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How Principals Can Improve Student Success237GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>The word “landmark,” used as a modifier rather than a noun, is not one you’ll hear a lot at Wallace. &#160;In fact, we reserve it pretty much for one thing&#58; a slim report with a nondescript cover published in 2004. <br> <br> At the time, we had no idea that <a href="http&#58;//wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/Pages/How-Leadership-Influences-Student-Learning.aspx"> <em>How Leadership Influences Student Learning</em></a> would go on to become the closest thing that Wallace has to a best-seller—more than 550,000 downloads to date, almost twice the number of our second-most downloaded report.</p><p>What makes <em>How Leadership</em> a landmark, however, is more than its popularity. Written by a team of education researchers from the University of Toronto and the University of Minnesota, the report helped bring to light the importance of an overlooked factor in education—the role of the school principal. In short, it found that leadership is, in the phrase we’ve used innumerable times since the report’s publication, “second only to teaching among school influences on student success.” Moreover, the researchers wrote that there were “virtually no documented instances of troubled schools being turned around without intervention by a powerful leader.”</p><p> All this from an 87-page literature review.</p><p> Over the years, the report has served as the bedrock rationale for Wallace’s work in education. Since 2004, the foundation has invested in an array of initiatives aimed at providing excellent principals for public schools, especially those serving the least advantaged students. Wallace spending on those efforts amounted to roughly $290 million from 2006 to 2015.</p><p>In the wake of <em>How Leadership</em> are numerous other important Wallace-commissioned education studies, most recently a series documenting the implementation of our Principal Pipeline Initiative, in which six large school districts set out to introduce rigorous hiring, training, evaluation and other procedures to create a large corps of effective school leaders. The culminating report in that series, <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Building-a-Stronger-Principalship.aspx"> <em>Building a Stronger Principalship</em></a>, published in 2016, suggested that it is indeed possible for districts to do this work—to shape the kind of school leadership, that is, which <em>How Leadership</em> tells us is so important to the education of our nation’s children.</p>Wallace editorial team792017-09-21T04:00:00ZOur education leadership work offers a rationale and roadmap for supporting effective principals12/4/2017 4:33:49 PM135http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Building Arts Audiences: Act on Facts, Not on Hunches6960GP0|#8056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be;L0|#08056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be|Building Audiences for the Arts;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Arts audiences are declining, but arts organizations are proliferating. You don’t have to be an economist to see a system in distress. Arts communities convened in two Texas cities—Austin and Dallas—to address this central mismatch. </p><p>Sponsored by The Wallace Foundation, “Road on the Road&#58; Texas” offered local arts leaders an opportunity to learn about and discuss nine audience-building practices, analyzed and illuminated in Bob Harlow’s <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/The-Road-to-Results-Effective-Practices-for-Building-Arts-Audiences.aspx"> <em>The Road to Results&#58; Effective Practices for Building Arts Audiences.</em></a> Harlow, an expert in market research, &#160;studied 10 Wallace-supported &#160;arts organizations that had achieved striking results in audience-building efforts, and this volume, commissioned by the foundation, was a look across what they did to get those results.* </p><p>“It doesn’t have to be an unsolved problem,” &#160;moderator Daniel Windham, Wallace’s director of arts, said of the difficulty that audience-building presents. “It’s not about money or size or even time. It’s about commitment.” He wondered aloud whether arts leaders were willing to make the tough programming and structural changes necessary to attract and retain desired audiences over the long haul. </p><p>Keynoter Harlow brought great enthusiasm and data-laced storytelling to his gentle admonition that hunches about audiences will take arts organizations down the wrong path.&#160; His message? You might think you know enough about audiences not coming or returning, but you’d be wrong and you’d make costly mistakes as a result. Instead, he advised organizations to develop a strategy, determine what motivates them, and make audience building, including audience research, a part of everything they do. </p><p>Engaging audiences starts with defining your &quot;mission-critical&quot; problem, Harlow said. He described this as the understanding that change is needed, creating a sense of urgency in the organization. </p><p>In Dallas, Neil Barkley, director and CEO of the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, asked the audience, “When you think of New Orleans, what comes to mind?” Out came shouts of&#58; jazz, Mardi Gras, Katrina.