What the work is all about: A Presentation from the U.S. Department of Education


US Dept. of Education

Dear Friend — 


Throughout the last eight years, a lot of good work has been done in schools and communities across the country. 

High school graduation rates are at an all-time high (83 percent!), and the dropout rate has decreased—with all groups making progress, and students of color closing gaps. But the work is far from over. 

Join us at 10 am ET and watch live as Secretary King lays out his vision for the future of public education.


Final Speech

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As part of the Opportunity Across America Tour, we have crisscrossed the country this year promoting equity and excellence, supporting and lifting up the teaching profession, and giving more students access to earn an affordable degree with real value. 

That’s what our work is all about, ensuring a brighter future for our country. We hope you’ll join us this morning and help us spread the message far and wide.

Together, we will continue to advocate for our nation’s most vulnerable students and ensure that all students get an opportunity to be successful.


From your friends at the U.S. Department of Education

Alliance for Early Success: Policy Framework and Guidelines 


The Alliance developed and published an initial Framework in 2013 with input from more than 150 experts representing early childhood and K-12 advocates and leaders, researchers, communication professionals, policymakers, and foundation leaders. The 2015 revision reflects input from a high level Advisory Group as well as additional experts in health and family support. Policy options are updated to reflect the latest research and best practice evidence. The most significant change is the inclusion of cross-cutting policy choices that address multiple issues.

The Framework has four policy pillars.

  • HEALTH:  Children are born healthy, stay healthy, and are surrounded by healthy adults
  • FAMILY SUPPORT:  Families help their children explore, learn, and grow in safe and nurturing places.
  • LEARNING:  Children arrive at Kindergarten with the skills and abilities to meet developmental milestones, read on grade level, and reach achievement goals.
  • CROSS-CUTTING POLICIES: Children thrive in families and communities that support their healthy development.

Source: Alliance for Early Success

Available at: http://earlysuccess.org/our-work/policy-framework

Email from First Lady Michelle Obama: “What did you learn in school?” 


Hi everyone —

Right now, more than 62 million girls worldwide are out of school.

Many of them simply can’t afford the school fees, or the nearest school is miles away and they don’t have safe transportation to get there — or maybe there’s a school nearby, but it doesn’t have adequate bathroom facilities for girls. And for many girls, the obstacles they face aren’t just about resources, but about cultural norms and traditions that deem girls unworthy of an education.

That’s why yesterday, along with Girl Rising, we announced a new education campaign called 62 Million Girls — and we need you to join right now:

Share a photo of yourself on Twitter or Instagram, and tell the world what you learned in school using #62MillionGirls.

Those photos will be posted to Girl Rising’s yearbook at 62MillionGirls.com, and you’ll help us raise awareness about all the girls who aren’t in school and show the power of education to transform their lives.

That’s why earlier this year, the President and I launched an initiative called Let Girls Learn. Working with the Peace Corps, businesses and organizations, and countries across the globe, we’re helping adolescent girls worldwide go to school. Now, the 62 Million Girls campaign is working to raise awareness for this cause and for these girls.

As I’ve traveled the world, I have met so many of these girls — and they are so bright, so determined and so eager to learn.

I see myself in these girls. I see my daughters in these girls. These girls are our girls, and I simply cannot walk away from them.

So I’m looking forward to seeing what you learned in school to help us make sure 62 million girls get that chance.

First Lady Michelle Obama

Source: The White House

Available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/09/27/email-first-lady-michelle-obama-what-did-you-learn-school

Head Start Health Services Newsletters: Family Style Meals


It is important that Head Start programs partner with families to build healthy eating habits early. One way to do this is to serve meals family-style. Family-style meals are a great way to introduce healthy foods, model healthy behaviors, and provide chances for nutrition education. This newsletter discusses the importance of serving family-style meals in Head Start programs. It also discusses how to serve family-style meals and how to engage families to serve family-style meals at home.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center, National Center on Health

Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/health/health-services-management/hsac/health-services-news.html

Family Engagement Inventory


Family engagement is recognized as a foundation for success across the human services and education fields. The Family Engagement Inventory (FEI) is designed to assist professionals in child welfare, juvenile justice, behavioral health, early education, and education to learn how family engagement is defined and implemented across these fields of practice. The FEI enables professionals to access information on family engagement organized by discipline and domain.

Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway

Available at: https://www.childwelfare.gov/fei/

Policy Framework and Guidelines

The Birth Through Eight State Policy Framework is a tool, or roadmap, that anyone can use to guide policy in ways that will improve the health, learning, and economic outcomes for vulnerable young children. The Framework outlines three policy priority areas essential for the healthy growth and development of young children: health, family support, and learning.  These are grounded on a foundation of standards, assessment, and accountability.  Evidence-based and innovative best practice policy options are provided in each of the policy areas.

Source: Alliance for Early Success

Available at: http://earlysuccess.org/our-work/policy-framework

The 2014 KIDS COUNT Data Book


The KIDS COUNT Data Book is an annual publication that assesses child well-being nationally and across the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Using an index of 16 indicators, the 2014 report ranks states on overall child well-being and in four domains: 1 economic well-being, 2 education, 3 health, and 4 family and community. For 2014, the three highest-ranked states for child well-being were Massachusetts, Vermont and Iowa; the three lowest-ranked were Nevada, New Mexico and Mississippi. The report also provides national trends, comparing the latest data with mid-decade statistics. The 2014 Data Book is the 25th edition of the Casey Foundations signature publication. As such, the report also examines trends in child well-being since 1990, the year of the first report. It highlights positive policies and practices that have improved child health and development and features stories from several states on advocacy efforts that have improved outcomes for kids and families.

Source: The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Available at: http://www.aecf.org/resources/the-2014-kids-count-data-book/

Race to the Top Annual Performance Report


Race to the Top Award Recipients offer their Year Three reports on progress. This page offers reports for all three years by state for Phase One and Two, in addition to year one reports for Phase Three.

Source: U.S. Department of Education

Available at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/performance.html#phase-1-2

Race Ethnicity and Immigration Report


There are significant disparities in the education, economic well-being, and health of children in the U.S. based on their race-ethnicity and whether or not their parents are immigrants, according to Diverse Children: Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration in America’s New Non-Majority Generation, the first report ever to draw these comparisons.

The report details the wellbeing of children in eight groups, distinguished by their race-ethnicity and whether they are children of immigrants or children of U.S.-born parents. It examines well-being across 19 key indicators that address family economic resources, health, educational attainments, and demographic circumstances.

“The data show the important advantages that immigrant families bring to this country and the strong foundation they give to their children,” says Donald J. Hernandez, author of the report. “But we also found evidence of enormous disparities in child well-being, along not only immigration lines, but also along race-ethnicity lines.”

Among the many findings, the report reveals that:

Hispanic children with immigrant parents were found to be just as likely to live with a securely employed parent as Hispanic children with U.S.-born parents, and substantially more likely to live with two parents and to be born healthy. They are, nevertheless more likely to live in poverty, to lack PreKindergarten education and health insurance, and to die between the ages of 1 and 19.

Children of immigrants (as compared to those with U.S.-born parents) in each of the race-ethnic groups, in fact, were found to be at least as likely to have a securely employed parent, more likely to be born at a healthy birth weight and to survive the first year of life, and more likely to live in a two-parent family. It is also true of each race-ethnic group that children of immigrants were found less likely to be covered by health insurance or to be enrolled in PreKindergarten.

Hispanic children of immigrant parents and Black children of U.S.-born parents fell behind all other groups for nearly half of all indicators studied. They were most at risk of growing up in poverty or near-poverty, of living in a family with low median income, at highest risk for child mortality (ages 1-19), and least likely to have very good or excellent health.

When it comes to education, all groups of U.S. children were found to be at risk, regardless of their race-ethnicity and whether their parents were born in the U.S. There were critically low rates of reading and math proficiency across the board; the lowest rates were for Hispanic and Black children. PreKindergarten enrollment was also low for all groups, and extremely low for Hispanic children — especially those with immigrant parents.

The report puts these findings in the context of a new milestone in U.S. history: Today’s population of American children is more diverse than ever, and children of immigrants account for one out of every four children in the United States; most children of immigrants (89 percent) are American citizens.

The report includes detailed policy recommendations for improving the lives and wellbeing of children, especially those most at risk. Recommendations include expanding access to and enhancing early education, removing barriers to health insurance so that all children are covered, and providing families with ways to improve their economic security and future prospects.

Source: Foundation for Child Development

Available at: http://fcd-us.org/resources/race-ethnicity-and-immigration-report#node-1360

Data Book 2013 | KIDS COUNT Data Center

The 2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book provides a detailed picture of how children are faring in the United States. In addition to ranking states on overall child well-being, the Data Book ranks states in four domains: Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family and Community.


Available at: http://datacenter.kidscount.org/publications/databook/2013