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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|#a2eb43fb-abab-4f1c-ae41-72fd1022ddb0;L0|#0a2eb43fb-abab-4f1c-ae41-72fd1022ddb0|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. <br></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/baltimore-symphony-orchestra-announces-bso-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.
Summer Means Opportunity…for Students and CitiesGP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Eighteen-year-old Michael Berthaud studies computer science at Boston’s Wentworth Institute of Technology, where he has a full scholarship. He plans to become a video game designer. Looking back on the path that brought him to where he is today, Michael reflects on one of the crucial stops along the way—the summer between middle- and high school, which he spent at a science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics program offered by the nonprofit organization Sociedad Latina. </p><p>“I realized there is more to your summer than just staying at home,” Michael says. “In English, we read short stories, and the emphasis was on articulating yourself as a person through writing. I had never looked at school that way. I had a very closed-minded view of what school is supposed to offer you.”</p><p>Sociedad Latina’s summer program is part of 5th Quarter of Learning, a citywide initiative co-managed by Boston Public Schools and Boston After School & Beyond (Boston Beyond), a public-private partnership. This summer, 5th Quarter of Learning is celebrating its 10th anniversary—and to get an idea of its impact, one need look no further than Michael, whose time in the program helped him set his course toward a career that combines technology and the arts. </p><p>“I started to yearn to express myself,” he says. “I like to write, I like to draw, things of that nature. That’s probably why the Sociedad program really stuck with me.”</p><p>There’s a lesson for all of us in Michael’s story: Summer is a time of opportunity. For young people, it’s an opportunity to experience enriching activities and ways of learning they may not be exposed to during the school year. For school districts, it’s an opportunity to try out new approaches to instruction and help students gain or make up ground in core academic subjects. For cities, it’s an opportunity to unite the education, nonprofit, philanthropy and business worlds to work toward a common goal.</p><p>That’s where Boston Beyond comes in. Founded in 2005, Boston Beyond is an intermediary or “backbone” organization. Its job is to bring government agencies, funders, program providers, business leaders, colleges and universities, and other players to the table and coordinate their efforts to create new and better learning experiences for the city’s students. It also serves as a go-to source for research and policy proposals.</p><p>At first, the school district viewed Boston Beyond primarily as a conduit to the city’s hundreds of community-based programs, but the relationship has developed into a partnership of equals—a “strategic leadership initiative” jointly run by the school system and intermediary, in the words of Arianna Wilson, the district’s program manager for expanded learning time. “Together, we set goals, then divide and conquer the work based on our different focuses and strengths, and our programs see the benefits,” she says. <br> <br> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="CJS-headshot.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Summer-Means-Opportunity-for-Students-and-Cities/CJS-headshot.jpg" style="margin:5px;" />Chris Smith, president and executive director of Boston Beyond, describes the organization’s role this way: “We see ourselves as the conscience for collaboration and continuously thinking about how to do together what none of us could do alone.” </p><p>Collaboration requires courage because everyone involved will be called on to do things they’ve never done before, Smith says, whether it’s “taking a group of kids you wouldn’t normally serve or sending teachers to a place they wouldn’t normally teach.” It can take time to build trust, but Smith is convinced that trust comes from diving in and getting to work.</p><p>“I hate the idea of sitting around a conference table for two years and not getting off the dime to do something together,” he says. “I can name the people from the first two years [of 5th Quarter of Learning]. I can picture the smiles on their faces and the look in their eyes. They brought different perspectives from different situations, but they came to agreement on how our model would roll out.”</p><p>One of those people was Eric Arnold, executive director of Hale Reservation, a nonprofit that has been around for more than 100 years, offering camp experiences in a 1,000-plus-acre woodland preserve about 15 miles outside the city. As Arnold tells it, “I was involved in a separate work group that had to do with environmental education in Boston. I was at a meeting, and Chris came in and said, ‘By the way, we’re exploring how we look at summer learning,’ and I said, ‘I think I’d be interested. Tell me more.’ It speaks to Boston Beyond’s ability to put people together in the right place at the right time.”</p><p>Hale Reservation has been a 5th Quarter of Learning program provider ever since. Hale students take math and English classes in the great outdoors, challenge themselves with ropes courses in the trees, and discover the surrounding wildlife on a pontoon boat known as the “floating classroom.” Other programs chosen and overseen by Boston Beyond give students the chance to learn tennis or lacrosse, write for a teen newspaper, even sail from Boston Harbor to Ellis Island.</p><p>The students aren’t the only ones who are getting something invaluable from their 5th Quarter of Learning experience. Boston Beyond offers program providers professional development, rigorous research on the effectiveness of their work, and connections to potential partners, funders and families who could benefit from their services. Arnold says that being a part of the initiative has helped validate something Hale Reservation’s supporters knew intuitively—that its work was making a difference for kids. </p><p>“It put us on the map in a different way with families that participate and the greater Boston community,” he says. “You spend your summer working with Boston Public Schools, you build capital with the district, so then when you start to propose other things, it validates your work. And it’s done that for many other organizations, as well.”</p><p>Word of this win-win-win arrangement (for students and families, for program providers, and for the school system and city as a whole) has gotten around. In 2010, the initiative served 232 students at five sites. This year, it will serve 14,000 students at 160 sites. In 2018, the Massachusetts legislature passed a $500,000 line item in the state budget to expand 5th Quarter of Learning to 19 other communities across the state. In keeping with its role as a hub of information and ideas, Boston Beyond is sharing what it’s learned with these communities.</p><p>Chris Smith is focused less on Boston Beyond’s accomplishments, however, than on the road ahead—just like Michael Berthaud. He won’t be satisfied until every child in Boston (and beyond) has access to a high-quality, horizon-expanding summer experience. To Smith, keeping the eyes of an entire city turned toward a brighter future is just part of an intermediary’s job description. </p><p>“An intermediary can’t just manage the status quo,” he says.</p> Summer Means Opportunity…for Students and Citieshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Summer-Means-Opportunity-for-Students-and-Cities.aspx2019-08-06T04:00:00ZLooking back on 10 years of summer learning with Boston After School & Beyond
