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What the Pandemic Means for Summer Learning-And How Policymakers Can HelpGP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>This is a challenging and uncertain time for everyone. Schools are beginning to adapt to the realities of the current crisis brought on by the global coronavirus pandemic, but what about summer learning programs? Summer programs have always played an important role in supporting students who fall behind academically, but with so many young people across the country losing vital learning time, they may be important than ever. Yet organizers of summer programs face a host of unknowns, including whether they will be able to serve students at all in the coming months and, if so, how. </p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Catherine-Augustine.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/what-the-pandemic-means-for-summer-learning-and-how-policymakers-can-help/Catherine-Augustine.jpg" style="margin:5px;" />One thing that doesn’t have to be an unknown is the way government policies—federal, state, city and school district—both help and limit summer learning efforts. <em><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-support-for-summer-learning-policies-affect-summer-learning-programs.aspx">Getting Support for Summer Learning</a></em>, a new report from the RAND Corporation, offers information and advice to aid summer learning leaders in securing and maintaining support for their programs. We talked to Catherine Augustine, one of the report’s authors, about applying the lessons of the report in this unprecedented moment.</p><p><strong>What is the outlook for summer learning during this very difficult period?</strong></p><p>For this coming summer, some programs are canceling altogether, some are pivoting to be 100 percent virtual and others are hoping to continue in person. It’s likely that most will cancel. For those shifting to online experiences, it’s important to capture how that goes. Are they reaching kids? Are kids attending regularly? Are they benefiting and in what ways? Documenting what goes well in the summer would be useful to schools because they’re likely to continue at least some virtual offerings in the fall. Schools are already learning a lot about virtual learning, of course, but school leaders might gain insights from summer programs about offering virtual enrichment classes like art, music and even physical education.</p><p>Hopefully, summer programs can be in full swing and “normal” in summer 2021. At that point, they should be a critical tool for helping those students who are falling behind now to catch up. Districts and schools should soon begin aggressively planning to serve more kids than they typically do in summer 2021 and focusing their summer programs on the skills students need to gain to catch up to their counterparts.</p><p><strong>We know that students are losing a significant amount of learning time this school year and may lose more in the school year to come. We also know that inequities between poor families and more affluent families are worsening during this period. Given these conditions, should policymakers be thinking differently about summer learning?</strong></p><p>Yes. I hope policymakers come to see summer 2021 as incredibly important for catching up those students who are now falling behind and make sure there is adequate funding and support for school districts to expand the number of students served next summer in high-quality programs.</p><p><strong>As we approach the time when summer programs would typically open, summer learning leaders are facing great uncertainty. Are there any lessons from the report that are particularly relevant to the current situation?</strong></p><p>In the report, we advise summer program organizers to try to ensure that district leaders understand the importance of summer programming, so they can make it a priority in their budget meetings and decisions about how to spend general operating or Title I dollars, or about what outside grants to pursue. This is even more critical now. As districts are scrambling to meet students’ immediate learning and other needs, they’re probably not thinking about summer programming. But if summer programs aren’t planned in advance, it’s unlikely they’ll be high quality. Program leaders should do what they can to ensure they have funding in hand or pledged for summer 2021 by the end of this calendar year so that they can start planning. </p><p><strong>What steps can states take policy-wise to help communities use summer effectively as a time for learning? What steps can districts take? Cities?</strong></p><p>Some states, like Texas, have recently established new funding streams for extending school time, including in the summer. Other states might want to replicate these laws, given the importance of focusing on children who are now falling behind. States will also have the opportunity to hold back a small portion of the K-12 funding that they will pass on to districts from the federal Education Stabilization Fund [part of the federal <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/the-cares-act.aspx">CARES Act stimulus package</a>]. They could use that funding to incentivize district-led summer programs. Districts can use this stabilization funding for summer programming, too, although it’s likely that at this point their priority is technology, which is critical for their online learning efforts. City budgets are likely to be more strained than is typical in the next year, but cities that offer jobs programs might continue to support those programs and should advocate for that funding if it’s at risk. Summer jobs programs have been <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/investing-in-successful-summer-programs-essa-review.aspx">demonstrated to have several positive outcomes</a>, including less risky and illegal behavior on the part of participants. At-risk youth will likely need these programs more than ever in 2021 if small businesses in their communities close. </p><p><strong>What, if anything, is known about virtual forms of summer learning, which may be the best option for many programs this summer?</strong></p><p>Districts have had success delivering credit recovery summer programs to high school students in online form. But those programs are more akin to school with a focus on academic learning, rather than the enrichment activities typically offered in summer programs. If summer programs do attempt to replicate enrichment activities online, they’re likely to do so with small groups of students who take breaks to create on their own or with another student online and then return to the group to share what they have done through a video exchange. Students might, for example, create a video to be shared with the rest of the group. Teachers can ensure that students have time to present their thoughts and have a say in what they learn and experience. To support social and emotional learning, teachers can hold virtual restorative practice circles [i.e., dialogues in which students and teachers respond to challenging behavior and try to “make things right”] by asking students to respond to a prompt. Some teachers who are already leading online classes are using props such as wheels that display various emotions to start conversations about how students are feeling.</p><p>All of this is new, so we have few roadmaps to follow. But I have faith in those who teach in <a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/pages/default.aspx">summer programs </a>. If anyone can find creative ways to continue to engage children during the summer, they can. And the rest of us should follow along and learn from their trailblazing. </p>What the Pandemic Means for Summer Learning-And How Policymakers Can Helphttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/what-the-pandemic-means-for-summer-learning-and-how-policymakers-can-help.aspx2020-05-14T04:00:00ZRAND’s Catherine Augustine discusses a new report on the summer learning policy landscape and what lies ahead for summer programs
Engaging Audiences in the Age of Social DistancingGP0|#8056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be;L0|#08056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be|Building Audiences for the Arts;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​As social distancing measures are enacted across the globe to slow the spread of COVID-19, arts organizations are taking creative approaches to engage their audiences through nontraditional means. In recent weeks, museums, galleries and performing arts organizations have significantly expanded their online offerings through virtual tours of their collections, broadcasts of performances and interactive educational programs, making their work more accessible to a greater public. The Metropolitan Opera, for instance, announced that it would stream encore performances of its most famous productions, free to the general public. Similarly, the National Theatre in London is releasing new performances from their archives every Thursday, made available for free and “on demand” to audiences for a full week. While the crisis has brought tremendous uncertainty, it has also created opportunities to reach new audiences at a time when the sanctuary and connection offered by the arts is needed most. </p><p>“The traditional live arts experience has been predicated on physically bringing people together, and it relies so heavily on the chemistry between performer and audience, and the immediacy of that exchange,” noted Corinna Schulenburg, director of communications at Theater Communications Group “As we all adapt to new ways of working, we are seeing a real flourishing of experimentation that will likely have a long-lasting impact on how we present and create art.” </p><p>Many of the performing arts organizations in The Wallace Foundation’s Building Audiences for Sustainability (BAS) initiative have also implemented similar efforts to meet audiences where they are. From free broadcasts to classes and educational workshops, these offerings help audiences in their community—and around the world—continue to feel connected. A sample of digital events and activities are outlined below, with more content added regularly.</p><ul><li> <strong>Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has </strong>started the <a href="https://www.alvinailey.org/ailey-all-access" target="_blank">Ailey All Access</a>, an online streaming series allowing audiences to connect with performances, including full length works from the repertory, Ailey Extension dance classes, and original short films created by the Ailey dancers.<br><strong><br></strong></li><li> <strong>Baltimore Symphony Orchestra</strong> has expanded their offerings on <a href="https://www.bsomusic.org/offstage" target="_blank">BSO Offstage</a>, an online platform where audiences can find performance videos, BSO podcasts, and other content and resources. <br> <strong> <br></strong></li><li> <strong>La Jolla Playhouse</strong>’s online <a href="https://lajollaplayhouse.org/the-staging-area/" target="_blank">Staging Area</a> is dedicated to virtual content, which features conversations with La Jolla artists and weekly posts from Playhouse artists and staff who share their favorite stories and memories. <br> <br> <strong></strong></li><li> <b>Opera Philadelphia </b>brings you opera on the couch through its first-ever <a href="https://www.operaphila.org/festival/digital-festival/lineup/?promo=145780" target="_blank">Digital Festival​</a>, with free streams of five past productions, including four world premier​es​.    <br> <br> <strong> </strong></li><li> <strong>Pacific Northwest Ballet</strong> has posted at-home workouts for dancers and footage of rehearsals shot before their lockdown on their <a href="https://twitter.com/PNBallet" target="_blank">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://www.instagram.com/pacificnorthwestballet/?hl=en" target="_blank">Instagram</a>, while also uploading articles to their <a href="https://blogpnborg.wordpress.com/" target="_blank">blog</a>. <br> <br> <strong></strong></li><li> <strong>Seattle Opera </strong>has created a special section on their website, <a href="https://www.seattleopera.org/inside-look/opera-at-home/" target="_blank">Opera at Home</a>, which features new playlists, talks, podcasts and other online content for their audiences. <br> <br> <strong></strong></li><li> <strong>Seattle Symphony</strong>’s musicians will share free broadcasts with the public, streamed via the Symphony’s <a href="https://www.youtube.com/seattlesymphony" target="_blank">YouTube</a> channel and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/seattlesymphony" target="_blank">Facebook</a>.<br><br><strong> </strong></li><li> <strong>Steppenwolf Theatre Company </strong>is leading weekly free and public <a href="https://www.steppenwolf.org/education/" target="_blank">virtual workshops</a> for early career professional, teens and educators. They also released their interview-style podcast <a href="https://www.steppenwolf.org/tickets--events/half-hour-theatre-podcast/" target="_blank">Half Hour</a> this month. <br>​​<br><strong></strong></li><li> <strong>Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company </strong>has shifted their <a href="https://www.woollymammoth.net/" target="_blank">Progressive Party</a> online—free and open to the public—allowing viewers to view performances, participate in an auction and experience a sneak-peak into Woolly’s 41st Season.<strong><u> </u></strong></li></ul>Engaging Audiences in the Age of Social Distancinghttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Engaging-Audiences-in-the-Age-of-Social-Distancing.aspx2020-04-16T04:00:00ZYour 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.
ESSA Evidence Reviews: 201 Programs With Research-backed Benefits for KidsGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​In early 2016, two Wallace staff members ventured to the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C., to discuss promoting improvements in the principalship nationwide through the then-new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). They returned a bit crestfallen.<br> <br> ESSA, the 2015 reauthorization of the law containing major sources of federal funding for public school education, encourages and in some cases requires that applicants for funding use approaches backed by research attesting to their effectiveness. But based on the meeting, the staff members recognized that if ESSA dollars were to go to strengthening the work of principals, the field first needed clarity on the number and results of school leadership studies that met ESSA evidence standards.</p><p>Out of this an idea was born: Why not commission an independent review of the research about school leadership and how it stacks up against ESSA requirements? A phone call to the RAND Corp. followed. “I think this could be a game-changer,” Ed Pauly, Wallace’s recently retired director of research, recalls telling a senior policy researcher there. “Are you up for it?”</p><p>Cut to three months later and the appearance of a report that, in Pauly’s words, “found a bunch of studies on school leadership that met ESSA evidence requirements.”</p><p><em><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/school-leadership-interventions-every-student-succeeds-act-volume-1.aspx">School Leadership Interventions Under the Every Student Succeeds Act: Evidence Review</a></em> was just the beginning. After it became clear that the report was filling a knowledge void, Wallace went on to commission reviews about some of our other interest areas that intersect with ESSA: <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/afterschool-programs-a-review-of-evidence-under-the-every-student-succeeds-act.aspx">afterschool</a> programs, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/investing-in-successful-summer-programs-essa-review.aspx">summer</a> learning, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/sel-interventions-under-essa-evidence-review.aspx">social and emotional learning</a>, and arts education, both <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/review-of-evidence-arts-education-research-essa.aspx">instruction in art</a> in its own right and the use of art to teach other subjects, or “<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/essa-arts-evidence-review-report.aspx">arts integration</a>.” </p><p>We marked a milestone recently with the publication of the last of the six reports in this <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/essa-evidence-reviews.aspx">series</a>.</p><p>One striking feature about the set is their sweep. ESSA categorizes research into four tiers of progressively greater rigor, with the top three being necessary for funding streams including sources within ESSA’s $16 billion Title I program. The six evidence reviews together documented more than 200 efforts (201, to be precise) that fit into the top three tiers, and a slew of others that fit into Tier IV, which can also help tap funding. That means readers can find out about scores of approaches whose efficacy is based on more than a good guess. In addition, the reports detail the variety of ESSA funding sources that the activities might qualify for. </p><p>At the same time, the reviews make clear that the body of research comes with limitations. One is that information useful to decision-makers, such as detailed descriptions of program components, often goes unreported. Another is that the collection of studies skews heavily to probes for academic benefits. That may work well for programs clearly intended to have an effect on, say, student reading and math achievement. But what about programs with important non-academic goals? Just because there’s scarce research about them doesn’t mean their effects aren’t real and beneficial to kids. </p><p>Whatever the shortcomings, the evidence reviews describe a wide-enough array of endeavors to keep readers engaged for hours. Here’s a small sampling:  </p><p>In school leadership, a study found that the New Leaders Aspiring Principals Program had positive impacts on student achievement in 10 urban districts across the country. The Warrior After School program, meanwhile, produced benefits in reading and math achievement in the Georgia middle school where it linked teachers to small groups of at-risk students. The Crystal Bridges Museum Field Trip arts integration effort in Bentonville, Arkansas? Positive effects on critical thinking skills, empathy and tolerance—to say nothing of interest in art museums. As for arts education, New York City’s Arts Achieve effort, which used assessment and technology to inform public school instruction in dance, music, theater and visual arts, benefited students’ arts achievement. In social and emotional learning, a program for third graders called Making Choices had evidence of a range of positive “interpersonal outcomes,” including in responsible decision-making and acceptance of peers. </p><p>Finally, who couldn’t help but turn to the page in the summer review about an effort with the intriguing name of Boston Red Sox Summer Math Program? It’s described as “an at-home, nine-week, middle school summer math program thematically linked to the Boston Red Sox baseball team.” Result? Tier III evidence of math benefits.</p><p>Take that, Yankees fans. </p>ESSA Evidence Reviews: 201 Programs With Research-backed Benefits for Kidshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/ESSA-Evidence-Reviews-201-Programs-With-Research-backed-Benefits-for-Kids.aspx2019-08-27T04:00:00ZFinal installment of series on programs meeting ESSA research standards published
Updated Tool Seeks to Help Principal Training Programs Gauge EffectivenessGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>At a time when many school districts are eager to expand their corps of effective principals, many principal preparation programs are considering how to improve the training that shapes future school leaders. <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/improving-university-principal-preparation-programs.aspx">One survey</a> of university-based training programs found, for example, that well over half of respondents planned to make moderate to significant changes in their offerings in the near future.</p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="CherylKing_headshot.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Updated-Tool-Helps-Principal-Training-Programs-Gauge-Effectiveness/CherylKing_headshot.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:199px;" />Enter <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/quality-measures-principal-preparation-program-assessment.aspx"><em>Quality Measures</em></a>, a self-study tool meant to allow programs to compare their courses of study and procedures with research-based indicators of program quality, so they can embark on upgrades that make sense. </p><p>Specifically, Quality Measures assesses programs in six domains: candidate admissions, course content, pedagogy, clinical practice, performance assessment, and graduate performance outcomes. With an accurate picture of their work in these areas, programs can start planning the right improvements. </p><p>The tool was first rolled out in 2009, and its 10th edition was recently published. It reflects new research and such developments as the 2015 release of the <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/professional-standards-for-educational-leaders-2015.aspx"><em>Professional Standards for Educational Leaders</em></a>, a set of model standards for principals. Given all this, now seemed a good moment to engage with the Education Development Center’s Cheryl King, who has led the development and refinement of Quality Measures over the years. Below are edited excerpts of our email Q&A.   </p><p><strong>Why is quality assessment important for principal prep programs?</strong></p><p>In our work with programs, we find that the practice of routine program self-assessment is viewed positively by most participating programs. It provides a non-threatening way for programs to connect with the literature on best training practices and to consider how their programs compare. </p><p>Additionally, users tell us that having a set of standards-based metrics—which clearly define empirically-based practices that produce effective school leaders—provides them with timely and actionable data. This can be translated into change strategies. </p><p>That was the case when faculty members from four programs discovered a common weakness in their admissions procedures. Using Quality Measures together, they saw that all four programs lagged when it came to using tools designed to assist in predicting the likelihood of an applicant being the “right” candidate for admission to the preparation program. They then began to identify and exchange tools that currently exist, later determining what might be useful in helping them to better assess candidate readiness for principal training. </p><p>It has been our experience that assessment cultures based on solving persistent and common problems of practice are far more effective than cultures clouded by fears of penalties as a result of external evaluation. </p><p><strong>What are the one or two most common areas of improvement for programs pinpointed by Quality Measures?  </strong></p><p>Domains are typically identified as needing improvement based on a program’s inability to provide strong supporting evidence. Domain 6, graduate performance outcomes, has been consistently identified by programs using Quality Measures as an area in need of improvement. Commonly cited reasons identified by programs include lack of access to school district data about their graduates’ post-program completion. </p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="QM_graphic.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Updated-Tool-Helps-Principal-Training-Programs-Gauge-Effectiveness/QM_graphic.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:477px;" />Take the four programs I mentioned. On a scale of 1 to 4, with “1” the lowest and “4” the highest, their average score was 1.5 in their ability to get information on things like their graduates’ rate of retention when placed in low-performing schools or their graduates’ results in job performance evaluations. On the other hand, the programs were fairly successful (an average rating of “3”) in getting needed data about how their graduates fared when it came to obtaining state certification.</p><p>Another domain commonly identified across programs as needing improvement is Domain 5, performance assessment. The revised indicators in the updated tool call for more rigorous measures of candidate performance to replace traditional capstone projects and portfolios. We are finding that the more explicit criteria in the 10th edition are challenging programs to think in exciting new ways about candidate performance assessment.  </p><p><strong>Where are programs typically the strongest?</strong></p><p>Programs typically rate Domains 2 (course content), 3 (instructional methods), and 4 (clinical practice) as meeting all or most criteria. Programs share compelling supporting evidence with peers in support of these higher ratings. They offer several explanations, including the recognition that these are the domains that typically receive the majority of their time and resources.</p><p>The inclusion of culturally responsive pedagogy as a new indicator in the 10th edition is among a number of additions to these three domains, based on the newly published Professional Standards for Educational Leaders. New indicators and criteria present new demands on programs that have exciting improvement implications for preparation programs.</p><p><strong>In updating the tool, what did you find surprising?</strong></p><p>One thing that greatly struck us was the increased attention being paid to the impact of candidate admission practices on the development of effective principals. Similarly, recent empirical findings about pre-admission assessment of candidate dispositions, aspirations and aptitudes as predictors of successful principals were compelling. We immediately revised Domain 1—candidate admissions—to incorporate them.</p>Updated Tool Seeks to Help Principal Training Programs Gauge Effectivenesshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Updated-Tool-Helps-Principal-Training-Programs-Gauge-Effectiveness.aspx2018-04-05T04:00:00ZSelf-Assessment Leads Programs to Surprising Discoveries
New Name, New Look to Draw a New Generation of FansGP0|#8056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be;L0|#08056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be|Building Audiences for the Arts;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>In 2015, World Music/CRASHarts set out to build name recognition and draw new, younger audiences to its music and dance performances. It commissioned extensive audience research and developed a multipronged engagement strategy centered on an annual global-music festival called CRASHfest. <br></p><p>That strategy <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/world-music-crasharts-tests-new-format-new-name-to-draw-new-audiences.aspx">is showing promising results</a>. But the related market research suggested that the organization's name was too hard to remember and its brand could be clearer, more consistent and more inspirational. So the organization set out on a rebranding process, the results of which it revealed last month.</p><p> <a href="https://www.globalartslive.org/content/worldmusiccrasharts-is-now-globalartslive">World Music/CRASHarts is now Global Arts Live</a>. With the new name come a new logo, a new color palette, detailed design guidelines and new templates for posters, brochures, stage backdrops and other marketing materials. </p><p>The organization, along with branding and design firm Minelli, Inc., chose a name that describes its work more clearly and succinctly than the somewhat wordy "World Music/CRASHarts."</p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="global-arts-before-after.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/New-Name-New-Look-to-Draw-a-New-Generation-of-Fans/global-arts-before-after.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /> <p>To give the descriptive name some emotional resonance, Minelli proposed a dynamic tagline, "Performance that shapes our world." It also offered alternatives so Global Arts Live could adapt the tagline to fit the wide variety of performances it offers. The organization's announcement of the change demonstrates the use of the tagline better than we can explain it here:</p> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/91i3so4sVEw" frameborder="0"></iframe> <br><p>"We present many different artists from all over the world—performing dance, world music, jazz—in different venues across the city," said associate director Susan Weiler in an email. "The tagline, messaging and other brand assets give us a road map to adjust the brand to each artist, discipline and venue."</p><p>Accompanying the name and tagline are visual and verbal cues to communicate the creativity, diversity and vibrancy of the performances the organization presents. These cues are designed to create a clear, more consistent identity that audiences and supporters can recognize wherever they encounter it.</p><p><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/New-Name-New-Look-to-Draw-a-New-Generation-of-Fans/global-arts-before-after3.jpg" alt="global-arts-before-after3.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin:5px;" /><br><br></p> <p>"The new identity is full of energy and movement," Weiler said. "We have a single clarified name, one contemporary logo, dynamic tag line, updated messaging and complete style guide—all things we didn’t have before."</p><p>The organization is now working with digital consultants to reclaim the search-engine rankings the name-change compromised and to analyze web users' behavior in preparation for a full site redesign. This fall, it will launch an advertising and awareness campaign to promote the new brand to new audiences. </p><p>It's an extensive undertaking that has so far cost Global Arts Live about $300,000. But the organization is confident it will help boost its public profile and solidify its reputation for high-quality performances. "Creating a new brand requires deep resources in staff time, staff capacity and financial investment," Weiler said. "But operating with an ineffective brand can ultimately cost an organization more."</p>New Name, New Look to Draw a New Generation of Fanshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/New-Name-New-Look-to-Draw-a-New-Generation-of-Fans.aspx2019-06-20T04:00:00ZYour 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.
Universities and Districts Team Up to Better Prepare PrincipalsGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​Research confirms that principals influence student learning—but many district and university leaders agree that most university-based leadership programs aren’t preparing principals for the challenges of today’s schools. In fact, Michelle Young, executive director at the University Council for Educational Administration says there are about 700 university preparation programs right now, and “there is a significant amount of variability in the quality.”</p><p>There are exceptions, however, including the universities and school districts profiled in a four-part video series, <strong><em><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/uppi-video-series.aspx">Principal Preparation: A Roadmap for Reform</a></em></strong>. The videos explore why and how universities and local school districts are working together to better prepare principals for the rigors of the job, illustrating the early steps in a complex process that requires fundamental change.</p><p>“Principals have always played a significant role in their schools, but now the complexities of the job have increased,” says Beverly Hutton, deputy executive director at the National Association of Secondary School Principals in the introductory video. “Now principals are not only responsible for developing a vision and nurturing a school culture. Now we’re instructional leaders. That means now we’re driving student achievement. We’re tracking teacher performance.  We’re looking at the culture as a whole, all while thinking about what is best for students.”  </p><p>The videos are based on lessons from <strong><em><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/launching-redesign-university-principal-preparation-programs.aspx">Launching a Redesign of University Principal Preparation Programs: Partners Collaborate for Change</a></em></strong>, a 2018 report from the RAND Corporation on the first year of a Wallace initiative to support seven sites across the nation as they rethink principal preparation. The universities had established a firm foundation of partnerships, shared a common vision, and had developed structures, tools and processes to make progress. With that groundwork, they were able to begin the process of redesigning their curriculum and field experiences. The findings suggest the feasibility of a complex redesign process, through comprehensive interdependent partnerships, the study concludes.</p><p>In each location in the University Principal Preparation Initiative, four institutions are involved: a university principal training program; at least three school districts that hire its graduates; a “mentor” principal training program considered exemplary for practices the university plans to redesign; and the state office responsible for matters such as program accreditation. </p><p>At each site, the redesign work includes:</p><ul><li>Using leader standards to align features of the program and expectations for graduate performance</li><li>Conducting evidence-based “self-assessments” to identify strengths and growth areas</li><li>Using “logic models” to support team building and to guide change</li><li>Grounding curriculum and instruction in real-world experience in schools</li><li>Ramping up clinical instruction and recruitment and selection of principal candidates</li><li>Exploring systems to track graduate performance and to fill vacancies for principals </li></ul><p>See the whole series, <strong><em><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/uppi-video-series.aspx">Principal Preparation: A Roadmap for Reform</a>, </em></strong>or go directly to the individual episodes below: </p><ol dir="ltr" style="text-align:left;"><li>An introductory video, <strong><em><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4V7RNeM01Y&t=214s">The Case for Change</a></em></strong>, that explains why universities and school districts are coming together to prepare principals  and the research on effective programs.  </li><li>A profile of <strong><em><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShSqTE8d8SU&t=3s">North Carolina State University</a></em></strong> in Raleigh and its work with local school districts, with a focus on its partnership with the Wake County Public School System. It explains how the university and its partners came together to jointly agree on what school leaders should know and be able to do, what changes were made to the university curriculum, and how the partners jointly select candidates for the principal preparation program </li><li>A profile of <strong><em><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=346znX74_HE&t=10s">Florida Atlantic University</a></em></strong> in Boca Raton and its work with four large countywide school districts in South Florida. This video shows how FAU and its partners consulted the Richie Program for School Leaders at the University of Denver as they rewrote curriculum and explains how they used the <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/quality-measures-principal-preparation-program-assessment.aspx">Quality Measures</a> self-study toolkit to guide the redesign process. Their goal was to prepare school leaders who can lead change.  </li><li>The final video, <strong><em><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7ck5rqDo9g&t=5s">Profile of a Mentor: The Ritchie Program for School Leaders</a></em></strong>, explains how the Ritchie program at the University of Denver served as a “mentor program” to universities and school districts and explains Ritchie’s longstanding partnership to prepare principals with the Denver Public Schools.  </li></ol><p>The videos were produced by award-winning filmmaker Tod Lending.</p><br>Universities and Districts Team Up to Better Prepare Principalshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Universities-and-Districts-Team-Up-to-Better-Prepare-Principals.aspx2019-09-24T04:00:00ZYour 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.
