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Building Arts Audiences: Act on Facts, Not on Hunches10081GP0|#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 Practices3/20/2018 6:40:51 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Building Arts Audiences: Act on Facts, Not on Hunches A Report from Wallace’s “Road on the Road” Convening to Illuminate 30http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Speaking the Language of Social and Emotional Learning10063GP0|#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 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Speaking the Language of Social and Emotional Learning NPR and Wallace Share Interest in Terminology Used to Describe 59http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
How Principals Can Improve Student Success10067GP0|#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> 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 principals4/4/2018 4:40:39 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / How Principals Can Improve Student Success Our education leadership work offers a rationale and roadmap for supporting 38http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Seven Considerations to Help Keep Education Reform Plans Real10061GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61;GP0|#0cd55c08-6cf5-4ae7-a735-f8317421308a;L0|#00cd55c08-6cf5-4ae7-a735-f8317421308a|ESSA;GPP|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708<p>A milestone moment in federal funding to shrink the academic opportunity gap between kids from poor and wealthier families took place in 1965, when President Lyndon Baines Johnson sat beside “Miss Kate” Deadrich Loney, his first schoolteacher, and signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Since then, a progression of ESEA reauthorizations and other federal measures, such as Race to the Top, has sought the same goal. </p><p>So, why do the gaps persist?</p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Newmannapix3-w-caption.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Newmannapix3-w-caption.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />That was the question posed by political scientist Paul Manna recently when he addressed an audience of people with a stake in the answer, the ESSA Leadership Learning Community. That’s “ESSA” as in the “Every Student Succeeds Act” of 2015, the latest version of the law LBJ put his signature to more than half a century ago. </p><p>The ESSA Leadership Learning Community comprises representatives from 10 states that are working to use part of their federal funding to develop the type of leadership by principals and other educators needed to turn around the lowest-performing schools. Members of the group, which is supported by Wallace and managed by the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Council of the Great City Schools and the National Urban League, met in New York City recently, at one of their periodic gatherings to discuss their progress and exchange ideas. </p><p>Manna’s starting point, which <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/advice-on-state-policy-and-ed-leadership.aspx">he described in greater detail</a> at another Wallace gathering earlier this year, was that education reform too often stumbles because of a major oversight. Specifically, reform plans often spell out big aims and intended changes, while failing to reckon with the details of implementation. &#160;&#160;</p><p>“Adopting a set of goals says nothing about how they will actually be carried out,” Manna said. He urged the audience to understand—and respond to—the “critical tasks” their plans entail, offering a series of questions policy designers can ask to help them connect their plans to the ground-level work required to help put them into action. What follows is a lightly edited version of Manna’s seven sets of questions&#58;&#160; </p><ol><li> <strong> Key implementers. </strong>What people or organizations will need to adapt their work if implementation is to proceed?<br><br></li><li> <strong>New tasks.</strong> What new tasks will the key implementers have to do?<br><br></li><li> <strong>New tasks in relation to current work. </strong>Is there evidence that the key implementers are already doing these tasks as part of current jobs? &#160;If so, is there also&#58; <ol type="a"><li>evidence that they are doing these tasks well?</li><li>evidence of what is leading to that success? If not, what is standing in the way of the implementers doing these tasks well?<br><br></li></ol></li><li> <strong>System support for new tasks</strong><strong><strong>.</strong> </strong>If the reform plan requires implementers to do new tasks (or do old tasks in fundamentally new ways), what evidence is there that the institutions in which they work (e.g., schools, districts, state agencies) have the management and communication systems to support them in the new tasks?&#160; If the institutions lack the systems, what is the reason, and how has the plan accounted for that?