Making a Case for Investment 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>Support for the arts was once a prosaic topic in America’s national discourse. Politicians, educators and policymakers generally agreed that the arts are an essential source of personal enrichment worthy of institutional investment. <br><br> That consensus began to unravel in 1970s and 80s, however. “Culture wars” and fiscal austerity saw once-cherished programs, including those related to the arts and arts education, slashed from government budgets. It was no longer enough for arts advocates to point to the <em>intrinsic</em> benefits of the arts—the personal joy and enrichment people draw from the arts. They increasingly turned to arguments based on <em>instrumental</em> benefits—the effect of the arts on quantifiable societal indicators such as economic growth and student test scores.<br><br> Despite this change in focus, arts funding has continued to decline. Recent years have seen <a href="http://www.npr.org/2017/03/16/520401246/trumps-budget-plan-cuts-funding-for-arts-humanities-and-public-media">proposals to eliminate federal funding to the National Endowment for the Arts</a> and deep cuts to arts education in high-poverty schools in cities such as <a href="http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/layoffs-could-derail-cps-progress-on-arts-education/">Chicago</a> and <a href="http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Philly-Students-Face-Uncertainties-School-Cutbacks-Music-212290071.html">Philadelphia</a>. <br> <br>Researchers from the RAND Corporation offer an alternative argument that may help build the case for arts funding in <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Gifts-of-the-Muse.aspx"><em>Gifts of the Muse: Reframing the Debate About the Benefits of the Arts</em></a>. The study’s authors scoured through decades of literature and found shortcomings in these arguments that focus on instrumental benefits, including some shaky research methods, vague connections between causes and effects and a failure to account for the opportunity costs of investments in the arts. Further, the authors suggest, a focus on instrumental benefits limits the debate to the supply of the arts. By ignoring the intrinsic benefits that compel people to build lasting relationships with the arts, arts advocates may fail to make a case for the essential job of stimulating demand for that supply. </p> <img alt="blog-intro-series-arts-audience-lg-framework-understanding-arts-ch.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Making-a-Case-for-Investment-in-the-Arts-blog-post/blog-intro-series-arts-audience-lg-framework-understanding-arts-ch.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:783px;" /> <br> <br> The authors offer a number of ideas to bring more nuance and greater clarity to the debate about the arts: <p> </p><ol><li>Advocates and policymakers must look beyond one-dimensional discussions that weigh intrinsic against instrumental benefits. They must also consider <em>public</em> intrinsic benefits of shared artworks, such as their ability to unite people around particular causes, ideas or emotions.</li><li>Arts advocates must develop a clear, common language to discuss intrinsic benefits, which can often be hard to elucidate.</li><li>Increased research is necessary to better understand the benefits of the arts. The flaws in existing literature about instrumental benefits must be addressed and intrinsic benefits must be better understood.</li><li>Schools and community organizations need greater investment to help them expose children to the arts. Lasting relationships with the arts must begin early, researchers suggest; children who develop interest in the arts are more likely to seek them out—and hence derive benefits from them—as adults.</li></ol><p>At Wallace, we’ve been working to help address some of these recommendations. In 2014, we launched the <a href="/how-we-work/our-work/Pages/Arts-Education-Initiative.aspx">Youth Arts Initiative</a>, a multi-year effort to help the Boys & Girls Clubs of America develop strategies to offer a high-quality arts education to urban youth. An interim evaluation of the initiative has shown that it is possible for clubs to put in place the basic elements of such an education; we are now working with Boys & Girls Clubs to devise ways in which they can do so affordably and sustainably. <br><br> We also support arts organizations as they work to build audiences so more people can experience the intrinsic benefits of the arts. Our latest focus in this area is the <a href="/how-we-work/our-work/Pages/the-arts.aspx">Building Audiences for Sustainability Initiative</a>, a six-year effort to determine whether 25 arts organizations can broaden, deepen or diversify their audiences in ways that also contribute to their financial health. The initiative builds on the Wallace Excellence Awards, a previous effort that produced two practical guides to help build audiences: <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/The-Road-to-Results-Effective-Practices-for-Building-Arts-Audiences.aspx"><em>The Road to Results: Effective Practices for Building Arts Audiences</em></a>, and <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Taking-Out-the-Guesswork.aspx"><em>Taking Out the Guesswork: A Guide to Using Research to Build Arts Audiences</em></a>.<br><br> We don’t yet know if these efforts will succeed. But if they do, we hope they will offer models to help youth-serving organizations introduce young people to the arts and established arts organizations nurture such interest so the arts, and their intrinsic benefits, can thrive.</p>Making a Case for Investment in the Artshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Making-a-Case-for-Investment-in-the-Arts-blog-post.aspx2017-09-21T04:00:00ZArts advocates must look beyond the socio-economic benefits of the arts, says the RAND Corporation