&#160; He nodded and said, “Our mission-critical problem was, people coming through the door didn’t reflect the community we lived in.” </p><p>Austin's Prakash Mohandas, founder of Agni Dance, said the organizaton’s audience was “anyone interested in learning about dance inspired by Bollywood, or dancing or fitness with a Bollywood flavor to it.” He defined Agni Dance's mission-critical problem as enabling a community to come together, with a special interest in attracting more children, more diversity and, for survival, just more people. </p><p>Cookie Ruiz, executive director of Ballet Austin, said that her company wants to build a following among people unfamiliar with the organization or the work it presents.&#160; She noted that people won’t get excited by what they don’t understand, so Ballet Austin needs to find ways to “make ourselves easy to get to know.”&#160; She added, “This process naturally takes years.&#160; Engagement is more than one-time attendance, but the good news is that it can be done.” </p><p>You can see some of the early results of Ballet Austin’s audience-building efforts <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Ballet-Austin-Building-Audiences-for-Sustainability.aspx">here</a>. </p><p>Harlow wrapped up his Austin and Dallas presentations by summarizing two essentials of the nine practices&#58; </p><ol><li>Successful initiatives made building relationships a sustained priority, so get to know your audiences and help them know you; and</li><li>Keep audience-building issues on the front burner, at the forefront of what you do.</li></ol><p>&#160;</p><p>*The organizations had all been participants in the foundation’s Wallace Excellence Awards initiative, which ended in &#160;2014 after having provided audience-building grants of up to $750,000 to 54 arts organizations in six cities.&#160; Across the 46 WEA recipients that provided reliable data, the results were promising. Over a period that averaged three years, the organizations seeking an increase in the size of their overall audience saw median gains of 27 percent, while those targeting growth of a specific segment, such as teens or families, saw median gains of 60 percent. </p><div><div>&#160;</div>&#160;</div>Jessica Schwartz482017-11-03T04:00:00ZA Report from Wallace’s “Road on the Road” Convening to Illuminate Effective Audience-Building Practices12/4/2017 4:23:22 PM200http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
How Do We Define Success for Young People?6961GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>In 2013, Wallace awarded a competitive grant to the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research to answer a sweeping question&#58; What, besides the three R’s, does a child need to succeed in life? </p><p>The Consortium authors drew on research across a range of fields and disciplines, as well as academic theory and the insights of practitioners, but before they could come to any conclusions, they had to address an even more basic question&#58; What is success, anyway? </p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align&#58;left;"> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="NAGAOKA_headshot_2017.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/How-Do-We-Define-Success-for-Young-People/NAGAOKA_headshot_2017.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;144px;" />In the realms of education scholarship and philanthropy, success is often equated with being prepared for college and career, in part because <a href="http&#58;//www.apa.org/pi/ses/resources/publications/children-families.aspx">socioeconomic status is an important factor in overall well-being</a>, and in part because we have a decent idea of how to measure college and career readiness. But Wallace and the Consortium saw a more expansive definition. The report the Consortium released in 2015, <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Foundations-for-Young-Adult-Success.aspx"> <em>Foundations for Young Adult Success&#58; A Developmental Framework</em>,</a> says that, in addition to socioeconomic factors, success means “that young people can fulfill individual goals and have the agency and competencies to influence the world around them.” We talked with the report’s lead author, Jenny Nagaoka, about the thinking behind this definition of success.*</p><p> <strong>What were the considerations that led to the Consortium’s definition of young adult success?</strong></p><p>It’s one of the fundamental questions of human existence, right? It was interesting for me because one core area of my research is the transition from high school to college, so college and career readiness is my comfort zone. Like most work in the field, the call for proposals focused on college and career, but we really shifted in our thinking when we started talking to experts. Whether they’re working in a college access program or in higher ed, they see students as human beings. They care not just about whether students have a job and a degree but how they relate to their community&#58; Are they happy? Are they leading satisfying lives, not only professionally but personally? And how can the adults in their lives support that?