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Read all the research, news, and policy in our arts education RECAP for June 2022.

Research

Engaging Books to Commemorate Juneteenth in the Classroom “The book list below presents titles to support educators in teaching students the history of this significant holiday which became nationally recognized in 2021. Featuring both fiction and nonfiction, this list provides necessary context and background information on this holiday for students of all ages, and helps them to recognize and acknowledge the horrors of slavery and the experiences of emancipation.” NY Public Library

How Music Primes the Brain for Learning “Consistent exposure to music, like learning to play a musical instrument, or taking voice lessons, strengthens a particular set of academic and social-emotional skills that are essential to learning. In ways that are unmatched by other pursuits, like athletics for instance, learning music powerfully reinforces language skills, builds and improves reading ability, and strengthens memory and attention, according to the latest research on the cognitive neuroscience of music.” Edutopia

Is recess a right or a privilege? “‘Play is how kids learn. It’s their social time, emotional time, physical activity time, time to connect with other children, their time to be imaginative,’ said Rebecca London, an associate professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the author of the book ‘Rethinking Recess.’ When recess is withheld, ‘it’s not only that they aren’t able to enjoy the time, they’re also being harmed by taking away this opportunity for important child development.'” Hechinger Report

13 Effective Study Strategies to Help Students Learn “Between kindergarten and twelfth grade, students are expected to learn how to study, schedule their time and complete sizable assignments without procrastinating. Yet these skills often aren’t taught explicitly. With the increased self-sufficiency necessitated by virtual education, educators and parents can help students learn and manage their goals more effectively by directly teaching study skills.” KQED

Field Survey for Transformational Change Highlights “The Field Survey for Transformational Change was distributed by Americans for the Arts and partner organizations from April 4, 2022 to May 4, 2022 and received 478 complete or partial responses.” The results are in and can be found here: Americans for the Arts

Equity

In the Wake of ‘Don’t Say Gay,’ LGBTQ Students Won’t Be Silenced “Though the protest didn’t stop Florida’s governor from signing the bill into law, to the students who led the event, it was still a success. Hundreds of their classmates in this Orlando suburb ended up walking out of school for nearly an hour that day, waving plastic rainbow flags and chanting ‘We say gay.'” The Hechinger Report

Biden Administration Expanding Federal Grants to Incarcerated Students “The Department of Education announced on Tuesday that it invited 73 colleges and universities to participate in the latest round of its Second Chance Pell Experiment, a push to expand access to Pell Grants to incarcerated people so they can take college courses.”

Calls-to-Action

The National Forum on Education Policy returns in 2022! “We are looking forward to bringing together policymakers and experts for 3 full days of rich discussion, thought-provoking presentations, and critical connection opportunities within and across states. Join us in Washington, D.C., July 13-15 — you won’t want to miss our big return!” Education Commission 

What to Say to Kids about School Shootings to Ease Their Stress “‘Children’s questions may be very different from adults’,’ says David Schonfeld, a pediatrician who directs the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. And the best way to determine how much information they need is to listen to them, he says. ‘Before we can offer reassurance or help them with what’s bothering them, we have to understand what their actual concerns are,’ Schonfeld says. His group has developed guidelines for talking to children after a tragic event.” KQED

Advocacy

After the Buffalo Slayings, Parents Struggle through Talks with Their Children “For many parents, confronting the ideology espoused by the murder suspect means having difficult conversations with their children about the realities of violence and racism in the United States.” KQED

Science Shows How to Protect Kids’ Mental Health, but It’s Being Ignored “Scientific advances have identified effective mental health practices, such as school-based emotional regulation training that teaches children how to cope with strong feelings, or school-based screenings that could allow us to detect mental health crises before they occur. Scientific advances have identified effective mental health practices, which have been largely ignored, and now is the time to act on them.” Scientific American

Policy

USDA Invests $100M in School Meal Program Innovation “The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced the launch of a $100 million Healthy Food Incentive Fund to support school meal programs that “innovate and accelerate” initiatives to improve the nutritional quality of school meals. The fund will be used to support peer-to-peer learning and recognize successful programs and leaders.” K-12 Dive

Ed Dept will Continue to Waive Financial Aid Verification Rules for 2022-23 “The U.S. Department of Education announced Wednesday it will continue to waive parts of its process for auditing students’ financial aid documentation through the 2022-23 enrollment cycle. Procedures for verifying information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, were first relaxed last year, which department officials said was an acknowledgement of students’ hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.” Higher Ed Dive

Analysis: What Are Districts Using Their Federal Relief Money for? How Fast Are They Spending It? How Much Is Left? New Interactive Database Has Answers “Because Congress directed the money to flow through states, districts file for reimbursement as the funds go out the door. Our team at Edunomics Lab is compiling this data — reflecting actual spending, district by district — and has posted the early results in this ESSER Expenditure Dashboard.” The 74

WA Students Can Get Excused Absences for Mental Health Under New Law “Students in Washington will be able to take time off from school for mental health reasons beginning next school year, under a new state law and rules approved by the state superintendent’s office.” Seattle Times

Wyoming Prisoners Will Be Able to Get Bachelor’s Degrees Thanks to a Federal Program “Research shows that receiving a college education behind bars dramatically reduces a prisoner’s chances of winding up in prison a second time. A new grant program will help Wyoming prisoners achieve that.” Wyoming Public Media

 


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