Staffing is Top Concern for Afterschool ProvidersGP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​​​​​​Staffing shortages across the United States from healthcare to the airline industry have made headlines over the past few months. In fact, 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in December, according to the Labor Department’s latest <a href="https://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.nr0.htm" target="_blank">Job Openings and Labor Turnover </a> <a href="https://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.nr0.htm">report</a>. Unfortunately, afterschool programs are no exception to this latest trend. </p><p>According to a <a href="http://afterschoolalliance.org/documents/Afterschool-COVID-19-Wave-6-Brief.pdf" target="_blank">new survey</a> by the Afterschool Alliance, afterschool programs and providers say staffing is the most pressing challenge they’re currently facing. </p><p>The survey, conducted by Edge Research between November 1 and December 13, 2021, states the top two concerns among the 1,043 afterschool providers surveyed are finding staff to hire/staffing shortages and maintaining staff levels through health concerns and safety protocols. Eighty-seven percent of respondents say they are concerned about this, and more than half—51 percent—say that they are extremely concerned. These numbers are up 20 percentage points from a similar survey conducted in the spring of 2021.  </p><p>“Combatting staff burnout is a priority for us,” one of the survey respondents said. “We  are doing as much as we can to be supportive, both financially and by providing emotional support for staff. Keeping full-time staff engaged and encouraged has been a challenge. Keeping good part-time staff engaged and focused has proven even more difficult.”</p><p>Many of the providers surveyed connect the staffing challenges to their inability to serve more students, additional staff stress and burnout, and concerns about program costs. For instance, the survey found that 54 percent of programs that are physically open say that they have a waitlist, an increase from 37 percent in the spring 2021 survey. In addition, among respondents who report an increase in program costs, 83 percent say that staffing costs contributed to their program’s higher weekly cost-per-child.</p><p>To address the staffing issues, 71 percent of respondents report that their program has undertaken at least one course of action to attract and retain staff:<br></p><ul><li>53 percent are increasing salaries<br> </li><li> 32 percent are providing additional professional development opportunities<br></li><li> 18 percent are offering free childcare for staff<br></li><li> 15 percent are offering sign-on bonuses<br></li><li> 10 percent are offering more paid time off<br></li><li> 5 percent are offering increased benefits </li></ul><p>On the plus side, <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/american-rescue-plan-five-things-state-and-district-leaders-need-to-know-now.aspx">COVID relief dollars are able to help program providers</a> address their current issues with staffing. Among respondents who report that their program received new funding for fall 2021 programming, 47 percent say the new funding helped support staff recruitment efforts.</p><p>The Afterschool Alliance has also developed a <a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RebwjpCkpiPP2SU2yksrHQJ8rm1gTRCOgUoBu5aTroc/edit" target="_blank">staff recruitment toolkit</a> to help providers recruit staff for afterschool programs.<br></p><p><em>Photo credit: Photographer Webber J. Charles, Breakthrough Miami</em> <br> </p>Staffing is Top Concern for Afterschool Providershttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Staffing-is-Top-Concern-For-Afterschool-Providers.aspx2022-02-03T05:00:00ZNew survey findings provide stark picture of staffing shortages in afterschool programs and how this is affecting children
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.
In Baltimore, Young People Lead the Call for Afterschool and Summer ProgramsGP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>There are always a lot of dedicated people in the room when Wallace’s grantees, research partners and other colleagues come together as part of a professional learning community, or PLC. But at the final meeting of our<a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/pages/default.aspx"> summer learning </a>PLC in Baltimore recently, one attendee stood out. At age 19, Samirah Franklin is already making a difference in her community and beyond. As lead organizer of the Baltimore Youth Organizing Project, she headed a successful campaign to prevent a 25-percent cut in the city’s funding for youth programming.</p><p>Franklin’s graduation from high school in 2015 coincided with a groundswell of activism following the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who sustained a fatal spinal cord injury while in police custody—one of a number of such incidents nationwide. That summer, she was painting murals as part of a summer jobs program. She had no idea when she signed up for the program that she’d be attending leadership development and community organizing classes in the afternoons when it was too hot for outdoor work. But those classes were the spark that helped her determine the direction of her life. Franklin is living proof of what a good summer program can do.</p><p>As part of a panel discussion on “the power of local action,” Franklin made such a strong impression that we asked to speak with her one-one-one about her advocacy work.*</p><p> <strong>You became an activist in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death. How did you come to focus your attention on youth programming like afterschool and summer programs? How is youth programming connected to social justice?</strong></p><p>“What to do with Baltimore’s young people” is a hot topic in the city. Yet anytime there’s a deficit or money that needs to be shuffled around, youth programming is the first thing to go. We had an idea of what the community wanted because we’re from the community, but we still went out and listened to over 400 young people about what their main concerns were. They said they need more and better rec centers, more and better afterschool programs, year-round employment. A lot of young people are supplementing income for their families. </p><p> <strong>When The Wallace Foundation talks to decision-makers about afterschool and summer learning, we emphasize the need to close the opportunity and achievement gaps between children from low-income families and their wealthier peers. When you talk to civic leaders, what is the argument you make to persuade them?</strong></p><p>It’s never about, “do these programs work?” Everyone knows they work. It’s about priorities. If you know who voted you in, that’s who you cater to. So, our organization quadrupled voter turnout in our neighborhoods, doing serious voter registration drives. We had to show we have adults behind us and they will be voting. Sometimes you wonder, “Maybe if we tell our personal stories, maybe if we do this, maybe if we do that…” It’s not about that. It’s a power analysis. We do the work to understand who we need to move.</p><p> <strong>What role do you think philanthropic institutions like Wallace have to play in the advocacy work you do? How can foundations be an ally to young people in cities like Baltimore?