This report researched the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems policies in all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems are information systems designed to collect and store educational data that follows student progress from early childhood to starting a career. These systems may be used to evaluate educational programs and policies and lead to research-based decision making for system improvements. Sixteen states (including Florida) and the District of Columbia have a full Pre-K to Workforce system that captures data across all four core agencies, from early learning through the workforce. (Education Commission of the States)
Last year in this northern Wisconsin town – which has about 1,000 residents – a fifth-grade teaching job went unfilled for the whole year. A few years before that, 13 staff members quit all at once amid a clash with the former district administrator. That was 40% percent of the faculty. Finding teachers to make a life in rural America these days isn’t easy. The population is declining. The schools are isolated. The pay is low. And that’s before you get into social considerations, like fewer dating and restaurant options. From Wisconsin to New Hampshire, Illinois to Montana, rural districts are struggling with how to recruit and retain teachers, especially when the economy has been strong and well-prepared graduates have lots of other job options.
This report describes how chronic absence and conditions for learning are interconnected issues that can have an impact on a child’s educational success. The report identifies specific conditions for learning that can improve school experiences for students and staff and help reduce absenteeism and improve academic outcomes. It includes brief case studies from the state of Georgia and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District that help to illustrate how chronic absence and conditions for learning can be addressed through comprehensive, data informed actions. A five-point school action framework outlines how chronic absence data can be used to diagnose and address factors in a school and community that affect attendance and conditions for learning.
Do schools in your community reflect the world in which we live, or are they steeped in tradition — doing things the way they’ve always been done? The world has changed a lot over the past 50 years, but many of our school systems have not. While some schools use technology like Smart Boards and iPads to keep kids engaged, other schools continue to use worksheets and lecture in a more traditional and less interactive environment. Research shows that such disparities as these in students’ environments are evident in achievement from an early age, and less advantaged students are likely to fall behind and stay behind.