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.

Learn More!

Webinar: “USDA Farm-to-School Grants”


USDA Farm-to-School Grant-Application Process: Engaging Tribal Communities & Producers
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Noon Pacific / 1 p.m. Mountain / 2 p.m. Central / 3 p.m. Eastern

Coming up in the free First Nations Knowledge webinar series is USDA Farm-to-School Grant-Application Process: Engaging Tribal Communities & Producers. This webinar will provide an overview of the FY 2018 Farm-to-School Grant Request for Applications. Learn about the goal of this funding opportunity, eligibility requirements, the application process, and how to set your team up for grant-application success! This webinar is tailored to applicants interested in crafting proposals that will serve Native communities.

Back-to-School Webinars and “Office Hours”

*Info from School House Connection.

t’s “back to school” time, and we’re pleased to kick off the season with a new webinar series that features guest state and local practitioners, as well as SHC staff and national partner policy experts. We’re also offering informal, open Q&A time through our weekly “office hours.” Schedules for August and September are listed below. Don’t forget our archives for the webinars on early childhood and higher education that we offered over the summer. We also encourage readers to check out webinar offerings by our partner, the National Center for Homeless Education.
SHC Webinars: August and September


Tuesday, August 22, 2017, 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM EDT
McKinney-Vento and ESSA: Back-to-School Review
TO REGISTER:, August 31, 2017, 12:00-1:15pm Eastern
Getting to Graduation: Strategies to Award Partial Credits, Recover Credits, and Award High School Diplomas for Students Experiencing Homelessness

Title I and Homelessness: New Requirements and Best Practices for Funds and Data
Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM EDT

Identifying Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness
Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM EDT

Thursday, September 21, 2017, 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM EDT
Federal Policy Update on Child, Youth, and Family Homelessness

Tuesday, September 26, 2017, 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM EDT
Federal Policy Update on Child, Youth, and Family Homelessness

To learn more about the topics and the presenters, and to register, see ourUpcoming Webinars page.

SHC “Office Hours:” Informal Q&A and Discussion
Our office hours are open forums for anyone to call in with questions about the law or implementation. SHC staff, along with guest state and school district practitioners, will host and facilitate these online sessions.

Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017, 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM EDT
This week’s topic: The McKinney-Vento Act and Every Student Succeeds Act amendments.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017, 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM EDT
This week’s topic: The McKinney-Vento Act and Every Student Succeeds Act amendments.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017, 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM EDT
This week’s topic: The McKinney-Vento Act and Every Student Succeeds Act amendments, with a special focus on increasing high school graduation.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM EDT
This week’s topic: Title I and homelessness.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM EDT
This week’s topic: Identifying Students Experiencing Homelessness.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM EDT
This week’s topic: Early Childhood Education Services for Young Children Experiencing Homelessness, including child care, Early Head Start, Head Start, and preschool.

Please see our Office Hours page for a full schedule of topics, hosts, and registration links.

Report “Daily Access to Local Foods for School Meals: Key Drivers”

Report on the progress of farm-to-school programs as a way to improve access to local foods for daily meals. Includes examples of successful programs, a discussion of the influence of school location, size, farmers markets, and state policies as impacts on that success, and variation by regional districts.
Additional links: Summary
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service

*Download PDF of Report

NIEA Statement on Revised ESSA State Template

Washington, D.C.– Yatibaey Evans, the President of the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) issued the following statement today regarding the rollback of the stakeholder engagement guidelines in the new application for states to use in developing their accountability plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).


“NIEA is greatly disappointed that one of the key provisions of ESSA, community and parent engagement in school plans, has been eliminated from the template the Department of Education has suggested states use. With over 90% of Native students attending public schools, it is vital that Native voices are heard in the public school system.


This conspicuous absence not only risks undermining tribal leaders and Native communities in the development of state plans, but also risks destabilizing the efforts of states such as North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Alaska who have been diligently working to ensure that all are at the table.


NIEA will redouble our efforts to work with states with steadfast commitment to the language and intent of ESSA, which require timely and meaningful tribal consultation in state plans and the local consultation required of school districts.


We appreciate those states who have showed leadership and look forward to working with tribal leaders and Native communities on behalf of Native students in states across the country to make sure Native voices are at the table when decisions are made.”


For immediate assistance or questions, please contact Matt deFerranti, Legislative Director, at (202) 544-7290 or via email at

Call For Chapters: Proposals Due February 28, 2017


SchoolUniversityCommunity Collaboration in Education in Rural Places

Edited by:R. Martin Reardon, East Carolina University and Jack Leonard, University of Massachusetts, Boston

A volume in the Current Perspectives on School/University/Community Research Series

R. Martin Reardon, East Carolina University and Jack Leonard, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Place is paramount and sometimes problematic in schooling. In the context of rural schooling, Schafft and Jackson (2010) conceived of place as “an articulation of social relations and cultural and political practices that are paradoxical, provisional, and constantly in the process of becoming” (p. 11).