</strong></p><p>In Baltimore, we let philanthropic dollars come in and take over the city’s responsibility to prioritize afterschool programs. A lot of philanthropic organizations do a great job, but they should focus on truly building capacity in the community, equipping the parents of the kids in their programs with the tools to say, “This foundation did so much for us, but it’s time for the city to step up.”</p><p> <strong>What does success look like to you? What is your vision for young people in your community and others like it? How do you measure progress along the way?</strong></p><p>When we see people voting for the first time, we know we’re having small successes. But we also see a murder rate that keeps rising, so we know the impact we’re having isn’t on a great enough scale. I know we won’t save every young person in the city; it’s about the long term. I read a quote from the mayor of Baltimore in 1911 saying, “blacks should be confined in isolated slums,” and that’s exactly what happened. Creating systems that undo that injustice is how I measure success. You have to impact public policy because public policy is ultimately what controls our lives in Baltimore. </p><p> <strong>What advice would you give a young person who wants to make a difference in her community but doesn’t know where to start?</strong></p><p>If there isn’t an organization to join in your city, you might have to start it. Get in a relationship with a few good people. There’s always someone around you who’s spoken about making change. That’s who you work with. Do that relational work. You’ve got to go door-to-door. It can be hard and a little scary, but that’s the slow and patient work of organizing. </p><p>*<em>This interview has been edited and condensed.</em></p>In Baltimore, Young People Lead the Call for Afterschool and Summer Programshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Samirah-Franklin-QA.aspx2017-11-27T05:00:00ZOrganizer Samirah Franklin on “Creating Systems That Undo Injustice”
Future Arts Administrators and Other Adult Learners Persevere OnlineGP0|#8056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be;L0|#08056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be|Building Audiences for the Arts;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>As students gear up for the spring semester (whether in-person or virtually), many are preparing to return to programs that look and operate much differently than in previous years. Those who teach and run arts administration programs have experienced this shift as well, with many programs rethinking and reworking pre-existing systems to acclimate to the current environment. </p><p>We recently connected over email with John-Morgan Bush, Director of Lifelong Learning at The Juilliard School, and Lee Ann Scotto Adams, Executive Director of the Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE), over email to discuss obstacles and bright spots that the arts higher education landscape has experienced as a result of the pandemic, its resultant economic hardships and the urgent, ongoing conversations around equity and access. Despite previously anticipated enrollment drops in higher education due to rising COVID-19 cases on campuses and the potential drawbacks of virtual course instruction, Bush and Adams share that arts programs and their students—from the undergraduate to the continuing education level—have demonstrated perseverance and agility, adapting and learning within a new environment.</p><p><strong>The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic caused enrollment changes in higher education programs as cases on campuses rose last fall. What are some challenges unique to arts programs? And how are people addressing them?</strong></p><p><strong>LSA:</strong> Many arts administration programs in the AAAE network have actually seen recent increases in inquiries, applications and enrollment. This isn’t too surprising, as this tends to happen in higher education when there is an economic crisis. There was a similar trend during the 2009 economic collapse. People go back to school to augment their skills or make a career change; this is true at the undergraduate level too. One of AAAE’s undergraduate programs in the Midwest has seen a 25 percent increase in its freshman class this year, and they are getting an influx of undergraduate students who are choosing arts-discipline majors and minors. Undergraduate students who are interested in studying the arts may be choosing arts administration during this time of economic uncertainty, as the skills taught in these programs are transferrable to multiple careers.  </p><p><strong>JMB:</strong> First, I believe that it is important to realize that the impact of COVID-19 is being felt acutely across all sectors, public and private. We are out of balance as a society right now and are collectively reeling. Throughout the performing arts, there are the obvious challenges such as not being able to convene an audience in person or teach in our traditional settings. But beyond these immediate dilemmas, I believe that one of the biggest challenges that we need to address is how we keep our adult audiences interested in the artistic work we do during this time of separation. I believe that curiosity is the sister to creativity. </p><p>In Juilliard’s Evening Division (an adult learning program that offers an array of programs in various arts disciplines), we are looking at every way possible to provide value to our students, so they remain curious about the art forms that they love, even in the absence of live performance. When they stay curious, they are engaged to not only support artistic practice, but willing to participate in the artistic process as well. In my view, curiosity is what we will need most of all when the pandemic passes (and it will!)—we will need communities who are inquisitive enough about our artistic output that they want to support us and participate as soon as they are able to do so.</p><p><strong>What kinds of changes and/or adjustments have programs made for disciplines that require frequent and rigorous in-person instruction? </strong></p><p><strong>LSA:</strong> Fortunately, for arts administration and related programs, such as theatre management, entertainment industry management, cultural management, arts leadership, arts entrepreneurship, cultural policy and museum studies, these programs can be easily transitioned and scaled to an online classroom environment. This is one area of arts teaching and learning that doesn’t require hands-on instruction. Even before the pandemic hit, many arts administration programs in the AAAE network were offered online or offered an optional online component to the curriculum, especially at the graduate level.