</p><p> <strong>The framework defines the key factors for success in young adulthood as agency, integrated identity, and competencies (meaning the ability to complete tasks and perform roles). What does it mean, in concrete terms, to have agency and be able to influence the world around you? </strong></p><p>It can be something as small as, if you’re a college student, and you can’t finish your paper by next week because you have three other papers due, do you realize you can talk to your professor, explain your circumstances, and get an extension, that that’s something you might actually have some control over? Or it can be as big as seeing and experiencing racial inequities and becoming engaged in a larger movement.&#160;&#160;</p><p> <strong>Is it possible to be successful in life without fulfilling the goals you set when you’re young?</strong></p><p>Our goals and realities are bound to change over time, but part of the idea of integrated identity is making sense of who you were, who you are now and who you might become. If you wanted to be a painter when you were younger, maybe it’s not what your career ended up being, but you might say, “That was an important part of who I was, and I still on a certain level think of myself as an artist, maybe I can figure out how to integrate that into my life going forward.” </p><p> <strong>Now that the report is a little more than two years old, is there anything you would change about this definition of success?</strong></p><p>There are a lot of questions I don’t have a clear answer to, like, to what extent is valuing individual identity and agency specific to American culture? I’m Japanese American, and Japanese culture is more oriented toward group identity. You’re still undergoing this process of figuring out your place in the world and how to navigate it, but the unit of agency may be more about your family. </p><p> <strong>&#160;</strong></p><p>*This interview has been edited and condensed.</p><p>&#160;</p>Wallace editorial team792017-11-02T04:00:00ZTalking with University of Chicago Researcher Jenny Nagaoka about “One of the Fundamental Questions of Human Existence”12/4/2017 4:18:10 PM243http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
10 Principles to Create a Promising Youth Arts Program230GP0|#d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8;L0|#0d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8|Arts Education;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>What makes a youth arts program effective? There are hundreds of arts programs in the U.S. Some engage young people in ways that lead to a lifetime commitment to the arts. Others fall rather flat, failing to inspire much more than fleeting curiosity.<br><br> Is there a way to tell the former from the latter? Is there a formula that allows parents, practitioners and policymakers to distinguish a promising program from a dud?<br><br> It turns out there is.<br><br> Researchers Denise Montgomery, Peter Rogovin and Neromanie Persaud combed through literature, interviewed experts, studied exemplary arts organizations, talked to hundreds of young people and their parents and uncovered 10 principles the best arts programs appear to share. According to their report, <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Something-to-Say-Success-Principles-for-Afterschool-Arts-Programs.aspx"> <em>Something to Say&#58; Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs from Urban Youth and Other Experts</em></a>, the best youth arts programs have&#58;</p><ol><li>Professional, practicing artists as teachers</li><li>Executive directors that have a deep, public commitment to the arts</li><li>Dedicated, inspiring and welcoming spaces in which young people can practice their arts</li><li>A culture of high expectations for youth</li><li>Prominent public events that showcase the art participants create</li><li>Positive relationships among the youth and adults involved in the program</li><li>Meaningful leadership roles for young people</li><li>Hands-on experiences for youth with current equipment and technology</li><li>Strong partnerships with key stakeholders in the community</li><li>A space that is physically and emotionally safe so young people can learn, experiment and thrive</li></ol><p>The researchers derived these principles partly by observing small, specialized programs. Would it be possible, we wondered, for a large, national organization to combine these principles with its countrywide infrastructure to provide high-quality arts education to much larger numbers of urban youth?<br><br> We have been working since 2014 with the Boys &amp; Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) in our <a href="/how-we-work/our-work/Pages/Arts-Education-Initiative.aspx">Youth Arts Initiative</a> to find out. Six BGCA clubhouses in the Midwest have so far shown that it is in fact possible for a large, generalist organization to adopt the 10 principles, according to a report about the first phase of the initiative. In the next phase, six additional clubhouses will introduce similar programs, but will share resources to reduce costs and increase efficiency. <br> <br> We’ll be studying their efforts through 2020 and reporting back frequently here. Stay tuned to see how they fare.