“Principals Under Pressure”: Preparation and Support Can Make a Tough Job EasierGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Schools were created for learning—from young kids mastering their ABCs to high-school students developing career skills and everything in between. A new <em>Education Week</em> series shows just how much principals are learning too.</p><p>In the recent special report <a href="https://www.edweek.org/ew/collections/principal-solutions/index.html?cmp=soc-edit-tw">“Principals Under Pressure,”</a> school leaders spoke candidly about the most challenging parts of the job—which <em>Education Week </em>argues is the most demanding and complex in the K-12 system: “Six issues came up, over and over,” the series cites, “Safety, student mental health, dealing with toxic employees, handling the complex needs of special education students and their families, holding on to the best teachers, and time management and work-life balance.” </p><p>Over the years we’ve learned the extent to which <a href="/knowledge-center/Documents/How-Leadership-Influences-Student-Learning.pdf">high-quality principals are vital to the effectiveness of schools</a>. But <em>Education Week’s </em>articles underscore just how challenging the principalship can be, and point to a need for better preparation and support to help principals face the real-world demands of the job. </p><p>According to a 2016 survey, many district and university leaders <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/improving-university-principal-preparation-programs.aspx">agree</a> that most university-based preparation programs have not adequately prepared principals for today’s challenges. To test how these training grounds can change to better prepare future leaders, we launched the four-year University Principal Preparation Initiative in 2016. Seven universities are seeking to redesign their programs to reflect the research on what constitutes high-quality principal training. A key aspect of the redesign is immersing principal candidates in school life. The participating universities are boosting internships and field experience to offer genuine leadership experience, and they’re closely tying these real-world experiences to what’s taught in courses.</p><p>Importantly, the universities are doing this work through partnerships. Partnerships between principal training programs and school districts are rare, but they can help training programs respond to district needs and are <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/improving-university-principal-preparation-programs.aspx">essential</a> to high-quality instruction. Each university training program in the initiative has partnered with at least three school districts that hire its graduates, a state education office and a mentor university training program. </p><p>At the outset of the initiative, the universities worked with their partners to agree upon expectations for their graduates. They examined their current programs to identify strengths and weaknesses, and then they mapped their goals and strategies. Curriculum changes vary by the university but include an emphasis on special education and instruction in building school culture—two issues closely related to the top challenges identified by <em>Education Week</em>. RAND Corporation recently released its first of three reports on the initiative, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/launching-redesign-university-principal-preparation-programs.aspx"><em>Launching a Redesign of University Principal Preparation Programs</em></a>, which looks at the initiative’s implementation and suggests that this type of redesign process is doable. </p><p>University programs are just one piece of the pipeline to help principals lead effectively. Since 2011, our <a href="/knowledge-center/Documents/Building-a-Stronger-Principalship-Vol-5-The-Principal-Pipeline-Initiative-in-Action.pdf">Principal Pipeline Initiative</a> has been testing whether district-managed principal pipelines can produce large corps of principals who can improve teaching, learning and student achievement in schools. We’ve been working with six large, urban school districts across the country to help them develop strong principal pipelines by improving principal training, hiring and on-the-job support and evaluation. Independent studies have found that building principal pipelines is feasible and affordable, and forthcoming reports will offer more about the impact on student achievement and school improvement.</p><p>We’ve also been working to improve the support principals receive while on the job through our Principal Supervisor Initiative. As part of this work, six districts are shifting the principal supervisor role from a focus on operation and compliance to a focus on developing principals to be effective instructional leaders. Thus far, the districts have reported that <a name="_Hlk529184236">principals were able to develop more productive relationships with their supervisors and a </a> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/a-new-role-emerges-for-principal-supervisors.aspx">study of their efforts</a> demonstrates the feasibility of making substantial changes to the principal supervisor role.</p><p>Clearly, principals have a tough job—and the role is changing rapidly to meet increasing the demands on school leaders. Better preparation and support can help school principals navigate the challenges they face every day and ensure that they are continuously honing their own skills too.  </p> “Principals Under Pressure”: Preparation and Support Can Make a Tough Job Easierhttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Principals-Under-Pressure.aspx2018-11-13T05:00:00ZEducation Week series on principals underscores the need for training that reflects the real-world demands of the job
What It Takes to Make Summer a Time of Growth for All Young People GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​The phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child” has become commonplace in our society. Ask a researcher, though, and she might put a twist on the adage, saying, “It takes a <em>system</em> to raise a child.” In other words, children and young people are either helped or held back by the social, economic and physical conditions in which they live, and those conditions depend on an interconnected array of institutions, including schools, parks, public transit, the police and the courts, not to mention the family. Take summer learning: There may be an enriching summer program in your community, but if there’s no public transportation that goes there, the streets aren’t safe for your children to walk alone, and you work two jobs and can’t take time off to accompany them, then as far as your family is concerned, it may as well not be there at all.</p><p>Showing how different parts of the system influence the way children and young people experience summertime is just one of the achievements of a landmark report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. <em><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/national-academy-of-sciences-report-on-summer-learning.aspx">Shaping Summertime Experiences</a></em>—funded by Wallace and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and authored by the Academies’ Committee on Summertime Experiences and Child and Adolescent Education, Health and Safety—examines the state of the evidence on summer and children in America, with a focus on the availability, accessibility, equity and effectiveness of summer learning experiences. The report, released this fall, also shines a light on the experiences of groups that are often left out of the conversation about summer learning, including LGBTQ youth, those living in rural areas and those involved in the juvenile justice system.</p><p><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/What-It-Takes-to-Make-Summer-a-Time-of-Growth-for-All-Young-People/mccombs_jennifer_5_300.jpg" alt="mccombs_jennifer_5_300.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin:5px;width:238px;height:298px;" />We talked to one of the report’s authors, Jennifer Sloan McCombs of the RAND Corporation, about how the publication came together and what it has to say to those who play a part in shaping the system.</p><p><strong>What is the unique contribution of this report to the discourse on summer learning?</strong><br> <br> The report investigates the effect that summer has on school-aged children and youth across four domains of well-being: academic learning, social and emotional development, physical and mental health, and safety. We approached this charge from a “systems perspective,” examining the way people associated with various sectors—including education, city government, public safety, summer camp and families—contribute to the risks and rewards of summertime for children and youth. The recommendations are targeted to policymakers at the city, state and federal level, but we believe the report can be useful to practitioners, nongovernmental funders and scholars, too. <br> <br> <strong>What was the process of putting the report together? What types of information did the committee consider? What types of people and organizations did it seek out?</strong><br> <br> The National Academies of Sciences formed a multidisciplinary committee with expertise that included pediatric medicine, youth development, summer and out-of-school programming, safety and justice, city systems building, and private employment. It was an amazing group of dedicated scholars and practitioners. I learned a lot from each of them. We met periodically over a year to discuss issues, listen to invited experts in public information sessions and develop recommendations. We specifically sought out data that would address the key aspects of our charge: the effects of summer on the developmental trajectories of young people, access to summer programs and the effectiveness of summer programs. Where we lacked data or needed additional context to help our understanding, we reached out to individuals and organizations who could help fill those gaps. For instance, during public information-gathering sessions, we heard from those with expertise in rural programs and policies, American Indian programs, and private employer interests and activities related to summer programs.  <br> <br> While members of the committee drafted the report chapters, the committee chair and NAS staff did a significant amount of work in the final production of the report, including editing, summarizing, fleshing out recommendations and weaving the report together. <br> <br> <strong>One of the focuses of the report is inequity in access to summer learning and in outcomes for a variety of groups—not just black and Latino students and those from low-income families but also Native Americans, LGBTQ students, students living in rural areas, differently abled students, among others. How can providers, policymakers and funders begin to think about issues of equity pertaining to summer learning?</strong><br> <br> Based on the evidence, three things were clear to the committee: 1) Summer is a time of risks and opportunities for children and youth; however, those risks and opportunities are not equitably spread across populations. Children and youth who are less advantaged face greater risks in terms of safety, health, and nutrition and have reduced access to quality summer experiences. 2) To be effective, programs need to be aligned to community context and needs. 3) Certain populations of children and youth appear to be underserved and are definitely understudied, such as those who are American Indian, LGBTQ, migrant and refugee, or involved in the juvenile justice system.<br> <br> To create more equitable experiences during the summer, we recommend that local governments conduct a needs assessment—one that gathers input from families and youth—in order to fully understand what the community needs and what barriers stand in the way. They should also do a systematic inventory of the programming available in the community and compare it to the needs assessment so they can identify gaps that need to be filled and priorities for public and private funding.   <br> <br> Individual program directors can also take action by looking at the population of children and youth they currently serve, identifying and addressing barriers to participation that certain groups may face, and engaging families and youth in the development of program content to ensure that it meets their needs and builds on their cultural strengths, including language, life experiences and culturally specific skills and values. <br> <br> <strong>How do basic needs like safety and adequate nutrition affect the way children and young people experience summertime? What is the role of summer learning programs in addressing these needs?</strong><br> <br> Safety and nutrition are basic developmental needs that must be met year-round to ensure the health and cognitive development of children and youth. Unfortunately, during the summer months, children and youth from low-income families are more likely to experience food insecurity and lack appropriate supervision. Organized summer programs can help address these basic needs and more by providing meals and engaging activities overseen by trained and caring adults. <br> <br> <strong>One of the report's conclusions is that families and communities have existing resources that can be used to provide young people with positive summer experiences. What are some examples of these resources, and how can those involved in creating, running and funding summer learning programs work with families and communities to make positive summer experiences more available and accessible?</strong><br> <br> The report describes how family structure, parental education and employment, the built environment, public safety and contact with law enforcement dynamically influence the summertime experience for children and youth. While children and youth from disadvantaged families and neighborhoods face greater challenges and risks during the summer, their families and communities also have a set of assets that can be leveraged. For instance, families are in the best position to identify the needs of their children and youth, the community context that has to be addressed to make positive summer experiences more available and accessible, and how community culture can be embedded into programming to make it more relevant to participants. </p><p><em>Vist our <a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/pages/default.aspx">Knowledge Center</a> to find more research on summer learning, along with downloadable, evidence-based tools to help create effective summer programs. </em><br></p> <br>What It Takes to Make Summer a Time of Growth for All Young People https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/What-It-Takes-to-Make-Summer-a-Time-of-Growth-for-All-Young-People.aspx2019-12-10T05:00:00ZYour 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.
Principals, SEL and the Arts Mark Year’s Top Blog PostsGP0|#6b3d2eef-1f47-4b7e-b105-bd18b7e1c384;L0|#06b3d2eef-1f47-4b7e-b105-bd18b7e1c384|News;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>The end of the year is a time of lists…shopping lists, of course, but also top 10 lists: top 10 movies, top 10 books and so on. To celebrate the first year of the Wallace blog, we’re counting down a list of our own: These are the posts you’ve visited the most since the launch of the blog in March 2018, and we think they give a nice taste of our work this year.</p><p>Happy New Year to all and to all a good read. </p><p>10) <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/summer-books-research-beloved-pigs-of-childrens-literature.aspx">“Summer Books, Research and Beloved Pigs of Children’s Literature”</a> A chat with Harvard’s James Kim about READS for Summer Learning, a school-run, home-based program Kim developed over the course of 10-plus years of research and experimentation.</p><p>9) <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/talking-to-parents-about-social-and-emotional-learning-.aspx">“Talking to Parents about Social and Emotional Learning”</a><strong> </strong>Bibb Hubbard, founder of the nonprofit Learning Heroes, talks to Wallace about a report aimed at helping schools and organizations communicate with parents about social and emotional learning.</p><p>8) <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/research-on-arts-integration-an-essa-evidence-review-blog-post.aspx">“High-Quality ‘Arts Integration’ Programs Can Benefit Learning in Core Subjects”</a> A brief look at a study by the American Institutes for Research, which shows that high-quality programs that incorporate music, theater or other arts into core subjects such as English and math can make a difference in learning.</p><p>7) <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/students-mental-and-emotional-health.aspx">“Students’ Mental and Emotional Health Top Concerns for Elementary Principals”</a><strong> </strong>Run-down of a survey of elementary and middle school principals, which finds that their priorities have shifted dramatically over the past 10 years, with students’ mental and emotional issues now leading their list of concerns.</p><p>6) <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/research-and-self-reflection-help-strengthen-community-ties.aspx">“Research and Self-Reflection Help Strengthen Community Ties”</a> A guest post from social psychologist and statistician Bob Harlow about efforts by the Fleisher Art Memorial to connect with newly arrived immigrants in its South Philadelphia community.</p><p>5) <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/showing-young-people-they-belong-at-the-ballet.aspx">“Showing Young People They Belong at the Ballet”</a> Harlow discusses the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s work to attract 20-to-40-year-olds.</p><p>4) <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/how-principals-can-improve-student-success-blog-post.aspx">“How Principals Can Improve Student Success”</a>: A look back at <em>How Leadership Influences Student Learning</em>, a landmark Wallace report from 2004 that helped bring to light the importance of an overlooked factor in education—the role of the school principal.</p><p>3) <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/want-stronger-communities-create-a-bridge-to-the-arts.aspx">“Want Stronger Communities? Create a Bridge to the Arts”</a>: Our communications director, Lucas Held, reflects on a Knight Foundation report, which finds that art and culture help people develop a sense of attachment to their community.</p><p>2) <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/aasa-stephanie-jones-interview.aspx">“The Elements of Social and Emotional Learning”</a>:<strong> </strong>An excerpt from an interview with Harvard researcher Stephanie Jones, in which she relates her own personal experience with social and emotional learning and explains why educators should care about it.</p><p>1) <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/your-top-picks-and-ours.aspx">“Your Top Picks and Ours”</a>: OK, so we posted this one before the official launch of the blog in March. It’s a round-up of Wallace’s most-downloaded publications of 2017. It just goes to show, everybody loves a good list!</p>Principals, SEL and the Arts Mark Year’s Top Blog Postshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Principals-SEL-and-the-Arts-Mark-Years-Top-Blog-Posts-.aspx2018-12-18T05:00:00ZA look back at your favorite dispatches from the first year of the Wallace blog
Join Event for New Report on How Principals Affect SchoolsGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​​Join us for the upcoming release of <em>How Principals Affect Students and Schools: A Systematic Synthesis of Two Decades of Research</em>. The comprehensive study offers more precise evidence on the impact of principals on student achievement and other factors, and it identifies skills and behaviors by principals that are linked to benefits for students and schools.<br><br></p><h2 class="wf-Element-H2">Tuesday, February 16, from ​1:00-2:00pm ET on Zoom.<br></h2><p> <br>​The lead researchers—Jason Grissom, Patricia and Rhodes Hart professor, Vanderbilt University; Anna Egalite, associate professor, North Carolina State University; and Constance Lindsay, assistant professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—will share highlights from this study.<br> <br> A team of panelists will then reflect on the implications of the findings. They include: Carissa Moffat Miller, chief executive officer of the Council of Chief State School Officers; Michael Casserly, executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools, Hal Smith, senior vice president of the National Urban League, and Mónica Byrne-Jiménez, executive director of the University Council for Educational Administration.</p><p>Will Miller, president of The Wallace Foundation will moderate the panel.</p> Join Event for New Report on How Principals Affect Schoolshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Join-Event-for-New-Report-on-How-Principals-Affect-Schools.aspx2021-02-03T05:00:00ZAn expert panel kicks off publication of the report that surveys two decades of research on school leadership
Helping Principals Spend More Time with Teachers and StudentsGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Late last week, the<em> Atlanta Journal Constitution</em> published a piece highlighting a recent effort at Atlanta Public Schools to hire 17 "school business managers." These managers would handle the business side of school operations, things like transportation, food service, budgeting, etc., which would then free principals from overseeing these tasks. Principals would also receive coaching and training to help them spend more time with teachers and students. </p><p><br> The program is an outgrowth of Wallace's <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/making-time-for-instructional-leadership.aspx">earlier SAM work</a> and underscores the core findings of so much of our school leadership work:  <br> </p><p class="wf-Element-Callout"><br> Principals who have time to guide teachers and strengthen instruction can dramatically influence a school. How well principals lead is a top factor in whether teachers stay or leave, and the principal’s role is second only to teachers in terms of the impact on student learning, said Jody Spiro, director of education leadership for the Wallace Foundation. </p><p class="wf-Element-Callout"><br> "Principals are really, really crucial for school improvement and student achievement, but that means not being a superhero. A lot of people have this image in their head of the principal being a superhero. That’s what Hollywood portrays, and that, in fact, is a sure route to burnout," said Spiro.       </p><p><br> You can read the full article <a href="https://www.ajc.com/news/local-education/aps-school-business-managers-let-principals-focus-education/eqMGG4aqdKHSGtV05qrBGK/" target="_blank">here</a> and, as always, learn more at the <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/default.aspx">School Leadership</a> section of our Knowledge Center. </p> Helping Principals Spend More Time with Teachers and Studentshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Business-Managers-Help-Principals-Spend-More-Time-with-Teachers-and-Students.aspx2018-10-01T04:00:00ZNew Atlanta program provides funds to hire managers and add professional development for principals.
States Pursue Federal Support for School Leadership to Help Turn Around High-Needs SchoolGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>The passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015 opened up new possibilities for federal support of state and local efforts to make the most of the principalship. That’s because the law, a major source of funding for public school education, stressed the importance of school leadership in ways that its predecessors had not. </p><p>This emphasis may be beginning to yield results. Earlier this year, New Leaders, a school leadership research and development organization, reported that each of the 50 states “has committed to directing some portion of its federal funding” to leadership—from teacher leaders to principals and superintendents. The organization’s <a href="http://newleaders.org/press/new-leaders-releases-policy-brief-state-essa-plans/" target="_blank">policy brief </a> also found that 41 states had acknowledged leadership in their plans to improve high-need schools.</p><p>Here at Wallace, we are also seeing much activity.</p><p>Two years ago, the foundation helped organize and began funding a joint effort by the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Council of the Great City Schools and the National Urban League to bring together a group of states eager to use ESSA to fund evidence-based approaches to strengthening school leadership. The ESSA Leadership Learning Community, as it is named, involves teams from 10 states in on-going discussions both locally and nationally—developing strategies and implementation plans for using education leadership to help drive school improvement, especially for turning around the highest-needs schools. The teams all have representatives from the state, large districts and communities and typically include state education agency officials, school district leaders and leaders from local Urban League affiliates. Every team also engages additional members as appropriate for its local context.</p><p>Each of the states—Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin—is seeking to use leadership in a way that makes sense for its own needs and circumstances. But all 10 are focusing on evidenced-based approaches to using leadership as vehicle for improving outcomes for disadvantaged students<strong>.  </strong></p><p>Each state team meets regularly to advance its goals. The 10 teams also gather as a whole several times a year for national meetings where they exchange ideas and learn from invited experts.</p><p>One example of the initial work is the <a href="https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/education/reports/Tennessee-Leaders-for-Equity-Playbook.pdf" target="_blank">Tennessee Leaders for Equity Playbook</a>, published in April. The report’s crux is this: Highly trained school leaders play key roles in achieving equity and need to be supported by district leadership, school boards and community allies.</p><p>Earlier, a <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/state-efforts-to-strengthen-school-leadership.aspx">survey of representatives from 25 states</a> taking part in a school leadership effort offered by the Council of Chief State School Officers found that 71 percent were making leadership a priority, while only 21 percent said they had made past progress on it; fully 91 percent consider incorporation of principal-focused work into ESSA school improvement plans a priority.</p><p>Wallace has a number of resources about ESSA and school leadership, including a <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/school-leadership-interventions-every-student-succeeds-act-volume-1.aspx?_ga=2.88652187.1851745045.1530024383-1057583374.1513009179">RAND Corp. study identifying leadership activities</a> that meet the law’s evidence requirements and a 2017 <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principals-and-other-school-leaders-the-evidence-base-for-their-critical-role-in-essa-june-26-2017.aspx">slide deck on the evidence base for school leadership</a> presented to the U.S. Department of Education. Also, the Council of Chief State School Officers has <a href="http://www.ccsso.org/resource-library/elevating-school-leadership-essa-plans-guide-states" target="_blank">an online guide for states</a> in using ESSA to promote school leadership. </p> States Pursue Federal Support for School Leadership to Help Turn Around High-Needs Schoolhttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/States-Pursue-Federal-Support-for-School-Leadership.aspx2018-06-28T04:00:00ZStates Pursue Federal Support for School Leadership to Help Turn Around High-Needs Schools
The Emergence of The Wallace FoundationGP0|#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: 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.  </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  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:</p><ol><li> <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/Pages/default.aspx">Education Leadership</a>: 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>: Support for and research into effective after-school programs.</li><li> <a href="/knowledge-center/the-arts/Pages/default.aspx">The Arts</a>: 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: “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>The Emergence of The Wallace Foundationhttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/15-years-of-wallace.aspx2017-12-11T05:00:00Z2017: 15th Anniversary of Merger That Led to The Wallace Foundation
Now Is the Time to Get to Work on Summer LearningGP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>​All the leaves have fallen from the trees. There’s a chill in the air. ’Tis the season…for planning your district’s summer learning program?</p><p>That’s right, district leaders. Decide in the fall to offer a program and begin the planning process by January and you’ll run into fewer roadblocks when summer rolls around. That’s just one of more than 60 recommendations in the second edition of <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Getting-to-Work-on-Summer-Learning-2nd-ed.aspx"><em>Getting to Work on Summer Learning: Recommended Practices for Success</em>.</a> This report from the RAND Corporation updates guidance to districts interested in launching a summer learning program or improving an existing one. It’s based on evaluations of five urban school districts participating in the National Summer Learning Project (NSLP), a Wallace-funded effort to understand whether and how voluntary district-run summer learning programs can help promote success in school. </p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="heather-schwartz.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Now-Is-the-Time-to-Get-to-Work-on-Summer-Learning/heather-schwartz.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:241px;" />The report answers such questions as when districts should begin work on their summer program, how they should hire and train teachers, what they should consider in choosing or developing a curriculum, which actions can help boost attendance and keep students on task, how to create a warm and welcoming environment and how to provide engaging enrichment experiences. Heather Schwartz, one of the authors of the report, guided us through some of the highlights.*</p><p><strong>How did you arrive at the recommendations in the guide? </strong><br> To develop our recommendations, we drew from over 900 interviews with summer teachers and administrators, 2,000 hours of observations of summer classes and 1,200 summer staff surveys that we collected over four summers. We believe this is the most comprehensive data currently available about voluntary, academic summer programs run by school districts and their community partners.</p><p><strong>What's new in this second edition? How has your thinking evolved since the first edition?</strong><br> Although most of the lessons from the first edition still stand, the second edition provides further and more detailed recommendations. For example, by the second edition we had learned that students who received a minimum of 25 hours of mathematics instruction and those receiving 34 hours of language arts in a summer performed better on the subsequent state math and ELA tests. These findings informed our recommendations in the second edition about the duration of the summer program, the number of hours of academics and ways for instructors to use intended instructional time more productively. </p><p><strong>You provide a wealth of recommendations in the guide. Could you briefly highlight one or two of the most important?</strong><br> Our most emphatic recommendation is to commit in the fall to a summer program. This means dedicating at least half of the time of a summer program director to actively start planning the summer program no later than January. The early planning should include attention to enrichment as well as to academics.</p><p><strong>What did you learn about the cost of a high-quality summer program? What can districts to do to make their summer programs cost-effective?</strong><br> The cost per student who attended at least one day of a program in summer 2014 ranged from $1,070 to $1,700 with an average of $1,340. Since staff is the largest component of a summer budget, an important way to control costs is to hire staff to achieve desired ratios based on projected daily attendance, not the number of enrollees. Of course, program designers should weigh the savings from cost-cutting measures against potential negative impacts on program quality. Other ways to lower costs include partnering with community organizations for enrichment activities, reducing the number of summer facilities since each carry fixed costs to operate them, centralizing some planning activities to avoid duplicated work, extending school-year curricula for use during the summer and continuing the program over time to capitalize on initial start-up investments. </p><p><strong>Can you give a preview of what's still to come from the National Summer Learning Project?</strong><br> There are four more reports coming out of the NSLP. In the first, we examine how district, city, state and federal policy support and constrain summer programming and we offer recommendations for policymakers and practitioners on navigating this policy landscape. In the second, we examine how student learning unfolds over the course of a calendar year, taking a close look at summer learning, in two urban school districts. In the third, we follow the students in the randomized controlled trial to see if those who went through the NSLP programs have different outcomes in seventh grade than the students in the control group. And, finally in the fourth report, we report on the efforts of NSLP communities to improve access to quality summer learning programming. The case studies in this final report should prove useful to other community leaders across the country.</p><p>*<em>This interview has been edited and condensed. </em></p><p><em>For additional hands-on tools and guidance, including a sample program calendar, see the online </em><a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/toolkit/pages/default.aspx">Summer Learning Toolkit</a><em>. </em></p><div><div> </div> </div> Now Is the Time to Get to Work on Summer Learninghttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Now-Is-the-Time-to-Get-to-Work-on-Summer-Learning.aspx2018-12-11T05:00:00ZTalking to RAND’s Heather Schwartz about what makes for a successful summer learning program
Many Questions, Some Leads to Build Arts AudiencesGP0|#8056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be;L0|#08056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be|Building Audiences for the Arts;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​At Wallace, all of our initiatives are designed with two goals in mind: to benefit the organizations we fund and to benefit those we don't fund by providing credible, relevant knowledge derived from the initiative. For that reason all of our initiatives have a learning agenda. </p><p>In <a href="/knowledge-center/the-arts/Pages/default.aspx">our current arts initiative</a>, for instance, we set out to understand how audience-building efforts, carried out by nonprofit performing arts organizations in a continuous learning process, could attract new audiences while retaining current ones, and, at the same time, contribute to financial health. Now, the first of three expected reports from the initiative is out: <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/audience-building-and-financial-health-nonprofit-performing-arts.aspx">a literature review</a> of what’s known about the relationship between audience building and financial health. </p><p><a href="https://lbj.utexas.edu/directory/faculty/francie-ostrower">Francie Ostrower</a>, a professor in the LBJ School of Public Affairs and College of Fine Arts and a senior fellow in the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at the University of Texas, Austin, is co-author of the literature review and is leading the research effort on the initiative. In addition to the current review, Ostrower expects to publish two more reports: one on how the 25 organizations participating in the initiative implemented their efforts and another detailing the outcomes of their work. </p><p>We asked Ostrower to reflect on some of the key findings of the literature review.</p><p><strong>What is your opinion on the state of research surrounding the topic of audience building?</strong><br> The literature offers numerous intriguing leads, ideas, and case studies—but many remain to be examined more systematically to really understand the consequences of audience-building efforts of different types. Other promising lines for future development would be to build a more cohesive body of research whose individual works reference and build on one another, and to link audience-building studies to the broader literature on organizational change, learning and culture.  </p><p><strong>At a few points in the literature review, you highlight that “audience-building and financial health literatures are distinct (with virtually no exploration of the relationship between the two).”</strong> <strong>Why do you think they’ve been separated historically? And what value is there in combining the two fields?  </strong> <br> There would be great value to having additional studies that combine these fields. That is not to say that audience-building efforts should be judged or motivated by financial returns. They may yield financial returns, or their returns may be social or mission-driven.  However, organizations need to understand the financial costs and returns so that if needed, funding is secured to support the efforts in a sustainable way.   </p><p><strong>You highlight that empirical support for audience-building efforts is often slim. To what do you attribute this lack of empirical evidence? </strong> <br> Assessing the outcomes of audience-building efforts is far more complicated than it may appear, and faces barriers of time, cost and access to reliable data. Arts organizations themselves may have only limited data on their audiences. The research challenges become even more substantial when we go beyond overall attendance counts to look at audience composition, follow efforts over time to understand their sustainability and try and establish how generalizable an approach tried by some organizations may be to others.    </p><p><strong>It seems there are two gaps in the literature: little study of the link between audience-building and financial health and a lack of empirical evidence of the results of audience-building tactics. How does the design of the evaluation for the Building Audiences for Sustainability initiative address these gaps?</strong> <br> Working within the challenges of this very complex data undertaking, we will be trying to establish whether and how organizations attracted new audiences and retained current audiences as they undertook their audience building activities. Combining qualitative and quantitative data, we will also seek to understand the experiences and internal organizational consequences of engaging in audience building efforts. </p><p><strong>Based on this literature review, what are the takeaways you hope nonprofit arts managers will find? Do you have different takeaways for board members? How about for artistic staff? </strong> <br> There are several takeaways:  Audience-building efforts should not be viewed as isolated or mechanical undertakings, and there is every indication that successful and significant audience-building efforts require widespread and sustained organizational commitment.  Therefore, it is very important to think about why the organization is undertaking the activity, the level of commitment it is willing to make and how far the organization is willing to go in order to achieve audience-building objectives, especially where achieving those objectives requires the organization to re-think the status quo.</p> <br><br>Many Questions, Some Leads to Build Arts Audienceshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Many-Questions-Some-Leads-to-Build-Arts-Audiences.aspx2019-05-13T04:00:00ZAuthor of new review says literature surveyed offers intriguing ideas and case studies, but empirical evidence of success of audience-building efforts is slim.
