Identifying Root Causes of Learning Challenges to Inform Intervention - Denise Tillery, Ed.D, Sr. Director Intervention Services K-12 Student Support Services, Wake County (NC) Public Schools

Denise Tillery is Senior Director of Intervention Services K-12, Wake County Public Schools, North Carolina. K-12 School Intervention Best Practices and Innovation Use a holistic analytical approach to locate challenged groups and identify root causes We need to engage in authentic problem solving to identify and address the root causes of why a child is not learning successfully. Many districts ride the academic laurels of their overall population. But they should instead combine data analytics with qualitative research to identify groups that need help, determine their exact problems, and devise solutions to address those needs.
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Congress addresses impact of methamphetamine and opioid abuse on child welfare systems

Congress took action this week to highlight the significant impact parental abuse of methamphetamines and opioids is having on children across the country. On February 23, 2016, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing, “Examining the Opioid Epidemic,” with presenters from the child welfare community, health care community, and law enforcement. In his introduction, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) referred to the issue of opioid use as one of requiring a three-prong approach – more prevention, better treatment and tougher enforcement – for successful eradication. [More]

USDE proposes regulations on disproportionality

On February 23, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) proposed regulations to address the overrepresentation of minorities in special education. Historically, states have been allowed to develop their own standards for determining “significant disproportionality” in the placement of minority students in special education. According to an Education Week article, a 2013 report from the Government Accountability Office found that only about 2 percent of U.S. school districts were identified as having overrepresentation of minorities in special education, allowing many districts to avoid penalties under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). [More]

Current state of CMS quality rating programs

For Marketplace plans, quality is coming to the forefront as Quality Rating System (QRS) and Quality Improvement Strategy (QIS) requirements are rolled out for Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) starting in 2017. In short, pending the approval of proposed regulations, the following changes are coming for 2017:
• CMS will be publicly displaying QHP quality rating information on HealthCare.gov;
• QHP issuers will be allowed to include 2016 QRS and QHP Enrollee Survey results in marketing materials;
• QHP issuers must adhere to guidelines, including the QRS Technical Guidance and User Guide for the 2017 Coverage Year, established by Federal Department of Health and Human Services in consultation with health care quality experts and stakeholders.
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Boosting STEM participation, Reducing Absenteeism - Susan Dawson, President, E3 Alliance (Austin, TX)

Building Readiness - From Cradle to Career By Susan Dawson Susan Dawson is President of E3 Alliance, an Austin Texas-based non-profit organization that uses objective data and community collaboration to align education systems so all students succeed and lead Central Texas to economic prosperity. She contributed this blog entry to Public Consulting Group. About E3 Alliance
E3 Alliance uses objective data to identify bright spots of success, and scales them to change entire systems. We work across sectors – collaborating with industry, community-based organizations, higher education, and school districts. We’re committed to helping more students be “future ready” -- to graduate from high school, enroll in college, and complete a post-secondary credential to prepare them for career and life. We work across the cradle to career continuum – from early childhood to middle schools to college persistence and success -- eliminating gaps and raising outcomes for all students. [More]

Raising High School Graduation Rates - Edmund Oropez, Chief Officer for Teaching and Learning, Austin Independent School District

In aggregate, a school might appear to be hitting its performance benchmarks, but we all need to look at data more closely to acknowledge performance gaps. For example, although several years ago, the Austin Independent School District had a respectable overall graduation rate, analyzing our data revealed that the male graduation rates for African Americans and Hispanics were below average. [More]

Research centers examine national congregate care trends

Two research centers, Chapin Hall and the Chadwick Center, recently collaborated to examine nationwide patterns of congregated care placements (i.e., group homes, residential treatment facilities, psychiatric care institutions and emergency shelters). The research findings, which were published in a policy brief titled Using Evidence to Accelerate the Safe and Effective Reduction of Congregate Care for Youth Involved with Child Welfare, are quite timely since the Senate Finance Committee’s legislation addressing congregate care is still in-development. [More]

CMS and AHIP announce alignment in physician quality measures

On February 16, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) announced multi-payer alignment and simplification of core quality measures to be used in calculating quality-based payments for seven physicians’ services specialties. Multi-payer alignment is expected to reduce the reporting burden for providers and to accelerate the nationwide shift to value-based payment. [More]

CMS outlines emerging state strategies to combat opioid abuse

On February 2, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posted a bulletin highlighting state-based strategies to combat the epidemic of opioid-related drug abuse, overdoses, addiction, avoidable hospitalizations, and deaths. Out of 43,982 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2013, 37 percent were associated with prescribed opioid analgesics, such as methadone and oxycodone. Such deaths quadrupled from 1999 to 2011. CMS cites innovative strategies and exemplary practices that are beginning to achieve results in states such as California, New York, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Vermont. [More]