<br><br></li><li> <strong>Competing tasks.</strong> What responsibilities beyond the tasks demanded by the reform plan do the key implementers have? What’s the likelihood that the new tasks will become priorities for the implementers? If the new tasks are likely to struggle to be a priority for implementers, how can the reform plan address that (e.g., eliminating old tasks to make space for the new ones)? <br> <br></li><li> <strong> Feedback loops. </strong>How has the plan built in processes or systems to ensure that implementers can provide feedback to planners as they carry out the new tasks?&#160; What mechanisms does the plan include to receive this information so plans can adapt in light of new information or realizations that some of the assumptions built into the plan were incorrect?<br><br></li><li> <strong>Developing a sense of mission around new tasks. </strong>What steps does the plan include to ensure continued enthusiasm and support for the new tasks within the implementers’ organizations?<br><br></li></ol><p>“Education reform plans&#160;that seem good in theory are a dime a dozen.&#160;More rare, though, are plans that can actually withstand the reality check&#160;they encounter when implementers on the ground begin to put them into practice,” Manna said in an email following the gathering. “When planners attend to the real world of practice, they will increase the chances that their plans will actually change schools for the better rather than simply creating a lot of messes for principals and their teams&#160;to clean up.&quot;</p><p>For more information on using ESSA funds for school leadership efforts, see <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/school-leadership-interventions-every-student-succeeds-act-volume-1.aspx">this report</a>. </p><p>Manna, the <a href="http&#58;//pmanna.people.wm.edu/" target="_blank">Hyman Professor of Government&#160;at William &amp; Mary</a>, is the author of a Wallace-commissionedreport,<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/developing-excellent-school-principals.aspx"><em>Developing Excellent School Principals to Advance Teaching and Learning&#58; Considerations for State Policy</em></a>, examining levers states can pull to bolster principal effectiveness. </p>Wallace editorial team792018-05-31T04:00:00ZPolitical Scientist Paul Manna Advises Planners to Take Implementers Into Account6/19/2018 9:36:25 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Seven Considerations to Help Keep Education Reform Plans Real Political Scientist Paul Manna Advises Planners to Take 21http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
A New Year’s Resolution for Nonprofits: Get ‘Fiscally Fit’10079GP0|#af3e9879-f65e-40d3-8cc6-25ef5b2f858e;L0|#0af3e9879-f65e-40d3-8cc6-25ef5b2f858e|Advancing Philanthropy;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>It’s never too early (or too late!) to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. For many nonprofit organizations, getting a better handle on finances will top the list.</p><p><a href="/knowledge-center/resources-for-financial-management/pages/default.aspx">Strongnonprofits.org</a> is a Wallace Foundation website designed to help nonprofits do exactly that.&#160; It offers more than 60 tools, how-tos, articles and other features to help organizations build their financial muscle so they can fulfill their missions and deliver the best services possible.</p><p>We talked to Hilda Polanco, founder and CEO of <a href="http&#58;//fmaonline.net/">Fiscal Management Associates</a> (FMA), the consulting firm that created and maintains the site, about changes in the way nonprofits approach their finances and how they can get “fiscally fit” in the upcoming year.*</p><p><strong>Do you see a change in the way nonprofits approach financial management since Strongnonprofits.org launched several years ago?</strong></p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="hpolanco.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Hilda-Polanco-Strong-Nonprofits-QA/hpolanco.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />In the last few years—and this has been heightened in the last year—the focus has been first and foremost on planning. Organizations are trying to take control of their destiny by having the right financial information. Four areas have become extremely critical. The first is an organization’s ability to understand the full cost of delivering their programs. The second is scenario planning, projecting into the future and thinking about multiple options. The third is managing cash flow. In so many states, payments are being delayed and organizations have gone through their reserves since 2008. The last one is the idea of planning as a process that never ends. Organizations, especially the ones that are successful and scaling, do a five-year strategic plan and put it on the shelf. But stuff changes. The days when boards would say, “the budget is the budget, and it never changes”—that’s not realistic anymore. We have to be more than just sustainable; we have to be resilient.