Principal Pipeline Gets Some Online AirtimeGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>With increasing recognition that principals matter when it comes to school improvement, district officials are pondering the proper district role in everything from pre-service principal training to on-the-job principal support. These topics, and more, got <a href="http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edutalk2/2018/03/07/creating-and-supporting-the-principal-pipeline">online radio airtime</a> recently in a chat with representatives of Wallace’s <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/principal-pipelines.aspx">Principal Pipeline Initiative</a>, which is aiding efforts in six large districts to shape a large corps of effective school leaders. The setting was Education Talk Radio: Pre K-20, whose host, Larry Jacobs, had a freewheeling conversation with Tricia McManus, assistant superintendent of Hillsborough County (Fla.) Public Schools; Glenn Pethel, assistant superintendent of Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Schools; and, towards the end of the 40-minute segment, Jody Spiro, Wallace’s director of education leadership.  </p><p>Here are a few nuggets: </p><ul><li>McManus came up with a nice, concise definition of a principal pipeline, describing it as “an effective way to recruit, hire, select, develop, prepare, evaluate the very best leaders for our schools, especially our high-needs schools.”<br><br> </li><li>Pethel noted that in Gwinnett County mentoring new principals is serious business.  He described the mentoring, often provided by retired principals, as “one of the most important things that we do in order to not only retain our new leaders but to continue to grow them, develop them, support them so that ultimately they become as effective as they possibly can.”<br><br></li><li>Both McManus and Pethel offered glimpses into their districts’ collaboration with select universities, partnerships that aim to ensure that aspiring leaders receive preservice training that meets district needs. “We work with those universities that are of a like mind—in other words, those universities who have worked very hard to improve the quality of their training programs, their formal leader prep programs,” Pethel said. In Hillsborough’s early work with its partner universities, the district made a point of spelling out its expectations for district principals, according to McManus. “Those competencies were a key driver in many of the changes the university partners have made,” she said, changes in everything from course content to practicums.<br><br></li><li>What’s the first step in setting up a strong principal pipeline? For Spiro, it all begins with an acknowledgement of just how important principals are. She urged districts “to recognize and appreciate and elevate the role of the principal, understanding how critical that role is to improving student achievement.” </li></ul><p>For even more from Pethel and McManus, listen to <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/podcast-principal-pipeline.aspx">The Principal Pipeline</a> podcast, episodes 2 and 4. </p> <br>Principal Pipeline Gets Some Online Airtimehttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Principal-Pipeline-Gets-Some-Online-Airtime.aspx2018-03-19T04:00:00ZChatting About Training, Mentoring and Recognizing the Importance of Principals
A University Works to Supply a Principal PipelineGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​Responding to customers’ needs and desires is a given in retail, but in school leader preparation programs? In a <a href="https://ung.edu/news/articles/2019/03/gwinnett-county-schools-partners-with-ung-on-certificate-program.php" target="_blank">recent blog post</a>, the University of North Georgia describes the process of earning the “seal of approval” from one of its customers—Gwinnett County Public Schools—by engaging with the school district to determine how the university’s Educational Leadership Certification Program could better respond to the needs of a district that hires its graduates.</p><p>Using a program assessment tool called <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/quality-measures-principal-preparation-program-assessment.aspx">Quality Measures</a>, representatives from the school leader training program and the large Atlanta-area district worked together to take stock of how well the program was preparing its graduates for the demands of the principalship. The information generated from the assessment guided both institutions in developing an improvement plan for the program. </p><p>In January, Gwinnett approved the University of North Georgia program as its newest partner for educational leadership certificates. The university is now one of six Georgia institutions of higher education working in partnership with the school district. The university “is going to help build and improve an assistant principal and principal pipeline for Gwinnett County,” Catherine Rosa, an assistant professor in the program, says in the blog post. She goes on to describe Gwinnett County as a leader in Georgia and the nation in developing effective school leaders.</p><p>Gwinnett County Public Schools is one of six large districts that participated in Wallace’s Principal Pipeline Initiative, which tested whether <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/building-a-stronger-principalship.aspx">districts could build and improve “principal pipelines”</a> to train, hire, and support and evaluate school principals. A report on the impact of principal pipelines is scheduled to be released in April.  </p><p>To read the full article, click <a href="https://ung.edu/news/articles/2019/03/gwinnett-county-schools-partners-with-ung-on-certificate-program.php">here</a>. </p><p> <em>Header photo: Berkmar High School, headed by Principal Al Taylor, is one of 140 schools in Gwinnett County. Photography by Claire Holt.</em></p>A University Works to Supply a Principal Pipelinehttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/A-University-Works-to-Supply-a-Principal-Pipeline.aspx2019-04-02T04:00:00ZHow the University of North Georgia earned the Gwinnett school district’s ‘seal of approval’ for its principal training program
Making Sure Every Student Succeeds…In the SummertimeGP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​Summer has long been thought of as a break from the rigors of school. Increasingly, though, summer is becoming a time for programs: academic programs, sports and arts programs, programs that enable young people to explore their interests or build new skills. Policymakers, educators and others see summer programs as an opportunity to move the needle on academic and other outcomes and to help close the gaps in opportunity and achievement between students from low-income families and their more affluent peers. But with so many different types of programs out there, they may find themselves wondering which are worth investing in.</p><p>A new Wallace-commissioned report from the RAND Corporation has answers for anyone who needs help navigating the world of summer programs. <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/investing-in-successful-summer-programs-essa-review.aspx"><em>Investing in Successful Summer Programs​​​</em></a><em> </em>looks at the available research and offers detailed descriptions of 43 programs—some commercially available, some locally developed—that meet the top three of four levels  of credible evidence of effectiveness described by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The rigor of the research behind these programs makes them eligible for certain significant sources of ESSA funding. </p><p>We talked by email with the lead authors of the report, Catherine Augustine and Jennifer Sloan McCombs, about how the evidence on summer learning stacks up and how providers and funders alike can put it to use.*</p><p><strong>What is the need that this report is intended to fill?</strong></p><p>Policymakers and practitioners all want to select evidence-based programs and approaches in order to maximize benefits for children and youth. Further, federal and state grant opportunities increasingly require practitioners to demonstrate that their proposed programs are evidence-based. Now, practitioners can use this report to demonstrate that their programs are evidence-based or to add evidence-based features to their programs, which should improve them. Funders can also use this report to get a better understanding of the types of summer programs that are evidence-based. This guide doesn’t just focus on academic summer programs—it contains information about programs promoting social and emotional well-being and career-related outcomes, as well.</p><p><strong>Why does summer programming matter? </strong></p><p>First, summer is an opportune time to provide programming that supports positive developmental outcomes or meets particular needs of certain children and youth, such as mental health needs. Second, summer programming may be particularly important to mitigate the opportunity and achievement gaps that exist between children from low-income families and their higher-income peers. We know from other research that lower-income children and youth are less likely to engage in sports, join clubs, or take private lessons. They are also more likely to stay indoors, and they have reduced access to healthy meals during the summer. We want all children to have access to enrichment during the summer for its own sake but also because participating in sports, clubs, lessons and the like leads to outcomes we care about such as identifying skills and interests that can be pursued throughout one’s life. Summer programming also matters because children and youth from lower-income families fall behind their wealthier peers academically over the summer. Finally, we want children and youth to have safe places to be during the summer, with healthy meals. </p><p><strong>​What are the headlines from your review of the evidence on the effectiveness of summer programs? What have you learned about what benefits summer programs can generate for children?</strong></p><p>This review affirms that many types of summer programs can benefit children and youth. We found evidence of effectiveness for academic learning, learning at home, social and emotional well-being, and employment and career summer programs. Also, we found programs can be developed that benefit youth at all grade levels.</p><p><strong>How can program providers use the report to guide their decision-making?</strong></p><p>First, they can see if any of the 43 programs we highlighted as evidence-based contain the same features as their programs. If so, they can use the guide to argue that their program is evidence-based if they are applying for state or federal funding. Second, if their programs do not look like any of the programs in this guide, they can consider augmenting their programs to more closely resemble the ones we have identified as evidence-based. Third, if they do not want to change their program, but would like to have it rigorously evaluated, they can use this report to design an evaluation that could meet the highest three evidence tiers of ESSA, providing them with greater grant writing opportunities in the future. In addition, providers can use it to consider the range of programs that are available to meet particular needs of children and youth. </p><p><strong>What advice do you have for a provider who may be seeking federal funding for a program that isn’t in the report and which doesn’t already have established evidence of effectiveness?</strong></p><p>The provider should first check to determine if their program contains the same design features as any of the evidence-based programs we found to be effective. If that is not the case, providers should check to see if the funding stream they’re pursuing allows evidence at the Tier IV level. The programs described in this report meet the highest three evidence tiers defined in ESSA, but there is a fourth tier. Tier IV allows program providers to argue that their program is evidence-based if there is rigorous research underscoring at least part of the program’s logic model or theory of action. Tier IV also stipulates that the program (or one just like it) is currently being evaluated. If the provider can demonstrate that at least part of the program’s logic model is supported by rigorous research and that the program is currently being evaluated, the provider could apply for federal funding streams that allow Tier IV evidence. </p><p><strong>What lessons does your review of the evidence have for state and federal policymakers? What can they do to promote effective summer programs?</strong></p><p>State policymakers can share this review with practitioners in their state to raise awareness of the types of summer programs that have been found to be evidence based. They could encourage practitioners to design or amend programs to be similar to those described in the review. They can use this review to determine if programs proposed for state funding are indeed evidence-based. Federal policymakers can do the same when reviewing proposals. Finally, if they are allocating research funding, they can use the information to target research funding towards under-studied programs or populations. Most of the rigorously studied programs are academic learning programs offered in schools, focused on reading, and targeting elementary students. There were far fewer rigorous studies conducted for other types of programs or outcomes.</p><p><em>​*This interview has been edited and condensed.</em></p>​<br>Making Sure Every Student Succeeds…In the Summertimehttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Making-Sure-Every-Student-Succeeds-In-the-Summertime.aspx2019-07-01T04:00:00ZRAND researchers on using evidence to build, and secure funding for, summer learning programs
Weaving Equity into the Fabric of Principal TrainingGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p><em>​This post is the last in a series profiling the University of Connecticut’s efforts to strengthen its principal training program. The university is one of seven institutions participating in Wallace’s University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI), which seeks to help improve training of future principals so they are better prepared to ensure quality instruction and schools. A research effort documenting the universities’ efforts is underway. While we await its results, this series describes one university’s work so far.</em></p><p><em>These posts were planned and researched before the novel coronavirus pandemic spread in the United States. The work they describe predates the pandemic and may change as a result of it. The University of Connecticut is working to determine the effects of the pandemic on its work and how it will respond to them.</em></p><p>The University of Connecticut Administrator Preparation Program (UCAPP) grappled with many moving parts when redesigning its offerings to better address schools’ needs. Leaders worked to <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/changing-principal-preparation-to-help-meet-school-needs.aspx">build support for the change</a>, <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/a-road-to-more-effective-principals-begins-in-one-universitys-classrooms.aspx">overhaul the curriculum</a>, <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/embracing-the-unknown-in-new-approaches-to-principal-preparation.aspx">engage faculty</a>, <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/taking-principal-training-to-the-real-world.aspx">fine-tune internships</a> and <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/it-takes-a-village-to-train-an-effective-principal.aspx">strengthen partnerships</a>, among other efforts. </p><p>Cutting across all this work is equity. Connecticut, like much of the country, is more diverse than it once was. To help ensure equal educational opportunity for all its students, UCAPP hopes to train principals to spot inequities and negotiate thorny social issues to help resolve them. It has therefore worked to infuse equity into its curriculum and create space for groups education systems often overlook. </p><p>Wallace’s editorial staff spoke to UCAPP director Richard Gonzales to find out about the program’s efforts to prepare leaders who can help ensure equity in education. An edited transcript of our conversation follows.</p><p> <strong>Why was equity so important for you in this redesign?</strong></p><p>Statistically, educators of color make up about nine percent of the teacher workforce in Connecticut. But that number drops when you look at administrators. There is some representation of people of color at the assistant principal level, but it goes down at the principal level, it goes down further among the central office leadership, and it’s miniscule when you get to superintendents, deputy superintendents and the state level. You can name all the people of color in Connecticut who are at that level. There are numerous social factors which explain this trend, but the opportunity for us in Connecticut is the understanding that <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/it-takes-a-village-to-train-an-effective-principal.aspx">university-district partnerships</a> can positively influence the career trajectory and outcomes for all educators in the talent pipeline, including those historically underrepresented in executive leadership roles.</p><p>I felt that we have some ability and a responsibility to fix those sorts of things. And the Wallace initiative gave us the opportunity to try to do that.</p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read d975ecb1-4d3d-4793-b852-573b1109aa30" id="div_d975ecb1-4d3d-4793-b852-573b1109aa30"></div><div id="vid_d975ecb1-4d3d-4793-b852-573b1109aa30" style="display:none;"></div></div><p><strong>How do you define the populations for whom you want to ensure equity?</strong></p><p>We are thinking about equity in terms of the people for whom the system is currently not working—inside the school, in the district or in our state—and what it will take to change that.</p><p>There is legal and regulatory guidance for some groups. We have federal laws for English language learners, and racial minorities are protected in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 speaks to medical conditions that may manifest in educational need. There are programs for talented and gifted students. Those are the groups of people we commonly talk about; there's regulatory guidance for those students. </p><p>But we also look at other special populations, even if they are not groups protected by regulation. That includes issues related to bullying, related to gender identity and the realities of what principals are going to be dealing with in schools. It's a lot more inclusive and it's a lot more culturally responsive.</p><p>It doesn't even have to be anything major. In magnet schools, for example, the magnet population often receives different services and opportunities than the local students. Sometimes they're not in the same classes. Sometimes they're divided physically within the building. The parents are engaged differently by the school. That's the kind of thing that we're talking about, as well.</p><p><strong>You’ve tried to adjust your curriculum so it can better train aspiring principals to ensure equity in their schools. What have you changed there?</strong></p><p>We’ve added a lot of material throughout the program. In the very first course, we show an hourlong video called <em><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnybJZRWipg">So You Want to Talk about Race?</a> </em>In the second, we have <a href="http://libjournal.uncg.edu/ijcp/article/view/1057">an article focused on social justice​</a>. There’s a <a href="https://www.academia.edu/3745626/What_every_principal_needs_to_know_to_create_equitable_and_excellent_schools_Teachers_College_Press_">book we added</a> that’s all about equity in schools, <a href="https://us.corwin.com/en-us/nam/improving-schools-through-community-engagement/book225711">one about community engagement</a>, a guide to help <a href="http://www.ascd.org/Publications/Books/Overview/Leading-an-Inclusive-School.aspx">meet federal requirements for access to special populations</a>. Those are just a few examples.<strong></strong></p><p>A great example of a programming change is what we used to call the Special Education Institute. It was a separate course that met during both summers of the program and covered issues traditionally considered to be part of ‘special education.’ That was focused on that one population. It has now become Leadership for Special Populations. It’s not just about that one group anymore, it’s about equity for all students. </p><p>It's a more inclusive idea of leadership—making the school work for all constituencies, regardless of whether they have protected status by statute or regulation. In the very first fall semester course, we begin talking about effective <a href="http://www.rtinetwork.org/essential/tieredinstruction/tiered-instruction-and-intervention-rti-model">Tier 1 instruction for all</a>, because that is where schools fail most special populations. Principals can set the tone and provide the support for kids to succeed in the general setting. Of course, certain needs require specialized intervention, but we can and should do better at meeting all kids’ needs in the general classroom setting.</p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read 9a8a4e03-df16-467e-9859-83120cfb8dd6" id="div_9a8a4e03-df16-467e-9859-83120cfb8dd6" unselectable="on"></div><div id="vid_9a8a4e03-df16-467e-9859-83120cfb8dd6" unselectable="on" style="display:none;"></div></div><p><strong>You spoke earlier about ensuring representation for minorities among school leadership. A program like UCAPP is, of course, a major source of school leaders in Connecticut. What are you doing to ensure UCAPP students are more representative of educators in the state?</strong></p><p>We became a lot more proactive and aggressive in recruitment. Firstly, we know demographically where certain populations are concentrated. So we turned our attention to those areas.</p><p>Secondly, we became more proactive about engaging with individuals early and consistently. For example, we do our best to get to know teacher leaders—not necessarily to rush them or pressure them to apply to UConn, but just to get to know them so there's a familiar face when and if they start thinking about moving into leadership.</p><p>Our networks help with this work. We have meetings with superintendents and assistant superintendents in our partner districts where we’ll say to them, ‘We'd appreciate you inviting us to any events where you know you are celebrating teacher leadership, just in general. It doesn't have to be specifically around individuals color.’ And there we’ll meet people there who might be coming into the leadership pipeline.</p><p>Third, some of us in the faculty will volunteer to be professional mentors. We ask our partners if there are educators of color who are rising stars in their districts. It’s not to recruit for our program. We’re just offering ourselves, as people who've gone before them, to be mentors to them. We're fine if they choose another program that fits their needs better. </p><p>We have been doing this mentoring work informally for about six years now. But with the redesign, we started talking more about it and the conversation became public. A lot more faculty members learned about things that some of us do, and many of them started expressing interest. We want to make sure people coming into leadership pipelines know where the opportunities are so we can connect them with a network of support and help them make the best of those opportunities. </p><p>We have not yet tracked our mentoring efforts, but we will begin recording the numbers of mentors and mentees as we build out our educator preparation analytics system over the coming months.</p><p><strong>How about the faculty? Are there any efforts to bring more diversity to the faculty?</strong></p><p>Increasing the diversity of the faculty remains a priority. That's not easy though, because our policy is to hire practitioners, superintendents, deputy superintendents or chief academic officers. As I said before, there's only a handful of people of color in those positions, so it's harder to diversify the faculty than it is the students. I realize I could change our policy of hiring only executive-level district leaders, but that’s not the best solution. </p><p>But we do seek out people of color and hire them when we can. Then over time, they establish seniority and start taking leadership roles in the program. We used to have just one gentleman of color in the faculty, who worked his way up to our faculty leadership group. We’ve recently added three other individuals of color to the faculty. In due time I’m sure they’ll do well and earn the opportunity to be in that group. And once you’re in that faculty leadership group, you're involved with the governance and then you have a voice. </p><p><strong>And once you have who you think are the right people in your program, are there any formal structures in place to make sure voices of underrepresented groups are heard?</strong></p><p>We don’t have formal structures or affinity groups. If folks wanted to do that, we would support it. But it hasn’t come up</p><p>What we’re doing is that we’re weaving equity into the fabric of our work. All those efforts we just discussed—the outreach efforts, the connecting, the networking—It's not just me doing it. It’s more comprehensive. It's faculty members, it's our district partners, it’s the dean, it’s the superintendents, all of us constantly thinking about how we develop pipelines to ensure diversity. While there are no formal structures, we're weaving a fabric that's becoming a lot more real. It's a lot more real today than it was three years ago, certainly, more than it was six years ago. </p><p>The representation of students of color is changing so they have a critical mass. <em>[According to UCAPP, the proportion of students of color has risen from 13 percent in the class of 2017 to 30 percent in the class of 2021.]</em></p><p>I think because there's now a critical mass, they are more comfortable speaking up. Two things have stood out from their comments. One, the over-representation of white educators among our faculty and guest speakers, and two, equity isn't ‘neatly packaged’ in the program.  </p><p>Going strictly by the numbers, the first observation is fair. But as I said, there aren't more than a few educators of color who are superintendents or assistant superintendents available to hire, and we are doing better on that front than we were five years ago.</p><p>On the second, I get that students want a tight definition of how to "do" leadership for equity. But it doesn't work that way. Equity, like a lot about leadership, is something one must make sense of for him or herself. Unlike with teacher evaluation, there isn't a set of practices that is a best fit for all or most occasions. </p><p>We ask students to look, listen, talk, try, adjust, reflect and repeat in order to find their leader identity and espoused leadership theory of action. This applies to equity, too. They will understand this better upon completion of the program or years down the road as practitioners. For example, we recently received a request from our student advisory group for an optional session to further unpack equity as a concept. I think this is a sign of maturity; it signals that they aren't looking for a magic bullet answer anymore.</p><p>I don't think it's a coincidence that these issues of equity never came up when there were no faculty of color and basically one person of color in each graduating class. It’s not a coincidence that now, over the last two or three years, when there's a growing number of people of color and growing number of faculty of color, that these issues are surfacing.</p><p><strong>How do you measure progress on these issues? </strong></p><p>A very simplistic but significant indicator is what aspirant leaders talk about, look for and spend their time working on. If you have to prompt folks to look for gaps—in achievement, opportunity, participation, etc.—then they don't have an equity mindset. </p><p>A developmental next step is a systems orientation for inclusivity.  For example, we saw in some assignments that students were thinking about how to use certain structures to help multiple special populations, not just one. That's inclusive and cohesive.</p><p>Another level still is responsiveness and proactiveness. If they are thinking preventatively for how things might not work for some teachers, students or families, then they are also thinking about which adjustments might be necessary and getting ready to respond accordingly.</p><p>One measure we’re looking at is student performance on their core assessment tasks, which are tasks that demonstrate their learning and translation of knowledge and skills into practice. Equity is evaluated in each task. </p><p>We recently got the preliminary scoring of the very first task ever to be submitted. The average scores were healthy. But it was promising to see that the highest mean was in the area of equity. [The mean score on equity was 3.13 on a four-point scale; the mean score in the other five areas the assessment measures was 2.95.]</p><p>Some of that might have been because of our own scoring, though we don't think we gave too much credit where it wasn't due. But we thought of it as a message received by the students and the faculty.</p><p><strong>Have you encountered any resistance to this work?</strong></p><p>Oh, we’ve encountered it from all sides. We have an annual Educational Leadership Forum in the fall; part of its purpose is to feature alumni who are doing really good work and making a difference. Some of us talked about adding more diversity to it. And a colleague, an esteemed professional in the field, said, ‘What does all this social justice and equity and race stuff have to do with leadership?’ <strong></strong></p><p>Another thing we’ve heard is, ‘So I guess you had to change the admission standards in order to get the folks that you're trying to get in.’ We’ve heard a couple of versions of that. We definitely did not change our admission standard. Instead, we got better at recruiting a more diverse candidate pool.</p><p>And I personally have also gotten it from the other side. Students have expressed frustration that I, as director, have not pushed harder to effect change. So we’ve dealt with it from both sides. That is to be expected and a sign of good organizational health, in my opinion.</p><p><strong>So how do you deal with that?</strong></p><p>The thing that probably served us well is to make it all about data and standards. The Professional Standards for Educational Leaders, the current set of standards, are infused with equity, and I used them to make my case. It helped me keep the argument as objective as possible, where it's less about me and my preferences and it's more about the work. </p><p>I also had to connect those things to the mission and vision of UCAPP. Our mission is to prepare high-quality and capable leaders for the state of Connecticut. That's why we exist. Our vision is that our graduates will be committed to excellence. That's our vision and that's our reputation. </p><p>All I did was focus on standards, the data, the mission and the vision and just kept talking about that. Equity helps us achieve our mission.</p><p>It’s not just about me and my vision.</p><p><strong>Do recent events, such as the mass protests against police violence, the surge in public support for the Black Lives Matter movement and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on D.A.C.A, affect the work at all?</strong></p><p>First and foremost, they validate our decision to prioritize equity as an essential component of school leadership. They also compel us to do more. Preparation is an important but single domain in the leadership pipeline. We also have to think about how we help our graduates ensure equity once they’re out in communities leading schools. We must be thoughtful and intentional about advocacy and support to ensure the entire education system, from pre-K to universities, operates fairly and yields equitable outcomes. </p><p>School leaders are community leaders. More than ever, we need principals and superintendents who effectively serve <em>all</em><strong> </strong>constituencies in the communities they are entrusted to lead, and who confront and alter institutional biases. They need to act with cultural competence and responsiveness in their interactions, decision making and practice. </p><p>These are all difficult things to do. But we hope that if we’re careful, welcoming of different perspectives and receptive to feedback, we can help future principals do them and play our small role in addressing the inequities that have long plagued this nation.</p><p>Read the previous post in our UConn series: <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/learning-to-navigate-the-uncertainties-of-school-leadership.aspx">Learning to Navigate the Uncertainties of School Leadership</a> </p> Weaving Equity into the Fabric of Principal Traininghttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Weaving-Equity-into-the-Fabric-of-Principal-Training.aspx2020-06-30T04:00:00ZIn its redesigned principal prep program, UConn is working to prepare leaders who will help ensure equity in education.
Insights on How Principals Can Affect Teachers, Students and SchoolsGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>​There’s no doubt that principals are important, but it can be difficult to measure just how their actions affect schools, teachers and students. A new report seeks to shed light on that. <br></p><p>The <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.3102/0034654319866133">report</a> synthesizes 51 studies and suggests evidence of the relationship between principals’ behavior and student achievement, teacher well-being, teacher instructional practices and school organizational health. </p><p>“We argue that our findings highlight the critical importance of expanding the knowledge base about strategies principals can take to improve learning in schools, and the value of investing in school leadership capacity,” write the study’s authors, the University of Oregon’s David D. Liebowitz and Lorna Porter.</p><p>Liebowitz and Porter conducted the meta-analysis by examining the empirical literature on five aspects of principals’ jobs—instructional management, internal relations, organizational management, administration and external relations—and the potential effects on student outcomes, (such as grades and behavior), teacher outcomes (well-being, retention rates and instructional practices) and school outcomes (school organizational health and principal retention). </p><p>While the field has emphasized principals’ roles as instructional leaders, Liebowitz and Porter write that they “find evidence that principal behaviors other than instructional management may be equally important mechanisms to improve student outcomes.”</p><p>The findings suggest that investing in principals may improve learning. A recent study from the RAND Corporation found that in districts with a <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/principal-pipeline-implementation.aspx">principal pipeline</a>—a districtwide effort to better prepare, support and evaluate school leaders—schools with new “pipeline” principals outperformed comparison schools in reading and in math.<br></p><p>Wallace continues to work to expand the evidence base on school leadership and recently <a href="/news-and-media/press-releases/pages/wallace-foundation-commissions-reports-to-synthesize-state-of-knowledge-key-aspects-school-leadership-.aspx">commissioned a research synthesis</a> on how leadership affects student learning. The report will build on a 2004 <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/how-leadership-influences-student-learning.aspx">landmark study</a> finding that school leadership is second only to teaching among school-related influences on student success.</p><p>Learn more about school leadership in Wallace’s <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/default.aspx">Knowledge Center</a>.<br></p>Insights on How Principals Can Affect Teachers, Students and Schoolshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/New-Insight-into-How-Principals-Affect-Teachers-Students-and-Schools.aspx2019-10-16T04:00:00ZYour 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.
Survey of Large Cities Shows Afterschool Systems Have Staying PowerGP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Over the past two decades, we at Wallace have learned a lot about how afterschool systems work and how cities can go about building them. One thing we still didn’t know, however, was whether cities would be able to sustain their efforts to coordinate the work of out-of-school-time providers, government agencies and others over a period of years. Now, a new report by the nonprofit human development organization FHI 360 offers some answers.</p><p><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/stability-and-change-in-afterschool-systems-2013-2020-a-follow-up-study-of-afterschool-coordination-in-large-cities.aspx"><em>Stability and Change in Afterschool Systems, 2013-2020</em></a><em> </em>is a follow-up to an earlier study of 100 large U.S. cities, of which 77 were found to be engaged in some aspects of afterschool coordination. For the current report, the authors were able to contact 67 of those 77 cities. They also followed up with 50 cities that weren’t coordinating afterschool programs in 2013 and found a knowledgeable contact in 34 of them. </p><p>The report provides a snapshot of the state of afterschool coordination just before COVID-19 hit, causing the devastating closure of schools and afterschool programs. We recently had an email exchange with the lead authors, Ivan Charner, formerly of FHI 360 and Linda Simkin, senior consultant on the project, about what they found in their research and what the implications might be for cities looking to restore their afterschool services in the wake of the pandemic. Their responses have been edited for length and clarity. </p><p><strong>What do you consider the key findings of this research?</strong></p><p>We discovered that more than three-quarters of the 75 cities coordinating afterschool programs in 2013 were still coordinating in 2020. [<em>Two of the original 77 cities were left out of the study for methodological reasons.</em>] In addition, 14 cities that were not coordinating in 2013 had adopted some coordination strategies.  </p><p>Our study of the cities that sustained coordination between 2013 and 2020 explored the extent to which they had the three key components [of an afterschool system]: a coordinating entity, a common data system and a set of quality standards or a quality framework. Overall, there was an increase in the proportion of cities with all three components (from 29 percent in 2013 to 40 percent in 2020). There was a decrease in the percentage of cities with a coordinating entity but increases in the percentage with a common data system or a set of quality standards, or both.<br> <br> Not surprisingly, funding was an important factor in whether or not cities had these components. Seventy-one percent of the cities that sustained their systems experienced either stable funding or increased funding over the past five years. A much higher percentage of cities reporting funding increases had all three coordination components compared to cities where funding remained the same or decreased. Increased funding was highly correlated with the presence of quality standards or a quality framework, in particular. </p><p>The commitment of a city or county leader to afterschool coordination was also important, as it was in 2013. Eighty percent of the cities that were still coordinating in 2020 characterized their current leaders as moderately or highly committed to afterschool coordination. There was a significant association between a high or moderate level of commitment and having a common data system in 2020.</p><p><strong>You found that at least three-quarters of the cities that were doing afterschool coordination in 2013 sustained their systems. What about the ones that didn’t? Were you able to identify possible reasons these cities dropped their systems?</strong> </p><p>A review of data collected for the 2013 study suggests that in some of these cities afterschool coordination was not firmly established (eight had one or none of the key coordination components). Another reason was turnover in city leadership, which brought with it changing priorities that resulted in decreases in funding for, and commitment of leadership to, afterschool coordination. In two cities, systematic afterschool coordination became part of broader collective impact initiatives. </p><p><strong>You found that more afterschool systems had a common data system and a quality framework or set of quality standards in 2020 than in 2013, but fewer had a designated entity responsible for coordination. What do you make of these changes, particularly the latter?</strong></p><p>Our finding that fewer cities had a designated coordinating entity in 2020 than in 2013 was surprising. Our survey question listed eight options covering different governance structures and organizational homes, so we’re fairly confident that the question wasn’t misinterpreted. We can only speculate about reasons for the change. It’s been suggested that mature systems may no longer see the need for a coordinating entity, which may be expensive to maintain. A coordinating entity such as a foundation or a United Way may have changed priorities, and systems may have collectively decided to operate without one, distributing leadership tasks among partners. Or cities may have been in the process of replacing the coordinating entity. This is one of those instances in which researchers generally call for further inquiry.</p><p>While it wasn’t within the scope of this study to investigate reasons for the increase in data systems and quality standards, we can speculate about why this occurred. More than half the cities that sustained their systems experienced increased funding, and that probably facilitated the development of both data systems and quality standards. One possibility is that, with the growing emphasis on accountability in the education and nonprofit sectors, funders may be calling for more supporting data. It’s also possible that cities or school systems decided to incorporate afterschool data into their own systems. It’s interesting to note that some respondents in cities without data systems were investigating them. </p><p>As for quality standards and assessment tools, we learned from anecdotal reports that cities had adopted templates and received training offered by outside vendors or state or regional afterschool networks, more so than came to our attention in 2013. </p><p><strong>In the context of the pandemic and the racial justice movement, what do you hope that cities will take away from this report?</strong> </p><p>The findings of this study present a picture of progress in afterschool coordination <em>before</em> the full impact of the challenges caused by the pandemic and the reckoning with social injustice and inequality. We’ve since learned that systems have renewed their commitment to ensuring the growing numbers of children and youth living in marginalized communities have access to high quality afterschool and summer programming that meets their social-emotional needs. Statewide out-of-school-time organizations and others have rapidly gathered and disseminated resources and tools to aid the response of afterschool providers and coordinating entities. Some intermediary organizations have shifted to meeting immediate needs, while others have found opportunities to partner more deeply with education leaders and policymakers to help plan ways to reconfigure and rebuild afterschool services.</p><p>This study gives us reason to believe that cities with coordinated afterschool programs will be in a strong position to weather these times because of their shared vision, collective wisdom, standards of quality, and ability to collect and use data to assess need and plan for the future. Not surprisingly, funding and city leadership continue to be important facilitators for building robust systems, and respondents in both new and emerging systems expressed a desire for resources related to these and other topics.​<br></p>Survey of Large Cities Shows Afterschool Systems Have Staying Powerhttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Survey-of-Large-Cities-Shows-Afterschool-Systems-Have-Staying-Power.aspx2021-03-11T05:00:00ZYour 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.
