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K-12 education resources

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

When Teachers Are Better at Raising Test Scores, Their Students Are Less Happy, Study Finds  A new study that tries to quantify this phenomenon finds that on average, teachers who are good at raising test scores are worse at making kids happy in class. (Chalkbeat)

Review of Evidence: Arts Integration Research Through the Lens of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)  This report scours research on activities that use arts to improve student achievement—an approach known as arts integration—and identifies those that qualify for federal education funding.

Patterns of Resegregation in Florida’s Schools   Student enrollment trends in Florida over the past decades show growing racial isolation for Hispanic and black students on some measures with signs of continuous segregation on others. School segregation in Florida today is strongly related to residential patterns of urbanization and suburbanization in the state, where students of color reside in urban areas. (Leroy Collins Institute)

Advance Illinois receives Game Changer of the Year award  Advance Illinois received industry recognition for its five-year campaign toward school funding reform. The Policy Innovators in Education Network, which includes 77 organizations in 34 states, named Advance Illinois its Game Changer of the Year at its annual network summit in San Francisco. Advance Illinois Deputy Director Ben Boer was named MVP of the network for his work on Illinois’ new school funding model. The push by Advance Illinois and its partners in the Fix the Formula Illinois campaign and the Funding Illinois’ Future coalition resulted in the signing of a new funding formula into law Aug. 31.

School funding model fixed, now what?  After inequitably funding schools for over 20 years, Illinois finally put politics aside, and made a historic move towards bettering the quality of education for 2.1 million kids. What’s next?

Education Inequalities at the School Starting Gate  Extensive research has conclusively demonstrated that children’s social class is one of the most significant predictors—if not the single most significant predictor—of their educational success. Using data from two academic cohorts, the kindergarten classes of 1998 and 2010, this study examines the relationship between children’s socioeconomic status (SES) and their cognitive and noncognitive skills when starting school. (Economic Policy Institute)

U.S. Census Bureau Data Report on Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage  In September, the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual data report, Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2016 . Overall, the number of people in poverty decreased in 2016 from 2015 meaning fewer children are living in poverty. The number of uninsured also fell.  But even with these gains, there are still risk factors because of threats to programs like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Earned Income Tax Credits and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs, and the Affordable Care Act.

Age Requirements for Free and Compulsory Education  The number of years that children are given a free education and number of years they are required to be in school varies greatly across the U.S., and states are increasingly considering changes to these requirements. See this updated 50-State Review for a side-by-side comparison of free and compulsory ages, state statutes, exceptions and policy considerations.

Economic Future More Secure When More Students Care About STEM  It’s National STEM Day, and schools across the country are celebrating with events and activities to recognize the importance of STEM education, which emphasizes key subjects such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. (Spectrum)

Illinois Report Card is a great source for information about public schools across Illinois. This online school report card goes beyond test scores to present a complete view of schools and school districts.

Illinois Leader Elected As Trustee to College Board  Eric Zarnikow, executive director of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), the state’s college access and financial aid agency, was among four nominees selected by the College Board’s Committee on Nominations, and was recently elected by the organization’s members to its governing board. (Illinois Student Assistance Commission)

Rating the Ratings: An Analysis of the 51 ESSA Accountability Plans  This new analysis examines the ESSA accountability plans submitted by all fifty states and the District of Columbia in their strength at achieving three objectives: 1)Assigning annual ratings to schools that are clear and intuitive for parents, educators, and the public; 2)Schools to focus on all students, not just their low performers; and 3)Fairly measuring and judging all schools, including those with high rates of poverty. Illinois was one of eight states that received a perfect score in all three categories. (Thomas B. Fordham Institute)

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