</p><div><div>&#160;</div>&#160;</div>Wallace editorial team792017-09-21T04:00:00ZA study of literature, expert opinion, successful programs and youth preferences point to elements that help arts programs succeed12/4/2017 4:32:48 PM518http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Speaking the Language of Social and Emotional Learning6828GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>What’s in a name? In the fields of education and youth development, the name we give an emerging idea can cause confusion or controversy and even make a difference in whether it is embraced or rejected.</p><p>Nowhere is this more apparent than in the way we talk about learning that does not fall into the category of traditional academics. Interest in helping young people manage their emotions, build positive relationships and navigate social situations has been growing in recent years. But the discourse surrounding this work is rife with vague and competing terminology—from the colloquial (“character,” “grit”) to the clinical (“non-cognitive skills,” “growth mindset”). </p><p>That’s why <a href="http&#58;//www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/08/14/542070550/social-and-emotional-skills-everybody-loves-them-but-still-cant-define-them">this <em>nprEd</em> article</a> by Anya Kamenetz is so valuable. As an education journalist, Kamenetz was bothered by the proliferation of jargon on this topic. So she created a glossary, updated in summer 2017, to help non-wonks sort through it all.</p><p>This caught our eye at Wallace because we had taken on a similar project. In 2016, in preparation for a new initiative, <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/SEL-Feedback-and-Communications-Insights-from-the-Field.aspx">we commissioned Edge Research</a>, a Virginia-based market research firm, to look at more than 40 terms and report back on what they meant, how often they were used and how effective they were in motivating parents, educators and policymakers.</p><p>Edge conducted in-depth interviews with 45 leaders in education and afterschool, an online survey of another 1,600 professionals, and focus groups with parents. Like Kamenetz, they concluded there is no “silver bullet” term that works for everyone and in all contexts. They did, however, find that the term “social and emotional learning,” while not without its pitfalls, was familiar and clear to practitioners and policymakers in both K-12 and afterschool and accessible to parents once it was explained.</p><p>That is, in part, why we decided to name our new initiative <a href="/knowledge-center/Social-and-Emotional-Learning/Pages/default.aspx">Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning</a>. </p><p>Martin West of the Harvard Graduate School of Education tells Kamenetz that the “semantic debate” may already have been settled in favor of “social and emotional learning” and its variants, “but more from exhaustion than from progress toward consensus.” We at Wallace have found working with Edge on this knotty naming problem more invigorating than exhausting, and we hope the results will help researchers, philanthropic organizations, policymakers and practitioners.</p><p> We also recognize that, when discussing the well-being of our young people, a “one-size-fits-all” approach is not the way to go. Each community has different needs and different sensitivities. References to “character” make some people cheer and others suspicious. Associating the word “emotional” with the word “learning” may provoke eye rolls in some places and applause in others. </p><p>It’s important to respect these differences. If we want our children to learn to relate to others in a positive and skillful way, it starts with us.</p>Wallace editorial team792017-11-15T05:00:00ZWhat’s in a name? In the fields of education and youth development, the name we give an emerging idea can cause confusion or controversy and even make a difference in whether it is embraced or rejected.12/4/2017 4:16:45 PM3113http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Afterschool Systems Help Bolster Student Learning and Enrichment236GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>“Proof of principle.” It’s a clinical-sounding phrase derived from the search for new medications.</p><p>But oh, what excitement it generated here at Wallace when we first read it in print in 2010, because the phrase also means that something has shown promise and warrants further development. There it was, on pg. 74 of a RAND Corp. report, <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Hours-of-Opportunity-Volumes-I-II-III.aspx"> <em>Hours of Opportunity</em>, </a>which examined Wallace-supported afterschool program efforts in five cities. For years, organizations in those communities—Boston; Chicago; New York City; Providence, R.I.; and Washington, D.C.