Stream Series Two of The Principal Pipeline PodcastGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Last January, we launched the first series of <em>The Principal Pipeline</em> podcast, featuring in-depth conversations with leaders who have been implementing principal pipelines—a systematic approach to leadership development and support—in their states and districts. Following the release of <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principal-pipelines-a-feasible,-affordable,-and-effective-way-for-districts-to-improve-schools.aspx">new research showing the effectiveness</a> of these efforts, we created Series Two to explore how pipelines benefit districts, schools and students.</p><p>The first two episodes focus on two major findings from the new research: that pipeline districts saw <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/podcast-principal-pipelines-episode-7-a-district-strategy-to-improve-student-achievement.aspx">notable, statistically significant benefits for student achievement</a>, and that these districts also saw <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/episode-8-building-principal-pipelines-improves-principal-retention.aspx">improved principal retention</a>. Leaders discuss how pipelines created stability, networks of support and clear standards that led to these improvements. </p><p>“It confirms what many of us as practitioners already know,” Linda Chen, chief academic officer for New York City public schools says in Episode 7. “A great principal really impacts the outcomes of students.” </p><p>Researchers join the podcast for <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/episode-9-measuring-the-effectiveness-of-principal-pipelines.aspx">Episode 9</a> to share how they were able to reliably measure outcomes across 1,100 schools and how they linked student achievement improvements to the pipeline. </p><p>The final two episodes look ahead at the long-term sustainability of pipelines. In <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/episode-10-how-districts-sustained-their-principal-pipelines.aspx">Episode 10</a>, district leaders explain how they were able to maintain all four pipeline components two years after funding from The Wallace Foundation ended. And <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/episode-11-how-districts-states-and-universities-can-play-a-role.aspx">Episode 11</a> examines the role that districts, states and universities play in building and supporting principal pipelines, including how to tap funding from the Every Student Succeeds Act. </p><p>“When we think about universities and districts, and then the state role, I think it's all working in tandem to make sure that we're creating the best opportunities for principals,” said Carissa Moffat Miller, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers.</p><p>You can stream <em>The Principal Pipeline</em> podcast on <a href="https://wallacefoundation.us12.list-manage.com/track/click?u=72af77d384006061df548e8b5&id=1b4876a898&e=8a3a7dee59">our site</a>, where you’ll also find more information about each show, or download them from <a href="https://wallacefoundation.us12.list-manage.com/track/click?u=72af77d384006061df548e8b5&id=0305e5a96d&e=8a3a7dee59">iTunes</a>, <a href="https://wallacefoundation.us12.list-manage.com/track/click?u=72af77d384006061df548e8b5&id=51cbfa9760&e=8a3a7dee59">Google Play</a> or <a href="https://wallacefoundation.us12.list-manage.com/track/click?u=72af77d384006061df548e8b5&id=bdb0aa2fec&e=8a3a7dee59">Stitcher</a>.</p> Stream Series Two of The Principal Pipeline Podcasthttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Stream-Series-Two-of-The-Principal-Pipeline-Podcast.aspx2019-09-03T04:00:00ZYour 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.
Building an Ecosystem of Talent Development for Principals GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​In 2011, we launched the Principal Pipeline Initiative to test whether six large districts could put in place systems aimed at developing corps of effective school principals. Independent studies of the initiative’s implementation thus far have found that <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/perspective-building-principal-pipelines-update.aspx">building principal pipelines</a> proved both feasible and affordable in the six participating districts, and we’ll soon know more about how this work impacted student achievement. But when the initiative concluded: the question of sustainability remained: Would districts maintain these pipeline components—and if so, how? </p><p>Now a Policy Studies Associates team led by researchers <a href="/about-wallace/People/Pages/Leslie-Anderson-.aspx">Leslie Anderson​</a> and Brenda Turnbull has interviewed key decision makers and surveyed novice principals to understand to what extent they are still carrying out the four components of the pipeline, what changes they have made and if principals’ perspectives on their hiring and placement, evaluation and support are similar to previous findings. Their findings are published in a new study <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/sustainability-of-principal-pipeline-initiative.aspx">Sustaining a Principal Pipeline</a>.    </p><p>We asked Anderson to elaborate on the report’s findings and what they mean for the sustainability of strong principal pipelines.  </p><p> <strong>What are the most significant implications of these findings for districts that want to develop and operate principal pipelines?</strong></p><p> <em>It’s worthwhile:</em> There is a real payoff that districts have seen from steady investment of time and thought in developing and refining several key ingredients for leader development: standards; partnerships; succession planning; mentoring and coaching, and leader tracking systems. Moreover, principals’ survey responses indicate that newly placed principals see strengths in the preparation and support they have received. As of 2018, the principal pipeline shows staying power. </p><p> <em>It’s a process not a product:</em> One district leader described their pipeline experience as a journey rather than a destination that one reaches through shortcuts. No one should think that one district is “the district to watch” and try to copy what that district does. Instead, building a pipeline is a developmental process that district leaders must grow into. </p><p> <em>It’s affordable:</em> There is almost no cost associated with developing leadership standards. In addition, only moderate costs are associated with creating a standardized application for principal candidates. Yet this relatively low-cost upgrade to district hiring practices can quickly strengthen the pool of candidates qualified to fill school vacancies. Indeed, seven years after starting the Principal Pipeline Initiative, district leaders no longer report struggling to find highly qualified candidates to fill vacancies; they are impressed with the skills of the principals they are hiring. Moreover, over time, districts saw fewer principal vacancies, suggesting that principal turnover had declined and new principals were better prepared.<br> </p><p> <strong>What lessons does the study hold about how districts and universities can work together to improve preservice training for principals? What are the challenges and how can they be overcome? </strong></p><p>PPI districts saw real benefits from investing staff time in the care and keeping of their university partners. Denver, for example, assigned a staff person to meet with district partners regularly, often monthly or more, to co-plan the programming. The result, according to another district administrator, has been that “they're producing candidates that are highly qualified [to lead our] schools.” Similarly, principal supervisors in Charlotte-Mecklenburg spent years on a university partner’s board and worked together closely to identify gaps between the district’s leadership standards and the university’s preparation program coursework. Ultimately, as one district leader explained, if done right, the benefits of the partnership are shared: “There is that mutual beneficial relationship that enables the university to have outstanding graduates and for us to have outstanding leaders.”  </p><p>By 2018, district investments in their university partnerships had yielded dividends. Higher percentages of principals who had started on the job in more recent years (after March 2012) compared with those who had started earlier (before March 2012) reported that their preservice preparation emphasized competencies related to school improvement, including instructional leadership.  Moreover, more recently prepared principals reported having started on the job with higher levels of preparedness for leadership. </p><p> <strong>The report mentions that there are some areas of confusion or overlap in the various systems of support for principals that the pipeline developed.  What are these areas and how can schools and districts remedy them? </strong></p><p>Districts strive to coordinate principal support in a way that addresses principal needs but mitigates the risk of delivering conflicting messages. While principal supervisors, mentors and coaches are all necessary principal support, they need to be managed appropriately to avoid contradictory or confusing advice. A Denver principal supervisor described a novice principal getting four sets of guidance from four different people on a daily basis, for example.  </p><p>Creating more lines of communication between support streams is a good first step toward mitigating conflicting messaging.  Because people are busy, it’s often hard to know which support provider is helping principals develop which capacity or competency. A leader in Gwinnett County maintained that it was incumbent upon district leaders and support providers to work together to provide a coherent support structure that ultimately helps principals succeed. She suggested that districts should start by calibrating support providers in defining or diagnosing the needs of the school. And she cautioned that coordination does not mean standardization and that the support delivered to principals should vary in response to school contexts and needs.</p><p>Finally, there is a danger of overwhelming principals with support.  First-year principals often feel as if they are “drinking from a firehose,” as an administrator put it, and they cannot absorb all of the support they receive. Prince George’s County has tried to address this problem by creating what it calls “a central office school support network” to coordinate all of the offices that impact the building so that the principal “didn't have to have 13 different meetings with 13 different offices at the beginning of the school year.”</p><p> <strong>With the emergence of the principal supervisor role as a key element of the pipeline, how can districts ensure that supervisors are able to focus mainly on principal support and development? </strong></p><p> Districts used a variety of strategies to ensure that supervisors could focus on principal support. Several hired more supervisors, reducing their span of control and thereby increasing the time supervisors could devote to developing principals’ instructional leadership skills. One district removed any responsibility for operations management from principal supervisors’ span of control by creating a department of academic support and another department for school operations.<br></p><p>Another, less costly approach one district took was organizing supervisors into different buckets of responsibility. Leaders in this district recognized that their supervisors reflected an assortment of competencies, some uniquely qualified to guide principals’ growth in instructional leadership, and some not. They opted to divide the work of their eight supervisors so that five would be instructionally focused and three would be operationally focused.  </p><p> <strong>What was surprising to you about these findings? </strong></p><p>That this initiative has real staying power. That is, seven years after the PPI began, districts still have their principal pipelines. Districts still use standards to shape their principal preparation, hiring, evaluation and support systems; hiring managers have well-stocked pools of vetted principal candidates as well as individual-level data for use in their succession planning. Mentors, coaches and supervisors continue to build principals’ skills on the job. All six districts continue working on strengthening and expanding the pipeline components in ways that further manage and support the career progressions of principals. For example, they continue to strengthen the principal supervisors’ skills in supporting principals. They also work on strengthening principals’ capacity to identify and develop the leadership talents of aspiring leaders, recognizing that sitting principals play a key role as mentors. </p><p>In summary, as we mention in the <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/sustainability-of-principal-pipeline-initiative.aspx">sustainability report</a>, they are trying to build an ecosystem for talent development in which principals and principal supervisors regularly seek to identify and nurture the very best and brightest future leaders.  </p><p><em>Leslie Anderson is a Managing Director at Policy Studies Associates (PSA). To read her full bio </em><a href="/about-wallace/People/Pages/Leslie-Anderson-.aspx"><em>click here​</em></a><em>.</em><br></p>Building an Ecosystem of Talent Development for Principals https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Building-an-Ecosystem-of-Talent-Development-for-School-Leaders.aspx2019-02-19T05:00:00ZStudy finds Principal Pipelines have staying power and big payoffs for districts.
A New Year’s Resolution for Nonprofits: Get ‘Fiscally Fit’GP0|#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/SFM2013/Pages/default.aspx">Strongnonprofits.org</a> is a Wallace Foundation website designed to help nonprofits do exactly that.  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://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: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/SFM2013/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/SFM2013/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/SFM2013/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/SFM2013/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>A New Year’s Resolution for Nonprofits: Get ‘Fiscally Fit’https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Hilda-Polanco-Strong-Nonprofits-QA.aspx2017-12-14T05:00:00ZMust-Read Advice From a Nonprofit Financial Management Consultant
Making Principal Preparation a Team SportGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>Educational leader, culture-setter, community liaison…The role of the principal has become more demanding in the twenty-first century, and principal preparation programs haven’t always been able to keep up. Part of the problem is that it’s rare for university-based programs to work closely with the school districts that hire their graduates. Starting in 2016, seven universities set out to change that as part of the Wallace-funded University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI). After year one of the four-year effort, the universities succeeded in forging strong partnerships with districts and other key players—the first step in overhauling their programs and sending out better-prepared principals.</p><p>How they did it is the subject of a new report by the RAND Corporation titled <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/launching-redesign-university-principal-preparation-programs.aspx?_ga=2.209301970.1951641179.1542038823-1057583374.1513009179"><em>Launching a Redesign of University Principal Preparation Programs: Partners Collaborate for Change</em></a>. We spoke with Elaine Wang, one of the report’s authors, about the challenges and benefits of the collaborative approach.*  </p><p><strong><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Wang-photo.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Making-Principal-Preparation-a-Team-Sport/Wang-photo.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:167px;" />What is the problem that the University Principal Preparation Initiative is seeking to help solve?</strong></p><p>School district leaders around the country express concern about the quality of candidates applying for principalships. They’re just not ready to step into this important role. This is due in part to shifting (and many would argue increasing) expectations for school leaders. The job of a principal includes establishing a positive school culture, providing instructional leadership, hiring and supporting teachers, managing a budget, ensuring compliance with federal, state and local requirements, developing community partnerships, and the list goes on. Some principal preparation programs have struggled to keep up with the changing expectations and diverse needs of the schools served by their graduates. </p><p><strong>Why was it important for the seven participating universities to establish strong working relationships with the school districts that hire their graduates?</strong></p><p>UPPI refocuses principal preparation programs so they think of districts, rather than aspiring principals, as their “customers.” District leaders—superintendents, assistant superintendents, talent office directors—understand the skills their principals need to have and the situations they will likely face. By drawing on this knowledge, preparation programs can identify areas for improvement, so they can prepare more effective principals. When the program and district establish a strong working relationship, together they can ensure, for example, that candidates have strong mentor principals or that course instructors have relevant, practical expertise. We’re also beginning to see in some UPPI districts that the collaboration between universities and districts on principal preparation can grow into other mutually beneficial areas, such as preparing teachers to step into leadership positions and providing support after program graduates enter leadership positions.</p><p><strong>How did the universities and school districts go about forming and cementing their partnerships?</strong><br>                <br> The universities looked first to engage districts with which they already had a relationship. In some cases, this was a formal relationship—for example to support a district-specific cohort within the larger principal preparation program. In other cases, there were informal relationships because the preparation programs hired district officials as adjunct faculty or districts frequently hired program graduates. Some universities and districts established connections where there were none before. <br>                <br> There were several early activities that helped them build and deepen their partnerships. First, they worked to articulate and agree on what candidates graduating from the program should know and be able to do. For some teams, this was a very intensive process. Having a common objective helped them understand and work with each other even when there was disagreement. Next, they reflected on and identified the strengths and weaknesses of the existing program. Finally, they each developed a logic model to help guide change. This process allowed all voices to be heard, rallied everyone around the same goals, and secured a commitment on everyone’s part to help to reach those goals.</p><p><strong>What is the biggest challenge the universities and their partners have faced in redesigning the programming, and how are they tackling it?</strong></p><p>Universities and their partners are grappling with how to craft a set of coherent experiences that prepare candidates for an inherently complex job in a wide range of school settings. It’s an ambitious undertaking. For example, the teams used a research-based tool to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their existing programs and identify areas for improvement. They also worked together to develop learning experiences outside of traditional classroom instruction, such as modules linked to field-based experiences and milestone assessments that span multiple courses.</p><p>Several UPPI teams were confronted with turnover among the staff working on the initiative, as well as key supporters like university presidents, provosts, deans, and school district superintendents. Some teams prepared for this inevitable turnover by cross-training their staff, so that someone was always prepared to step in when a team member was unavailable. Some relied on strong documentation, to help onboard new team members and organization leaders. In all cases, the university-based project lead took time to brief new team members in order to smooth out the transition.</p><p><strong>What has surprised you in your research to date?</strong></p><p>One thing that has surprised us also surprised many of the universities and their partners: how much they were able to learn from each other. Because they listened to district leaders, university leaders began to understand that principals—including their own graduates—needed more explicit guidance and practice in areas such as communication and cultural responsiveness. District leaders found that being authentically involved in shaping the principal program caused them to rethink their expectations for their school leaders. We heard repeatedly from district, university and state leaders that working closely with their partners has prompted them to fundamentally retool how principals are developed and supported. The UPPI programs are sharing their experiences, strategies—and in some cases revised syllabi and program materials—with programs across their state and beyond.</p><p><em>*This interview has been edited and condensed.</em></p> Making Principal Preparation a Team Sporthttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Making-Principal-Preparation-a-Team-Sport.aspx2018-11-20T05:00:00ZRAND’s Elaine Wang on how seven universities are learning to think of school districts as collaborators and “customers”
How Can Research Help Design More Effective Youth Programs?GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61;GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool<p>N​​onprofits that work with young people are always looking for ways to assess their effectiveness, and randomized controlled trials—which <em>randomly</em> place eligible young people into “treatment” and “control” groups to draw comparisons between them—are generally considered the most rigorous approach. Implementation studies, by contrast, examine how an effort is carried out, pinpointing strengths and weaknesses in operations. </p><p>In tandem, randomized controlled trials, or RCTs, and implementation studies can help organizations answer two major questions: What is the impact of our work? What can we do to improve?   </p><p>As informative as such studies can be, they are also challenging to pull off and act on. Just ask Lynsey Wood Jeffries, CEO of Washington, D.C.-based <a href="https://higherachievement.org/">Higher Achievement</a>, one of the organizations that took part in Wallace’s now-concluded <a href="/knowledge-center/after-school/pages/expanded-learning.aspx">expanded learning effort</a>. Higher Achievement, which provides academically focused afterschool programs for more than 1,000 middle schoolers in the D.C. metro area, Baltimore and Richmond, Va., has participated in two RCTs, the most recent one accompanied by an implementation study.</p><p>The first RCT, which was partially funded by Wallace and ran from 2006 to 2013, showed statistically significant effects for Higher Achievement students—known as “scholars” within the program—on math and reading test scores and in high school placement and family engagement. The second, completed last year (also with some Wallace support), found positive results, too, with the implementation study revealing some program delivery issues to be addressed in order for Higher Achievement to reach its full potential. (Readers can find the research and more information <a href="https://higherachievement.org/impact/">here</a>.) The organization was in the process of making changes when COVID-19 hit and turned everything upside down, but as the pandemic eases, the hope is to use the findings to help pave the path forward. </p><p>This is part two of our interview with Jeffries. See the first post on <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/creating-safe-spaces-for-young-people-during-the-pandemic.aspx">running an afterschool program during a pandemic</a>. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.</p><p> <strong>Why did you decide to participate in the second RCT, especially having already done one? </strong></p><p>There were two main reasons. One is that the first study only focused on what has been our home base in the D.C. metro area. So, it showed statistically significant positive impacts on academics for D.C. and also Alexandria, Virginia. But since that study was conducted, we have expanded to other locations, and our effectiveness hadn't been empirically proven in those places. That was important to understand. A number of programs may be able to show impacts in their home base, but replicating that through all the complications that come with expansion is a next level of efficacy. </p><p>Second, it was suggested to us that the way to be most competitive for the major federal <a href="https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-announces-inaugural-education-innovation-and-research-competition">i3 grant</a> we ultimately won was to offer an RCT. It's the highest level of evidence and worth the most points on the application.</p><p> <strong>Were there risks versus rewards that you had to weigh in making the decision to go ahead with the second RCT?</strong></p><p>We very carefully considered it because we knew from past experience the strains an RCT puts on the community and the organization.</p><p>The reward is that if you win the dollars you can learn a lot and serve more students. Our grant application was about adapting our academic mentoring to help accelerate learning towards Common Core standards. That's something we wouldn’t have been able to do, at least not at the intensity we wanted, without a multi-million-dollar investment.</p><p> <strong>Were there any results of either the RCT or the implementation study that caught you by surprise?</strong></p><p>The positive effect size for report card grades was greater in this second study than it was for test scores in a previous study. And that level of confidence did surprise me frankly, because I’ve lived and breathed Higher Achievement every day for many years now, and it's been messy. It hasn't just been a simple expansion process. There have been lots of questions along the way, adaptations to local communities, staffing changes, and more. So, to see that positive effect size for our scholars was encouraging.</p><p> <strong>You mentioned the strain an RCT can put on community relationships and the organization itself. What does that look like?</strong></p><p>Only accepting 50 percent of the students you recruit strains community relationships; it strains relationships with families and scholars most importantly but also with schools. It also fatigues the staff, who have to interview twice as many students as we can serve. They get to know the students and their families, knowing that we have to turn away half of them.</p><p>Here’s are example of how an RCT can distort perceptions in the community: I'll never forget talking to a middle schooler who had applied for our program but was assigned to the control group. She said, "Oh, yeah, I know Higher Achievement. It's that group that pays you $100 to take a test on a Saturday." [As part of the first RCT] we did pay students to take this test, and so that’s what we were to her.</p><p>Additionally, when you’re recruiting for an RCT, you have to cast twice as wide a net [because you need a sufficient number of students in both the treatment and control groups]. Because there was such a push for a larger sample, the interview process for Higher Achievement became pro forma, and our retention rate ended up dipping because the overall level of commitment of the scholars and families recruited for the RCT was lower than it would be otherwise. And both studies showed that we don't have statistically significant effects until scholars get through the second year. So, when scholar retention dips, you're distorting the program.</p><p> <strong>Did you approach the second RCT differently in terms of recruitment or communications to try to avoid or address that potential for strain?</strong></p><p>We were very cognizant of our school relationships the second time. Principals really value the service we provide, which makes it quite hard for them to agree to a study, knowing half the students won’t actually get the benefit of that service. So, we gave each of our principals three to five wild cards for particular students they wanted to be exempt from the lottery process in order to make sure that they got into the program. That hurt our sample size because those students couldn’t be part of the study, but it helped preserve the school relationships. We also deepened training for the staff interviewing potential scholars, which helped a bit with retention. </p><p> <strong>How did Higher Achievement go about putting the research findings into practice? In order to make changes at the program level, were there also changes that had to be made at the administrative level? </strong></p><p>The implementation study was really helpful, and I'm so grateful we were able to bring in $300,000 in additional support from Venture Philanthropy Partners [a D.C.-based philanthropy] to support it. One of the things we took away from the implementation study was that there was more heterogeneity in our program delivery than we desired. We knew that internally, but to read it from these external researchers made us pause, consider the implications, and develop a new approach—Higher Achievement 2.0. </p><p>Higher Achievement 2.0 consisted of a refined program model and staffing structure to support it. We shifted our organizational chart pretty dramatically. Previously, program implementation was managed by the local executive directors [with a program director for each city and directors of individual centers within each city reporting to the executive director]. Program research, evaluation and design were under a chief strategy officer, who was not in a direct reporting line with the program implementation. It wasn't seamless, and it led to inconsistencies in program delivery. </p><p>The big change we made was to create a new position, a central chief program officer who manages both the R&D department, which we now call the center support team, and the local program directors, with the center directors reporting to those program directors. What that does functionally is lift the local center directors a full step or two or three, depending on the city, up in the organization chart and in the decision-making process [because they no longer report to a local executive director or deputy director]. Everything we're doing as an organization is much closer to the ground.</p><p> <strong>What were the main changes at the program level as a result of the implementation study?</strong></p><p>One of the key takeaways from the implementation research was that our Summer Academy, which was a six-week, 40-hours-a-week program, was important for culture building but the academic instruction wasn’t consistently high quality or driving scholar retention or academic outcomes. That prompted us to take a very different approach to summer and to make afterschool the centerpiece of what we do. The plan was to focus on college-preparatory high school placement and to expand afterschool by seven weeks and go from three to four days a week. That’s a big change in how we operate, which we were just beginning to actualize in January 2020. Then COVID hit, and we had to pivot to a virtual, streamlined program, but now we’re exploring how to go back to a version of Higher Achievement 2.0 post-COVID.</p><p>High school placement has always been part of Higher Achievement’s model, but we elevated it to be our anchor indicator, so all the other performance indicators need to lead back to high school readiness and placement. While our direct service ends in eighth grade, we have long-term intended impacts of 100 percent on-time high school graduation and 65 percent post-secondary credential attainment. [Therefore], the biggest lever we can pull is helping our scholars choose a great fit for high school and making sure they’re prepared to get into those schools. Instead of running programs in the summer, we are referring scholars to other strong programs and spending much more time on family engagement in the summer to support high school placement. This starts in fifth grade, with increasingly robust conversations year after year about report cards and test scores and what different high school options can mean for career paths and post-secondary goals. We are building our scholars’ and families’ navigational capital. That discipline is being more uniformly implemented across our sites; it had been very scattered in the past. </p><p>The other thing we set out to do, which has been delayed because all our design capacity has been re-routed to virtual learning, is to build out a ninth-grade transition program. We know how important ninth grade is; the research is undeniable. The individual data from our scholars says sometimes it goes smoothly and in other cases it's really rocky. Students who’ve been placed in a competitive high school may shift later because they didn't feel welcome or supported in that school.</p><p> <strong>What challenges have you faced as you’ve gone about making these big changes? Were there any obstacles in translating the decisions of your leadership team into action?</strong></p><p>The biggest obstacle is COVID. We haven't been able to put much of our plan into action in the way intended. The other obstacle we’ve faced is what any change faces: emotional and intellectual ties to the way things have always been done. I was one of the staff members who had a great emotional attachment to our Summer Academy.</p><p>​There are rituals that have been a part of our Summer Academy that are beloved rites of passage for young people. We are building these rites of passage, college trips and other culture-building aspects of Summer Academy into our Afterschool Academy. That way, we can focus in the summer on intentionally engaging our scholars and families to prepare them for college-preparatory high schools and increase our overall organizational sustainability and effectiveness.</p><p> <strong>What advice would you give to an organization that’s considering participating in an RCT and implementation study or other major research of this kind?</strong></p><p>Proceed with caution. Before undertaking an RCT, review the studies that already exist in the field and learn from those to increase the effectiveness of your program. Let’s not reinvent the wheel here. If you do decide to proceed with an RCT, be really clear on what your model is and is not. And then be prepared to add temporary capacity during the study, particularly for recruitment, program observation and support. It takes a lot of internal and external communication to preserve relationships while also having a valid RCT. </p><p>There's a larger field question about equity—who is able to raise the money to actually conduct these very extensive and expensive studies? It tends to be white-led organizations and philanthropic dollars tend to consolidate to support those proven programs. Too few nonprofits have been proven effective with RCTs—for a host of reasons, including that these studies are cost-prohibitive for most organizations and that they strain community relations. And most RCT-proven models are difficult and expensive to scale.</p><p>However, just because an organization has not been proven effective with an RCT should not mean that it is prohibited from attracting game-changing investment.  If there were a more rigorous way for organizations to truly demonstrate being evidenced-based (not just a well-written and research-cited proposal paragraph), perhaps there would be a way to bring more community-based solutions to scale. With that approach, we could begin to solve challenges at the magnitude that they exist.<br></p>How Can Research Help Design More Effective Youth Programs?https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/How-Can-Research-Help-Design-More-Effective-Youth-Programs.aspx2021-03-31T04:00:00ZAn afterschool program CEO reflects on the risks and rewards of intensive program evaluations
Getting Started on Building Audiences for the ArtsGP0|#8056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be;L0|#08056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be|Building Audiences for the Arts;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​“Arts organizations are looking to connect with more audiences in more ways than they ever have before….So how do we do that?” With those words, Robert Sandla, editor in chief of the League of American Orchestras’ Symphony magazine, opened a recent webinar on resources to help arts organizations that want to tackle audience building. </p><p>Hosted by the League with panelists from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Chamber Music America and Dance U.S.A., the webinar described and explained how to use a range of articles, videos, reports and other materials that cover audience building from a number of angles. The resources, all developed by Wallace as part of its work over the years in the arts and offered free of charge, include articles from Wallace’s most recent undertaking, the Building Audiences for Sustainability initiative. These stories, provided in written and video format, examine the particular audience-building questions and efforts to answer them from initiative participants including <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/ballet-austin-building-audiences-for-sustainability.aspx">Ballet Austin</a>, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/can-the-citys-boom-mean-new-audiences-for-seattle-symphony.aspx">Seattle Symphony</a> and <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/world-music-crasharts-tests-new-format-new-name-to-draw-new-audiences.aspx?utm_source=The+Wallace+Foundation&utm_campaign=4a7246312d-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_03_08_08_48&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_59ab24ca7b-4a7246312d-">World Music/CRASHarts</a>. The webinar presenters also noted key points from earlier reports, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/the-road-to-results-effective-practices-for-building-arts-audiences.aspx"><em>The</em> <em>Road to Results</em></a> and <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/taking-out-the-guesswork.aspx"><em>Taking Out the Guesswork</em></a>, which highlight strategies for reaching new audiences and deepening relationships with current ones. </p><p>There’s one particularly welcome lesson for arts organizations of any size or discipline from this body of work: Taking action based on accurate data is imperative, but collecting the needed data doesn’t have to cost a fortune.   </p><p>You can watch the full webinar <a href="http://americanorchestras.adobeconnect.com/pnh28fkpnd10/?launcher=false&fcsContent=true&pbMode=normal&smartPause=true" target="_blank">here</a>.<br></p>Getting Started on Building Audiences for the Artshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Getting-Started-on-Building-Audiences-for-the-Arts.aspx2019-05-01T04:00:00ZYour 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.
