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

50-State Comparison: State Kindergarten Through Third Grade Policies details policy approaches across all states on everything from kindergarten requirements to teacher quality, assessments and interventions, and much more. With more than 20 data points, this updated resource covers the full early learning spectrum.

The ‘Shadow Education System’: How Wealthier Students Benefit From Art, Music, and Theater Over the Summer While Poor Kids Miss Out  More affluent kids are about twice as likely to visit a museum, art gallery, or historical site or see a play or concert over the summer, as compared with their peers from low-income families. That’s according to a new analysis released this month by the federal government, illustrating disparities in out-of-school experiences, which may be exacerbated by rising income inequality. (Education Week)

Public School Funding and Postsecondary Outcomes in Illinois: What is Reasonable to Expect from Illinois’ School Funding Reforms?  This paper explores the relationships between differential public school funding across Illinois high schools and six educational outcomes: ACT composite scores, ACT math scores, enrollment in any postsecondary education, enrollment in four-year institutions, attainment of any postsecondary degree, and attainment of four-year degrees. It reviews the Illinois school funding policies that were in place at the time of data collection and their regressive structure. Using a unique longitudinal dataset for the Illinois public high school junior class of 2002, it finds significant and positive relationships between higher public school funding and each of the six postsecondary-related outcomes through both hierarchical linear and logistic regression modeling. These findings highlight how funding policies may have affected educational mobility of Illinois public school students.

Oklahoma externship pays teachers for hands-on experience in engineering and science Companies hope teachers will transfer excitement about STEM careers to their students.  Schools are always trying to get their kids interested in pursuing careers in science, engineering and technology. But that’s hard to do when the students don’t have a solid idea of what having a STEM-related job really means.