The relationship between student progress and happiness

What’s the relationship between happiness and student performance? National polling firm Gallup was hired by Montgomery County Public Schools to survey students and staff about their levels of hope and engagement. The polls are part of MCPS Superintendent Joshua Starr’s effort to demonstrate that student progress should be measured by more than just test scores.

Greater Greater Education’s Dan Reed explores the survey results to see if measuring a connection between happiness and student progress is useful (GGE, 7/23):

So are students at the county’s highest-ranked schools outperforming their counterparts elsewhere because they’re happier at school? Not really. If you look at this year’s surveys for the county’s 26 high schools, the correlation between student happiness and academic performance looks pretty weak.

– It’s summertime, so how about something fun near the top of the news roundup? Katy found this amusing video about students calling out celebrities’ bad grammar.

YOUTH | Teens find solace and skills through summer job programs (Elevation, 7/23)

PHILANTHROPY | This year’s Grantmakers for Effective Organizations’ Learning Conference took on an uncomfortable topic that funders (and all human beings) are eager to gloss over: failure. Kathleen Enright, GEO’s president and CEO, recaps some important highlights (HuffPo, 7/23):

Clearly failure is a universal experience. Yet…how a person responds to failure says much more about him or her than the failure itself. Many of us get stuck at step one: recognizing that something could have gone better. Suzanne Walsh, a GEO board member and senior program officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, dubs these “lessons listed” rather than “lessons learned.”

Side note: I’m often embarrassed to link to the Huffington Post. They do a truly remarkable job of mixing intelligent content with putrid tabloid garbage. Case in point: the leading “most popular” story today (about Subway) is barely newsworthy, but it most certainly does not deserve a graphic image to promote it on the right side of every page.

NONPROFITS | The Money Value of Time: Increasing the Lifeblood of Nonprofit Organizations (GEO, 7/22)

HEALTH | Health-care law is tied to new caps on work hours for part-timers (WaPo, 7/23)

LOCAL | After a half-decade delay, a major redevelopment project is about to finally get underway in Anacostia. (GGW, 7/22) Knock on wood.

TRANSIT | In Concretegate’s latest development, WMATA is claiming that Montgomery County’s repairs of the Silver Spring transit center are insufficient. As such, Metro is saying that it won’t be held responsible for future maintenance. (Gazette, 7/23) If this thing ever opens, I’m staying away.


I woke up this morning with a song inexplicably stuck in my head. It’s the meeting of two cultural legends, Kermit the Frog and Mr. Jimmy Buffett, for a really catchy tune: Caribbean Amphibian. A frog in a coconut tree!

Also, as exciting (?) as the news about the royal baby is, I think the media have run their course with the story. WTOP’s astute headline highlights the fact that today is the first day of parenthood for Kate and William. Excellent point! And CNN has the front page news that the royals will be leaving the hospital soon. Phew! I was getting worried that they were going to live there forever.