</p><p><strong>What tools and templates on the site have been the most popular with users? What are the greatest needs that the site can help nonprofits address?</strong></p><p>The number one most popular tool is the <a href="/knowledge-center/resources-for-financial-management/pages/program-based-budget-template.aspx">program-based budget builder</a>. It can help organizations quantify their costs in a way they can present in their development proposals and articulate when they negotiate performance-based contracts. The second is the <a href="/knowledge-center/resources-for-financial-management/pages/cash-flow-projections-template.aspx">cash flow template</a>. I call it the “executive director’s navigation tool” because it gives organizations the ability to project cash flow into the future, manage it and know when they’re going into danger territory. The third is the <a href="/knowledge-center/resources-for-financial-management/pages/funding-opportunity-assessment-tool.aspx">“go/no go” tool</a>, which brings together teams to decide should we go for this [funding] opportunity or not. The site is helpful to organizations of all sizes, but for organizations that don’t have a full finance staff these tools have been transformational because they give them the ability to do some pretty complicated thinking.</p><p><strong>Are there any overlooked features of the site that you’d like to encourage users to take greater advantage of?</strong></p><p>One that I like a lot is the <a href="/knowledge-center/resources-for-financial-management/pages/revenue-analysis-worksheet.aspx">scenario-planning tool</a>. It’s simple. The thing with scenarios is that if you get too complex people get confused.</p><p><strong>Is there anything about the way you work with nonprofits to build financial strength that has changed over the years?</strong></p><p>Each year we work more and more with the senior management team rather than only the finance team, building their capacity to make better decisions, better plans, while also building the capacity of individuals, so that if one person leaves, the structure is there, the next person comes right into their role, and the organization continues. In that context, we’ve also spent more time working with program leaders to make them owners of their budgets and with development leaders, so they can provide better information in the proposals they send out the door and better understand the consequences of the funds they’re raising. Another area where we’re getting frequent requests for help is establishing a board-designated operating reserve. Boards want to make sure they have funds set aside for unexpected events. I find it encouraging that they’re thinking about that.</p><p><strong>What is the most important piece of advice you have for nonprofits looking to improve their financial outlook?</strong></p><p>Face the data. Think about the processes, frameworks, work flows you have in place. Are these systems giving you the information you need to make strategic decisions about current needs as well as the long term? Build your planning muscle. When I ask an organization if they revise their budget, sometimes they look at me and say, “There’s no way I’m doing that again.” If your processes are painful, you don’t have the right tools. Don’t think of planning as compliance, think of it as an opportunity for making the smartest choices. Finally, solidify the partnership between the board and leadership. The world is throwing curveballs. Have the courage to envision what it would be like to respond to a significant shift in your revenue, and as a result, be better prepared.</p><p>*<em>This interview has been edited and condensed.</em></p>Wallace editorial team792017-12-14T05:00:00ZMust-Read Advice From a Nonprofit Financial Management Consultant12/14/2017 10:12:28 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / A New Year’s Resolution for Nonprofits: Get ‘Fiscally Fit Advice From Fiscal Management Associates’ Hilda Polanco 19http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Advice on State Policy and Ed Leadership10056GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>Poet Robert Burns instructs us that even the best laid plans can go awry. Political scientist Paul Manna tells us one reason that’s so. The people writing the plans, he says, too often fail to think through what they are asking of the people doing the work. </p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="manna_pix3.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Advice-on-State-Policy-and-Ed-Leadership/manna_pix3.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />Manna, the <a href="http&#58;//pmanna.people.wm.edu/">Hyman Professor of Government&#160;at William &amp; Mary</a> and author of a Wallace-commissioned <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/developing-excellent-school-principals.aspx">report examining levers states can pull to bolster principal effectiveness</a>, explored this disconnect recently. The occasion was a meeting of Wallace grantees working to expand the circle of highly effective school principals.