Pandemic Ups Game on Scenario Planning in The ArtsGP0|#8056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be;L0|#08056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be|Building Audiences for the Arts;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​As the COVID-19 pandemic and national reckoning with racial justice continue, arts and culture organizations find themselves in an utterly transformed, and potentially decimating, landscape. To help organizations make their way through this unprecedented time—and even envision some silver linings—global strategic and business planning firm AEA Consulting has released a <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/navigating-uncertain-times-a-scenario-planning-toolkit-for-arts-culture-sector.aspx">scenario-planning toolkit</a>. </p><p>Created specifically for the arts sector, the toolkit describes four possible scenarios for the pandemic’s course, and people’s behavior in the wake of it, over the next five years. A <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Arts-Organizations-Early-Response-to-COVID-19-Uncertainty-Insights-from-the-Field.aspx">companion report</a> looks at a recent survey of arts leaders and field experts, providing insights that arts organizations can draw on as they undertake their planning. </p><p>The Wallace Blog conducted an email dialogue about the report with <a href="https://aeaconsulting.com/about/people/daniel_payne">Daniel Payne</a>, a managing principal at AEA Consulting. The exchange has been edited for clarity and length. </p><p><strong>Given the extraordinary degree of uncertainty we are facing, scenario planning might seem counterintuitive. Why is it especially helpful in conditions of high uncertainty?</strong></p><p>COVID-19 shortened our planning horizons from years to weeks. Scenario planning presents an opportunity to think beyond near-term predictions and be more imaginative about multiple possible futures—exactly what is needed when the fog of uncertainty makes it hard to clearly determine likely outcomes. It encourages organizations to focus less on individual bets about direction and instead think about core principles (purpose, mission, and service to communities and audiences), consider potential impact in multiple possible outcomes and lay out different paths to achieve success.</p><p>In other words, there is no right future or wrong future in scenario planning. It is a process that helps an organization imagine itself in different future settings and craft a response, perhaps even uncovering previously hidden opportunities. It extends the planning horizon beyond the near-term—whether to reopening, the end of a financial crisis or otherwise—and ensures organizations can best position themselves for success in multiple possibilities in the long term.</p><p><strong>What is the difference between scenario planning and “strategic planning” exercises—what are the pros and cons of each, especially when uncertainty is so high?</strong></p><p>Scenario planning and strategic planning are related to one another in many ways. One way to think about scenario planning is as a form of long-range strategic planning that emphasizes an understanding of the wider environment that you are operating in. It also turns out that some of the weaknesses that we see in traditional strategic planning processes can be mitigated by scenario planning. So, rather than thinking of them as either-or, you can think of them as yes-and, and consider adding a scenario planning process to your next round of strategic planning.    </p><p>One of the cons often said about strategic planning is the plan can be seen as a rigid direction toward a three-year or five-year horizon that may become irrelevant when the context shifts in six months or one year. Scenario planning offers a counter to that, both prompting people for more flexibility in their consideration of the future and providing a systematic way to find commonalities in those possibilities to create more solid footing for a plan. In contrast, one of the potential cons to scenario planning is that it becomes too abstract, and you end up without clear actionable outcomes. But a good strategic planning process would provide a framework to take the outputs from scenario planning and then develop action steps and implementation plans, track financial impacts and other resource needs, and create the tools to measure whether you are achieving the desired impact. Neither are a magic bullet, but in concert (and with continued attention and evaluation), they can help prepare organizations to advance their mission, no matter what may be next.</p><p><strong>Though each of the tool’s four scenarios presents a very different future, are there any commonalities among them that organizations might prepare for now?</strong></p><p>While we would say there are no absolute certainties, there are certainly a number of common themes that you can find if you were to sit in each of the four futures that we’ve identified in the toolkit. We highlighted a number of these in the overview document—often these are related to the impacts of longer-term trends in demographics or advances in science and technology. For example, one common theme we highlight is an increased focus on racial equity and social justice: beyond the moral imperative itself, most future projections show the U.S. becoming a majority-minority country sometime in the 2040s. It’s going to become an increasingly critical issue simply so that arts organizations can engage the audience.</p><p>There are other commonalities that deal more with the likelihood of increasing uncertainty and volatility—for example, a need for the sector to better engage with and manage mental health impacts. There are also potential impacts of this in how the sector creates the physical spaces it uses—to increase flexibility to deal with the possibilities of continued distancing, but also to increase their openness to create a renewed sense of welcome. And we will need to rethink how all spaces can be managed to mitigate the effects of the climate crisis. These are trends that already existed in many new cultural spaces, but they seem to become more urgent no matter the future scenario. </p><p><strong>In what ways can scenario planning go wrong—or at least fall into traps—and how can these potential pitfalls be avoided?</strong></p><p>One way that scenario planning can go wrong is embedded in the name itself—to spend too much time with the scenarios and not enough time thinking about their implications for an organization. We’ve tried to emphasize the need to make this work actionable through the materials, but for some, there’s a rabbit hole of spending so much time and energy crafting those different futures. We hope the toolkit can help that by providing these four future scenarios, so that the focus can move more quickly to their implications. However, we know there’s no one size fits all answer, and different organizations may have different contexts to emphasize or specific situations they want to address in the scenarios.</p><p>Another common challenge is spending too much time and energy on one preferred future—whether because that is the future seen as most likely or because there is some preferred outcome with in it. One way we suggest dealing with that is to make sure that you bring together a diverse group of participants for the process—diverse in backgrounds and experiences, but also bringing voices to the table that may be newer to an organization’s strategic process. It can be a great opportunity to bring in a board member who recently joined or a member of your community that you don’t get to speak with enough.</p><p><strong>What is an example of a perspective that doing scenario planning opened up for you?</strong><br> One thing this process has opened our eyes to—not entirely new at all, but certainly something this highlights in a significant way—is the array of skills an organization needs to be able to manage their future direction. We built this toolkit after talking to a wide range of arts leaders for the work discussed in <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/arts-organizations-early-response-to-covid-19-uncertainty-insights-from-the-field.aspx">Arts Organizations’ Early Response to COVID-19 Uncertainty: Insights from the Field</a>. There was a wide range of skills these leaders discussed as critical to moving forward—from data analysis, digital expertise, business modeling and core leadership training to, yes, scenario planning resources—and that doesn’t even get into the skills needed to produce most organization’s core programs. It is going to take a diverse but coordinated set of people to achieve success.</p><p>And more directly related to the scenarios, one thing that constantly popped out to me in creating the scenarios and using them in workshops with several organizations is how significant the digital component of arts and culture is likely to be, and how far behind most of the arts and culture sector is there.</p><p><strong>What are alternative ways other than scenario planning to think systematically about the future?</strong></p><p>If you search for “future thinking” or “strategic foresight,” there are lots of lots of different methods that you will come across, ranging from relatively straightforward methods like prediction games and markets to the <a href="http://www.millennium-project.org/publications-2/futures-research-methodology-version-3-0/">highly idiosyncratic (and usually trademarked!)</a>. Others might suggest the Tarot, I Ching and spin-the-bottle as popular strategies! One thing that we do like about scenario planning is that it does seem to be readily linked to creative and imaginative outputs that may be familiar to arts and cultural organizations. You can take the futures identified in your scenarios and turn them into a sort of science fiction. We’ve seen organizations illustrate them graphically, imagine future situations as one-act plays or even turn them into choreography. It’s a great way to engage teams in an exercise that is outside their normal daily work, too.<br></p><p>For more on scenario planning and the future of the arts see<a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Reimagining-the-Future-of-the-Arts-a-Webinar-Series-from-The-Wallace-Foundation-Session-3.aspx"> this panel discussion ​</a>featuring Payne and others, part of Wallace's <em>Reimaginging the Future of The Arts</em> series. <br></p> Pandemic Ups Game on Scenario Planning in The Artshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Pandemic-Ups-Game-on-Scenario-Planning-in-The-Arts.aspx2020-11-20T05:00:00ZResearcher/Author of new toolkit and report seeks to help arts and culture organizations add scenario planning to their strategic toolbox
Keeping Kids Learning and Connected this FallGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​In response to the coronavirus pandemic last March, schools across the country closed their doors and pivoted quickly to distance learning. School and district leaders scrambled to distribute paper packets, devices and mobile hotspots, as well as to get students connected to free or inexpensive broadband internet. Inequities became apparent almost immediately as many students faced challenges accessing online classes. </p><p>With many schools now starting the new year in a hybrid or fully digital model, we took a look at how school leaders are building on lessons learned from the spring, testing out innovative approaches to digital learning and ensuring that students, particularly those who are most vulnerable, have what they need to be successful. </p><p><strong>The digital divide is not a new phenomenon</strong> </p><p>The digital divide—also known as “the homework gap”—existed long before the pandemic. A 2019 Pew Research Center study found that a third of rural Americans said they did not have a broadband internet connection at home. Ownership of desktop or laptop computers among rural Americans has only risen slightly since 2008. A Pew Research Center analysis of 2015 U.S. Census Bureau data showed that one in five school-aged children do not have high-speed internet in their home; that number increases to one in three when focused on children from low-income households. </p><p>Many district leaders, like Superintendent Robert Runcie in Broward County, Fla., had been working to eliminate this gap over the past several years and were therefore better positioned for the shift to distance learning last March. (Broward is one of six districts that participated in The Wallace Foundation’s Principal Supervisor Initiative.) The district had invested in infrastructure including a single sign-on system for teachers and staff; a learning management system called Canvas, which allowed for blended learning and sharing of ideas and curricula across the district; and a decreased ratio of students to computers, shifting from 6:1 to 1:1, effectively. </p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read 993de807-2551-40a5-927c-68767f169871" id="div_993de807-2551-40a5-927c-68767f169871" unselectable="on"></div><div id="vid_993de807-2551-40a5-927c-68767f169871" unselectable="on" style="display:none;"></div></div><p><strong>Making the call this fall</strong> </p><p>The unprecedented crisis and limited federal guidance meant that district leaders faced complex decisions about whether or how to open their buildings. <br> “And that was, in some cases, at the expense of time and energy focused on making virtual learning as good as it can be,” said Allison Socol, assistant director of P-12 policy at The Education Trust (one of Wallace’s communications partners) and co-author of a report on promising digital learning practices from districts across the country.<br></p><p>Runcie started planning at the end of last spring for the very real possibility school would still be virtual in the fall. His team worked to understand best practices and recommendations for re-opening from other school systems across the country and around the world. At the time, infection rates in Florida were increasing and he knew his district was nowhere near ready to re-open in person. Schools opened in August with 100 percent virtual learning. </p><p><strong>Lessons learned so far this fall </strong></p><p>In Broward, with devices distributed and access to internet supported by partnerships with Comcast and AT&T, Runcie turned his attention toward teachers. <br> “We wanted to make sure that there was a consistent level of high-quality education experiences online this year,” he said. </p><p>His district spent the summer training teachers to be more confident and effective using the online platform and tools. They found that some teachers had already risen to “master expert” level when it came to using these tools, and tapped their newfound expertise to help build capacity of others.</p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read cbf51070-8093-4f8c-8540-c5f5f9b8a905" id="div_cbf51070-8093-4f8c-8540-c5f5f9b8a905"></div><div id="vid_cbf51070-8093-4f8c-8540-c5f5f9b8a905" style="display:none;"></div></div><p>Despite the number of challenges school leaders face, Socol notes that school and district leaders have “really rise(n) to the occasion … and marshalled all of their resources and all of their people to meet the needs of students who are most struggling.” </p><p>A report Socol co-wrote in collaboration with Digital Promise, “<a href="https://s3-us-east-2.amazonaws.com/edtrustmain/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/06163247/10-Questions-for-Equity-Advocates-to-Ask-About-Distance-Learning-During-COVID-19-May-2020.pdf">With Schools Closed and Distance Learning the Norm, How is Your District Meeting the Needs of Its Students</a>?,” compiles innovative strategies and best practices districts are using to improve digital learning, particularly for their most vulnerable students. Some highlights include:</p><ul><li>New Orleans distributed tens of thousands of Chromebooks, making students experiencing homelessness a priority</li><li>New York City Public Schools partnered with Apple and T-Mobile to provide LTE-enabled iPads to students</li><li>Rock Hill Public Schools in South Carolina provided curbside IT support outside of school buildings</li><li>Highline Public Schools in Washington state and Austin school districts sent wifi-equipped buses to apartment complexes and neighborhoods where students struggled with internet access</li><li>In Phoenix Union High School District, district leaders instituted a program in which an adult contacts every student every day to ensure they and their families have what they need </li><li>In New Orleans and San Francisco, free student support hubs involve adults besides classroom teachers in helping students with digital learning in small group settings</li></ul><p>Socol notes that sharing these ideas across state borders is an important role that state leaders can play. </p><p>“We would love to see state leaders think about how to collect information about what districts are doing, to track data on the success of these new initiatives…and then to help share those practices with other districts that are still trying to figure out how to help students learn in this moment,” she said.</p><p><strong>Prioritizing historically underserved students </strong></p><p>Despite school leaders’ best efforts to equip students with the devices they need to participate in digital learning, there is more work to be done, particularly for students of color and those from low-income households. </p><p>“There are so many other challenges besides just having a computer or an iPad or the internet,” Socol points out. “Students need a quiet space in order to participate and engage in online instruction. They need access to support if their internet’s down…. Younger students may need an adult there to help them access the instruction online.” </p><p>Runcie is still focused on helping Broward students who are struggling with basic needs, who may be left at home alone at a young age or who may be facing abuse. Part of Broward’s distance learning planning includes ensuring that social services are maintained. Since June, Runcie reports that social workers have provided 160,000 interventions in response to over 36,000 referrals. </p><p>Socol encourages school and district leaders to focus their efforts and energies on thinking of those students most underserved by the public school system. Some districts, such as Arlington Public Schools in Virginia, are planning to phase in in-person learning, starting with students with disabilities, English-language learners and those from low-income families. </p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read 4b2e35fe-f919-4974-b122-ce83c3732288" id="div_4b2e35fe-f919-4974-b122-ce83c3732288"></div><div id="vid_4b2e35fe-f919-4974-b122-ce83c3732288" style="display:none;"></div></div><p><strong>Advice for other school leaders </strong></p><p>Communication and transparency are at the top of Runcie’s priority list this fall, and he urges other district leaders to focus on the same.  </p><p>“Communicate, communicate, communicate. Do it with integrity and be transparent, straight up with the community, what challenges you’re facing, what the approaches are and make sure you’re listening to them,” Runcie said. </p><p>His district conducted three major surveys of families. They held town halls and forums, partnering closely with the PTA, the special needs student advisory council and the school board. </p><p>Socol echoed the need to communicate regularly and honestly, adding a call for data collection. She hopes to see schools and districts conducting diagnostic assessments at the beginning of the school year to understand where students are and what they need to make up for lost instructional time. “And we need to see continued communication and transparency from school systems about how [distance learning] is going,” she added. </p><p>Finally, Runcie would like to see his fellow superintendents invest in technology, which includes both infrastructure and training for teachers and staff. </p><p>“Digital learning is something I believe is going to be here with us for the long run,” he said, noting that many children may have underlying health conditions or live in multigenerational households, factors that could keep them at home even if schools reopen their doors for in-person learning. “I think it’s something that you’ve got to commit to do, because I think it’s going to be part of our portfolio of offerings and the type of flexibility that we need to have in public education going forward.”</p>Keeping Kids Learning and Connected this Fallhttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Keeping-Kids-Learning-and-Connected-this-Fall.aspx2020-09-29T04:00:00ZAs the new school year kicks off—mostly virtually—how far have districts come since March in providing a strong online learning experience for students?
“Lean on Me”: The Power of Principal Mentorship and SupportGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Given the important role principals play in school success, how can districts promote their effectiveness, especially in improving teaching? A new article in ASCD’s <em>Educational Leadership</em> magazine details how district-led efforts to increase on-the-job supports like mentoring and coaching are helping principals become better leaders.</p><p>The article, <a href="http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar19/vol76/num06/Lean-on-Me.aspx">“Lean on Me,”</a> is part of an issue devoted to <a href="http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar19/vol76/num06/toc.aspx">“The Power of Instructional Leadership”</a> in ASCD’s flagship publication, which reaches a global audience of educators dedicated to achieving excellence in learning, teaching and leading. <br> </p>On-the-job support for principals has <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/support-for-instructional-leadership.aspx">traditionally been a low priority</a>, but districts are increasingly viewing supports like mentorship as critical to promoting instructional leadership, the article notes. In 2011, six large districts committed themselves to improving on-the-job support for principals as part of Wallace’s Principal Pipeline Initiative , and in 2014, Wallace launched the Principal Supervisor Initiative  to support district-led efforts to focus the supervisor role more heavily on improving instruction. “Lean on Me” takes a closer look at how these efforts are playing out in both the pipeline initiative and supervisor effort districts.<div><br></div><div>To read the full article, <a href="http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar19/vol76/num06/Lean-on-Me.aspx">click here</a>.</div><div><br></div><div><em>Above photo: Tommy Welch of Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, Georgia, one of the principals featured in the story. Photo by Claire Holt.</em><br><br></div>“Lean on Me”: The Power of Principal Mentorship and Supporthttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Lean-on-Me-The-Power-of-Principal-Mentorship-and-Support.aspx2019-03-13T04:00:00ZYour 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.
How Data Systems Can Help Foster Effective School LeadershipGP0|#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.”  </p><p>So begins a “My View” <a href="http://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: 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:5px;width: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.  </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: 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: How School Districts Are Building Leader Tracking Systems to Support Principal Pipelines</em></a>.</p>How Data Systems Can Help Foster Effective School Leadershiphttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Data-Systems-Foster-Effective-School-Leadership.aspx2018-07-02T04:00:00ZWallace’s Nicholas Pelzer Describes the Value of Data for Cultivating Talent
Embracing the Unknown in New Approaches to Principal PreparationGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p> <em>This post is part of a series profiling the University of Connecticut’s efforts to strengthen its principal training program. The university is one of seven institutions participating in Wallace’s University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI), which seeks to help improve training of future principals so they are better prepared to ensure quality instruction and schools. A research effort documenting the universities’ efforts is underway. While we await its results, this series describes one university’s work so far.</em></p><p> <em>These posts were planned and researched before the novel coronavirus pandemic spread in the United States. The work they describe predates the pandemic, and may change as a result of it. The University of Connecticut is working to determine the effects of the pandemic on its work and how it will respond to them.</em></p><p>Richard Gonzales, director of the Neag School of Public Education’s University of Connecticut Administrator Preparation Program (UCAPP), <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/A-Road-to-More-Effective-Principals-Begins-in-one-Universitys-Classrooms.aspx">wrote on this blog</a> about the significant changes the program had to take on as part of Wallace’s <a href="/how-we-work/our-work/Pages/School-Leadership.aspx">University Principal Preparation Initiative</a>. Few feel these changes as acutely as the program’s faculty members, who must revamp long-established approaches to fit the program’s new curriculum.</p><p>Six of these faculty members met earlier this year at the UConn Hartford campus in the historic Hartford Times Building to discuss changes in the program thus far, elements that appear to work well, elements that present some challenges and directions the program may take in days and years ahead. Wallace’s editorial staff had the opportunity to listen in and report back. </p><p> <strong>No course is an island</strong></p><p>UCAPP, like many principal preparation programs, was once a collection of courses with few explicit connections among them. Students would study one course every semester, each focused on different regulatory requirements, with little discussion of how topics covered in different courses could interact. The curriculum is now more interconnected, said Erin Murray, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning in Simsbury Public Schools who teaches courses on instructional leadership at UConn. Students revisit key concepts of leadership throughout the program to ensure they can apply them in a variety of different situations.</p><p>“From what was a more isolated, topical approach to instruction,” Murray said, “we've gone to a more integrated crossover opportunity that topics will re-emerge throughout the two-year program.”</p><p>Students now complete two courses every semester, all of which have moved from a focus on narrow topics to one on broad competencies of leadership. A course that was once limited to supervision and teacher evaluation, for example, is now part of a broader set of courses that teach talent management, including recruitment, retention and team leadership. Three strands of leadership—instructional leadership, organizational leadership and talent management—are now woven together, with courses interspersed throughout the two years of the program. </p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read a5216f60-1baf-4848-a2ae-9a62e66969a3" id="div_a5216f60-1baf-4848-a2ae-9a62e66969a3" unselectable="on"></div><div id="vid_a5216f60-1baf-4848-a2ae-9a62e66969a3" unselectable="on" style="display:none;"></div></div><p>The change requires faculty to work out how their courses fit into a larger program, said Howard Thiery, superintendent of the Harwinton-Burlington regional school district who teaches courses on organizational leadership. “Each of us is trying to deliver on this high-quality experience within our course and figure out how it integrates,” he says. “Are we delivering on the integration? I don’t know yet. It’s early.”</p><p>As an example, Thiery pointed to two courses: one on organizational leadership, which he teaches, and another on instructional leadership. Similar courses would once have been taught in different semesters, but his course now immediately follows the other in the same semester. “The two courses in a semester come literally back to back,” he said. “[Students] end one course on a Monday and the following Monday they’re in a new course.” </p><p>His course work must now gel with the one that now precedes it. “I couldn’t ignore the fact that they had just come from [that] course,” he said. “I had to show them that although these are different strengths in our program, instructional leadership and organizational leadership in the actual practitioner are integrated daily. One impacts the other; they are part of a system.”</p><p>When his students present their work on learning targets and assignments, for example, he tries to connect it to school culture. “If these are your learning targets for kids,” he asks his students, “what does that say about your school values? How did you engage parents?” </p><p>The juxtaposition of courses forces him to keep the bigger picture in mind, he said. “I was just reacting to where my students were,” he added. “It wasn't so much by design as by demand.”</p><p> <strong>More work for instructors…</strong></p><p>The new setup places many other demands on faculty. Chief among them, instructors say, at least while they iron out the kinks, is communication. Richard Gonzales, director of UCAPP who also teaches courses on organizational leadership, said that instructors must share much more information with each other to stay in sync. “We had talked plenty,” he said, speaking of previous iterations of the program, “but we'd never exchanged our plan for the sessions. That's a noticeable shift”</p><p>Yet more may be necessary, said Kelly Lyman, superintendent of schools for Mansfield Public Schools who teaches instructional leadership. “It seems like there’s going to need to be more opportunity for us as instructors to understand the whole two-year program and what’s taught where so that we can help make those connections,” she said.</p><p>Thiery agreed. “What did you do right before me and what did you do right before her,” he said. “Finding the mechanisms for that are going to be key.”</p><p>The new curriculum also requires instructors to reduce their reliance on rubrics and checklists to develop course syllabi. “Looking at the competencies,” said Lyman, “forces me to think beyond just the content of course.”  </p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read 3295a12b-373e-4f79-985c-2b1402c0c24d" id="div_3295a12b-373e-4f79-985c-2b1402c0c24d"></div><div id="vid_3295a12b-373e-4f79-985c-2b1402c0c24d" style="display:none;"></div></div><p>Broader course guidelines could help instructors make this shift, said Charles “Chip” Dumais, who teaches courses on instructional leadership and serves as executive director of Cooperative Educational Services, a nonprofit that supports area schools. “A rubric that is based on the competencies—that includes an element of connections to the other work they've done—supports what we're asking them to do in the program,” he said.</p><p>Instructors must also become much better versed with their own material, Gonzales suggested. They must now examine their classes from many diverse perspectives and cannot fall back on standard practices that had changed little in many years. “We were students of our own content more this time around,” he said. “We re-read certain things, we assigned new things for the first time … and we were much more attuned to the preparation.” </p><p>That extra preparation is also necessary to meet the pace of the new curriculum, which puts students through two courses per semester instead of one. “We’re a little bit more focused on staying on schedule now,” Gonzales said.</p><p>Still, said Dumais, the quicker pace and extra effort could help instructors bring more value for their students. “If all of talent management is condensed into one semester,” he said, “it really doesn't allow you to do all the things that you'd need to do.”</p><p> <strong>… could lead to benefits for students</strong></p><p>Instructors hope that their extra work will help give students a more complete picture of the principalship. “I experienced the balance,” said Eric Bernstein, assistant professor in educational leadership. “Students are doing more than one thing at the same time.”</p><p>That cross-pollination of ideas, Murray suggested, is especially important given the breadth of experience of UCAPP students. “The backgrounds that the people come to in the program are so vastly different,” she said. “You could have a school psychologist, a guidance counselor, school counselor, first-grade teacher, a special-ed teacher. To integrate it in this redesign is extremely powerful to get them to better understand the full picture of what leadership is going to look like for them.”</p><p>It also keeps students engaged, said Thiery. In previous versions of the curriculum, students who had greater experience with school culture may have had to take a back seat for a year while courses focused on curriculum. That is no longer so. “We immediately hopped [from a course on curriculum] into a school culture and climate course,” he said. “And the school psychologist and school counselor all of a sudden had legs way up on many of the other students in the class. They got see their own value and their own strengths.”</p><p>The redesign could also make students’ internships more meaningful. Lyman suggested that the previous program design could often limit the work students did as interns. “It used to be, well, don't do anything on curriculum until you get to semester four, because that's when we teach it,” she said. </p><p>“Now,” she added, “I'm hoping that there's a little more opportunity in a more natural way for them to make those connections.”</p><p>Ultimately, said Thiery, the new structure shifts from academic requirements and forces instructors to help build students’ professional skills. “One of the biggest shifts we have to do is get them into a professional mindset,” he said, “which gets out of the ‘how many pages, what font, how many references’ mode of instruction.” The new design requires him to focus on larger competencies. “Here's your standard, here's your professional competency, here's what it would look like in practice,” he said. “It is about being a practitioner.”</p><p> <strong>It’s not easy being green</strong></p><p>New approaches bring many potential benefits, instructors suggest. But the program has much to learn and glitches to fix before it can claim success. Administrators are constantly collecting feedback from students, instructors, school districts and other partners to ensure it is on the right path. </p><p>“The first time we're doing it it’s going to be clunky,” Bernstein said, suggesting UCAPP must be open to criticism as it tests its new waters. But, he said, it must also be judicious about the feedback it chooses to act upon. “How do you differentiate between being responsive to the students’ concerns and letting something work before you stop trying it?” he asked.</p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read 6598adf6-fd1e-43cc-ad07-b2b014740c9a" id="div_6598adf6-fd1e-43cc-ad07-b2b014740c9a"></div><div id="vid_6598adf6-fd1e-43cc-ad07-b2b014740c9a" style="display:none;"></div></div><p>“How do we take our reflections and feedback and figure out what is structurally deficient,” added Thiery, “and what is actually developmental on the student's end?”</p><p>One concern is the amount of time the program demands from its students. “The classes meet weekly for students who are full time educators,” said Lyman. “They've already had some leadership experiences in their school or district and now we're asking them every week to meet with us. I just wonder about the absorption rate and the application.”</p><p>Some wondered whether this pace is causing students to brush over essential elements of the program, especially the core assessment, a measure of the extent to which students meet established standards of school leadership. Students are expected to check progress against the core assessments throughout their time in the program, but some instructors worry that these assessments get buried under other demands. </p><p>“The pace is rapid and I think that that might be more of an issue for us in the design than for them in the work,” said Dumais. UCAPP may have to work harder, he suggests, to demonstrate the importance of each of its components, including the core assessment. “In order for the core assignment to be parallel [to curriculums and internships,]” he said, “we have to make the conditions for the core assignment to be parallel.”</p><p>Faculty members are soliciting and receiving feedback from students and partners to respond to such concerns. “It seems that there's something about the way this [iteration of the program] is working, or the way that we're approaching it, that we're listening more,” said Gonzales. </p><p>“If you listen to what you've said today,” he said to his colleagues, “there's a greater awareness of what you know and don't know. We understand what is happening or not happening, or what needs to be done, more than we did eight years ago.”</p><p> <strong>Do try this at home</strong></p><p>While the results of the work are still unclear, each of the instructors had advice for others who may embark on similar initiatives. <br> Faculty members can be key, said Lyman. “Engage faculty members as frequently as you can from the start to really build the understanding,” she said.  “This program would not be successful if people in it, teaching it, working within it, don't understand the big picture of their program.”</p><p>An experienced partner could help, said Murray. The University of Illinois at Chicago had previously redesigned its own principal training program and helped guide UCAPP, a support Murray thought was critical. “The collaboration we’ve had with University of Illinois was exceptional,” she said. “Having outside people talking with us about other work that they've done and looking at other programs I think was extremely powerful.”</p><p>Don’t be scared of mistakes, said Thiery. “Even in the best of planning and design circumstances, where you have all the time in the world, when you finally push the go switch, there's still going to be this feeling that you're making it up,” he said. “The checking in with students more often comes from our own acknowledgement that we're building the plane and flying it at the same time. … I think to some degree that intensity is making us better. You have to be willing to do it and not be afraid of it.”</p><p>Stay focused, adds Bernstein. Equity and the student’s identity as a leader were the two guiding principles for the program, clear targets he found helpful. “These two things should be thought about in all of the ways that we're designing every piece,” he said. “Not these 12 or 18 or 36 things. Not these broad general notions, but these two very specific things.”</p><p>Students come first, said Dumias. “I don't think that the first thing that comes to mind when people ask about great teaching is college or graduate school. Things that are good for students, they become slightly inconvenient for teachers,” he said. “I think that this program is a perfect example of how this teaching staff are changing their perspective on how to change the structure so it best meets the needs of students.”</p><p>And design is just the beginning, said Gonzales. “Don't underestimate or discount implementation as part of the redesign,” he said, adding: “It's the first cycle of implementation and the adjustments based on lessons learned … that's part of redesign. Make sure that you plan for that.”</p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Embracing-the-Unknown-in-New-Approaches-to-Principal-Preparation/UCAPP-faculty-tips.jpg" alt="UCAPP-faculty-tips.jpg" style="margin:5px;" />Read the previous post in our UConn series: <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/taking-principal-training-to-the-real-world.aspx">Taking Principal Training to the Real World</a>. </p> <p></p>Embracing the Unknown in New Approaches to Principal Preparationhttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Embracing-the-Unknown-in-New-Approaches-to-Principal-Preparation.aspx2020-06-09T04:00:00ZUniversity of Connecticut faculty members reflect on adaptations they made to strengthen their principal preparation program
