Most States Plan To Use Student Absences To Measure School Success

How do you judge how good a school is? Test scores? Culture? Attendance?

In the new federal education law (the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA) states are asked to use five measures of student success. The first four are related to academics — like annual tests and graduation rates. The fourth measures proficiency of English language learners.

The fifth is the wild card — aimed at measuring “student success or school quality” — and the law leaves it to states to decide.

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10 Tips for Creating a Fertile Environment for Kids’ Creativity and Growth


There’s a common misconception that the best way to encourage children’s creativity is simply to get out of the way and let them be creative. Although it’s certainly true that children are naturally curious and inquisitive, they need support to develop their creative capacities and reach their full creative potential.

Supporting children’s development is always a balancing act: how much structure, how much freedom; when to step in, when to step back; when to show, when to tell, when to ask, when to listen.

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Policy Analysis: Native Students and Their White Peers

Many see education as the key to future opportunity and success for children of all backgrounds. However, deeply entrenched inequities can obstruct future opportunities and successes for many American Indian and Alaska Native students (hereafter referred to as Native students). These inequities are apparent in the substantial achievement gap that exists between Native students and their white peers. On national reading and mathematics exams, Native students perform two to three grade levels below their white peers. Additionally, Native students face myriad difficulties outside of the classroom, including high levels of poverty and challenges with both physical and mental wellness.

Despite these problems, opportunities exist for action that could positively impact educational outcomes for Native students. This report provides an overview of the major education issues the Native student population faces and the current policies that exist to address those issues at the federal and state levels.

View State and Federal Policy: Native American youth by ECS online as PDF

Resource: Equity and ESSA Leveraging Educational Opportunity Through the Every Student Succeeds Act

Despite the American promise of equal educational opportunity for all students, persistent achievement gaps among more and less advantaged groups of students remain, along with the opportunity gaps that create disparate outcomes. However, the recent passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) represents an opportunity for the federal government, states, districts, and schools to equitably design education systems to
ensure that the students who have historically been underserved by these same education systems receive an education that prepares them for the demands of the 21st century.

ESSA contains a number of new provisions that can be used to advance equity and excellence throughout our nation’s schools for students of color, low-income students, English learners, students with disabilities, and those who are homeless or in foster care. We review these provisions in four major areas: (1) access to learning opportunities focused on higher-order thinking skills; (2) multiple measures of equity; (3) resource equity; and (4) evidence-based interventions. Each of the provisions can be leveraged by educators, researchers, policy influencers, and advocates to advance equity in education for all students.


View entire report online (PDF)

Google Classroom Resources

Google Classroom and Class Roster

PBS LearningMedia added two new features:

  • Class Roster
    Educators now have the ability to create their own class roster, which enables them to assign specific lessons to students and monitor student progress. To find this feature, click “Classes” in the Dashboard menu within the teacher view of PBS LearningMedia.
  • Google Classroom
    A share button to import PBS LearningMedia resources directly into Google Classroom was added. To find the button, navigate to the resource you wish to add and click the green Google Classroom button located to the upper right of the resource’s description.

Bullying Awareness Day

Event Date

Wednesday, September 27, 2017
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Event Description

Established as one of 21 Wisconsin Public School Observance Days to bring attention to the harmful affects of bullying in the school setting. Bullying may negatively impact a student’s connection with school, their engagement with the curriculum, and their overall ability to learn. Bullying prevention is critical to building a school environment conducive to learning and where students feel safe at all times. Observed annually on Wednesday of the fourth week in September.

Enacted May 12, 2010, from the 2009 Laws of Wisconsin, Act 309.

More information and educational resources are available on the Department of Public Instruction Social Studies Education Observance Days website or on the  Safe Schools Bullying Prevention website.

*info from

Evaluating SOC in Tribal Communities Webinar

Children’s Mental Health Initiative (CMHI)
National Evaluation Web Event Training Series
Evaluating Systems of Care in Tribal Communities
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 | 2:30 – 4:00 pm ET

Understanding American Indian and Alaska Native Early Childhood Needs

Understanding American Indian and Alaska Native Early Childhood Needs: The Potential of Existing Data

This report describes preliminary work in support of an early childhood needs assessment for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) children prenatal to age five. The report uses existing data to describe the population of AI/AN children and families and their participation in early childhood services.

*Listen to and Download PDF of report here

Using a Trauma-Informed Approach for Evaluation

Children’s Mental Health Initiative (CMHI) National Evaluation Web Event Training Series will host Using a Trauma-Informed Approach for Evaluation on Thursday, August 3, at 1 p.m. ET. Presenters will discuss trauma issues in evaluation from the perspective of youth and families from whom data is collected. This webinar will also identify techniques for data collection that use a trauma-informed approach.

Webinar: Promoting Child Well-Being by Using Machine Learning Algorithms

Promoting Child Well-Being by Using Machine Learning Algorithms
Friday, July 21, 2017
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. EDT

Join Community Science and our expert panel for a 90-minute webinar on how the tools of the big data world – specifically, machine learning algorithms – are being trained to apply the scientific method in order to improve child welfare outcomes. Learn from a panel of child welfare leaders about how organizations like Casey Family Programs, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and First Place for Youth are using their administrative datasets and machine learning algorithms to:
. Predict the likelihood of positive outcomes for each child;
. Determine what combination of available interventions, settings, and conditions will work best for each case;
. Rigorously evaluate the success of interventions, in real time; and
. Design provider-friendly software applications that everyone can use to make better decisions.

This webinar will introduce participants to concepts like big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning algorithms. Participants will learn about a new “hybrid” data modeling technique that “mashes” – brings together – the data science world’s machine learning algorithms with the social science world’s scientific method in order to improve child welfare planning, learning and evaluation; we call this data modeling technique, “SIMPLE Insights for Action,” where SIMPLE is an acronym for Social Impact Modeling for Planning, Learning and Evaluation. During this webinar, a panel of leaders will share about their machine learning projects, including their organization’s motivation for their project; what they learned from the process; and how they are applying the lessons, models and insights to their work. This webinar will also address the equity, community development, and system reform implications of using machine learning algorithms.

Webinar Panelists
. Ira Schwartz, MSW, Adjunct Professor, Barry University, co-lead on Broward Sheriff’s Office Project
. Stephen Shimshock, PhD, Director, Systems, Data & Reporting, Casey Family Programs
. Erika Van Buren, PhD, Vice President, Evaluation & Learning, First Place for Youth
. David M. Chavis, PhD, CEO & Principal Associate, Community Science

Webinar Leader
Peter York, MSSA, Principal Associate, Community Science

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