</p><p>The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was a central topic of interest in Manna’s two keynote speeches. Passed in late 2015 as the latest iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, ESSA is a leading source of federal dollars for public school education that departs from the past in at least two important ways—giving more authority to states on how to use their federal dollars and, of particular significance to the meeting attendees, offering new possibilities for funding efforts to boost school leadership. </p><p>Clearly, states are exploring how to use ESSA funding to enable principals to function as effectively as possible, whether through upgraded pre-service training or other means.&#160; <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/state-efforts-to-strengthen-school-leadership.aspx">One recent survey of representatives from 25 states</a> taking part in a school leadership effort offered by the Council of Chief State School Officers found, for example, that fully 91 percent consider incorporation of principal-focused work into ESSA school improvement plans a priority. </p><p><img class="wf-Image-Right" alt="Capture--mannalist.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Advice-on-State-Policy-and-Ed-Leadership/Capture--mannalist.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />But how best to do this incorporation? Manna advised his audience to avoid devising plans that overlook something basic—the “implied critical tasks” that need to get accomplished if the plans are to unfold as intended. Do​​able plans, he suggested, emerge from an understanding of what they require of the do​ers—state education agency officials, school district managers, principals—“when they wake up and go to work.” </p><p>Too often, planners falter on this point. &#160;“People who make policy don’t always think about—or know about—how the work will be done on the ground,” Manna said in a conversation after his addresses. “So there’s a typical kind of top-down view, which is why so many things don’t get carried out well.”</p><p>Planners would also do well to understand whether their hoped-for policies will heap additional helpings of work on principals’ already heavily laden plates. In his report, Manna cites survey findings suggesting that principals believe they are being called on to do more than ever, “exercising more and more power over matters such as evaluating teachers and setting school performance standards…[while] remain[ing] equally responsible for traditional activities, such as setting school discipline policies and managing budgets and school spending.”</p><p>Manna suggests a possible solution to this. Look at the last chapter of his report, which counsels state policymakers to “catalogue principals’ tasks, in theory and in practice” and to compare what principals actually do with what policies aspire to have them do. The exercise is likely to be an eye-opener for those charged with shaping state policy and might just aid them in using ESSA to its fullest advantage in bolstering principals.</p><p>“People are saying this is a moment where we can rethink what we’ve learned over the last decade or more, where we can rethink roles and responsibilities,” Manna told the audience. “And states themselves are supposed to be leading this charge.” </p> <a href="https&#58;//youtu.be/N8n1MhuFwyo">A video with excerpts from Manna’s talks</a> to the December 2017 gathering of participants in Wallace’s University Principal Preparation Initiative is available at our Knowledge Center. Wallace editorial team792018-01-11T05:00:00ZGood ESSA Plans Recognize What’s Needed to Get the Education Job Done3/20/2018 3:31:47 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Advice on State Policy and Ed Leadership For Good ESSA Planning, Understand What Tasks Get the Job Done, Says Political 24http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Charting a Careful Course in Public Policy Engagement9949GP0|#af3e9879-f65e-40d3-8cc6-25ef5b2f858e;L0|#0af3e9879-f65e-40d3-8cc6-25ef5b2f858e|Advancing Philanthropy;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61;GP0|#6b3d2eef-1f47-4b7e-b105-bd18b7e1c384;L0|#06b3d2eef-1f47-4b7e-b105-bd18b7e1c384|News<p>T</p><p>he Wallace Foundation has a sizable endowment, but it's not large enough to fund all <a href="https&#58;//nces.ed.gov/pubs2007/overview04/tables/table_2.asp" target="_blank">93,000 public schools in the U.S.</a>, all <a href="/knowledge-center/Documents/Update-Thriving-Arts-Organizations-Thriving-Arts.pdf" target="_blank">48,000 nonprofit arts organizations</a> or the thousands of organizations offering expanded-learning opportunities for children. We therefore work to develop and share credible, useful knowledge that can help others who may never get a grant from us.