5 Reports and Tools to Help Guide Your Summer Learning ProgramGP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​ <p>​​It’s been said thousands of times but bears repeating: the summer of 2021 promises to be a most unusual one as schools, districts, nonprofits, parents and others roll up their sleeves to help counteract some of the learning losses of the pandemic—and simply bring children together again safely. Then again, what could be more normal than corralling a group of children in summer, whether to learn how to multiply fractions or swing a bat? <br></p><p>As Summer Learning Week begins, we’ve pulled together an unofficial list of Wallace’s Top 5 Summer Learning Publications. A majority of the research stems from the experiences of five urban school districts and their partners who formed Wallace’s <a href="/how-we-work/our-work/pages/summer-learning.aspx">National Summer Learning Project</a> (NSLP) from 2011 through 2016. While the most current findings and popular tools headline the list, there is much more to be discovered in the <a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/pages/default.aspx">Summer Learning section</a> of Wallace’s Knowledge Center, all of which can be easily downloaded free of charge.<br> <br> </p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-to-work-on-summer-learning-2nd-ed.aspx"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/5-Reports-and-Tools-to-Help-Guide-Your-Summer-Learning-Program/Getting-to-Work-on-Summer-Learning-2nd-ed-a.jpg" alt="Getting-to-Work-on-Summer-Learning-2nd-ed-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin:5px;color:#555555;font-size:14px;width:200px;height:286px;" /></a> <span style="color:#555555;font-size:14px;"></span> <div><strong>1.</strong><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-to-work-on-summer-learning-2nd-ed.aspx">The </a> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-to-work-on-summer-learning-2nd-ed.aspx">First Stop for Summer Learning Practitioners</a> </div><p>Based on the RAND Corporation’s evaluations from the NSLP, <em>Getting to Work on Summer Learning: Recommended Practices for Success, 2nd ed </em>addresses questions about how to implement a high-quality summer learning program and offers evidence-based recommendations around such topics as timing, hiring and training, and how to recruit students. For example, do you know the recommended month to begin planning a summer program? (If you guessed January, gold star.) Many more specific recommendations and guidance await your perusal. <br><br></p> ​ <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/every-summer-counts-a-longitudinal-analysis-of-outcomes-from-the-national-summer-learning-project.aspx"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/5-Reports-and-Tools-to-Help-Guide-Your-Summer-Learning-Program/Every-Summer-Counts-A-Longitudinal-Analysis-a.jpg" alt="Every-Summer-Counts-A-Longitudinal-Analysis-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:287px;" /></a><strong>2.</strong> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/every-summer-counts-a-longitudinal-analysis-of-outcomes-from-the-national-summer-learning-project.aspx">Running a High-Quality Program Shows Meaningful Results</a><br> <em>Every Summer Counts: A Longitudinal Analysis of Outcomes from the National Summer Learning Project </em>also stems from RAND and the NSLP and finds both short-term and long-term benefits among students who consistently attended voluntary five- to six-week summer learning programs. The largest and longest study of its kind, the research confirms previous studies finding that after the first summer high-attenders outperformed control group members in math, and after the second summer, high-attenders saw advantages in math, language arts and social-emotional skills. This report shows that even three years after the second summer, while academic benefits had decreased in magnitude and were not statistically significant, they remained educationally meaningful. All of this suggests that summer programs can be an important component in how school districts support learning and skill development, particularly for children from low-income families who may face widening achievement and opportunity gaps in any summer, let alone this one post-COVID.<div><br><p></p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/toolkit/pages/default.aspx"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/5-Reports-and-Tools-to-Help-Guide-Your-Summer-Learning-Program/toolkit.final-WEB-titles.jpg" alt="toolkit.final-WEB-titles.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:200px;" /></a><strong>3.</strong> <a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/toolkit/pages/default.aspx">A Hands-On How-To Guide for High-Quality Summer Learning</a><br> This online resource hub houses more than 50 evidence-based tools, templates and resources used successfully by NSLP’s districts and their partners. Additional resources created by field experts round out the offerings, all of which are aligned to RAND’s key research findings and contain guidance for how to use them. Each section of the toolkit includes a timeline for when you should start thinking about the various components of planning and design. Maybe you’re late to the toolkit for this summer, but fear not, you can begin many of the pre-planning and logistical steps for next summer this fall. <br><br></p><p><a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Out-of-School-Time-Programs-This-Summer.aspx"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/5-Reports-and-Tools-to-Help-Guide-Your-Summer-Learning-Program/Learning-Heroes-Finding-Passion-a.jpg" alt="Learning-Heroes-Finding-Passion-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:113px;" /></a><strong>4.</strong> <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Out-of-School-Time-Programs-This-Summer.aspx">What Parents Want from Out-of-School Programs This Summer</a><br> For this recently released study, Edge Research and Learning Heroes surveyed parents of K-8th grade children, out-of-school-time (OST) professionals, field leaders and others to explore the unique role OST programs play in youth development compared with home and school as well as the impact of COVID-19 for this summer and beyond. Among the many nuggets, the researchers found that parents were indeed concerned about the impact of the pandemic, with many expressing fears that their children were struggling academically, socially and emotionally. Overall parents identified three priorities for what they’d like to see summer programming address for their children: their social and emotional health, providing them with physical outdoor activities and helping them discover their passion and purpose. ​​<br><br></p><p><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/evidence-based-considerations-covid-19-reopening-recovery-planning-summer-learning-with-academic-non-academic-activities.aspx"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/5-Reports-and-Tools-to-Help-Guide-Your-Summer-Learning-Program/Wallace-Foundation-Brief-Implement-Considerations-Summer-Learn-w-Annotated-Bib-March-2021-a.jpg" alt="Wallace-Foundation-Brief-Implement-Considerations-Summer-Learn-w-Annotated-Bib-March-2021-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:278px;" />​</a><strong>5.</strong> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/evidence-based-considerations-covid-19-reopening-recovery-planning-summer-learning-with-academic-non-academic-activities.aspx">Federal Funds Are Now Available for Summer Learning</a><br> Complementing parents’ concern for their children’s academic, social and emotional well-being, the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act has made funds available to states and districts to speed up recovery from the effects of the pandemic, including addressing learning loss. In <em>Evidence-based Considerations for COVID-19 Reopening and Recovery Planning: Summer Learning with Academic and Non-Academic Activities, </em>Wallace has distilled evidence from our summer-learning work that may be helpful in informing choices about how to spend those funds, as well as how to implement key strategies. The paper includes an annotated bibliography with links to resources and tools (more than we could fit in this Top 5 list, so it’s a bonus!). ​<br><br></p></div>5 Reports and Tools to Help Guide Your Summer Learning Programhttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/5-Reports-and-Tools-to-Help-Guide-Your-Summer-Learning-Program.aspx2021-07-09T04:00:00ZEverything from planning district-wide summer programs to maximizing resources available under the American Rescue Plan Act—and Wallace’s popular summer learning toolkit
NY Times’ David Brooks Gives a Nod to School PrincipalsGP0|#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://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.’”  </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>NY Times’ David Brooks Gives a Nod to School Principalshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/NY-Times-David-Brooks-Gives-a-Nod-to-School-Principals.aspx2018-03-13T04:00:00ZNY Times’ David Brooks Gives a Nod to School Principals
Principals Matter. So do their Supervisors. Just Ask the States.GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>It’s not the most colorful job title in an era awash with “chief cheerleaders,” “digital prophets” and even “VPs of misc. stuff.” (Thank you Forbes magazine for <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshlinkner/2014/12/04/the-21-most-creative-job-titles/#7c5f9c0d2933">the moniker list</a>.) Still, give “principal supervisor” its due. You know immediately what the person holding this title does: oversee school principals. </p><p>That would suggest the principal supervisor holds a pretty important job. After all, principals are <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/how-leadership-influences-student-learning.aspx">key to improving schools</a>.  Ideally, then, supervisors would spend their time supporting their principals in ways that improve teaching and learning. </p><p>For years, however, this hasn’t been the case, as principal supervisors are too often saddled with job descriptions that expect at least as much attention to handling operations and ensuring compliance with regulations as helping principals make classrooms hum. It’s a function, in part, of the number of people supervisors typically oversee: about 24 principals, when a job focused on principal support would, according to a management rule of thumb, be something like half that number.   </p><p>We’ve posted <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/state-efforts-to-strengthen-school-leadership.aspx">a report</a> that offers a small bit of evidence that this may be starting to change, or, at least, that state policymakers are beginning to give the supervisor role a rethink.  The publication looks at the work of about two dozen states involved in an effort (run by the Council of Chief State School Officers and funded by The Wallace Foundation) to help boost school leadership. It details results of a survey of state officials who signed up for the effort, and while the findings are not representative of U.S. states as a whole, they offer insight into what a substantial number of states are thinking about and doing these days when it comes to school leadership. </p><p>The most common concern was boosting mentoring for principals, with 77 percent of respondents naming this a “current or emerging priority” for their states. But close behind, at 75 percent, came two other activities: professional development programs for new principals <em>and</em>—this is what caught our eye—“improving principal supervisor practices in the support and development of principals.” Moreover, the respondents made clear that this represented a big departure for them; only 6 percent labelled it an area of “past progress or accomplishment.” </p><p>The report also makes clear that some states have taken steps to help supervisors in their work with principals.  Kentucky’s optional evaluation system, for example, includes a framework for supervisors to work with each principal on an annual professional growth plan through site visits and formal reviews. In Connecticut, the state and its superintendent’s association provide an executive coaching program that includes a focus on support for principals in struggling schools. And Idaho trains superintendents and principal teams in how to carry out its principal evaluation system. </p><p>States have yet, however, to budge when it comes to the “principal supervisor” title.  Don’t expect “top school leadership evangelist” on business cards anytime soon.  </p><p align="center">****</p><p>Want to find out more about principal supervisors?  Wallace is currently supporting a group of school districts that are recrafting the job, and we’ve <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/principal-supervisors.aspx">published a number of reports</a> about the issue. </p> Principals Matter. So do their Supervisors. Just Ask the States.https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/principal-supervisors.aspx2017-12-06T05:00:00ZA survey suggests U.S. states want to boost the principal supervisor job.
Learning to Navigate the Uncertainties of School LeadershipGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p> <em>This post is part of a series profiling the University of Connecticut’s efforts to strengthen its principal training program. The university is one of seven institutions participating in Wallace’s University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI), which seeks to help improve training of future principals so they are better prepared to ensure quality instruction and schools. A research effort documenting the universities’ efforts is underway. While we await its results, this series describes one university’s work so far.</em></p><p> <em>These posts were planned and researched before the novel coronavirus pandemic spread in the United States. The work they describe predates the pandemic and may change as a result of it. The University of Connecticut is working to determine the effects of the pandemic on its work and how it will respond to them.</em></p><p>There are many facets to a principal training program and many stakeholders the program must satisfy. Over the past few weeks, this blog series has profiled several of the players who have helped shape one such program, the University of Connecticut Administrator Preparation Program (UCAPP). Previous posts have described how UCAPP has attempted to engage such stakeholders, including <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/embracing-the-unknown-in-new-approaches-to-principal-preparation.aspx">faculty members​</a> and <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/it-takes-a-village-to-train-an-effective-principal.aspx">district partners</a>, in its efforts to improve its curriculum and practical experiences. </p><p>But what of the program’s students? With so many interests shaping its principal preparation program, how well is UCAPP addressing the needs of its students, who many consider UCAPP’s primary stakeholders? UCAPP connected the Wallace editorial team with four members of its class of 2021, the first class to train in the current iteration of the pr​ogram, so we could seek out their views about the new program. </p><p>It’s still early in their tenure—they started the program in the summer of 2019 and were beginning the third of six semesters when Wallace interviewed them—but many are already noticing benefits of the program, especially the program’s curriculum, its internships and its new assessments.</p><p> <strong>A more connected curriculum</strong></p><p>Sherry Farmer, a teacher of more than 20 years with a background in special education, was drawn to UCAPP in part because of the opportunities it offers to ensure equity in schools, especially for children with special needs. Her depth of experience with such children has given her a solid understanding of the ways in which teachers can ensure equity in individual classrooms. But teachers need larger, schoolwide systems to support that endeavor, and UCAPP is helping her figure out how to establish them.</p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read e61e5486-de8f-4735-a2d3-da67e21ba4c8" id="div_e61e5486-de8f-4735-a2d3-da67e21ba4c8" unselectable="on"></div><div id="vid_e61e5486-de8f-4735-a2d3-da67e21ba4c8" unselectable="on" style="display:none;"></div></div><p>“[UCAPP has] been very meticulous in helping us understand, piece by piece, how important it is to set up the systems within your school,” she said. “To build capacity and build leadership within your school and to allow people to take on roles that you can't take on.”  </p><p>Several courses had to work together to help Farmer appreciate the complexities of that task. An instructional leadership course taught her how she can use data to spot inequities and help teachers address them. An organizational leadership course taught her how to engage parents and communities to establish the expectation of equity throughout the school. And a talent management course, which follows that organizational leadership course, taught her how to ensure that her staff meets such expectations.</p><p>“It's starting to make sense to me how they put the program in place for us,” she said. “I feel like they're building the capacity we need from one area so that we're ready to get to the next area.”</p><p>But a principal’s job is complex. There is much UCAPP must teach its students, from ensuring quality instruction to balancing budgets to managing school politics. Its agenda is packed; every semester, students must complete two six-week courses, each meeting once a week for three and a half hours, and a daylong workshop. </p><p>It’s a busy schedule, says Winallan Columbano, a high-school health and physical education teacher who taught in New York City for 10 years before enrolling in UCAPP. He appreciates the pace on some levels; he says it provides a thorough introduction to Connecticut school systems and familiarizes him with pre-high school instruction. But, he says, the schedule can sometimes feel a bit rushed. </p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read 29f77ba0-7956-4016-b141-756be248f77b" id="div_29f77ba0-7956-4016-b141-756be248f77b" unselectable="on"></div><div id="vid_29f77ba0-7956-4016-b141-756be248f77b" unselectable="on" style="display:none;"></div></div><p>“It’s a little bit short I would say, the six-class sessions,” he said. “By the time you get going with the professor, it’s almost over. So, in that sense, I wish I had a little more time.”</p><p>But another element of UCAPP helps make up for that hectic pace, Columbano says: internships.</p><p> <strong>From theory to practice</strong></p><p>UCAPP internships place each student in an area school with a veteran principal for all six semesters of the program. The student visits that school regularly over two years and helps its principal with leadership responsibilities. The principal, which UCAPP calls a mentor, guides the student through a series of leadership tasks. Meanwhile, a leadership coach, generally a retired principal or a school-district leader, works closely with both student and mentor, advises the student and helps draw connections to concepts covered in class.</p><p>These internships, Columbano says, are helping him apply concepts he may only peripherally encounter in his coursework. “We’re able to apply what we’re learning,” he said. “The work that’s covered in the courses, you’re actually doing that in schools.”</p><p>Kimberly Monroe, who has taught math for 18 years and currently serves as a teacher leader, is relying heavily on that practical experience to prepare herself for the principalship. While her teaching experience is deep, she is in her first year in a leadership role and feels she has much to learn about managing the politics of the principalship. “There may be times when I'll have to balance what the priorities are,” she said, “based on someone else telling me what needs to happen versus what I see as being the most important.”</p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read 04a62037-ffe9-4824-b605-1177cbf11779" id="div_04a62037-ffe9-4824-b605-1177cbf11779"></div><div id="vid_04a62037-ffe9-4824-b605-1177cbf11779" style="display:none;"></div></div><p>UCAPP’s organizational leadership course in the fall of 2019 helped lay the theoretical foundation to help manage such priorities, she said. Observing principals, both in the school in which she teaches and the one in which she is interning, is showing her how that foundation plays out in schools. “I see how they interact with people,” she said. “Listening and getting the full picture and hearing from both sides and looking at best practices, to then make a decision about what they'll ultimately do.”</p><p>“I've already learned several things from my internship principal,” she added, “and I think there's even more that I'll continue to learn.”</p><p>Leadership coaches, a new addition to the program, also help. Monroe said that her work with her coach is helping her build confidence, not just in her internship, but also in her role as a teacher leader. That role requires Monroe to observe and evaluate teachers, a responsibility she approached cautiously, wary of overstepping her bounds. “I want to be invited into your room,” she said of the teachers she has to observe. “I don't want to feel pushy and push my way into your room.”</p><p>Monroe therefore left it up to teachers to schedule time for her observations. Few did, so her UCAPP leadership coach urged her to be more proactive and propose times herself. “That has worked much better,” Monroe said, “It helped me to be a little more forthright with trying to encourage them to meet with me.”  </p><p>Coaches also help ensure students use time wisely. Farmer says her coach has helped steer her away from the details of her current job and focus on what she must learn to become a principal. “I don’t want you doing lunch duty,” Farmer’s coach told her. “I want you to go in. I want you to have an agenda. I want you to have what it is you want to talk about with [your mentor principal].”</p><p>Coaches will not solve students’ problems, however. They will only help students think through them. “Very rarely, if at all in this program, have I felt like they’ve given us the answer,” Columbano said, “That’s nice, but it’s also a little frustrating. UConn has made it pretty clear that they would rather we face our problems now, maybe struggle with them, fight through them and figure it out.”</p><p>Both he and Farmer say that that focus on independent thought, with the support of instructors and leadership coaches, helps prepare them for the jobs ahead. “Nobody's going to give you the answer; it's going to be up to you to figure out the answer,” Farmer said. “And I’m getting more and more comfortable with not having the answer than I was just a few months ago.”</p><p> <strong>Tracking progress</strong></p><p>To nudge its students towards such confidence, and to help ensure that they meet state requirements for principals, UCAPP introduced the “core assessment,” a series of projects designed to measure students’ progress in key areas of leadership. Students complete projects every semester, either in their own schools or those in which they’re interning, and work with their coaches every month to reflect on their performance, identify strengths and weaknesses and plan for future improvement. “That's really been important and helpful to me,” Farmer said. “To sit back and look at, what did I feel went well? What did I feel I would change?”</p><p>Teresa Maturino Rodriguez, a teacher of 20 years, also sees benefits in the core assessments, saying that they help students acclimate themselves to the twists and turns of the principalship. However, she said, they take a lot of time and she is not yet clear about the value of every required component. All students must complete the same projects, she added, even if they have years of experience with the practices those projects are meant to demonstrate. Some of these tasks can become rather onerous for students who are juggling classes, internships, families and day jobs.</p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read 1957595c-cc46-47f8-b674-919c4b402a62" id="div_1957595c-cc46-47f8-b674-919c4b402a62" unselectable="on"></div><div id="vid_1957595c-cc46-47f8-b674-919c4b402a62" unselectable="on" style="display:none;"></div></div><p>“I feel like there's this other component hanging out there,” she said, expressing some discomfort with the addition to the workload. But she’s willing to give the assessments time to play themselves out. “I'm going to trust this is part of the learning process they're trying to create for us,” she added.</p><p>The benefits are more obvious to Columbano. The first step of the core assessment—an “organizational diagnosis” that asks students to investigate reasons behind an achievement gap of their choice at their internship school—helped him look beyond his previous focus on high-school phys-ed.</p><p>“Instead of looking at things strictly within your classroom,” he said, “it made me ask myself, ‘How do I fix this on a school level?’”</p><p>It’s helping him make an essential change to the way he sees education. “I’m always looking at things through a different lens now,” he said.</p><p>“I’m looking at it from a principal’s lens, not a teacher’s.”</p><p> <strong>Embracing change</strong></p><p>It takes a lot of planning and adjustment to create a program that can stimulate such a change in perspective. Administrators say they are always learning from their experiences and tweaking the program to respond to feedback from students, faculty and community partners. That willingness to change, however, can complicate things for students. </p><p>Farmer, for example, was hoping to get summer schedules ready for her internship when we spoke to her in January. But her class schedule was still unclear, making it hard to plan ahead. “We find that they're still tweaking things up to the last minute,” she said. “For people like us, who want to know things way in advance, that's been a little bit frustrating,”</p><p>That frustration, however, may also be part of learning to be a principal. Columbano says that his time in UCAPP so far is beginning to make him more comfortable with the uncertainties of the principalship. “Will I know everything?” he said. “No. But I know that if I work at it, I can get to the right answers.”</p><p></p><p>Read the previous post in our UConn series: <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/it-takes-a-village-to-train-an-effective-principal.aspx">It Takes a Village to Train an Effective Principal</a>.</p>Learning to Navigate the Uncertainties of School Leadershiphttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Learning-to-Navigate-the-Uncertainties-of-School-Leadership.aspx2020-06-23T04:00:00ZFour aspiring principals at the University of Connecticut get a glimpse of the work that lies ahead
Systematic Approach to Developing School Leaders Pays Off for Principal Retention GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​​​​​​​Wallace recently released a research report that contained a welcome—and unusual—finding for those interested in improving public K-12 schools: A change initiative had succeeded in moving the needle on student achievement. The report, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principal-pipelines-a-feasible,-affordable,-and-effective-way-for-districts-to-improve-schools.aspx"> <em>Principal Pipelines: A Feasible, Affordable, and Effective Way for Districts to Improve Schools</em></a>, detailed RAND Corporation research into what happened when six large school districts introduced a systematic approach to developing school principals. <div>    <br>But a bit overlooked in the initial burst of news and social media accounts of the achievement findings was another important nugget from the report. The approach to developing principals, known as building a principal pipeline, was a boon to school leader retention, too.</div><div>    <br>​Specifically, newly placed principals in the six districts were almost 8 percentage points more likely to remain in their schools for at least three years than newly placed principals in comparison schools in other districts. That means that for every 100 newly placed principals, pipeline districts experienced eight fewer losses than the comparison districts.</div><div> </div><div><img alt="3-Principal-retention.png" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Principal-retention-findings-from-PPI-report/3-Principal-retention.png" style="margin:5px;" /> </div><div> This matters because principal churn is a problem for many districts. The annual turnover rate of principals in U.S. public schools was about 18 percent in the 2015-2016 school year, according to U.S. Department of Education figures cited in the report, and higher still for schools with large numbers of disadvantaged students. There’s a price to be paid for this. Replacing a principal costs about $75,000, the report says, pointing to research on the topic. The cost in disruption to schools, teachers and students is high as well. Why? In part because rapid turnover undermines a simple necessity—the actions that principals take to try to improve student performance need time to be carried out and bear fruit, according to other research the report points to.  </div><div>​<br>​<img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="gates_9114-(002).jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Principal-retention-findings-from-PPI-report/gates_9114-(002).jpg" style="margin:5px;width:152px;" />The effects of the pipeline on retention could not be measured with as much precision as student achievement, but when the six pipeline districts are pooled together in one analysis, “we find a robust, statistically significant result,” says Susan Gates, lead author of the RAND report. Variation in retention across these districts could possibly be attributed to such factors as how many principal vacancies each district faced year-to-year in the five-year initiative, which began in fall 2011, and the different ways the districts approached principal reassignment. For example, some districts may have been inclined to move a new principal who had performed well in two years to another school with greater needs.<br></div><div><br>Additionally, the pipeline’s positive effect on retention seems to have generally increased over time. Principals newly placed in pipeline-district schools in the initiative’s fourth year, the 2014-2015 school year, had a three-year retention that was close to 17 percentage points higher than the retention of newly placed principals in the comparison schools in other districts. “That’s encouraging evidence and what I would have expected to see,” Gates says.</div><div> </div><div>The reason, she explains, is that the pipeline approach to developing effective principals consists of implementing a set of policies and practices—such as high-quality pre-service training, data-informed hiring and appropriate on-the-job support—and some these likely needed more time than others to unfold and have an impact on cohorts of newly placed principals. Changes in hiring procedures or job support, for example, could have yielded results almost immediately. Improving pre-service training, on the other hand, would likely have had a delayed effect because candidates who completed revamped programs would not typically have been hired as principals for several years. “I would expect that with retention, in particular, that over time, those outcomes would improve—as districts build a more robust hiring pool through revised pre-service, candidates are selected based on a more rigorous approach and principals are supported more effectively,” Gates says.</div><div>    </div><div>The RAND report was part of a wide-ranging study of the Principal Pipeline Initiative conducted with Policy Studies Associates, which in a <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/building-a-stronger-principalship.aspx">series</a> of reports examined the initiative’s implementation in the participating districts—Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C.; Denver; Gwinnett County, Ga. (outside Atlanta); Hillsborough County (Tampa), Fla.; New York City; and Prince George’s County, Md. (outside Washington, D.C.).</div><div>    </div><div>A follow-up study by Policy Studies Associates, published in February this year, provides additional evidence of the benefits of pipelines for retention. In <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/sustainability-of-principal-pipeline-initiative.aspx"> <em>Sustaining a Principal Pipeline</em></a>, which looks at the pipelines’ status two years after Wallace support for the initiative ended, officials from three districts reported they were keeping tabs on turnover to gauge the results of the pipeline work and determine how many principal vacancies would likely need to be filled.</div><div> </div><div><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Turnbull headshot (002).JPG" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Principal-retention-findings-from-PPI-report/Turnbull%20headshot%20(002).JPG" style="margin:5px;width:124px;" />All three—Charlotte, Denver and New York—said they had seen improved principal retention, according to the report. That’s a good result as far as the districts’ leaders are concerned, according to Brenda Turnbull, who co-led the Policy Studies Associates research.</div><div>    <br> “What districts want, not surprisingly, is to put good principals into schools that are a good fit, have them stay in place for years, and then maybe transfer them to another school that needs them or promote them to a principal supervisor position,” she says. “From the perspective of a responsible district leader, a struggling principal who quits or isn’t renewed is a sign that something has gone wrong with preparation, selection and placement, or ongoing support. So when retention was increasing, these pipeline districts saw that as validation of their pipeline efforts. It was something that they had been working toward. Of course some turnover is inevitable and can be healthy, but no district really wants to have revolving doors in its principals’ offices.” </div><div>    <br> One note for those interested in pursuing pipelines as a retention strategy: A recent <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/essa-evidence-review-of-the-principal-pipeline-initiative.aspx">analysis</a> finds that RAND’s retention research is strong enough to meet federal evidence-of-effectiveness criteria for funding under the Every Student Succeeds Act, including its Title I stream.</div><div>    <br> To see a collection of resources about principal pipelines and the related research, check out <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/principal-pipeline-implementation.aspx">this page</a>.</div>Systematic Approach to Developing School Leaders Pays Off for Principal Retention https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Principal-retention-findings-from-PPI-report.aspx2019-04-26T04:00:00ZYour 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.