—had been working to see if a then-novel concept was possible. </p><p>The idea? To have the major groups involved in afterschool programs—parks, libraries, schools, recreation programs, government agencies and others—collaborate to build a coherent system of high-quality afterschool programming, especially for the neediest children and teens. </p><p>The cities had embarked on this effort in the early 2000s, not knowing whether afterschool coordination on a wide scale and involving numerous players was possible. But apparently, the after-school systems idea had something to it. “This initiative provided a proof of principle—that organizations across cities could work together toward increasing access, quality, data-based decision-making, and sustainability,” RAND concluded. </p><p>In other words, the cities had demonstrated the feasibility of launching afterschool systems with the potential to improve programs and make them more readily available. Ultimately, that meant kids might have a better shot at filling their spare time with enrichment and learning, rather than risk. </p><p>Hours helped guide what we called our next-generation afterschool effort, in which nine other cities with system work underway received support to boost their efforts, especially in the collection and analysis of data. That work, in turn, gave rise to several other notable reports. One, an updated Wallace Perspective called <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Growing-Together-Learning-Together.aspx"> <em>Growing Together, Learning Together,</em> </a>found that building strong afterschool systems required four key elements&#58; leadership from all the major players, a coordinating entity, use of data and efforts to bolster program quality.&#160; </p><p>By 2013, we had some reason to believe that system-building was more than a flash in the pan. A Wallace-commissioned scan found that at least 77 of the nation’s 275 largest cities were endeavoring to build afterschool systems. </p><p>What’s the latest figure? The answer will have to wait for another study. </p>Wallace editorial team792017-09-21T04:00:00ZOrganizations band together to create a powerful network of afterschool programming12/4/2017 4:33:32 PM116http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Making a Case for Investment in the Arts239GP0|#8056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be;L0|#08056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be|Building Audiences for the Arts;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Support for the arts was once a prosaic topic in America’s national discourse. Politicians, educators and policymakers generally agreed that the arts are an essential source of personal enrichment worthy of institutional investment. <br><br> That consensus began to unravel in 1970s and 80s, however. “Culture wars” and fiscal austerity saw once-cherished programs, including those related to the arts and arts education, slashed from government budgets. It was no longer enough for arts advocates to point to the <em>intrinsic</em> benefits of the arts—the personal joy and enrichment people draw from the arts. They increasingly turned to arguments based on <em>instrumental</em> benefits—the effect of the arts on quantifiable societal indicators such as economic growth and student test scores.<br><br> Despite this change in focus, arts funding has continued to decline. Recent years have seen <a href="http&#58;//www.npr.org/2017/03/16/520401246/trumps-budget-plan-cuts-funding-for-arts-humanities-and-public-media">proposals to eliminate federal funding to the National Endowment for the Arts</a> and deep cuts to arts education in high-poverty schools in cities such as <a href="http&#58;//chicago.suntimes.com/news/layoffs-could-derail-cps-progress-on-arts-education/">Chicago</a> and <a href="http&#58;//www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Philly-Students-Face-Uncertainties-School-Cutbacks-Music-212290071.html">Philadelphia</a>. <br> <br>Researchers from the RAND Corporation offer an alternative argument that may help build the case for arts funding in <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Gifts-of-the-Muse.aspx"><em>Gifts of the Muse&#58; Reframing the Debate About the Benefits of the Arts</em></a>. The study’s authors scoured through decades of literature and found shortcomings in these arguments that focus on instrumental benefits, including some shaky research methods, vague connections between causes and effects and a failure to account for the opportunity costs of investments in the arts. Further, the authors suggest, a focus on instrumental benefits limits the debate to the supply of the arts. By ignoring the intrinsic benefits that compel people to build lasting relationships with the arts, arts advocates may fail to make a case for the essential job of stimulating demand for that supply. </p> <img alt="blog-intro-series-arts-audience-lg-framework-understanding-arts-ch.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Making-a-Case-for-Investment-in-the-Arts-blog-post/blog-intro-series-arts-audience-lg-framework-understanding-arts-ch.