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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 Practices3/20/2018 6:40:51 PM451http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
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> 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 PM472http://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 PM5219http://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?&#160;How can&#160;parents, practitioners and policymakers distinguish a promising program from a dud?<br><br>&#160;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&#160;out of that have&#160;suggested&#160;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 succeed4/4/2018 4:48:23 PM840http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
In Baltimore, Young People Lead the Call for Afterschool and Summer Programs9078GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>There are always a lot of dedicated people in the room when Wallace’s grantees, research partners and other colleagues come together as part of a professional learning community, or PLC. But at the final meeting of our<a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/pages/default.aspx"> summer learning </a>PLC in Baltimore recently, one attendee stood out. At age 19, Samirah Franklin is already making a difference in her community and beyond. As lead organizer of the Baltimore Youth Organizing Project, she headed a successful campaign to prevent a 25-percent cut in the city’s funding for youth programming.</p><p>Franklin’s graduation from high school in 2015 coincided with a groundswell of activism following the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who sustained a fatal spinal cord injury while in police custody—one of a number of such incidents nationwide. That summer, she was painting murals as part of a summer jobs program. She had no idea when she signed up for the program that she’d be attending leadership development and community organizing classes in the afternoons when it was too hot for outdoor work. But those classes were the spark that helped her determine the direction of her life. Franklin is living proof of what a good summer program can do.</p><p>As part of a panel discussion on “the power of local action,” Franklin made such a strong impression that we asked to speak with her one-one-one about her advocacy work.*</p><p> <strong>You became an activist in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death. How did you come to focus your attention on youth programming like afterschool and summer programs? How is youth programming connected to social justice?</strong></p><p>“What to do with Baltimore’s young people” is a hot topic in the city. Yet anytime there’s a deficit or money that needs to be shuffled around, youth programming is the first thing to go. We had an idea of what the community wanted because we’re from the community, but we still went out and listened to over 400 young people about what their main concerns were. They said they need more and better rec centers, more and better afterschool programs, year-round employment. A lot of young people are supplementing income for their families. </p><p> <strong>When The Wallace Foundation talks to decision-makers about afterschool and summer learning, we emphasize the need to close the opportunity and achievement gaps between children from low-income families and their wealthier peers. When you talk to civic leaders, what is the argument you make to persuade them?</strong></p><p>It’s never about, “do these programs work?” Everyone knows they work. It’s about priorities. If you know who voted you in, that’s who you cater to. So, our organization quadrupled voter turnout in our neighborhoods, doing serious voter registration drives. We had to show we have adults behind us and they will be voting. Sometimes you wonder, “Maybe if we tell our personal stories, maybe if we do this, maybe if we do that…” It’s not about that. It’s a power analysis. We do the work to understand who we need to move.</p><p> <strong>What role do you think philanthropic institutions like Wallace have to play in the advocacy work you do? How can foundations be an ally to young people in cities like Baltimore?</strong></p><p>In Baltimore, we let philanthropic dollars come in and take over the city’s responsibility to prioritize afterschool programs. A lot of philanthropic organizations do a great job, but they should focus on truly building capacity in the community, equipping the parents of the kids in their programs with the tools to say, “This foundation did so much for us, but it’s time for the city to step up.”</p><p> <strong>What does success look like to you? What is your vision for young people in your community and others like it? How do you measure progress along the way?</strong></p><p>When we see people voting for the first time, we know we’re having small successes. But we also see a murder rate that keeps rising, so we know the impact we’re having isn’t on a great enough scale. I know we won’t save every young person in the city; it’s about the long term. I read a quote from the mayor of Baltimore in 1911 saying, “blacks should be confined in isolated slums,” and that’s exactly what happened. Creating systems that undo that injustice is how I measure success. You have to impact public policy because public policy is ultimately what controls our lives in Baltimore. </p><p> <strong>What advice would you give a young person who wants to make a difference in her community but doesn’t know where to start?</strong></p><p>If there isn’t an organization to join in your city, you might have to start it. Get in a relationship with a few good people. There’s always someone around you who’s spoken about making change. That’s who you work with. Do that relational work. You’ve got to go door-to-door. It can be hard and a little scary, but that’s the slow and patient work of organizing. </p><p>*<em>This interview has been edited and condensed.</em></p>Wallace editorial team792017-11-27T05:00:00ZOrganizer Samirah Franklin on “Creating Systems That Undo Injustice”4/4/2018 4:24:13 PM2937http://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 PM316http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
