from the Education
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March 5, 2014
New from ECS
School safety policies are constantly evolving, often in response to fatal events. After several high-profile and tragic shootings over the past 15 years, school safety has become a major focus for parents, school officials, policymakers and the public nationwide. ECS conducted a scan of school safety-related laws passed in 2013 legislative sessions to better understand trends in policy. This report highlights the ongoing efforts of lawmakers to provide students with safe places to learn.
Students with Mental Health Problems
ECS surveyed enacted legislation from the 2013 legislative sessions to capture the ongoing work of lawmakers on the need to address mental health issues in educational settings. This report provides summaries of 17 bills from 13 states that illustrate the diversity of mental health-related legislation passed in 2013 legislative sessions. In addition, it highlights other ECS resources related to mental health and suicide prevention.
Service-Learning May Influence Attendance, Performance
In its fifth Schools of Success report, the National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement looked at the relationships between students' participation in service-learning and academic performance and school attendance. Overall, students who participated in service-learning did not have higher attendance levels than comparison students who did not participate in service-learning. However, there were notable exceptions.
What States Are Doing
Challenge: Prepare Students to Be Ready for College, Career
Minnesota renewed its determination to create a career- and college-ready workforce with a set of recommendations for the legislature. Chief among them is that every student have a career plan that would include course taking, career assessment information showing interests and aspirations, post-secondary plans aligned to career goals, financial planning strategies for postsecondary education and training, and ongoing documentation of career and college readiness skills. That plan must be electronic, portable and universally designed. (Minnesota Career Pathways and Technical Education Advisory Task Force)
Lock Those Doors!
To build local capacity to assess safety and security threats and to capture a snapshot of the state's school vulnerabilities, Idaho adapted a multi-hazard threat assessment and applied it to 74 randomly selected schools. Among their findings was that in 71 of 74 schools, unauthorized entrance to the school was achieved through an entryway other than the main entrance. In 66 schools, multiple points of entry were available. In 71 cases, the kitchen door was not secured. In 29 secondary schools, a gym door was propped open.
Not for Selling Snacks or Games
Students' privacy protection guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Education seek to help schools and districts take advantage of rapidly evolving learning technology while not jeopardizing the privacy of students who use it. The advice is non-binding but comes amidst an atmosphere of growing urgency over the issue with several state and federal legislators poised to introduce legislation. A baseline standard is that student information should only be used for educational purposes, not to sell snacks or video games. (Privacy Technical Assistance Center)
State of the States' Early Childhood Data Systems
Most states cannot answer basic questions about their own children: are they on track to succeed in school, do they have access to quality early care, is the early care workforce adequately trained? Data on young children are in multiple, uncoordinated systems. Based on a survey of 50 states and the District of Columbia, analysts concluded that in 49 states and the District of Columbia, data on children across different programs aren't linked. Only Pennsylvania can link across systems. (Early Childhood Data Collaborative)
What Works in Prevention, Intervention for Children with Reading Difficulties?
Eight years of IES-funded research into prevention and remediation of reading difficulties yields ways to identify and help children before their problems become entrenched. IES identified critical component skills that support proficient reading, found ways to assess these skills and developed and tested interventions for children at risk of developing reading difficulties, including children who are deaf or hard of hearing or those who have intellectual disabilities. (Institute of Education Sciences)
Why Some Degrees Pay Better than Others
While much has been written about the earnings gap between those who have only a high school diploma compared to those who have a four-year degree, this brief explores variations among individuals, types of credentials, occupations and geographical locations. It emphasizes the advantage of degrees beyond high school but recognizes not all outcomes are advantageous. Also, to focus on recent college grads may lead to an underestimation of the returns. (Urban Institute)
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