<strong> </strong> </p><p><strong>JMB:</strong> COVID-19 has upended our belief about what is possible and what learning environments in the performing arts can look like and it has catalyzed innovation. The impact on continuing education was no less substantial. If you envision online learning as students “beaming” into classes via broadband and greeting each other and their professors through webcams built into laptops you are not entirely wrong. But, if your mental image is a group comprised solely of tech-savvy millennials and gen Z’ers livestreaming into classes, that’s where you’d be mistaken. At Juilliard, it was in fact the intrepid students of the Juilliard Evening Division, more than 50 percent of whom over the age of 60, who paved the way in online learning. COVID-19 has taught us that flexibility is needed more than ever—it’s essential. It has also reminded me to never underestimate the human capacity to adapt and learn at any age. </p><p><strong>What has been lost in all the technology? Alternatively, what have programs and educators gained?  </strong></p><p><strong>JMB:</strong> I’ve advised our continuing education faculty to think of online learning not merely as a replacement or facsimile of an in-class lecture, but rather as a completely new opportunity to provide more value and deepen learning experiences. Working together with our Evening Division faculty, we’ve found ways to creatively organize continuing education curricula so that students realize and can track where they are on their carefully designated learning journeys. We can organize our supplemental materials, videos, scores, readings and more, in ways that spark curiosity and meaning to the individual artistic experience. </p><p><strong>LSA:</strong> We’re seeing some advantages as well. Though it was a tough start when the pandemic hit and arts leaders initially panicked, I believe these technologies have enhanced the field by broadening access to the arts. As an example, the AAAE academic conference moved to an entirely virtual format in May 2020, and drew in almost double the number of attendees, with members joining us from China, Australia, Vienna and Manila. These international members typically aren’t able to attend the annual meetings, as travel budgets and academic schedules can be prohibitive. This year, the virtual formal levelled the playing field for all and brought many new voices to the conversation.</p><p>The Wallace Blog recently posted <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/can-pandemic-be-catalyst-for-new-global-arts-ecology.aspx?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=b32ae361-3e65-4032-82eb-0cda2790e66e&utm_campaign=Website&utm_content=organic_paid">an article</a> by Zenetta S. Drew where she states, “Artists—whether professional or not—became the unofficial essential workers of the pandemic, vital to our nation’s health and recovery, and an overwhelming validation of the importance of the arts.” </p><p>Our nation is consuming the arts now more than ever. Perhaps it’s the equivalent of eating a pint of ice cream to combat a stressful day. The arts are nourishing to the soul. They also provide an escape. Drew goes on to state, “the continuation of the pandemic has…also forced a group of technology-resistant learners of all ages to learn to use online platforms, opening up arts events to new audiences, many of whom will pay to view performances online.”  </p><p>Again, here we see a case for technology broadening access to the arts among new audiences.</p><p><strong>In what ways have students inspired you through their practice during this critical juncture?</strong></p><p><strong>JMB:</strong> One of the most devastating impacts of COVID-19 has been the isolation it has imposed on elderly and other at-risk populations. While I knew that learning would persist online, in those early days I wondered if our sense of community would as well. I can say now, with total certainty, that community does persist. As we moved our courses online, I was inspired by the student interactions with each other and faculty. In March during the darkest days of the pandemic [in New York], I witnessed one professor end his class with the sincere wish that his students (mostly senior citizens) stay safe and well, and they reciprocated the sentiment. But the emotion behind it, the role that this course had come to play in both the lives of students and teacher was extraordinary. It provided rhythm to the passing of time, opportunity to connect with like-minded peers when isolation was the order of the day and celebration and/or escape through music. </p><p><strong>LSA:</strong> Since the pandemic began, the AAAE membership has seen an influx of new student members. I believe students are eager to connect and engage with each other and with leaders in the field. We have also seen strong student interest in leadership opportunities. Perhaps with the limited internship opportunities available during the pandemic, students are looking for alternative avenues to build their skills and grow their networks. I recently put out a call for conference planning committee members, and I received 13 student volunteers! I received so many offers from students to assist that I had to create a student planning sub-committee. Like the at-risk populations John-Morgan references, students have so much to lose with social isolation and dramatic shifts in academic and professional development opportunities, but they are proving to be absolutely resilient and brilliant through all of this.</p><p><strong>What do you think the arts higher education landscape will look like next the five to ten years? </strong></p><p><strong>LSA:</strong> There are so many factors at play here – the political landscape; policy decisions (especially around federal student loans and possible federal student loan forgiveness coming down the line); timely COVID-19 relief funding to assist individuals, businesses and organizations that are struggling right now; and accumulating debt among so many Americans. I think we will continue to see growth in interest in arts administration programs and other arts disciplines with transferrable skills, and an increase in quality online and hybrid programs. There is much more widespread recognition of the value of the arts in our society, especially as we navigate these difficult times, and this will continue to drive interest in arts administration programs. </p><p><strong>JMB:</strong> This is a great question and one for which I desperately wish that I had a definitive answer. But seeing that none of us have a crystal ball, we must be careful to not project but evaluate what we see before us today. In public schools, higher education and continuing education, we are beginning to see the value of flexible and hybrid learning formats as well as remote work environments. We are seeing that excellent teachers are excellent both online and in-person and that a humanistic approach to instruction has always been an incredible asset. We are collectively acknowledging that digital performance will play an ongoing role in our artistic lives. It’s bringing people together. We are seeing students signing up for online classes with siblings, parents and friends on opposite sides of the country. Adult education courses are a great way for them to stay connected through the arts. This is just one of many new opportunities to pique curiosity and find new ways to engage adult learners with our art forms. </p> <em>Please note, John-Morgan Bush’s responses are based on his personal expertise and as Juilliard’s Director of Lifelong Learning.<br><br>John-Morgan Bush photo by Gregory Mahan; Lee Ann Adams photo by Frederick Fullerton<br></em> Future Arts Administrators and Other Adult Learners Persevere Onlinehttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Future-Arts-Administrators-and-Other-Adult-Learners-Persevere-Online.aspx2021-01-14T05:00:00ZTwo veterans of the arts higher education field discuss the challenges and happy surprises of operating throughout the pandemic