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;783px;" /> <br> <br> The authors offer a number of ideas to bring more nuance and greater clarity to the debate about the arts&#58; <p>&#160;</p><ol><li>Advocates and policymakers must look beyond one-dimensional discussions that weigh intrinsic against instrumental benefits. They must also consider <em>public</em> intrinsic benefits of shared artworks, such as their ability to unite people around particular causes, ideas or emotions.</li><li>Arts advocates must develop a clear, common language to discuss intrinsic benefits, which can often be hard to elucidate.</li><li>Increased research is necessary to better understand the benefits of the arts. The flaws in existing literature about instrumental benefits must be addressed and intrinsic benefits must be better understood.</li><li>Schools and community organizations need greater investment to help them expose children to the arts. Lasting relationships with the arts must begin early, researchers suggest; children who develop interest in the arts are more likely to seek them out—and hence derive benefits from them—as adults.</li></ol><p>At Wallace, we’ve been working to help address some of these recommendations. In 2014, we launched the <a href="/how-we-work/our-work/Pages/Arts-Education-Initiative.aspx">Youth Arts Initiative</a>, a multi-year effort to help the Boys &amp; Girls Clubs of America develop strategies to offer a high-quality arts education to urban youth. An interim evaluation of the initiative has shown that it is possible for clubs to put in place the basic elements of such an education; we are now working with Boys &amp; Girls Clubs to devise ways in which they can do so affordably and sustainably. <br><br> We also support arts organizations as they work to build audiences so more people can experience the intrinsic benefits of the arts. Our latest focus in this area is the <a href="/how-we-work/our-work/Pages/Building-Audiences-for-the-Arts.aspx">Building Audiences for Sustainability Initiative</a>, a six-year effort to determine whether 25 arts organizations can broaden, deepen or diversify their audiences in ways that also contribute to their financial health. The initiative builds on the Wallace Excellence Awards, a previous effort that produced two practical guides to help build audiences&#58; <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/The-Road-to-Results-Effective-Practices-for-Building-Arts-Audiences.aspx"><em>The Road to Results&#58; Effective Practices for Building Arts Audiences</em></a>, and <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Taking-Out-the-Guesswork.aspx"><em>Taking Out the Guesswork&#58; A Guide to Using Research to Build Arts Audiences</em></a>.<br><br> We don’t yet know if these efforts will succeed. But if they do, we hope they will offer models to help youth-serving organizations introduce young people to the arts and established arts organizations nurture such interest so the arts, and their intrinsic benefits, can thrive.</p>Wallace editorial team792017-09-21T04:00:00ZArts advocates must look beyond the socio-economic benefits of the arts, says the RAND Corporation12/4/2017 4:37:14 PM128http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Interest in Social and Emotional Learning Heats Up240GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>There is growing consensus among educators that children must develop skills beyond academics to succeed in the classroom and in life. Often grouped under the term “social and emotional learning,” (SEL), these skills, when nurtured and developed, can ​help kids manage their emotions, build positive relationships, and navigate social situations, among other things. </p><p>As the field of social and emotional learning continues to build momentum, our work at Wallace has begun to focus on helping teachers, afterschool educators and others define what SEL skills are, why they matter, and how practitioners can incorporate them into their programs. Late in 2016, we gleaned a sense of the curiosity on this topic when we held a webinar with insights from the field collected by Edge Research. The researchers found that practitioners and policymakers were familiar with the term social and emotional learning and that educators in both K-12 schools and out-of-school-time (OST) programs considered building SEL skills a priority. A Nearly 750 people logged into the webinar at the time, and since then it has been downloaded more than 1,500 times from our website. </p><p>Still nothing prepared us for the keen interest in what’s become our runaway hit&#58; <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Navigating-Social-and-Emotional-Learning-from-the-Inside-Out.aspx"><em>Navigating Social and Emotional Learning from the Inside Out</em></a>. This in-depth guide to 25 evidence-based programs—aimed at elementary schools and OST providers—seeks to help practitioners make informed choices about their SEL programs. Using the guide, practitioners can compare curricula, program features and methods across top SEL programs, based upon their own needs. Users can also see how programs can be adapted from schools to out-of-school-time