</p><p> While most of our efforts have been focused on helping share lessons to improve practice, we’ve recently sought to strengthen our approach to sharing lessons with policymakers, as well. </p><p> We are dipping our toes deeper into the waters of policy engagement because we think the evidence we’ve developed can, when it is sufficiently strong, lead to more effective policies, should policymakers choose to incorporate it. But what might that look like? </p><p> If a state were considering changes in policies about school principals, for example, its lawmakers might benefit from becoming familiar with <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/default.aspx">the substantial body of evidence</a> we have collected about what works and what doesn’t in promoting more effective school leadership. Our goal would be to introduce credible information and ideas to legislators so they could devise school leadership policies with the greatest likelihood of improving teaching and learning in schools.</p><p> But we’ve also acknowledged that there are risks to policy engagement. In other words, these waters can be choppy. U.S. law prohibits philanthropies from influencing legislation. And riptides exist even within the firm confines of the law. Policy engagement could pull a foundation into caustic partisan politics, distract it from core areas of expertise or create adverse unintended consequences for those it seeks to help. </p><p> How can a philanthropy navigate such treacherous waters—and manage risk? Kenneth Austin, general counsel at Wallace, recently shared Wallace’s approach to considering and managing the risk to foundations of policy engagements at the <a href="https&#58;//www.cof.org/2018-public-policy-summit" target="_blank">Council on Foundations' Public Policy Summit</a> in Philadelphia.&#160; He laid out the rationale for Wallace to undertake policy engagement, the risks we see in the endeavor and the ways in which we work to mitigate these risks—chiefly by following the principle of “say more, only as we know more” and by offering options and never prescriptions. He also offered a case study from Florida to illustrate the principles we use to determine when we wade into matters of policy and when we choose to stay dry.</p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read 3ecc5a09-485c-4a7f-ad0c-753f546cedfe" id="div_3ecc5a09-485c-4a7f-ad0c-753f546cedfe"></div><div id="vid_3ecc5a09-485c-4a7f-ad0c-753f546cedfe" style="display&#58;none;"></div></div><p> The considerations for thinking about risk and how to manage it may be useful to other philanthropies and nonprofit organizations exploring avenues to inform public policy and legislation. </p><p> You can also download Austin's presentation <a href="/knowledge-center/Documents/COF-Public-Policy-Summit-Wallace-Overview-041318-final-rev2.pdf" target="_blank">here</a>. </p> Wallace editorial team792018-06-06T04:00:00ZYour source for research and ideas to expand high quality learning and enrichment opportunities. Supporting: School Leadership, After School, Summer and Extended Learning Time, Arts Education and Building Audiences for the Arts.6/20/2018 8:34:02 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Charting a Careful Course in Public Policy Engagement How Wallace determines whether and how to weigh in on matters of 14http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Districts Use Data to Help Boost School Leadership9952GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Basing decisions on reliable, pertinent information is a smart idea for any human endeavor. Talent management is no exception. That’s the reason a number of Wallace-supported school districts in recent years have undertaken the difficult task of building “leader tracking systems” in the service of developing a large corps of effective principals.</p><p>A leader tracking system is a user-friendly database of important, career-related information about current and potential school leaders—principal candidates’ education, work experience and measured competencies, for starters. Often this information is scattered about different district offices and available only in incompatible formats.&#160; When compiled in one place and made easy to digest, by contrast, the data can be a powerful aid to decision-making about a range of matters necessary to shaping a strong principal cadre, including identifying teachers or other professionals with leadership potential; seeing that they get the right training; hiring them and placing them in the appropriate school; and supporting them on the job. </p><p> <img alt="Data_Sources_LTS.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Data_Sources_LTS.