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

Training in Skilled Trades Making Comeback in IA Schools  State and industry leaders want more teens to follow Hageman’s lead into so-called “middle skills” jobs — those requiring additional training beyond high school but less than a four-year college degree. As Iowa students head back to school this week, one of the hottest focuses is an effort to expand and elevate vocational and technical training in high school. (Des Moines Register) 

Ten-Year Trends in Bullying and Related Attitudes Among 4th- to 12th-Graders  This study examined the prevalence of bullying and related behaviors between 2005 and 2014 and explored whether any such changes varied across schools or as a function of school-level characteristics. The authors found that there was a significant improvement regarding bullying and related concerns in 10 out of 13 indicators (including a decrease in bullying and victimization) for in-person forms (i.e. physical, verbal, relational) and cyberbullying. Results also showed an increase in the perceptions that adults do enough to stop bullying and students’ feelings of safety and belonging at school. The authors conclude that additional research is needed to identify factors that contributed to this declining trend.  (Pediatrics)

Illinois Will Begin Reporting Kindergarten Readiness Statewide  The Illinois State Board of Education has announced that the state will obtain and report consistent measures of developmental readiness for all kindergarten students starting in the fall of 2017. The Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS) will guide kindergarten teachers through observations of students as they go about their normal daily routines of playing and schoolwork. (ISBE)

Proponents of Later School Start Times See Momentum  Schools in at least 19 states are planning to start the school day later this year, according to Start School Later, a nonprofit organization that advocates for later school start times. (U.S. News & World Report)

Americans Want Public Schools to Provide Much More Than Academics, PDK Poll Finds – “The three R’s alone don’t cut it anymore,” announces a report released yesterday on the 49th annual PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. In addition to solid academics, Americans want their schools to provide job training, more explicit focus on social-emotional skills, and “wraparound” services like health centers and afterschool programs. Respondents also want students to learn in diverse classrooms and are skeptical about vouchers and the value of standardized tests. AACTE’s Kristin McCabe has the story.

Third Grade Reading  The Institute for Child Success and the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation, in collaboration with BEST NC, produced What Works for Third Grade Reading, working papers that address 12 of the North Carolina Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Initiative’s.

States Begin Shedding Standardized Tests in K12  In just the last few months, several districts and states have eliminated tests and cut assessment time to make room for instruction and reduce stress. (District Administration)