settings, such as afterschool and summer programs. </p><p>The apparent need for what is, in effect, the first consumer guide to SEL cannot be overstated&#58; In just several months the 349-page publication has been downloaded almost 10,000 times from our website, and practitioners have been sharing it widely across social media. The guide was written by noted SEL expert Stephanie Jones at Harvard. Complementing the SEL guide is a special edition of <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/The-Future-of-Children-Social-and-Emotional-Learning.aspx">The Future of Children</a>, a compilation of articles showing that SEL skills are essential for kids and that teachers and OST staff need professional development to help children develop them. Multiple authors, all preeminent voices in the field, urge a greater focus on outcomes at the classroom level and age-appropriate interventions. They also begin to wrestle with the complicated question of how to measure SEL skill development. </p><p>Taken together, these products have produced a foundational cannon for social and emotional learning. We have more publications currently in the works to keep up with new insights and knowledge in this ever-growing field. </p>Wallace editorial team792017-09-21T04:00:00ZWallace Foundation products help inform the emerging field of social and emotional learning, focusing on what we know about SEL programs and practices12/4/2017 4:38:36 PM122http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Proper Financial Management Helps Nonprofits Improve Efficiency242GP0|#af3e9879-f65e-40d3-8cc6-25ef5b2f858e;L0|#0af3e9879-f65e-40d3-8cc6-25ef5b2f858e|Advancing Philanthropy;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Most nonprofits would agree that good financial management is essential for their success and growth. But many small organizations lack the resources and skills necessary to create a healthy financial infrastructure. </p><p> In response to this growing need, we commissioned Fiscal Management Associates, a consulting firm, to create a website that would help nonprofits strengthen their financial management and provide a number of easy to use templates and resources. The title of the site is, appropriately, <a href="/knowledge-center/Resources-for-Financial-Management/Pages/default.aspx"> www.strongnonprofits.org</a>.</p><p> The genesis of the site arose from our work with 26 afterschool programs in Chicago, where it became clear that many of the organizations struggled with financial management. As our president Will Miller told the Wall Street Journal&#58; “It became a theme that the lack of understanding of the financial realities of their own organizations was one of the things impeding them from being sustainable, successful, mission-fulfilling nonprofits.” </p><p> Looking to help train nonprofit organizations become “fiscally fit,” Strong Nonprofits contains a library of resources compiled in partnership with Fiscal Management Associates, which highlight four key elements of strong financial management&#58; planning, monitoring, operations and governance. For each of these elements the site offers a variety of articles, resources and tools.</p><p> <em>The Chronicle of Philanthropy</em> has highlighted the site’s <em> </em> <a href="/knowledge-center/resources-for-financial-management/Pages/Funding-Opportunity-Assessment-Tool.aspx"> <em>Go or No Go questionnaire</em></a><em>,</em> which aims to help nonprofits decide whether or not go through with a proposed contract. This questionnaire serves as a good example of the many interactive tools available on the site. Also popular are the <em> Out-of-School Time Cost Calculator</em> and the <em> Program Based Budget Builder</em> that allows nonprofit staff to allocate their spending by program and personnel. </p><p>The demand for these resources speaks volumes about need. The Strong Nonprofits resources consistently rank among our top monthly downloads. And two of our most downloaded publications of all time, the <em>Program Based Budget Builder</em> and <em> </em> <em>A Five-Step Guide to Budget Development,</em> have accumulated 72,373 and 60,387 downloads, respectively, since they were published in February, 2013. Ultimately, what makes Strong Nonprofits so exciting beyond its ‘nuts and bolts’ subject matter, is its testimony to our research approach. Here, our afterschool work uncovered a gap in financial knowledge across many organizations, which led us to create additional tools and resources to fill this gap. </p>Wallace editorial team792017-09-21T04:00:00ZWallace Foundation’s Financial Management website offers tools and research to help nonprofits manage their money12/4/2017 4:39:21 PM106http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Wallace’s Ten Most Downloaded Publications of All Time6834GP0|#6b3d2eef-1f47-4b7e-b105-bd18b7e1c384;L0|#06b3d2eef-1f47-4b7e-b105-bd18b7e1c384|News;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Since launching our Knowledge center in 2003, thousands of people visit and find our library of published research, reports and other tools every day. So, what are they looking for? </p><p>Here’s a list of our