, review the state of the evidence for SEL and explore a set of policy questions that educators and after-school leaders are facing.The authors find that teachers and OST staff need professional development to help children acquire SEL skills. They also urge a greater focus on outcomes at the teacher and classroom level; a focus on skills appropriate to each grade and age; and that measurement should narrow in focus but be broader in context and depth.

This Policy Analysis, Chronic Absenteeism: A key indicator of student success, discusses chronic absenteeism as it relates to student success.

Education Commission of the States President Jeremy Anderson provides a brief overview of chronic absenteeism.

New America writes on how to support family engagement and chronic absenteeism through the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Personalized Learning Could Get a Boost with Increased Local Control  Federal and state policy seems to be opening the door to greater innovation at the school level. (Education Dive, May 25)

The Atlantic published a short video that looks at a child’s brain development and the importance of investing in children to promote positive development.