Supporting Students with High-Incidence Disabilities in U.S. Schools: National Findings from the American Educator Panels

Supporting Students with High-Incidence Disabilities in U.S. Schools: National Findings from the American Educator Panels.  RAND Corporation. Laura Stelitano, Rachel Perera, William R. Johnston. June 27, 2019.

The extent to which students with high-incidence disabilities (SWDs) are afforded effective and specialized instruction depends, in large part, upon the support their teachers receive. Certain teacher supports are essential for effectively serving SWDs, including a supportive school culture, collaboration and planning time, resources and training, and access to data and tools for using data. In this report, we explore the extent to which these supports are available to general and special educators, based on the results of the Measurement, Learning, and Improvement Survey to the RAND American Teacher Panel, a survey administered to a nationally representative sample of teachers. While research has established the importance of these supports, little is known about teachers’ access to them on the nationwide level and about how school-level factors (such as grade levels served, percentage of minority students, and poverty level) influence the prevalence of teacher supports. Overall, teachers’ access to support for serving SWDs varied by type of support, teacher role, and school level. General educators and teachers at the high school level were significantly less likely to report having sufficient access to support. Planning and release time were among the supports least often deemed sufficient by both general and special educators. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 24 pages].

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Who Plays, Who Pays? Funding for and Access to Youth Sports

Who Plays, Who Pays? Funding for and Access to Youth Sports. RAND Corporation. Anamarie A. Whitaker et al. July 18, 2019

To better understand sports participation rates for middle and high school-aged youths, the funding landscape, and participation barriers and enablers, RAND researchers surveyed parents, school administrators, and community sports program leaders. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 15 pages].

Investing in Successful Summer Programs: A Review of Evidence Under the Every Student Succeeds Act

Investing in Successful Summer Programs: A Review of Evidence Under the Every Student Succeeds Act.  RAND Corporation.  Jennifer Sloan McCombs et al. June 5, 2019.

Research evidence suggests that summer breaks contribute to income-based achievement and opportunity gaps for children and youth. However, summertime can also be used to provide programs that support an array of goals for children and youth, including improved academic achievement, physical health, mental health, social and emotional well-being, the acquisition of skills, and the development of interests.

This report is intended to provide practitioners, policymakers, and funders current information about the effectiveness of summer programs designed for children and youth entering grades K–12. Policymakers increasingly expect that the creation of and investment in summer programs will be based on research evidence. Notably, the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) directs schools and districts to adopt programs that are supported by research evidence if those programs are funded by specific federal streams. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 162 pages].

A Universal EITC: Sharing the Gains from Economic Growth, Encouraging Work, and Supporting Families

A Universal EITC: Sharing the Gains from Economic Growth, Encouraging Work, and Supporting Families. Urban Institute. Leonard E. Burman. May 20, 2019

This report analyzes a straightforward mechanism to mitigate middle-class wage stagnation: a wage tax credit of 100 percent of earnings up to a maximum credit of $10,000, called a universal earned income tax credit. The child tax credit would increase from $2,000 to $2,500 and be made fully refundable. A broad-based, value-added tax of 11 percent would finance the new credit. The proposal is highly progressive and would nearly end poverty for families headed by a full-time worker. This report compares the proposal with current law, analyzes its economic effects, compares it to alternative reform options, and considers some complementary policy options. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 48 pages].

Preparing the Future Workforce: Early Care and Education Participation among Children of Immigrants

Preparing the Future Workforce: Early Care and Education Participation among Children of Immigrants. Urban Institute. Erica Greenberg, Victoria Rosenboom, Gina Adams. March 22, 2019

Children of immigrants will make up a critical share of our nation’s future workforce, but they are less likely than other children to participate in early education programs known to support school readiness and long-term productivity. This study describes the characteristics and enrollment of children of immigrants using the most current and comprehensive dataset available: the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010–11. We find that children of immigrants tend to have fewer resources and greater need than children of US-born parents but lower rates of enrollment in center-based preschool. However, programs such as Head Start and state prekindergarten, as well as public kindergarten programs, are making progress in closing gaps in access. These findings suggest that current investments in early education are helping prepare the future workforce for success in 2050 and that expanded investments are warranted. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 38 pages].

Improving Outcomes for Transitional Youth: Considerations for Pay for Success Projects

Improving Outcomes for Transitional Youth: Considerations for Pay for Success Projects. Urban Institute. Mayookha Mitra-Majumdar, Keith Fudge, Kriti Ramakrishnan. March 7, 2019

Transitional youth are young people ages 16 to 24 who leave foster care without being adopted or reunited with their biological families and/or who are involved in the juvenile justice system, where they may be in detention or subject to terms of probation. With childhoods often marked by trauma and a lack of stability, transitional youth face notoriously poor outcomes across many areas of life. Pay for success (PFS) may provide an opportunity to address some of the challenges faced by transitional youth and the difficulties in serving them. To further explore this opportunity, the Urban Institute initiated a Community of Practice, a collaborative of researchers, practitioners, and local government officials that came together to discuss the most pressing challenges facing youth aging out of foster care and/or involved in the juvenile justice system and the potential for PFS to fund programs that address these challenges. This brief summarizes insights drawn from Community of Practice conversations and provides recommendations for local governments, service providers, and other partners considering PFS as a tool for financing interventions serving transitional youth. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 31 pages].

School Meals Programs and Other USDA Child Nutrition Programs: A Primer

School Meals Programs and Other USDA Child Nutrition Programs: A Primer. Congressional Research Service. Kara Clifford Billings, Randy Alison Aussenberg. February 11, 2019

The “child nutrition programs” refer to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (USDA-FNS) programs that provide food for children in school or institutional settings. The best known programs, which serve the largest number of children, are the school meals programs: the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP). The child nutrition programs also include the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), which provides meals and snacks in day care and after school settings; the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which provides food during the summer months; the Special Milk Program (SMP), which supports milk for schools that do not participate in NSLP or SBP; and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), which funds fruit and vegetable snacks in select elementary schools. 

[PDF format, 16 pages].