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> </p><p>In a panel discussion during a Wallace gathering in New York City this week, representatives of two districts that have built leader tracking systems talked about their experiences. Their assessment? The effort was worth it, despite the reality that constructing the systems required considerable time and labor. &#160;</p><p>Jeff Eakins, superintendent of the Hillsborough County (Tampa, Fla.) Public Schools, said the data system has proved invaluable to “the single most important decision I make…the hiring of principals.” That’s because the system can give him an accurate review of the qualifications of job finalists along with a full picture of a school that has an opening, he said. Similarly, in Prince Georges County, Md., (outside of Washington, D.C.), Kevin Maxwell, the chief executive officer of the public schools, said he is now able to compare a “baseball card” of candidate data with school information, thus getting the background he needs to conduct meaningful job interviews—something he does for all principal openings. With the information from the data system, he says, “I have a feel for what that match looks like.” </p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="TrishandDoug.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/TrishandDoug.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />For their part, two people who were instrumental in the development of their districts’ leader tracking systems—Tricia McManus, assistant superintendent in Hillsborough, and Douglas Anthony, associate superintendent in Prince George’s County—offered tips for others considering whether to take the plunge. From McManus&#58; Expect construction to take time. Hillsborough’s system took “several years” to be fully functional, she said. From Anthony&#58; Find a “translator,” someone who can bridge the world of IT and the world of the classroom, so educators and technology developers fully understand one another. From both&#58; Once the system is completed, know that the job isn’t done. Information needs to be regularly updated and kept accurate.</p><p>Want to find out more? A <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/leader-tracking-systems-turning-data-into-information-for-school-leadership.aspx">report</a> from researchers at Policy Studies Associates examines the uses of &#160;leader tracking systems in six Wallace-supported school districts and provides guidance based on the districts’ system-building experiences. A Wallace <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/chock-full-of-data-how-school-districts-are-building-leader-tracking-systems-to-support-principal-pipelines.aspx">Story From the Field</a> shows how leader tracking systems helped districts end such difficulties as job-candidate searches through “a gajillion résumés.” Also, listen to Tricia McManus and Douglas Anthony discuss their districts’ work to build a strong pipeline of principals in Wallace’s podcast series<em>, </em> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/podcast-principal-pipeline.aspx"> <em>Practitioners Share Lessons From the Field</em></a>.</p>Wallace editorial team792018-04-26T04:00:00ZYour source for research and ideas to expand high quality learning and enrichment opportunities. Supporting: School Leadership, After School, Summer and Extended Learning Time, Arts Education and Building Audiences for the Arts.5/30/2018 5:56:09 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Districts Use Data to Help Boost School Leadership Building “Leader Tracking Systems:” A Heavy Lift That’s Worth It 35http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
How Data Systems Can Help Foster Effective School Leadership10399GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p><strong>“</strong><strong>Data are sexy. </strong>You might not think so, but I do.” &#160;</p><p>So begins a “My View” <a href="http&#58;//my.aasa.org/AASA/Resources/SAMag/2018/Jun18/colPelzer.aspx" target="_blank">column in the current issue of <em>School Administrator</em> magazine</a> by Nicholas Pelzer, data cheerleader and senior program officer in Wallace’s education leadership unit. What’s the source of Pelzer’s enthusiasm for all things data? He extols the power of information “to aid school districts with one of their most daunting tasks&#58; ensuring an effective principal leads every school.” </p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Nick_Pix-retouch.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Data-Systems-Foster-Effective-School-Leadership/Nick_Pix-retouch.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;317px;" />Pelzer works with a number of Wallace-supported districts that have developed data systems to, in his words, “strategically manage the flow of talent into the principalship.” He goes on to describe how these systems have assisted with tasks as various as projecting principal vacancies and analyzing school performance trends. They have proved especially valuable in assisting with hiring principals and making suitable matches between them and the schools they oversee, Pelzer says. He also discusses what it takes to set up the systems. &#160;</p><p>If you want to find out more about data systems to foster effective school leadership, check out this report, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/leader-tracking-systems-turning-data-into-information-for-school-leadership.aspx"><em>Leader Tracking Systems&#58; Turning Data Into Information for School Leadership</em></a>, and this Wallace Story From the Field, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/chock-full-of-data-how-school-districts-are-building-leader-tracking-systems-to-support-principal-pipelines.aspx"><em>Chock Full of Data&#58; How School Districts Are Building Leader Tracking Systems to Support Principal Pipelines</em></a>.