NY Times’ David Brooks Gives a Nod to School Principals9248GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>I n a recent <em>New York Times</em> piece, columnist David Brooks highlights a key to school improvement— “a special emphasis on principals.” </p><p>His piece carries the headline <a href="https&#58;//www.nytimes.com/2018/03/12/opinion/good-leaders-schools.html">Good Leaders Make Good Schools</a>, and, boy, did it ever resonate with us here at Wallace. School leadership is a field we’ve plowed for close to two decades, through numerous initiatives and related research. Some of that work found its way into Brooks’ column. He cites, among other sources, a major Wallace-commissioned research report, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/investigating-the-links-to-improved-student-learning.aspx"><em>Learning From Leadership</em></a>, whose authors write that “we have not found a single case of a school improving its student achievement record in the absence of talented leadership.” </p><p>Brooks puts a human face on research when he takes note of a <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/the-school-principal-as-leader-guiding-schools-to-better-teaching-and-learning.aspx">Wallace account</a> (look for p. 12) of the efforts by Kentucky educator Dewey Hensley to turn around a low-performing Louisville elementary school in the mid-2000s. “In his first week,” Brooks writes of Hensley, “he drew a picture of a school on a poster board and asked the faculty members to annotate it together. ‘Let’s create a vision of a school that’s perfect. When we get there we’ll rest.’”&#160; </p><p>To be capable of improving schools, Brooks says, the job of principal has to change from a focus on administrative tasks such as budgeting and scheduling. Effective principals today, he says, are busy “greeting parents and students outside the front door in the morning” and then “constantly circulating through the building, offering feedback, setting standards, applying social glue.” </p><p>You can find out the details of this changing role and what it takes to bring it about by checking out the <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/default.aspx">school leadership section</a> of our website. Search through our 100+ reports, videos, and other resources, including—newly!—<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/podcast-principal-pipeline.aspx">a podcast series on principal pipelines</a>. </p><p>And here’s a note for the research-minded. <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/investigating-the-links-to-improved-student-learning.aspx"><em>Learning From Leadership</em></a> is an extensive follow-up to the landmark Wallace-supported study, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/how-leadership-influences-student-learning.aspx"><em>How Leadership Influences Student Learning</em></a><em>.</em> Published in 2004, this literature review found that leadership is second only to teaching among school-related influences on student success. It’s our most downloaded report. </p> <br>Wallace editorial team792018-03-13T04:00:00ZNY Times’ David Brooks Gives a Nod to School Principals3/14/2018 2:54:17 PM915http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Advice on State Policy and Ed Leadership9096GP0|#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 PM125http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
The Emergence of The Wallace Foundation7036GP0|#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 PM483http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
New and Improved Financial Tools Help Nonprofits Stay Nimble9156GP0|#af3e9879-f65e-40d3-8cc6-25ef5b2f858e;L0|#0af3e9879-f65e-40d3-8cc6-25ef5b2f858e|Advancing Philanthropy;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Recently, Hilda Polanco, founder and CEO of the consulting firm <a href="http&#58;//fmaonline.net/">Fiscal Management Associates</a> (FMA), talked to us about changes she’s seen over the years in the way nonprofit organizations approach their financial responsibilities. She noted that nonprofits are increasingly accepting the idea that financial planning is a “process that never ends,” one that calls for a nimble response to shifting winds and bumps in the road.</p><p>It’s no surprise then that <a href="/knowledge-center/resources-for-financial-management/pages/default.aspx">Strongnonprofits.org</a>, the website&#160;we created with&#160;FMA five years ago to help organizations build their financial know-how, has also changed to meet their evolving needs. We asked John Summers, director of consulting services at FMA, to walk us through some of the site’s latest features and updates.*</p><p><strong>What is your process for updating the site? How do you determine when a feature needs updating or there’s a need for a new feature? </strong></p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="jsummers_portrait_72square.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/jsummers_portrait_72square.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />We get feedback from users that will suggest a modification of an existing tool or a totally new tool. They’ll say, “Do you have something that can do X?” Then there’s our own practice. We’re consultants working with nonprofit organizations every day. So, if there’s something we put together for one of our consulting clients or someone we’re doing outsourced accounting for, and it seems like it would be widely applicable, that can become a tool on Strongnonprofits. </p><p><strong>What is the new or updated feature on the site that you’d most like to highlight?</strong><br> <br> Cash flow projection is one of the backbones of financial management in any organization. The <a href="/knowledge-center/resources-for-financial-management/pages/cash-flow-projections-template.aspx">cash flow projection tool</a> on the site was originally a 12-month calendar, but the modifications we made allow users to update it each month, so they can see how much they have actually spent and what remains in their budget and have a better sense as the year goes on of what their cash position is going to be and answer questions like, “Are we going to have enough when we need it?”</p><p><strong>You’ve created narrative guides to show how individual features of the site can be used in combination. What is the advantage of using the tools this way?</strong></p><p>If you’re doing some annual task like budget development, there’s pretty close to a comprehensive package of budget development tools on the site. The <a href="/knowledge-center/resources-for-financial-management/pages/topic-area-guide.aspx">narrative guide</a> is an attempt to pull those together and give an outline&#58; If you use these tools in this order that’s going to help you produce your organization’s budget, from figuring out who should be involved in the process all the way through planning your expenses, planning your revenue, looking at cash flow, presenting it to the board. There are resources for each step that, together, can be a do-it-yourself guide to budget development. We’ve got guides for budget development, auditing, financial reporting.<br> <br> <strong>Is there anything else that regular users of the site should keep an eye out for the next time they visit? </strong></p><p>We’re not finished. Within the next few months, there will be new tools on there, including a tool to establish operating reserves. Just keep checking back.</p><p>*<em>This interview has been edited and condensed.</em></p> Wallace editorial team792018-01-04T05:00:00ZNew and Improved Tools to Help Nonprofits Build Their Financial Know-How4/4/2018 3:54:12 PM454http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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