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
High-Quality “Arts Integration” Programs Can Benefit Learning in Core SubjectsGP0|#d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8;L0|#0d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8|Arts Education;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>“Arts integration” is a mouthful of a term for a simple idea: using the arts to help students learn about other subjects. Now, a study by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) quantifies the effects. It finds 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>What’s more, the study describes how arts integration programming that has research-based evidence of effectiveness may be eligible for funding under the Every Student Succeeds Act, one of the leading sources of federal support for public school education. </p><p>AIR researchers scoured studies of arts-integration programs and found 44—a substantial number—that meet the standards of evidence the law requires. Programs that fit the bill incorporate a range of activities, including teacher professional development, school improvement efforts, procurement of instructional materials and supports for English learners.</p><p>Meredith Ludwig, who led the study, presented its findings at the Arts Education Partnership’s State Policy Symposium in March. You can check out her presentation <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages">here,</a> or download AIR’s complete report <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/essa-arts-evidence-review-report.aspx">here</a>.</p><p> </p>High-Quality “Arts Integration” Programs Can Benefit Learning in Core Subjectshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Research-on-Arts-Integration-An-ESSA-Evidence-Review-blog-post.aspx2018-05-24T04:00:00ZYour 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.
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.
Summer—From the “Wild West” to a “Center of Success”GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>“My high school basketball coach used to say, ‘No one gets better once the season starts. If you really want to get better, you put in time and effort over the summer.’” Aaron Dworkin took that lesson to heart. In June, he was named chief executive officer of the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA), which helped put summer on the map as a time for young people to sharpen their academic skills and discover new interests. Dworkin, a veteran of the nonprofit youth development field, is stepping into his new role at an exciting time for NSLA. The organization recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and is preparing to move its headquarters to Washington, D.C., where it will seek to persuade policymakers that providing a high-quality summer learning experience to every child is, in Dworkin’s words, “something we can cross off America’s to-do list.”</p><p>We talked to Dworkin about the journey that got him where he is today, how the conversation about summer learning has changed over time, and the work NSLA is doing now.*</p><p><strong>How did you get interested in youth development? How has your background prepared you for this new position? </strong><br> <br> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="AaronDworkin.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Summer-From-the-Wild-West-to-a-Center-of-Success/AaronDworkin.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:231px;" />I’ve always been passionate about education and closing opportunity gaps. As a young person, I was in a range of schools and settings where I saw what some kids had and some didn’t. When you see that, it stays with you. I had a great appreciation for the opportunities I was given and a great commitment to making sure all young people have similar opportunities. I started a youth leadership program in New York City called Hoops and Leaders to recruit mostly men of color to be big brothers and mentors to teenage boys. That led me to study education and public policy formally at Harvard and Columbia, where I learned more about the broader nonprofit and education landscape. When I was a grad student, I was part of the team that helped start a sports-based youth development coalition called Up2Us Sports, which focuses on training youth sports coaches in youth development. I gained a national perspective to go with my local grassroots experience, and all that brought me to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s charity After-School All-Stars, first as their inaugural national program director and then as president of their national network of 20 chapters. When I was at After-School All-Stars, we created and scaled lots of different summer learning programs. They were great for the for kids but doubled as terrific professional development for staff. Summer has always been one of these spaces where you can innovate and partner more to better serve kids and communities.</p><p><strong>How is NSLA helping organizations connect their priorities to summer learning?</strong></p><p>In the American education system, we make a commitment to kids from September to June. Then, you get to summer, and I’m not going to say it’s the wild west, but it’s a quarter of the school year, and some kids are going to camp and museums and traveling and learning around the world, while too many have little or nothing to do besides sitting on the couch or looking at their phone. There’s research to prove that over the summer months low-income students fall behind academically. They’re not as physically active, they gain weight and eat less healthily. They may not have access to meals. There are safety issues. And the effects of this are cumulative from summer to summer. </p><p>So we partner with lots of different organizations, from funders like The Wallace Foundation to school districts, libraries, housing authorities, parks and recreation centers, nonprofits and CBOs. We want to make sure they have whatever evidenced-based resources they need, whether it’s staff training, best practices for running a program, or research so they’re able to make the case locally that this matters. We work with people to draft legislation. We have a national conference every year with 500 to 700 education leaders. We also give national recognition to model programs with our Excellence in Summer Learning Awards, which are very rigorous. Hundreds of groups apply every year, and we only honor three to four programs as examples of what’s possible.