Charting a Careful Course in Public Policy EngagementGP0|#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://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://www.cof.org/2018-public-policy-summit" target="_blank">Council on Foundations' Public Policy Summit</a> in Philadelphia.  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: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> Charting a Careful Course in Public Policy Engagementhttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/charting-a-careful-course-in-public-policy-engagement.aspx2018-06-06T04:00:00ZYour 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.
Making a Wise Investment—in Principal PipelinesGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​ <p>​​​​​​An unprecedented level of federal financial support is flowing to schools as dollars from the COVID relief package known as the American Rescue Plan Act get distributed, along with education funding from conventional sources, such as the Title I program. So, here’s an idea for school district and state education officials. How about using some portion of the federal money for a too-often-overlooked factor in improving schools: cultivating a corps of effective school principals?<br></p><p>That was one of the messages delivered by Patrick Rooney, director of school support and accountability programs for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, during a recent webinar. Rooney emphasized that Rescue Plan and other federal funding is available to support the development of effective principals, whose power to drive school improvement, he emphasized, has been confirmed by research.</p><p>“Principal pipelines and support for principals and leaders are certainly well within the realm of things you can spend your federal funds on,” Rooney said to an online audience of more than 400 education officials and others. “The research, again, is clear: that having a strong and capable leader has a huge impact on how kids are doing in classrooms and how teachers are operating. </p><p>“It's a clear link to improving the performance of the school. So it is a clear opportunity for those of you who want to think about how your American Rescue Plan funds—and, then, moving forward in your Title I and Title II funds—can all be tailored together to meet this particular need.”</p><p>The webinar, <em></em> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpHP4usFD_8"> <em>Paying for Principal Pipelines: Tapping Federal Funds to Support Principals and Raise Student Achievement</em></a>,  marked the launch of <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/strong-pipelines-strong-principals-a-guide-for-leveraging-federal-sources-to-fund-principal-pipelines.aspx">a guide</a> to inform school district and state education officials about the numerous sources of federal funding—both longstanding and new—for boosting school leadership. You can find a few expert tips from the new guide at the end of this post. </p><p>One approach districts are taking using to develop leaders is to build what Wallace has come to refer to as “comprehensive, aligned" principal pipelines. These pipelines are “comprehensive” because they consist of key components (such as leader standards and strong on-the-job evaluation and support for principals) that together span the range of district talent management activities, and they are “aligned” because these policies and procedures reinforce one another. Jody Spiro, director of education leadership at Wallace, described the components and presented the results of a<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principal-pipelines-a-feasible,-affordable,-and-effective-way-for-districts-to-improve-schools.aspx"> 2019 study</a> of six districts that had put them into place: Students at the elementary, middle and high school levels outperformed students in comparison districts in math. Students at the elementary and middle school levels also outperformed their peers in reading. Moreover, these improvements kicked in only two years after the pipelines were built.<br></p><p>​​<img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Making-a-Wise-Investment-in-Principal-Pipelines/ARPA-Federal-Funding-5-key-points.jpg" alt="ARPA-Federal-Funding-5-key-points.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /> <br> <br>Education officials interested in building such pipelines for their districts or states might assume, in error, that they will have to do so absent federal help. “Oftentimes, what we see is that districts use the funds for the same program from one year to the next because they know that they won’t get audited if they spend their money in this way or ‘this is how we spent it, so this is how we will continue to spend it,’” Rooney said. “But that doesn’t need to be the case. And you, actually, at the local level have a tremendous amount of flexibility with how you use your federal funds.”<br></p><p>Rooney also stressed the role of principals in recovery from the pandemic. “We are in a critical moment in time after the past year and a half of COVID,” he told listeners, noting that earlier in the day, he had attended a different webinar and heard about the impact on school districts in one state of the learning loss students have experienced as a result of the health crisis. “It just hit home how important it is to have strong and capable leaders to meet this moment in time,” he said.</p><p>Paul Katnik, assistant commissioner at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, talked about the benefits of—and funding for—that state’s effort to develop effective principals. The Missouri Leadership Development System, which covers the gamut of principal development from aspiring to veteran school leaders, provides education and support to more than 1,000 principals in urban and rural districts, charter schools included. The effort is paying off, Katnik said, in, among other things, lowering principal churn. The retention rate for system principals is 10 percent higher or more, depending on the region, than for other principals in the state. How is this work paid for? Through about $4 million a year in federal Title I, Title IIa, American Rescue Plan, grant, and state funds, according to Katnik. “If you’re going to create a state system that functions at a high level in all different types of school communities, it takes a significant investment,” he said.  </p><p>Michael Thomas, superintendent of Colorado Springs School District 11, concurred with Katnik’s overall point about the value of funding for efforts to promote principal effectiveness. “There’s never been a successful turnaround story without a strong leader at the helm,” he said. “And coming into District 11, it was very clear to me that, if we were going to really improve the district over time, we needed to make sure that we were bringing significant investment into our leadership.” Thomas, who oversees a district of about 24,000 students and 55 schools an hour south of Denver, spoke of using federal money not only to aid teachers facing unprecedented demands during the pandemic, but also to support new and aspiring principals. School leaders on the job from one to three years receive executive coaching from an outside vendor, and the district is cultivating an “Aspire to Lead cohort” of potential principals ready to step in when vacancies occur. “We want to make sure we’re holding [our leaders] <em>‘able,</em>’” he said. “That’s accountability with support.”</p><p>Beverly Hutton, senior advisor and consultant to the CEO at the National Association of Secondary School Principals, which represents more than 18,000 school leaders across the country, said she was heartened by state and district efforts to support principals. “The complexities of the job…have increased exponentially over the past decade,” she said. “And then the pandemic exacerbated that and highlighted those complexities in ways we had not imagined.” Hutton underscored the role of principal development work in promoting equity in education. “It is extremely important that ongoing training and investments need to focus on ensuring principals are equipped to address the systems and processes that need to change in order to honor the lived experiences of each student,” she said.</p><p>State and district leaders looking to follow the example of Missouri and Colorado Springs may need help figuring out where their principal pipeline work fits into today’s uncharted funding landscape. That’s where the new guide comes in. Prepared by EducationCounsel, a mission-based education consulting firm, and the research firm Policy Studies Associates,<em> </em> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/strong-pipelines-strong-principals-a-guide-for-leveraging-federal-sources-to-fund-principal-pipelines.aspx"> <em>Strong Principals, Strong Pipelines: A Guide for Leveraging Federal Sources to Fund Principal Pipelines</em></a> is designed to help districts ask good questions and test their assumptions about federal funding for principal pipelines.</p><p>Sean Worley, senior policy associate at EducationCounsel, walked webinar participants through the features of the guide. For each of seven key components of a strong principal pipeline, the guide specifies relevant activities and the federal funding sources that may be the best match for each. Funding information for activities in all seven categories is also compiled into a single “at-a-glance” table. Part 2 of the guide provides details about each relevant funding stream, including its purpose and allowable uses; how it is allocated (e.g., by formula or in the form of competitive or discretionary grants); and the primary recipients.​<br></p> <p>Worley’s colleague Scott Palmer, EducationCounsel’s managing partner and co-founder, left state and district leaders with five “big points”  to chew on:</p><ol><li> “There’s a lot of money on the table that can support principal leadership and principal pipelines,” he said. “I say that notwithstanding the unbelievable challenges we have and the needs that are existing right now.” The sources include stimulus funds and ongoing federal program funds.<br><br></li><li>“These funds are available over a period of years.” Palmer pointed out that American Rescue Plan Act funds are available at least through the 2024 school year. Districts and states are allowed to review and improve their initial plans to ensure funding is having the intended effect.<br><br></li><li>“Blending and braiding” funds is possible, and even encouraged. “If you find yourself in a place where dollars are siloed, staff are siloed,” Palmer said, “please try to…pull those funding streams together.”<br><br></li><li>“There may well be more funding coming.” Palmer noted that Congressional appropriations for the next fiscal year are likely to include significant increases in allocations to core programs like Title I, and the Build Back Better Act includes direct investments in principal development activities. “We may have to come out with a new version [of the guide] with yet another column [in the table],” he quipped. “So, stay tuned.”<br><br></li><li>Palmer’s fifth point regarded thinking beyond the immediate crisis. He urged state and district officials to work strategically and consider how federal funding could support improvements that can be sustained over time. Palmer acknowledged that this isn’t easy because education officials are focused on meeting urgent needs and want to avoid falling off a “funding cliff” when federal support ends. Still, he said, he is seeing places that are taking a longer-term approach—one that can “not just really fill those important holes but do it in a way that plants seeds for future change.”</li></ol>​<br>Making a Wise Investment—in Principal Pipelineshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Making-a-Wise-Investment-in-Principal-Pipelines.aspx2022-01-11T05:00:00ZYour 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.
What Can States Do to Bolster School Leadership?GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>From providing superintendents with a forum to trade ideas to working with school districts to reshape the principal supervisor job to establishing alternative training programs for principals, states can do a lot to strengthen principals and other school leaders. </p><p>That’s the lesson from the education chiefs of Nebraska, Ohio and Pennsylvania, who sat down recently to discuss the work going on in their states to bolster education leaders. Listen to what they have to say in this <a href="https://ccsso.org/blog/knowledge-action-how-states-are-working-promote-effective-school-leadership-models">video series</a> by the Council of Chief State School Officers.</p><p>You’ll also hear some inspiring messages about why the state efforts matters. Here’s a sampling:</p><ul> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIW8LsL5QjI&feature=youtu.be" target="_blank"><img height="190" class="wf-Image-Right" alt="Nebraska_Commiss-retouch.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/what-can-states-do-to-bolster-school-leadership/Nebraska_Commiss-retouch.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:292px;" /></a> <li>“When school leaders have a chance to ensure that students have everything that they need to be successful, that’s really what the definition of equity is—that every student that’s in front of them is getting that chance to be the best that they can possibly be.” —Matthew Blomstedt, commissioner of education for Nebraska <br> <br> <br></li></ul><ul> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5nMeaozvDs&feature=youtu.be" target="_blank"><img class="wf-Image-Right" alt="Ohio_Commiss-retouch.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/what-can-states-do-to-bolster-school-leadership/Ohio_Commiss-retouch.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:294px;" /></a> <li>“School leadership is tremendously important because fundamentally it’s the leader that really sees to all the different pieces and parts within a school working together in the interests of helping educate each and every child. What we see is [that] when you find a school that is delivering an absolute excellent education, you’ll always find a great excellent leader.” —Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction for Ohio<br><br></li></ul><ul> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4o6uDYRPmoA&feature=youtu.be" target="_blank"><img class="wf-Image-Right" alt="PA_Commissioner-retouch.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/what-can-states-do-to-bolster-school-leadership/PA_Commissioner-retouch.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:295px;" /></a> <li>“First and foremost, school leaders set the stage, set the conditions and provide the resources for teachers to best serve their students and their community. Effective school leadership and student success are tied hand in hand.” —Pedro Rivera, secretary of education for Pennsylvania</li></ul><p>Looking for more ideas? Check out the <a href="http://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/default.aspx">school leadership page</a> on the Wallace website.</p>What Can States Do to Bolster School Leadership?https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/What-Can-States-Do-to-Bolster-School-Leadership.aspx2018-08-14T04:00:00ZVideo Series Offers Insights—and Inspiration—From State Education Chiefs in Three States
Knock-Knock Jokes, Broken AC Units, Classroom Instruction: The Realities of Being a PrincipalGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​W​hat makes a good day in the life of a novice principal or AP? For answers, look no farther than a video​, posted recently by the Delaware Department of Education.  A good day “starts off with about 500 high-fives as the kids come into the building,” says John Lynch, principal of Jennie E. Smith Elementary School in Newark, Del. “It includes a little time sitting on the carpet with the kindergartners. Some knock-knock jokes at lunch. A great science lesson. Seeing somebody smile. Seeing the ways my teachers innovate.”<br></p><p>View the rest for yourself in this series of reflections from some of the 75 participants in Delaware’s Induction Program for New Building Administrators: ​<br></p> ​ ​<a href="https://youtu.be/sNtjiCvvBZY" target="_blank"><img alt="delaware-dept-video.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Delaware-Videos-The-Realities-of-Being-a-Principal/delaware-dept-video.jpg" style="margin:5px;" />​​</a> <br>  <p> </p><p>​The induction program brought together novice school leaders monthly over the 2018-2019 school year to learn about such matters as ways of working that adhere to the national <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/professional-standards-for-educational-leaders-2015.aspx">Professional Standards for Education Leadership</a>. They also shared common ​​​str​uggles and successes.</p><p>The program has proved so popular, according to Michael Saylor, education associate in school leadership at Delaware’s education department, that what was originally intended as a single-year program has been expanded to a second year of coaching and other activities for selected APs. </p><p>The efforts of these new school leaders and their peers throughout the state have received some high-level recognition. Watch this video shout out from a recent event celebrating their work: </p><p><a href="https://youtu.be/zEPSBCsD93U" target="_blank"><img alt="gov-carney-video.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Delaware-Videos-The-Realities-of-Being-a-Principal/gov-carney-video.jpg" style="margin:5px;" />​</a><br><br></p>Knock-Knock Jokes, Broken AC Units, Classroom Instruction: The Realities of Being a Principalhttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Delaware-Videos-The-Realities-of-Being-a-Principal.aspx2019-05-23T04:00:00ZDelaware Videos Celebrate Joys and Challenges of School Leadership
Voter Poll Shows Strong Support for Fair and Equitable Public PoliciesGP0|#af3e9879-f65e-40d3-8cc6-25ef5b2f858e;L0|#0af3e9879-f65e-40d3-8cc6-25ef5b2f858e|Advancing Philanthropy;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​​​​​Nearly eight in 10 voters in a <a href="https://independentsector.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/IndependentSector_PollingResults_December2021.pdf" target="_blank">new poll</a> said it was important that public policy solutions were fair (86 percent), proportionate (86 percent) or equitable (80 percent). Additionally, framing such policies as “fair” tested highest across all political affiliations.<br> ​<br> These and other results come from the poll conducted in early December by TargetPoint Consulting on behalf of Independent Sector, a membership organization of made up of representatives from nonprofits, foundations and corporate giving programs. The poll surveyed 1,094 registered voters nationwide. Other notable findings include: </p><ul><li>A large majority (88 percent) expressed support for making the universal charitable deduction permanent for all taxpayers. The $300 individual/$600 joint deduction for taxpayers, whether they itemize their deductions or not, was instituted as <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleaebeling/2020/12/22/new-bigger-charitable-tax-break-for-2021-in-year-end-spending-package/?sh=5aaa630d5710" target="_blank">part of the 2020 CARES Act</a> pandemic relief bill and updated for 2021.<br><br> </li><li>Many of the voters polled (72 percent) believe the federal government could better serve communities if charities and nonprofits were represented in the administration. <br><br></li><li>Nearly nine in 10 voters (87 percent) support local charities educating policymakers and businesses about their communities. </li></ul><p>Read more about <a href="https://independentsector.org/resource/new-poll-voters-want-nonprofits-to-be-engaged-and-resourced/" target="_blank">the survey and its results</a> at Independent Sector’s website. </p>Voter Poll Shows Strong Support for Fair and Equitable Public Policieshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Voter-Poll-Shows-Strong-Support-for-Fair-and-Equitable-Public-Policies.aspx2022-01-26T05:00:00ZThe findings from Independent Sector, a membership organization of people working in philanthropy, also support expanding charitable deductions for all taxpayers
Resiliency, Innovation, Courage Key Characteristics to Ensure Survival of The ArtsGP0|#8056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be;L0|#08056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be|Building Audiences for the Arts;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​As the new year brings thoughts of recovery for arts practitioners and audiences—remember the joy of live performances?—we can learn a lot from looking at research from the past two decades. Researchers Diane Grams and Betty Farrell, for instance, have for the past 15 years helped demonstrate some of the ways the arts have survived and recovered from multiple crises through the years.</p><p>Grams and Farrell were the lead authors and editors of the book <a href="https://www.rutgersuniversitypress.org/entering-cultural-communities/9780813544953"> <em>Entering Cultural Communities: Diversity and Change in the Nonprofit Arts</em></a> (Rutgers University Press 2008), which explored how to build broader participation in the arts—using data captured during the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks. Their work took on greater resonance as the 2008 economic crisis bore down and organizations were once again faced with an uncertain future. Today many organizations are expressing similar concerns (see Wallace’s recent <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/reimagining-the-future-of-the-arts-a-webinar-series-from-the-wallace-foundation.aspx">Arts Conversation Series</a> for an example): that the pandemic and all it has wrought have exacerbated already debilitating factors, with declining arts participation high up on that list. </p><p>The Wallace Blog caught up with Grams and Farrell over email to see what insights they might have for organizations facing today’s challenges. You can also download the first chapter of the book free of charge <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Building-Arts-Participation-Through-Transactions-Relationships-or-Both.aspx">here​</a> on our site. ​<br></p><p> <strong>Your book frames the concept of building wider, deeper and more diverse arts participation. Why was this important? And how is that relevant to our situation today? </strong> </p><p> <strong> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Resiliency-Innovation-Courage-Key-Characteristics-Ensure-Survival-The-Arts/Entering-Cultural-Communities-Diversity-Change-Nonprofit-Arts-Chapter-1-a.jpg" alt="Entering-Cultural-Communities-Diversity-Change-Nonprofit-Arts-Chapter-1-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin:5px;width:173px;height:261px;" />Grams:</strong> The year 2020 brought what might be viewed as the convergence of all the previous crises that have threatened the very existence of the arts. The current challenges for the cultural sector are still unfolding in the face of shuttered organizations and greatly curtailed arts programs, devastatingly high unemployment rates among artists and cultural staff, competing priorities facing funders, and audiences and participants unsure of when they can safely return to public spaces to engage in creative activities.  </p><p>We see resilience, innovation and courage as three enduring elements that will help ensure the survival and recovery of many cultural organizations. The arts face enormous challenges, but the pandemic has also created new opportunities to engage people where they are now and to reshape cultural participation for a new post-pandemic world.  </p><p>Our research focused on the concept of expanding and diversifying audience participation across a wide range of artistic genres and cultural organizations. We were interested in tracking some profound changes taking place in the cultural sector, as artists, educators, cultural leaders, funders and audiences alike were challenging the cultural status quo. We saw organizational and programmatic changes taking place both inside and outside these organizations. Building relationships and building financial support will remain critically important for cultural organizations in the post-pandemic era. </p><p> <strong>Among the cultural organizations you studied, what were some strategies they used to cultivate resilience? </strong></p><p> <strong>Farrell:  </strong>Many started by making internal organizational changes. They broke down the barriers between departments to bring arts education or community outreach programs directly into the institution’s core efforts. They engaged new visitors by making their physical space more welcoming and less intimidating. They created new “point-of-entry” programs, such as a concert that mixed a traditional symphony along with jazz or rock performances. They sought more ethnic and cultural diversity among the staff, volunteers and board members to signal the institution’s recognition of the need for greater representation. They learned to reach out beyond their own walls in new ways, especially forming partnerships with non-cultural organizations in the community. In making these changes, the cultural organization was becoming more institutionally adaptable and ultimately more resilient in the face of continuing change. </p><p> <strong>What kinds of innovation will arts organizations need to recover and prosper?  </strong></p><p> <strong>​​​<img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Resiliency-Innovation-Courage-Key-Characteristics-Ensure-Survival-The-Arts/Grams-and-Farrell.jpg" alt="Grams-and-Farrell.jpg" class="wf-Image-Right" style="margin:5px;" />Grams: </strong>There are many examples of how organizations innovate with new strategies for engagement. One is in the expanded use of technology as a tool for artistic expression. Organizations will continue to be challenged to develop innovative programs that incorporate their audience’s growing sophistication with technological tools and their desire to be active cultural producers rather than just recipients. </p><p>We saw many innovative programs emerge in the course of our research that were about building community beyond the organization’s walls. For example, the “One City, One Book” program served as both a literacy and community-building effort. Cities, states, schools and universities have used the process of everyone reading the same book as a way to introduce often overlooked work by authors from isolated immigrant groups, or to solve a problem, such as bullying in schools. When the National Endowment for the Arts began “The Big Read” program in 2005, some of our interviewees feared it meant the death of the locally sponsored programs. Now, we see this has not been the case. The NEA has not only expanded funding of these programs but has created an even bigger outlet for some historically overlooked authors and genres. </p><p>And innovation is also evident in transactional activities. Some new approaches to ticketing for exhibitions come to mind. Because of social-distancing limitations on the numbers of patrons that can enter the building, line queues can be tracked with phone text alerts allowing patrons to wander until their time to enter a special exhibition space occurs. Within the exhibition space, visitors could use their own phone and coded podcasts, once considered rogue and unauthorized practices because they sidestepped the paid audio tour. </p><p> <strong>What are examples from your research of the kind of courage demonstrated by arts leaders that can help an organization change and thrive?  </strong></p><p> <strong>Farrell: </strong>It takes courage to take on something new, untested or unusual.  It also takes courage to share power. One example of this from our research was the Walker Art Center’s Teen Arts Council program. These young people were given both a substantial budget and a powerful voice in how their funds would be used in the institution’s core exhibitions. During our site visit we observed a museum curator coming to the Teen Arts Council to make a presentation about an upcoming exhibition, asking for their ideas about how they might participate in and contribute financial support to the proposed exhibition. </p><p> <strong>Grams: </strong>It takes courage to talk about race.  When race intersects with issues of identity, skin color, religion, sexual preference and diversity within or across communities, the conversation can either be explosive or it can be a site of reconciliation. The planning process for “The African Presence in Mexico,” a 2006 exhibition at The National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, brought out concerns in both the African American and Latino communities, around the topics of race, racism, and the complexities of multiculturalism. But the museum could ultimately count the success of the exhibition not only in the estimated seventy-two thousand people who attended, but that more than half had been African Americans, many of whom had never before been to this Mexican ethnic museum. </p><p> <strong>Based on your experience studying arts organizations and audience participation, what advice would you give to arts leaders who are working in the current environment?”</strong></p><p> <strong>Grams:</strong> The arts have long been forced to prove their value to society, and today is no different.  Our formal classification as “nonessential businesses” strikes a debilitating blow against our most basic understanding of the human need for cultural expression. Moreover, during the pandemic, this designation limited manufacturing of materials and supplies necessary for art making while shuttering businesses and organizations, and leaving thousands of artists and allied workers without a source of income and a limited economic safety net. </p><p>Even as we find ourselves in the midst of this economic and social catastrophe, we are reminded that the arts can be a powerful tool for creating social cohesion and for healing, in addition to being a tool for economic development and revitalization. In short, they are essential. We see this today—from people singing from balconies to creating murals, paintings and posters that honor health care workers and to the popularity of star-studded Zoom performances. Through proactive cultural policy in the near future, can the arts enhance opportunities for cultural participation and play a more central role in addressing social and community recovery, as a tool for bonding and healing our most serious social fractures?</p><p> <strong>Farrell: </strong> Cultural practitioners know how to be resourceful, nimble and creative in designing projects and programs that engage their audiences in the moment. But they work in an often fragmented and individualistic art world, and much that could be learned and widely shared from these efforts is inevitably lost. When practitioners work with researchers as they did in our study, however, they can design studies alongside their projects to document what works and what doesn’t. They can build longitudinal evidence about the impact of participating in the arts, capturing knowledge and shaping effective arts policy. Forging stronger ties between research and practice with the goal of creating a shared knowledge base is a critically important way to build resilience for the post-pandemic future of the cultural sector.​</p><p> <em>​Main image:Installation by Patricia Mendoza for Faith in Women exhibition at Inter-​media Arts in Minneapolis, September 29, 2005–January 7, 2006. Photograph by Timothy D. Lace © 2005.​</em></p><p> <em>Photo of Betty Farrell and Diane Grams from their 2008 book launch in Chicago. ​</em></p> <p></p>Resiliency, Innovation, Courage Key Characteristics to Ensure Survival of The Artshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Resiliency-Innovation-Courage-Key-Characteristics-Ensure-Survival-The-Arts.aspx2021-02-11T05:00:00ZAuthors of a seminal book on audience participation in the arts help us assess the current landscape
Six Tips for Writing about ResearchGP0|#af3e9879-f65e-40d3-8cc6-25ef5b2f858e;L0|#0af3e9879-f65e-40d3-8cc6-25ef5b2f858e|Advancing Philanthropy;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>It can be difficult for reporters who write about schools to know what to think about education research. Not all studies are created equal—so how can busy journalists make the best use of their time when considering whether to cover one?</p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Ed Pauly" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/ED_5991.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:251px;" />This problem isn’t academic for The Wallace Foundation, given that disseminating key research findings from the work of our grantees is central to <a href="/how-we-work/the-wallace-approach/pages/default.aspx">the foundation’s mission</a>. That’s why Edward Pauly, our director of research, was happy to provide some practical suggestions at the Education Writers Association’s National Seminar this year. He also used the opportunity to explain a little about how and why the foundation conducts research. </p><p>Pauly was joined on the panel by Denise-Marie Ordway, an award-winning reporter who runs the <a href="https://journalistsresource.org/" target="_blank">Journalist’s Resource</a> project at Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy. She is also on the EWA board of directors.</p><p>While the audience was journalists and communications professionals, the experts’ advice also holds true for many other users of education research, including nonprofit and advocacy organizations that use research of any kind. Further, the advice offered by Ordway and Pauly can be applied to studies on topics other than education.</p><p>“If a study seems too good to be true, it probably is,” Pauly warned. “Most research findings are not that surprising: They have ‘face validity.’ If you’re startled and shocked, that’s probably a good reason to be skeptical and be careful.”</p><p>Ordway cautioned reporters not to assume that a research study is high quality based on the institutions of the people involved: “It isn’t bullet proof just because it’s from Harvard or Stanford.”</p><p>Among other helpful points, she steered reporters away from spending too much time on the study’s “abstract,” which summarizes its conclusions. What researchers consider the important takeaways don’t always match what might interest a reporter, she said, explaining that “golden nuggets” of interesting facts and data points are often found deeper into a report. </p><p>Pauly summarized his recommendations into six tips for writing about research: </p><ol><li>Look for “literature reviews” of all high-quality research on a topic. Peer-reviewed journals such as <em>Review of Educational Research</em> synthesize the best studies on a topic. Evidence from many studies is more meaningful than evidence from a lone study.<br><br></li><li>Find an unbiased, “in-the-know” academic source to share the study with and ask what seems important, reliable, special and valuable about it. What does it add to what we already knew—and why should we believe it?<br><br></li><li>Spend more time on studies that are reliable and broad: major, multi-site studies rather than single-site studies, and studies with a “control” group that allows comparisons to be made and differences to be attributed to the program or intervention being evaluated.<br><br></li><li>Check out the ranking of a journal to determine its reliability. For example, many journals have Wikipedia articles that provide these rankings.<br><br></li><li>Make sure that the study considers alternative explanations for its findings and is clear about its limitations.<br><br></li><li>Consider the type of study—student outcomes, implementation of a program or initiative, opinion survey—and evaluate whether the claims it makes are consistent with that kind of study.<br></li></ol><p>In determining what research would be relevant to their audiences, education journalists can ask their sources, “What is it you don’t know that, if you knew it, it would enable you to make a breakthrough in your work?” and then track down the best studies on those important topics, Pauly said. </p><p>And, he noted, that’s exactly how The Wallace Foundation decides how to make its grants, seeking to produce answers to big questions that would benefit the field.</p><p>You can watch the full EWA session on this recorded <a href="https://www.facebook.com/EdWriters/videos/10156295484842836/" target="_blank">Facebook Live</a> session and see the PowerPoint presentation below.</p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read 1bbea260-a3da-4777-9946-7ba2855f7053" id="div_1bbea260-a3da-4777-9946-7ba2855f7053"></div><div id="vid_1bbea260-a3da-4777-9946-7ba2855f7053" style="display:none;"></div></div><p> </p> Six Tips for Writing about Researchhttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/six-tips-for-writing-about-research.aspx2018-06-18T04:00:00ZYour 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.