Rural places are home to almost 20% of the U.S. population (2010 Census FAQ) and approximately one third of all public schools (Ayers, 2011)—in which approximately one in five students are educated (Williams, 2010)—but schooling in rural places has been acerbically referred to by Corbett (2007) as the “quintessential institution of disembedding” (p. 251). According to Corbett’s narrative, children in rural places are immersed throughout their formative years in hearing “a story about somewhere else” (p. 117), studying a curriculum designed somewhere else, and striving to meet standards of academic achievement focused on fitting them to perform on a stage set somewhere else. Little wonder, then, that some children graduate from schools in rural places and leave for somewhere else.

The drift of youth away from rural areas and away from the “vision of the common good, locally lived” (Howley&Howley, 2010, p. 47) may be intrinsic to the quest for economic efficiency in agricultural production, the impact of evolving policies regarding resource extraction and utilization, and the spread of urbanization. However, at the same time that there is outmigration from among the youth of the long-time inhabitants of numerous rural places, in some such places there is immigration of ethnically diverse newcomers. These newcomers may be open to low-status employment opportunities, while anticipating that their uniqueness will be embraced—or at least less hatefully construed—than it was in the places from which they came. The respectful integration of such long-term or transient newcomers and the effective education of their children places a strain on the schooling resources in rural places as a new vision of the locally lived common good is born.

For this second volume in the Current Perspectives on School/University/Community Research series, we are inviting chapter proposals from authors who are engaged in school-university-community collaborative educational research endeavors in rural places.

Bryk, A. S. (2015). Accelerating how we learn to improve. Educational Researcher, 44(9), 467‐477. doi:

Cooper, A.,&Shewchuck, S. (2015). Knowledge brokers in education: How intermediary organizations are
bridging the gap between research, policy and practice internationally. Education Policy Analysis
Archives, 23(118), 1‐5. doi: 10.14507/epaa.V23.2355

Among the questions that may be addressed by authors include:

  • How do school‐university‐community collaborative (SUCC) partnerships redress the harm done to rural schools by policies that ignore the “unique assets and challenges of rural schools and communities” (Johnson & Zoellner, 2016, p. 6).
  • How do SUCCs inculcate “an educated hope” (Edmondson & Butler, 2010, p. 150) for the future?
  • In what ways do SUCC partnerships enrich all partners?
  • How do SUCC partnerships value the rural setting and aid in the articulation of the elements of place and/or the integration of newcomers?
  • In what ways do SUCC partnerships address the educational needs of children and youth in rural places?
  • What are the design features of SUCC partnerships in rural places, and how does design capitalize on opportunities, and address inherent challenges?


Chapter proposals of no more than 500 words (not including the listing of up to 10 references) are invited for the second volume of this series. For multiple authored proposals, please list all authors and indicate a corresponding author’s email.

A blind review process of full chapter submissions will be conducted during June, 2017 (see Projected 2017 Deadlines).

Please email chapter proposals as attachments in Microsoft Word format to both Dr. Martin Reardon ( Dr. Jack Leonard ( Enquiries are welcome.

Projected 2017 Deadlines:

Chapter Proposals: February 28, 2017
Notification of Decision: March 31, 2017
Full Chapters Submitted & Blind Peer Review Initiated: June 2, 2017
Blind Peer Review Comments Returned to Authors: June 23, 2017
Authors’ Responses to Peer Review Comments Submitted to Editors: July 3, 2017
Authors Submit Polished and Revised Chapters to Editors: September 1, 2017
Submission to IAP: October 18, 2017

Out of the Closet and Into the Darkness

nhnaBowman Performance Consulting would like to share this news story from the Native Health News Alliance. It was published with support from the Annie E Casey foundation and addresses issues LGTBQ teenagers face.

Out of the closet and into darkness: higher depression, suicide rates remain among LGBTQ youth

*Native Health News Alliance


Updated School Health Index by the CDC

Deployment Announcement of SHI 2014 (6th Edition)
September 2014
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This is a system generated email. Please do not respond.
We are pleased to announce that on September 3, 2014 the CDC completed an update to its School Health Index (SHI) on-line, interactive assessment tool.
The SHI 2014 features ―

  • Updated nutrition content to align with new USDA regulations, including Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards, and
  • Revised physical education and physical activity content to align with updated national standards and advancements in physical activity programming.
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program has also adopted CDC’s School Health Index as its assessment tool to help schools assess their current policies and practices as well as track progress over time.
The SHI can be accessed at: If you have questions about SHI, please click the ‘Contact Us’ link in the SHI tool.