Ready News: December 10, 2020

Supports for Social and Emotional Learning in American Schools and Classrooms: Findings from the American Teacher Panel

Schools across the nation are embracing social and emotional learning (SEL) to help students build skills like setting goals, working together, and making good decisions. But what do teachers think about the SEL-related efforts in their districts and schools? How do they see these efforts affecting their students and themselves? Do they feel they are getting enough support to work on SEL in their classrooms?

To answer these questions, the RAND Corporation conducted a survey in spring 2019 via the American Teacher Panel, a nationally representative sample of K-12 teachers. RAND received responses from more than 1,200 teachers working in schools across the country that varied by such characteristics as enrollment and racial and ethnic composition. The findings from this study commissioned by the Wallace Foundation, which are documented in the full report and summarized in the accompanying research brief, can help leaders and policymakers better support teachers carrying out SEL efforts.

Review the report.


Health, Education, Child and Youth Development, and Nutrition Leaders Advocate for a National Office on Children and Youth

More than 350 leaders and organizations across the United States have joined forces to call on President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris to establish a new Office on Children and Youth in the executive branch. The urging for cohesive national leadership is being led by Nemours Children’s Health System, Mental Health America, First Focus on Children, The Education Redesign Lab at Harvard Graduate School of Education, and the Forum for Youth Investment. The coalition notes that the confluence of the pandemic, longstanding racial injustice, and the economic downturn have created a critical inflection point for our nation’s future.

Through executive order, the president could create a White House Office on Children and Youth. The intent is to improve the health, well-being, and education of America’s young people, advance equity, eliminate disparities, and ensure that federal policies prioritize their unique needs. The office would convene a “children’s cabinet” of federal agencies to serve as a single coordinating point across and within existing programs and services. The office and children’s cabinet would set a clear national agenda with outcome metrics and a cohesive, multi-agency budget to prioritize the health and well-being of children and youth. The office would also host a White House Conference on Children and Youth to bring in outside experts and stakeholders, including youth, as a catalyst for progress.

Read more.



Resources from Building Impact: A Closer Look at Local Cross-Sector Collaborations for Education

In recent years, communities caught the collective impact fever and established robust cross-sector collaborations to improve young people’s educational outcomes. Interest was booming. Businesses signed up. Expectations were high. What does research tell us about how these efforts have fared?

The Wallace Foundation commissioned Teachers College, Columbia University, to conduct a study to gain insights around how collaborations were established and their prospects for survival and success. The researchers took an in-depth look at three collaborations-Say Yes Buffalo, Milwaukee Succeeds, and All Hands Raised in Multnomah County, Oregon-and a more limited look at five others (Alignment Nashville, Chatham-Savannah Youth Futures Authority, Northside Achievement Zone in Minneapolis, Oakland Community Schools, and Providence Children and Youth Cabinet).

During a recent webinar, the research team discussed the challenges faced in these communities, including working with school districts that may see collaboration as a distraction from their core goals; finding ways to engage marginalized groups in the decision-making process; securing stable, long-term funding; and managing expectations that may be unrealistic. In spite of such hurdles, the initiatives have shown sufficient potential for benefiting education reform.

Click here for a detailed question and answer along with additional resources.



32nd Annual National Service-Learning Conference

Virtual Conference
April 14-15, 2021

The National Youth Leadership Council will host the 2021 National Service-Learning Conference, now in its 32nd year. This conference is an extension of the classroom, allowing for the youth and adult attendees to be part of a national movement. Throughout the conference, youth plan programming, emcee plenary sessions, inspire attendees through keynote addresses, and lead workshops for youth and adult peers from around the world.

The conference’s multiple-day, concurrent session format offers adults a self-directed, facilitated learning environment with education sessions, discussion groups, and interactive workshops designed specifically for all levels of attendees engaged in service-learning and focused on current and emerging issues, best practices, and the challenges facing us today. Both youth and adults come out of the experience with the tools and resources, ideas, and inspiration to return home to improve their practice, their schools, and their communities. This year’s conference will be entirely virtual and feature both live and on-demand sessions.

Topics range from social-emotional learning and civic education to youth leadership and international service-learning.

Learn more and register.



Search Institute Offers Developmental Relationship Workshops

In the past year, young people have been exposed to many life changes. School closings, loss of family income, disrupted relationships, and exposure to injustices have left many kids stressed and vulnerable.

Even after the threat of COVID passes, the impact on our young people will be noticed through delayed academic and social-emotional growth. They will need the healing balm that only relationships can provide.

Search Institute’s professional development workshops will help you learn how to build strong developmental relationships that can assist young people in overcoming trauma and isolation.

Learn more.