Getting Ready for Summer in the Deep SouthGP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>It’s late March, and in many U. S. cities, the chill hasn’t yet left the air. But in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where you can already go out of the house in short sleeves, the message is clear: Summer is right around the corner. That’s why a group of teachers, school administrators and enrichment providers has convened at Tuscaloosa Career & Technology Academy—to solidify their 2019 summer learning offerings for students and learn how the  <a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/toolkit/pages/default.aspx">Summer Learning Toolkit</a> can help them in their work.</p><p>The toolkit, developed by The Wallace Foundation, is a free online compendium of more than 50 evidence-based resources, including tip sheets, customizable tools like planning calendars and budget templates, and sample documents like staff handbooks and enrollment forms. The resources grew out of research and on-the-ground insights from communities involved in the Wallace-sponsored National Summer Learning Project. Wallace launched the project in 2011, commissioning the RAND Corporation to study five large-scale, voluntary summer learning programs led by public school districts: Boston; Dallas; Duval County (Jacksonville), Fla.; Pittsburgh; and Rochester, N.Y. The goals of the project were to provide a summer mix of academics and enrichment to thousands of children in low-income communities; help the districts improve their programs; and understand what impact, if any, they have on participating students—as well as what factors influence results. </p><p>Now, to ensure that the lessons of the National Summer Learning Project benefit cities and districts across the country, Wallace—along with the National Summer Learning Association, a non-profit organization, and The Learning Agenda, a consultancy—is taking the Summer Learning Toolkit on the road. First stop: Tuscaloosa.</p><p>In Alabama, summer learning has historically been a local concern with philanthropy playing a major role. For example, SAIL (Summer Adventures in Learning)—a partnership of funders, program providers and community stakeholders—has been making grants to support rigorous summer learning in Birmingham and elsewhere since 2012. “Alabama is a state with a real tradition of philanthropy, so we’re used to trying to solve our problems in a community way,” says Jim Wooten, board chair of the organization. “We like less government and more citizen-based ownership.” Things may be changing, however, as the state government looks for new ways to improve academic performance, particularly in reading. Last year, the legislature added $4 million to the state’s Education Trust Fund, part of which was used to establish a pilot summer reading program. This is a moment of opportunity for Alabama’s summer learning leaders. </p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Andrew-Maxey.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Getting-Ready-for-Summer-in-the-Deep-South/Andrew-Maxey.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:220px;" />In many ways, Tuscaloosa is ahead of the game. Its district-run summer learning effort is entering its third year with programs in nine schools. Enrollment is already up for 2019, from 800 elementary students in 2018 to 1,000 so far signed up for this coming summer (out of a total of about 5,000 in the district). The district also provides grant funding and other forms of support to a number of independent programs. Andrew Maxey, the district’s director of special programs, who oversees its summer work, says he initially looked to Dallas, one of the districts in the National Summer Learning Project, for ideas. Last November, he attended the National Summer Learning Association’s annual conference, which is where he first discovered the Summer Learning Toolkit. Maxey welcomed the chance to incorporate the toolkit into a regularly scheduled planning meeting. “The tools in there are ridiculously powerful,” he says. “They’re solutions to issues every summer program needs to solve.”</p><p>Tuscaloosa may not be as big as Dallas or the other cities in the National Summer Learning Project, but it has big ambitions, Maxey says, aiming to bring every major player in town to the table and provide summer learning experiences to every student in the district who could benefit. He sees the toolkit as a means of facilitating that growth. “With just nine school-based programs, I’m able to give them very close coaching attention,” he says, “but when you scale, that’s just not practical.”</p><p>The program directors and teachers in the room—coming from both the district’s school-based programs and independent programs run by nonprofits like the Y and Boys & Girls Club—were curious about how the toolkit could help them with the challenges they face in the here and now. During one part of the presentation, a sample schedule of a typical day in Pittsburgh’s Summer Dreamers Academy appeared on the screen, and several attendees took out their phones to get a snapshot. </p><p>Juerrette Thomas, lead teacher for one of the district’s summer programs, operated by the 21st Century Community Learning Center at The Alberta School of the Performing Arts (TASPA), says that building partnerships with high-quality enrichment providers is foremost on her mind. “Our first year, we were a half-day program, and we did all the enrichment in-house,” she says. “But now that we’re going to a full day, we want that outside support. There are people who know about things we don’t or may have a way of presenting material to the students we haven’t even thought of. We’d like to have those partnerships, but they’re not solidified.”</p><p>Sure enough, the toolkit features a section with guidance on vetting and setting expectations for enrichment partners, including sample documents like a request for proposals and a memorandum of understanding. Making the trip to Tuscaloosa to talk about putting these resources into action was Kathryn Vargas, director of Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time, the nonprofit “intermediary” organization that works with Pittsburgh Public Schools to connect community-based enrichment providers with the district’s Summer Dreamers Academy. Thomas, who, in addition to her summer responsibilities, is a full-time teacher at TASPA, commented that she and her colleagues could use the support of an intermediary to take on the enrichment part of the summer learning equation. </p><p>She may eventually get her wish: Maxey told the group that he is exploring the possibility of bringing on a “backbone organization,” separate from the district, to coordinate Tuscaloosa’s summer learning activity, including the cultivation of enrichment partners.</p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Mike-Daria.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Getting-Ready-for-Summer-in-the-Deep-South/Mike-Daria.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:224px;" />The opportunity to learn and draw inspiration from someone like Vargas may have been what Mike Daria, superintendent of Tuscaloosa City Schools, had in mind when he kicked off the day by saying he was excited about “who was in the room together.” Daria says the district’s goal is to “recalibrate” what it’s doing in the summer, so that teachers and families alike think of it as “not just summer school.” Lesley Bruinton, the district’s coordinator of public relations, sees Daria’s vision of summer as a time when “learning is real <em>and</em> really fun” starting to become a reality. As an example, she mentions a summer teacher who created a class called “It’s a Piece of Cake,” in which students built their math skills by participating in a baking project and took a field trip to visit a local donut shop. </p><p>Summers in Tuscaloosa have always been sweltering, but when it comes to summer learning, it looks like things are really heating up.</p><p><em>Photos by C. W. Newell. Top: Closing exercise at the event; middle: Andrew Maxey, district director of special programs; bottom: Mike Daria, superintendent, Tuscaloosa City Schools.</em></p><p>  </p>Getting Ready for Summer in the Deep Southhttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Getting-Ready-for-Summer-in-the-Deep-South.aspx2019-04-16T04:00:00ZEducators and enrichment providers in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, explore Wallace’s summer learning toolkit
Could Federal Funding Help Pay for Arts Education in Your School?GP0|#d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8;L0|#0d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8|Arts Education;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015 makes considerable funding available to state and local education agencies for a variety of activities, including arts education. To make use of this funding, however, agencies must show evidence that the activities they propose make—or could reasonably make—a difference in student outcomes. </p><p>Researchers from the American Institutes for Research recently released<a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Review-of-Evidence-Arts-Education-Research-ESSA.aspx"> a detailed Wallace-commissioned report </a>that points to 88 studies of arts education approaches that meet ESSA's standards of evidence. Their report also includes a broader estimate, based on available evidence, of the results policymakers might see when undertaking certain types of arts education activities.</p><p>Wallace's editorial team talked to the authors of the report—Yinmei Wan, Meredith Ludwig and Andrea Boyle—to discuss the funding programs in ESSA, the activities and approaches that qualify for these programs, the results arts-education interventions could yield and how educators could use their report to improve arts education in their schools.</p><p>The report identifies 12 ESSA funding programs that agencies could use for arts education. "Some funding programs are particular to specific activities," said Boyle. "For example, if you want to open an arts-focused magnet school, there is a program specifically for that."</p><p>Others such as the Title I program, which offers funds to help improve certain schools, can be used to support a range of activities, Boyle added. "But they might focus on specific populations, such as English learners or students of low income backgrounds, or on certain types of settings, such as extended days or afterschool programs," she said. "If you focus on those student groups or activities, then that might be the sort of program you would want to pursue."</p><p>Approaches that meet the evidence requirements for these funding programs cover a range of art forms, including dance, drama, and media arts. Most, however, focus on music and visual arts. “There is a lot more research literature about music and visual arts”, said Meredith Ludwig, "because those are the dominant programs available to students in schools."</p><p>ESSA splits evidence into four tiers. Tiers I, II and III require positive, statistically significant results for an arts education intervention to qualify for ESSA. Most of the eligible approaches mentioned in the report fall under Tier IV, which requires a theoretical or research-based rationale suggesting that an intervention islikely todeliver a positive result. </p><p>"The Tier IV evidence category allows for opportunities to innovate with new interventions or new approaches that don't quite have a research base yet," said Boyle. "It requires an intervention to have a rationale or logic model explaining how the intervention is expected to work, paired with efforts to evaluate what effects the intervention actually has once it is put into practice. To come up with a logic model, you can look at interventions that <em>do</em> have evidence behind them, what their logic model might be, and develop a rationale informed by that." </p><p>A previous ESSA study could help inform such efforts, Ludwig said. "<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/sel-interventions-under-essa-evidence-review.aspx">The RAND report on social and emotional learning</a> did a good job describing how Tier IV is a good jumping off point for further research," she said. "It's important to explore what you know about a Tier IV intervention, whether you need to make changes to it and how you might bring the level of evidence up."</p><p>Different ESSA funding programs have different requirements, however. When matching a desired activity to a potential funding program, educators must ensure that the activity meets the evidence standards for that program. "Read the fine print of the specific funding program you're going after," said Boyle. "And make sure that the evidence aligns with those requirements."</p><p>Ultimately, the authors suggest, educators must ensure that the interventions they choose fit their broader goals for their schools. "Think about where an arts program would stand in relation to other things the school might be doing," Boyle said. "Look at the other types of funding available, what your priorities might be and how arts education might fit into those priorities." </p><p>The report's authors also explored the potential efficacy of arts education efforts beyond ESSA's evidence requirements. The final chapter of the report is a meta-analysis of all empirical studies the researchers found, regardless of whether they found the positive results that would make activities eligible for ESSA. </p><p>“We examined all of the effects produced from well-designed and well-implemented studies, regardless of whether they provide positive or negative findings, or whether the findings are statistically significant or not,” said Yinmei Wan, lead author of the report. “We think it can provide more important information for policymakers that takes account of the magnitude and direction of the effects in all the studies.”</p><p>The meta-analysis found that arts education produces a moderate, statistically significant, positive effect on student outcomes. But Wan urges caution when interpreting its results, largely because of the dearth of empirical research about arts education.“For some art types and outcome domains, there is only one single study,” she said. </p><p>She also points to the difficulties inherent in measuring the entirety of the arts experience. “Researchers are trying to find ways to better measure features of the arts experience," she said. </p><p>Still, there are many studies that could help point educators in the right direction. "Our review has limited scope," Wan said. "We don't review international studies or studies about afterschool programs. But there are other resources available like the <a href="https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/">What Works Clearinghouse</a> or <a href="https://www.artsedsearch.org/">artsedsearch.org</a> that have more information about interventions that are not covered in the report."</p>Could Federal Funding Help Pay for Arts Education in Your School?https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Could-Federal-Funding-Help-Pay-for-Arts-Ed-in-Your-School.aspx2019-01-23T05:00:00ZAuthors of a new report discuss ways in which schools could get federal support for arts education and the results they could expect from it.
Dancers and Musicians Get Audiences Moving at CRASHfest in BostonGP0|#8056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be;L0|#08056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be|Building Audiences for the Arts;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p> <a href="http://worldmusic.org/">World Music/CRASHarts</a>, one of the organizations participating in Wallace’s <a href="/knowledge-center/the-arts/Pages/default.aspx">Building Audiences for Sustainability initiative</a>, held its third annual CRASHfest on Saturday, February 24. CRASHfest is a celebration of music, dance, food and culture from around the world. It is also World Music/CRASHarts’s flagship event to help attract younger audiences to the <a href="http://worldmusic.org/events/list-events">extensive series</a> of performances it presents every year.</p><p>A detailed account of CRASHfest and its role in the organization’s audience-development efforts is due this fall. But that’s too long to wait to post some of the photos we took at the event:<br></p><p style="text-align:center;">​<img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="IMG_8545-CRASHfest.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Dancers-and-musicians-get-audiences-moving-at-CRASHfest-in-Boston/IMG_8545-CRASHfest.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:779px;" /> </p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align:left;">New York City's first all-female mariachi band, Flor de Toloache, kick off the festivities on the CRASHfest main stage.<br></p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align:center;"> <br> </p><div style="text-align:center;"> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="IMG_8628-CRASHfest.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Dancers-and-musicians-get-audiences-moving-at-CRASHfest-in-Boston/IMG_8628-CRASHfest.jpg" style="margin:5px;color:#666666;font-family:freightsans_promedium_italic;font-size:14px;" /> </div><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align:left;">Subject:Matter, a local tap dance company, wow the crowd on a bump-out stage in the main hall. The bump-out stage,<br> new to CRASHfest in 2018, kept crowds entertained as bands set up on the main stage.<br></p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align:left;"><br></p> <p> </p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align:center;"> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="IMG_8706-CRASHfest.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Dancers-and-musicians-get-audiences-moving-at-CRASHfest-in-Boston/IMG_8706-CRASHfest.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /> </p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align:left;">Maure Aronson, founder and executive director of World Music/CRASHarts, introduces Malian singer and guitarist, <br>Vieux Farka Touré</p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption"> </p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align:center;"> </p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align:left;"> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="IMG_8785-CRASHfest.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Dancers-and-musicians-get-audiences-moving-at-CRASHfest-in-Boston/IMG_8785-CRASHfest.jpg" style="margin:5px;" />Malian singer and guitarist Vieux Farka Touré, who appeared to be one of the stronger draws to the main stage.</p><p> </p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align:center;"> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="IMG_8706-CRASHfest.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Dancers-and-musicians-get-audiences-moving-at-CRASHfest-in-Boston/IMG_8835-CRASHfest.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /> </p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align:left;">Brazilian dance ensemble SambaAiva teaches the crowd how to "party like a Brazilian."</p><p> </p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align:center;"> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="IMG_8926-CRASHfest.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Dancers-and-musicians-get-audiences-moving-at-CRASHfest-in-Boston/IMG_8926-CRASHfest.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /> <br> </p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align:left;">Zimbabwean sextet Mokoomba's synchronized dance moves appeared particularly popular with the audience</p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption"> <br></p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align:center;"> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="IMG_8969-CRASHfest.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Dancers-and-musicians-get-audiences-moving-at-CRASHfest-in-Boston/IMG_8969-CRASHfest.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /> <br> </p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align:left;">The audience gets younger (and on the whole drunker) as the evening wears on and <br>Zimbabwean Afropop sextet Mokoomba takes stage.<br><br></p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption"> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="IMG_8990-CRASHfest.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Dancers-and-musicians-get-audiences-moving-at-CRASHfest-in-Boston/IMG_8990-CRASHfest.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align:center;"> <br> </p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align:left;">Two music fans look for a spot to add their photo-booth picture to the Boston skyline. <br>One in the background poses alongside hers.</p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align:left;">Interested in how other arts organizations are trying to build their audiences? See other <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/the-building-audiences-for-sustainability-stories-project.aspx">BAS Stories here</a>. </p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption"> </p> <br> <br> <br>Dancers and Musicians Get Audiences Moving at CRASHfest in Bostonhttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Dancers-and-musicians-get-audiences-moving-at-CRASHfest-in-Boston.aspx2018-03-16T04:00:00ZA rich tapestry of global culture at World Music/CRASHarts’s third annual festival of international performing arts.
Students’ Mental and Emotional Health Top Concerns for Elementary PrincipalsGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>The top concerns of elementary and middle school principals have shifted dramatically in the past 10 years, according to a new survey, with nearly three quarters of those polled saying they are worried about an increase in the number of students with emotional problems. The top issues that survey respondents noted in 2008—student assessment, instructional practices and providing a continuum of services to students at risk—didn’t rank among their top concerns in the new <a href="https://www.naesp.org/pre-k-8-school-leader-2018-10-year-study">study</a> by the National Association of Elementary School Principals. </p><p>The association has surveyed pre-K-8 school principals every 10 years since 1928. The study gauges the characteristics, concerns and conditions of elementary and middle school principals, and it tracks how these change over time. The 2018 survey, which was not nationally representative, received responses from almost 900 elementary and middle school principals.</p><p>This year’s survey marked the first time that students’ mental and emotional issues topped principals’ concerns. Those surveyed selected an “increase in the number of students with emotional problems” (74 percent), “student mental health issues” (66 percent) and “students not performing to their level of potential” (62 percent) as issues of “extreme or high” concern in their schools.</p><p>“While these findings are significant because they quantify the concerns of principals nationwide, they are somewhat foreseeable given the uptick in predictors like an increase in poverty and a need for mental health supports,” said Earl Franks, the association’s executive director. </p><p class="wf-Element-Callout"> 42% of the survey respondents reported a large increase in involvement with “student mental health issues” and 38% reported a moderate increase. </p><p>When asked what concerned them about their students, principals cited poverty, behavior management, lack of effective adult supervision at home, safety and security, bullying over social media, homelessness and absenteeism, among other issues. </p><p>Addressing the socioemotional needs of students ranked as one of the top five matters the principals reported spending time on. Asked about areas in which their level of involvement has changed in recent years, 42 percent of the survey respondents reported a large increase in involvement with “student mental health issues” and 38 percent reported a moderate increase. “Student socioemotional well-being” ranked fourth on the list of matters with which the principals said they are increasingly involved.  </p><p>Franks described principals’ roles as supporting teachers’ efforts in the classroom, cultivating leadership and “shaping a vision” for school cultures that make student well-being, including social and emotional health, a priority.</p><p>“Addressing the social and emotional needs of students isn’t necessarily a new responsibility for principals,” Franks explained, but the increasing interest in incorporating social and emotional learning (SEL) in schools “has provided a language and a construct to help principals think about how they can marshal and leverage resources and support for teachers and students.”</p><p>To do this, principals need more support in the form of training and guidance, Franks said. Franks suggested that their professional development needs to shift to address the growing need for social and emotional learning. “This type of learning should not feel like an add-on,” he said.  </p><p>Wallace recognizes the importance of SEL and has invested in research that provides credible and useful knowledge on the topic. This includes an edition of the journal <a href="/how-we-work/our-work/pages/social-emotional-learning.aspx"><em>The Future of Children</em></a> on SEL and <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/navigating-social-and-emotional-learning-from-the-inside-out.aspx"><em>Navigating SEL from the Inside Out: Looking Inside & Across 25 Leading SEL Programs: A Practical Resource for Schools and OST Providers.</em></a></p><p>You can learn more about our ongoing <a href="/knowledge-center/social-and-emotional-learning/pages/default.aspx">social and emotional learning initiative</a> on our website. </p>Students’ Mental and Emotional Health Top Concerns for Elementary Principalshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Students-Mental-and-Emotional-Health.aspx2018-08-07T04:00:00ZNew study shows principals’ increasing attention to social and emotional development and other student issues
Five Organizations, Five Different Strategies to Build Arts AudiencesGP0|#8056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be;L0|#08056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be|Building Audiences for the Arts;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​In 2015, Wallace set out on the <a href="/how-we-work/our-work/Pages/the-arts.aspx">Building Audiences for Sustainability initiative</a>, a six-year journey with <a href="/knowledge-center/building-audiences-for-sustainability/pages/bas-appendix.aspx">26 arts organizations</a> to figure out ways to stem decades of declines in arts audiences. The initiative supports organizations' efforts to draw new audiences, encourage repeat attendance, interest people in new works or any other goal they feel is necessary to bring them closer to their mission. </p><p>The results of these efforts so far are as diverse as the organizations themselves (now down to 25 after one organization exited the initiative). Some strategies have shown success. Others faltered and required significant reexamination. Many fall somewhere in between, helping to meet some of an organization's objectives but not others. </p><p> Researchers from the University of Texas are studying these efforts to see if they can spot any trends and uncover evidence that could help other organizations. Firm results aren't expected until 2020, so we sent writers and video crews to five of the participating organizations over the past few years to see how things were going. Their stories show some intriguing early results that other groups might consider as they formulate their own audience-building plans.</p><p>"There's no one-size-fits-all solution for all organizations, of course," says Bahia Ramos, Wallace's arts director. "But these stories offer some interesting examples of how market research and methodical experimentation could move organizations towards their audience goals. Each organization's experience is specific to its own local context, but we hope these stories will spark some ideas in other organizations facing similar concerns."</p><p>Click through below to see what the organizations are trying and how they're faring so far:</p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="BAS-Ballet-Austin-1.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Five-Organizations-Five-Different-Strategies-to-Build-Arts-Audiences/BAS-Ballet-Austin-1.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:809px;height:482px;" /> </p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/ballet-austin-building-audiences-for-sustainability.aspx">Ballet Austin</a> planned to shepherd audiences along a "familiarity continuum," a path it assumed audiences take from classics such as <em>The Nutcracker</em> to obscure contemporary performances. Market research suggested, however, that there is no such path; audiences seem less concerned about familiarity with the work than they are about the uncertainty of the experience. The organization therefore reoriented efforts from informing audiences about new works to ensuring they felt at home, regardless of the show.</p><p> <br> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="BAS-SSO-7.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Five-Organizations-Five-Different-Strategies-to-Build-Arts-Audiences/BAS-SSO-7.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:809px;height:482px;" /> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/can-the-citys-boom-mean-new-audiences-for-seattle-symphony.aspx">Seattle Symphony</a> came up with three series of informal performances to capitalize on explosive growth in downtown Seattle. The organization assumed most of the area's emigres were millennials, so it focused on edgier performances and incorporated contemporary musicians to draw younger crowds. But market research showed that Gen-Xers and older empty-nesters were also promising targets. The organization therefore tweaked its series to accommodate a broader age range, with encouraging early results.</p><p> <br> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="BAS-DCPA-5.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Five-Organizations-Five-Different-Strategies-to-Build-Arts-Audiences/BAS-DCPA-5.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:809px;height:482px;" /> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/denver-center-for-the-performing-arts-is-cracking-the-millennial-code.aspx">Off Center, an experimental theater company at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts</a>, is testing interactive and immersive performances to see if they draw millennials. Its first Wallace-funded performance was a resounding success. The second, which attempted to replicate that success at lower cost, didn't do as well. But the organization used those experiences to create future performances that, so far, are keeping the company moving in the right direction.</p><p> <br> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="BAS-OTSL-3.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Five-Organizations-Five-Different-Strategies-to-Build-Arts-Audiences/BAS-OTSL-3.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:809px;height:482px;" /> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/think-opera-is-not-for-you-opera-theatre-of-saint-louis-says-think-again.aspx">Opera Theatre of Saint Louis</a> tried many strategies to draw young, diverse audiences to compensate for audiences that are aging out of regular attendance, but few worked. The company was baffled, until it conducted market research, which challenged assumptions about potential audiences and the sorts of performances that would draw them. It has responded by refining its approach and revamping many engagement programs to help break stereotypes of opera audiences. </p><p> <br> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="IMG_8545.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Five-Organizations-Five-Different-Strategies-to-Build-Arts-Audiences/IMG_8545.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:809px;height:482px;" /> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/world-music-crasharts-tests-new-format-new-name-to-draw-new-audiences.aspx">World Music/CRASHarts, a presenter in Boston</a> with no dedicated space of its own, started hosting an annual festival to attract millennials and build name recognition. The party atmosphere of the festival appears to be bringing some younger people into the fold, but it's unclear whether the strategy is financially sustainable. The research that preceded the festival, however, is triggering a much broader change: a new name for the organization and a whole new brand identity.</p><p>Need more ideas? Check out some of the other free resources to help build audiences in <a href="/knowledge-center/the-arts/Pages/default.aspx">our knowledge center</a>. </p>Five Organizations, Five Different Strategies to Build Arts Audienceshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Five-Organizations-Five-Different-Strategies-to-Build-Arts-Audiences.aspx2019-03-19T04:00:00ZEarly accounts from a major Wallace initiative to help increase participation in the arts.
Though it May Look Different, Summer Is Not CanceledGP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>​Every year, millions of kids—and, let’s face it, many adults too—look forward to the start of summer. But Summer 2020 is shaping up to be like no other. With summer vacations canceled, camps on hold and schools unsure about whether and how they will reopen, we’re facing a new set of questions, challenges and opportunities. </p><p>As we kick off Summer Learning Week, we had the chance to connect via email with Aaron Dworkin, CEO of the <a href="https://www.summerlearning.org/">National Summer Learning Association</a> (NSLA), a nonprofit organization that has been solely focused on harnessing summer as a time of learning, to see how they are approaching this unprecedented summer. For more in depth information about NSLA and summer learning, <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/summer-from-the-wild-west-to-a-center-of-success.aspx">see our interview with Dworkin</a> when he came onboard with the organization last year. </p><p><strong>Let’s start with the big question: How will summer be different this year?</strong></p><p>The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to worsen the already existing opportunity gap between children from rich and poor families. It has illuminated the nation’s inequities in our school systems and communities like never before, shining a spotlight on the significant digital divide, food insecurities, childcare issues and learning losses millions of underserved students and their families face every summer. And the combination of COVID-19-related learning loss combined with the usual summer slide may have a ripple effect for years to come. Nonprofit organization NWEA, which specializes in student assessments, predicts significant learning loss from COVID school closures, especially in math. Their findings project that “students may return in fall 2020 with roughly 70 percent of the learning gains in reading relative to a typical school year, less than 50 percent of the learning gains in math, and in some grades, nearly a full year behind what we would observe in normal conditions.”</p><p>This means that summer learning programming will be more important than ever in 2020. Across the country, summer programs are adapting and innovating to ensure children and their families can access quality summer learning opportunities and critical supports, exploring safe ways to reopen, developing virtual and at-home learning experiences that families can do together and securing funding and policy support to expand summer meal programs in communities experiencing an increase in food insecurity due to job losses and school closures.</p><p>Parents, educators, summer learning advocates, business leaders and policymakers each play a critical role to save and expand summer learning opportunities in communities across the country this summer.</p><p><strong>How might families think about summer during this pandemic?</strong><strong> </strong> </p><p>Families are learning how to be hyper-creative when thinking about this summer. They’re thinking about ways to take advantage of available resources in a safe way. While community libraries and museums may be closed to in-person visits, you can explore their summer library programs or museum tours virtually with your children from the comfort of home. Many library and museum websites across the country and around the world have information posted about free virtual learning opportunities. </p><p>Parents can also access other online resources, such as the new <a href="https://bealearninghero.org/summer-stride/quick-tips-resources/">Summer Stride</a> resource from Learning Heroes, which includes ways to help your child with math and reading at home this summer.</p><p><strong>It seems parents, guardians and others have a bigger role in summer learning this year, in addition to summer programs. In general, why are summer learning programs important?</strong></p><p>Research shows that high-quality summer programs can make a difference in stemming learning loss and closing the country’s educational and opportunity gaps, particularly for our most vulnerable students. Elementary school students with high attendance in summer learning programs boost their math and reading skills. These skills, along with social and emotional learning, help children not only in school but also in their careers and life.<strong></strong></p><p><strong>What is most important for policymakers to know about summer learning programs, especially this year?</strong></p><p>On the federal level, funding is critical. These dollars serve to launch new programs and allow existing programs to serve more students and improve quality. Recent studies have shown that 88 percent of teachers say summer learning programs are important to students’ success and 85 percent of families support public investment in summer programs. </p><p>The House and Senate continue to show strong support for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Title IV Part A, and other key funding that supports summer programs in budget allocations. </p><p>On the state level, it is crucial for policymakers to allocate federal funding received toward more quality summer and afterschool opportunities, as well as increase regular state education funding to include financial support for summer and afterschool programs. We are also encouraging local leaders to take advantage of the specific allowable use of funds for summer learning cited in the <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/unpacking-the-federal-response-to-covid-19-in-education.aspx">CARES ACT</a> [the federal relief act in response to COVID-19] and to continue to promote additional local funding for summer learning. State policymakers could support summer learning and close the opportunity gap for children in their state by adding or refining language about summer learning and afterschool learning in their state school finance formulas and in statues, describe key components of successful opportunities as principles for which the funding should be spent. </p><p><strong>Given the current context, is NSLA doing anything different for Summer Learning Week this year?</strong></p><p>Summer may look different this year, but it isn’t canceled. Even if we can’t all be together, summer programs are adapting and innovating to ensure children and their families can access quality summer learning opportunities and critical supports and services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. </p><p>To that end, we are offering numerous new resources and launching our national Keep All Kids Healthy and Learning billboard advertising campaign. In addition, with the move to many more virtual programs and events during this pandemic, NSLA is celebrating the week with <a href="https://www.summerlearning.org/summer-learning-week/theme-days-and-resources/">different theme days</a> and by lifting up inspiring program examples and resources with national webinars each day co-hosted with innovative summer learning partners and leaders. </p><p><em>To find out more about NSLA’s daily webinars and other resources for Summer Learning Week, visit the organization’s </em><a href="https://www.summerlearning.org/summer-learning-week/"><em>website</em></a><em>.</em></p> Though it May Look Different, Summer Is Not Canceledhttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Though-it-May-Look-Different-Summer-Is-Not-Canceled.aspx2020-07-08T04:00:00ZThis Year’s National Summer Learning Week Celebrates a Wide Variety of Opportunities Still Available to Kids Across America