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

Kindergarten Readiness in Wisconsin  In this collaborative working paper, WCER researcher Eric Grodsky and colleagues show that in Wisconsin, about two-thirds of children of color begin kindergarten with weaker literacy skills than the typical non-Hispanic white child. Differences in family income account for half or more of the children with this literacy disadvantage.

Making ESSA Work for You: Professional Learning for Teachers webinar on March 08, 2018 4:00 PM CST. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The Academic and Behavioral Consequences of Discipline Policy Reform: Evidence from Philadelphia   The School District of Philadelphia made dramatic changes to its code of conduct in 2012–2013, prohibiting the use of out-of-school suspensions for low-level conduct offenses, such as profanity and failure to follow classroom rules, and reduced the length of suspensions for more serious infractions. Changes in district policy resulted in an initial reduction in the number of low-level conduct suspensions, but the decrease did not persist. Notably, most schools did not comply with the policy change prohibiting such suspensions. Previously suspended students were less likely to be suspended after the policy change. Peers who did not receive a conduct suspension prior to the change experienced worse outcomes in schools that did not (or could not) comply with the policy change prohibiting conduct suspensions. Revising the district’s code of conduct was associated with an increase in racial disproportionality at the district level.  (Thomas B. Fordham Institute)

Old Idea Could Change School Funding Dollars  One of the biggest changes Governor Bruce Rauner proposed in yesterday’s budget address is making local school districts bear the costs of teacher pensions. (NPR Illinois’ Education Desk)