</p><p><strong>NSLA has reached a 25-year milestone. How has the field of summer learning evolved in that time? </strong></p><p>For one thing, we’ve broadened the focus: We’re not just closing academic achievement gaps but also opportunity gaps—opportunities such as field trips, mentoring, social-emotional learning, career exploration, internships, all of which we know matter to a child’s education and development, too. If you’re taking a standardized test and there’s a question that refers to a museum or place you’ve never heard of or visited, it’s very hard to answer that question without context even if you can read it. </p><p>We’ve also expanded our notion of what summer learning is for and for whom. Summer learning isn’t just 12 weeks, it’s the center for success for the whole school year. And it’s not just for young people. It’s for adults, too. One thing I’ve really been inspired by is how much training and re-invigoration is happening among teachers and staff, so they’re fired up to go back to school. There are lots of reasons for that: They have the ability to be more creative. The ratios are smaller, so they can get to know students. There are different settings and activities. It’s less bureaucratic and reminds them why they love and got into teaching in the first place. </p><p>We’re also seeing summer learning in the workforce-readiness space. There’s been an evolution to say that summer internships are a form of summer learning. And NSLA is going to do more to advocate for paid summer internships for low income youth because unpaid internships lead to jobs but are inherently off limits to many. </p><p>People are also thinking about the power of summer in critical life transition moments. For those worried about high school dropout rates, for instance, there’s a big emphasis on the summer between eighth and ninth grade as the critical time to intervene and get kids excited. If you wait until high school, it’s too late. Similarly, in the summer between high school and college, there’s a phenomenon called the summer melt when students have gotten into college [but no one prepares them for what they’re about to experience] or even calls them to tell them when orientation is, and they do not arrive on campus for their freshman year. That’s a horrible wasted opportunity which can be prevented. </p><p><strong>In the past, NSLA has focused on policy at the national level. Your new strategic plan puts more emphasis on the states. What can states do to promote summer learning?</strong></p><p>States can do a lot to create policies that articulate the importance of having these programs in place. They can say we’ll give money to these programs but they have to meet standards of quality, structure, ratio, curriculum, training, data collection and supervision. They also have convening power to bring together business leaders, the nonprofit community and elected officials to make it a priority to take care of all kids all year round. </p><p>We can work at the federal level, and we are. We have a bi-partisan bill with Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon called the Summer Meals and Learning Act that would keep schools and libraries open over the summer. But because the political process is arduous at the federal level, you can be more nimble at the state level. We’re seeing a lot of governors and mayors and legislatures saying this is something we can do. There are so many resources in our communities, and they’re sometimes underleveraged. At the state level, people know what they have and what they’re good at and what their needs are. That localized control and responsiveness is what people want to see. We’re helping state departments of education think about how summer can be a solution to a lot of different problems. </p><p><strong>What can organizations do to make the case for summer learning to parents?</strong></p><p>Again, a lot. We do want summer learning experiences to feel different from school. We love our summers because they give us a chance to explore things we haven’t had a chance to do. If you go to a new summer program, and all of sudden there’s an arts experience you’re turned on to that you’ve never had before, then you’re finding a new skill set and a passion. What families with resources know is that every opportunity is a learning opportunity. You can play basketball, but you can also add in an article or lessons on leadership, or tie it into math in a fun way. Families are trying to find—and programs are now creating—experiences that connect arts <em>and</em> literacy, math <em>and</em> baseball, sports <em>and</em> social emotional learning. </p><p>It’s important to recognize not all kids live in the stereotypical two-parent household. There are incarceration trends and opioid crisis effects. It takes a village. I meet people all the time who say my kid is going to live with his grandparents for the summer. How do we make sure grandparents know what resources there are to use? Thanks to the internet there are a lot more tools you can activate than there used to be. Even if you don’t have a museum across the street, there are a lot of online resources we can direct you to. </p><p><strong>Your annual conference is coming up in October. Can you give us a preview of the agenda?</strong></p><p>It’s going to be in Atlanta. We’re still confirming some high-profile guests and speakers. We have three themes: One is programmatic, if you’re in direct service with kids. One is systematic if you’re coordinating all the programs in your city and state. The third is leadership if you’re the executive director or C.E.O. of an organization, working in fundraising, marketing and research. It all starts with our preconference tracks. There’s a group representing leaders of school districts who are trying to maximize the summer school experience. We have a group for librarians setting up citywide summer reading and learning experiences. For the first time, we’re bringing together summer pipeline programs, many affiliated with health institutions, that are working to get low-income or minority kids more interested in health careers. If you’re someone who’s trying to start and run a summer program for the first time, we have a professional development training called Summer Starts in September, so you can learn best practices and plan for continuous program improvement. We’re issuing a report in partnership with the United Way looking at the landscape of programs in Georgia, what’s working well, where there’s room for improvement. We’ll be putting a spotlight on our award winners. There’s something for everyone who cares about kids and leveraging summer to help them.</p><p><em>*This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.</em></p>Summer—From the “Wild West” to a “Center of Success”https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Summer-From-the-Wild-West-to-a-Center-of-Success.aspx2019-09-17T04:00:00ZYour 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.