</p>Wallace editorial team792018-07-02T04:00:00ZWallace’s Nicholas Pelzer Describes the Value of Data for Cultivating Talent7/2/2018 2:15:42 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / How Data Systems Can Help Foster Effective School Leadership Wallace’s Nicholas Pelzer Describes the Value of Data for 148http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
The Emergence of The Wallace Foundation10055GP0|#6b3d2eef-1f47-4b7e-b105-bd18b7e1c384;L0|#06b3d2eef-1f47-4b7e-b105-bd18b7e1c384|News;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>As 2017 comes to a close, we are celebrating an anniversary this month. Fifteen years ago today, on December 11, 2002, The Wallace Foundation was launched through the merger of two separate foundations that originated with the philanthropy of DeWitt and Lila Acheson Wallace. </p><p>Founders of the quintessential American family magazine, Reader’s Digest, the Wallaces began their charitable endeavors with a small, expanding collection of family foundations. After the Wallaces died the mid-1980s, the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund and the Dewitt Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund were formed. By the time of the 2002 merger authorized unanimously by the Funds’ boards, the two organizations had supported more than 100 different program initiatives, ranging from teacher recruitment to adult literacy. </p><p>“The merger of the DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund united the two passions that motivated our founders—DeWitt's interest in youth development and education, and Lila's in the arts,” says Lucas Held, Wallace’s director of communications. Held, along with senior research and evaluation officer Ann Stone and under the leadership of then-president M. Christine DeVita, helped forge the effort to develop Wallace into a unified brand. “The combining of the two into a single entity known as The Wallace Foundation acknowledged what was already the case at the time of the merger&#58; that both entities were employing a common strategy to achieve philanthropic benefits—working with a small number of grantees to find better ways to solve public problems, and then benefiting other organizations through the power of credible knowledge,” Held says.&#160; </p><p>Leading up to the merger, Wallace had already developed multi-disciplinary staff teams, enabling us to better work with our partners to foster innovation and share knowledge gleaned with the field—a&#160; process that defines our work to this day.</p><p>At the time, we focused the combined weight of the newly formed foundation on three issues&#58;</p><ol><li> <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/Pages/default.aspx">Education Leadership</a>&#58; The initiative launched in 2000 to strengthen the ability of principals and superintendents to improve student learning.</li><li> <a href="/knowledge-center/after-school/Pages/default.aspx">After-School Systems</a>&#58; Support for and research into effective after-school programs.</li><li> <a href="/knowledge-center/building-audiences-for-the-arts/Pages/default.aspx">The Arts</a>&#58; To inform the policies and practices of cultural institutions and funders interested in building public participation in the arts.</li></ol><p>These issues resonate in our work as it has evolved over the past 15 years. Our efforts in afterschool, for example, helped pave the way for an initiative launched in 2016 to promote children’s social and emotional learning. All of our work is emblematic of our longer journey from a philanthropy that was structured to create direct benefits by funding good organizations to a national foundation equally committed to helping catalyze social benefits beyond the reach of our limited dollars. As DeVita said at the time&#58; “In everything we do, we strive to be a resource dedicated to helping create, support and share ideas and insights, tools and effective practices. Through that we aim to have a transformative effect on major public systems and, ultimately, on people's lives.”</p>Wallace editorial team792017-12-11T05:00:00Z2017: 15th Anniversary of Merger That Led to The Wallace Foundation12/11/2017 8:45:27 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / The Emergence of The Wallace Foundation Posted: 12/11/2017 Author: Wallace editorial team 20http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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