Top 10 Most Downloaded resources as of fall 2017&#58;</p><ol><li> <strong> <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/How-Leadership-Influences-Student-Learning.aspx">How Leadership Influences Student Learning </a>&#160;</em>(Published September 2004) – 562,902 downloads</strong><br> In this hallmark publication on school leadership—our most downloaded report of all time—the authors suggest and investigate the notion that in order to improve schools, focus should be placed on not just teachers, but also on principals and administrators. </li><li> <strong> <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/The-School-Principal-as-Leader-Guiding-Schools-to-Better-Teaching-and-Learning.aspx">The School Principal as Leader&#58; Guiding Schools to Better Teaching and Learning</a></em> (Published January 2012) – 372,094 downloads</strong><br> This report concludes that there are five key actions that effective school leaders do particularly well, including shaping a vision of academic success for all students, and cultivating leadership in others.</li><li> <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Investigating-the-Links-to-Improved-Student-Learning.aspx"> <strong>Learning From Leadership&#58; Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning</strong></a></em><strong> (Published July 2010) – 108,970 downloads</strong><br> Based on six years of quantitative data, this report confirms that effective school leadership leads to student success, showing that teachers, principals, district leaders and state policymakers all have an impact on learning.</li><li> <strong> <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Three-Essentials-to-Improving-Schools.aspx">The Three Essentials&#58; Improving Schools Requires District Vision, District and State Support, and Principal Leadership</a></em> (Published October 2010) – 95,857 downloads</strong><br> Published by the Southern Regional Education Board, this report examines how school districts and states are failing to provide principals with what they need to turn around America’s challenged middle and high schools.</li><li> <strong> <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/The-Making-of-the-Principal-Five-Lessons-in-Leadership-Training.aspx">The Making of the Principal&#58; Five Lessons in Leadership Training</a></em> (Published June 2012) – 74,323 downloads</strong><br> Like many of the education leadership reports before this one, <em>Making of the Principal</em> highlights the problems facing principal training programs and offers five steps to better training.</li><li> <strong> <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/Resources-for-Financial-Management/Pages/Program-Based-Budget-Template.aspx">Strong Nonprofits Microsite&#58; Program Based Budget Builder</a></em> (Published February 2013) – 72,373 downloads</strong><br> This tool, from our nonprofit financial management microsite, allows an organization to build a budget and list revenue across different programs and functions, including allocation of personnel and direct and indirect non-personnel expenses.</li><li> <strong> <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Preparing-School-Leaders.aspx">Preparing School Leaders for a Changing World&#58; Lessons from Exemplary Leadership Development Programs</a></em> – Final Report (Published April 2007) – 72,197 downloads</strong><br> In this groundbreaking report, Stanford University authors provide case studies and guidelines to help district and state policymakers reinvent how principals are prepared for their jobs. </li><li> <strong> <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/resources-for-financial-management/Pages/A-Five-Step-Guide-to-Budget-Development.aspx">Strong Nonprofits Microsite&#58; A Five-Step Guide to Budget Development</a></em> (Published February 2013)&#160; – 60,387 downloads</strong><br> This guide, also from our nonprofit financial management microsite, provides a team-based approach to budget development, including goals, personnel and process.</li><li> <strong> <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/The-Effective-Principal.aspx">The Effective Principal&#58; Five Pivotal Practices that Shape Instructional Leadership</a></em> (Published April 2012) – 50,675 downloads</strong><br> The most recently released publication on our top-10 list, the <em>Effective Principal</em> highlights five practices that characterize the leadership of principals who can make a difference in teaching and learning.</li><li> <strong> <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/How-Museums-Can-Become-Visitor-Centered.aspx">Services to People&#58; Challenges and Rewards. How Museums Can Become More Visitor-Centered</a></em> (Published April 2001) – 40,954 downloads</strong><br> This one dips way back into our archives, but practitioners looking to create a visitor-centered approach to museums still find it useful. </li></ol>Wallace editorial team792017-10-19T04:00:00ZPrincipals lead the way in our list of most-downloaded publications12/4/2017 4:33:56 PM102http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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