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Education Northwest

NWCC Newsletter


Measuring Social and Emotional Learning: A Brief Guide

Education Northwest released a guide that helps people think through important decisions on why to measure social and emotional learning (SEL); how to use SEL data; and which skills, mindsets, and capacities are appropriate to measure. The success of young people in school, the workplace, and the community depends on more than content knowledge and test scores. Many social and emotional learning (SEL) skills and motivational factors are also critical for young people to reach their full potential and become productive, social, healthy, and happy adults.

The State of Early Learning in ESSA: Plans and Opportunities for Implementation

The Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) released a brief focusing on three key topics for early learning in ESSA: setting clear goals and policy priorities for early learning, integrating early learning into school improvement, and supporting early childhood educator development. Based on a review of submitted state ESSA plans, the brief provides examples from state plans that highlight a variety of approaches from different state education agencies and identifies areas for further growth and attention in implementation.

Tool to Guide Decisions Regarding Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA) Selection and Implementation

The Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) released the Kindergarten Entry Assessment Tool to assist state stakeholders with the process of selecting and implementing the most appropriate Kindergarten Entry Assessment based on a consensus process of engaging key stakeholders.

Stakeholders considering the selection or refinement of a Kindergarten Entry Assessment can use the tool to guide a consensus decision-making process. CEELO encourages stakeholders to engage an external facilitator to guide a process of garnering stakeholder agreement. In their work, they have found that those responsible for the process of selecting, implementing, or revising a Kindergarten Entry Assessment are challenged when stakeholders are not engaged early in the decision-making process and are not in agreement. Key stakeholders include state policymakers, district leaders, teachers, family members, members of the general public and taxpayers, and include early care and education as well as elementary school perspectives.

Planning for Progress: States Reflect on Year One Implementation of ESSA

The Center on Education Policy released a report highlighting early state efforts to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act. The report highlights states’ views on ESSA’s shift in control from the federal government to states and school districts regarding accountability and school improvement activities, stakeholder involvement in state plan development, state capacity to implement ESSA requirements, and the U.S. Department of Education’s assistance in implementing ESSA. The report also addresses the impact of the proposed elimination of Title II-A funding and support among states for a federal private school voucher program using ESSA funds.

Work-Based Learning Definitions: Themes From States and National Organizations

The College & Career Readiness & Success Center (CCRS Center) released a scan focusing on state agencies’ and national organizations’ work-based learning (WBL) definitions. This scan provides an overview of consistent themes in WBL definitions for consideration by states and districts that are developing their own definitions of high-quality WBL. The scan was developed by states participating in the Center’s Defining High-Quality Work-Based Learning Peer Network. The definitions were collected from publicly accessible websites and publications. The scan is divided into two sections—State Definitions of Work-Based Learning and National Organizations’ Definitions of Work-Based Learning

How Learning Happens: Supporting Students’ Social, Emotional, and Academic Development: An Interim Report

The Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development released an interim report highlighting the important role that social and emotional development plays in student learning. The report includes initial findings on how students, teachers, parents, and administrators across the country are integrating social, emotional, and academic learning in K–12 education.

U.S. Department of Education Launches New English Learner Data Story

The U.S. Department of Education launched an interactive web page dedicated to data on English Learner students (ELs). The site uses colorful maps, bar graphs, and charts to provide a clearer understanding of America's diverse EL population in a "data story" format based on data from the Common Core of Data (CCD). The data story shows nearly every state has at least one school district where the EL population has increased by more than 50 percent since the 2010 school year and answers three main questions—Who are ELs? Where are ELs? And what languages do ELs speak?

What Is the Evidence for an Uninterrupted, 90-Minute Literacy Instruction Block?

Education Northwest released a brief providing educators with the background, rationale, and evidence for implementing an uninterrupted, 90-minute literacy block as part of a comprehensive approach to teaching reading in elementary schools.

Since the adoption of Common Core State Standards in 2010 and passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015, schools across the country have been reevaluating their literacy practices in light of the best available evidence. One such practice is the use of an uninterrupted, 90-minute literacy block for early reading instruction. In the early 2000s this type of literacy block became a cornerstone of instruction for many elementary schools. In recent years, educators have questioned its use and have had difficulty tracing the origin of the practice and the evidence that supports it (U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, 2013; 2014).

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