Districts Use Data to Help Boost School LeadershipGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Basing decisions on reliable, pertinent information is a smart idea for any human endeavor. Talent management is no exception. That’s the reason a number of Wallace-supported school districts in recent years have undertaken the difficult task of building “leader tracking systems” in the service of developing a large corps of effective principals.</p><p>A leader tracking system is a user-friendly database of important, career-related information about current and potential school leaders—principal candidates’ education, work experience and measured competencies, for starters. Often this information is scattered about different district offices and available only in incompatible formats.  When compiled in one place and made easy to digest, by contrast, the data can be a powerful aid to decision-making about a range of matters necessary to shaping a strong principal cadre, including identifying teachers or other professionals with leadership potential; seeing that they get the right training; hiring them and placing them in the appropriate school; and supporting them on the job. </p><p> <img alt="Data_Sources_LTS.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Data_Sources_LTS.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /> </p><p>In a panel discussion during a Wallace gathering in New York City this week, representatives of two districts that have built leader tracking systems talked about their experiences. Their assessment? The effort was worth it, despite the reality that constructing the systems required considerable time and labor.  </p><p>Jeff Eakins, superintendent of the Hillsborough County (Tampa, Fla.) Public Schools, said the data system has proved invaluable to “the single most important decision I make…the hiring of principals.” That’s because the system can give him an accurate review of the qualifications of job finalists along with a full picture of a school that has an opening, he said. Similarly, in Prince Georges County, Md., (outside of Washington, D.C.), Kevin Maxwell, the chief executive officer of the public schools, said he is now able to compare a “baseball card” of candidate data with school information, thus getting the background he needs to conduct meaningful job interviews—something he does for all principal openings. With the information from the data system, he says, “I have a feel for what that match looks like.” </p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="TrishandDoug.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/TrishandDoug.jpg" style="margin:5px;" />For their part, two people who were instrumental in the development of their districts’ leader tracking systems—Tricia McManus, assistant superintendent in Hillsborough, and Douglas Anthony, associate superintendent in Prince George’s County—offered tips for others considering whether to take the plunge. From McManus: Expect construction to take time. Hillsborough’s system took “several years” to be fully functional, she said. From Anthony: Find a “translator,” someone who can bridge the world of IT and the world of the classroom, so educators and technology developers fully understand one another. From both: Once the system is completed, know that the job isn’t done. Information needs to be regularly updated and kept accurate.</p><p>Want to find out more? A <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/leader-tracking-systems-turning-data-into-information-for-school-leadership.aspx">report</a> from researchers at Policy Studies Associates examines the uses of  leader tracking systems in six Wallace-supported school districts and provides guidance based on the districts’ system-building experiences. A Wallace <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/chock-full-of-data-how-school-districts-are-building-leader-tracking-systems-to-support-principal-pipelines.aspx">Story From the Field</a> shows how leader tracking systems helped districts end such difficulties as job-candidate searches through “a gajillion résumés.” Also, listen to Tricia McManus and Douglas Anthony discuss their districts’ work to build a strong pipeline of principals in Wallace’s podcast series<em>, </em> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/podcast-principal-pipeline.aspx"> <em>Practitioners Share Lessons From the Field</em></a>.</p>Districts Use Data to Help Boost School Leadershiphttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/districts-use-data-to-help-boost-school-leadership.aspx2018-04-26T04:00:00ZYour 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.
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
Why States Might Want to Play a Stronger Role in Developing PrincipalsGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​<p>​​​States often tread lightly when it comes to strengthening the principals corps. That may be a mistake, says Paul Manna, the Hyman Professor of Government and director of the Public Policy Program at William & Mary. In his new report,<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/how-can-state-policy-support-local-school-districts-develop-principal-pipelines.aspx"> <em>How Can State Policy Support Local School Districts as They Develop Principal Pipelines?</em></a>, he writes that states could do much to encourage the development of the types of pipelines that, according to<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principal-pipelines-a-feasible,-affordable,-and-effective-way-for-districts-to-improve-schools.aspx"> recent research</a>, can fortify school leadership. These pipelines have seven parts, or “domains”—including rigorous leader standards, high-quality pre-service principal training, strong on-the-job support and evaluation, and “leader tracking systems” with data on the career paths of aspiring and sitting principals—and they are distinctive for being<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principal-pipeline-self-study-guide-for-districts.aspx"> “comprehensive” and “aligned.”</a> That is, they cover the range of talent management activities under a district’s purview and their parts reinforce one another. </p><p>States and local school districts working at the nexus of their intersecting policy responsibilities could build these sorts of pipelines, Manna writes, especially if states recognize that locales vary greatly and, thus, insert reasonable flexibility into policy. Few think this work will be easy, he concludes, but the payoff would be pipelines capable of producing “formidable leaders” who could “transform school communities for the better.” </p><p>In this interview, conducted by email, Manna discusses major themes from his report, which was commissioned by Wallace. </p><p><strong>The Wallace Foundation: You say that states can be reluctant to focus specifically on principals to help advance K-12 education. Why is that? And what’s the argument for states assuming a stronger role?</strong> </p><p><strong>Paul Manna:</strong> In general, principals don’t feature as largely in overall discussions about education. Learning standards, student testing and especially teachers tend to be topics that gather more attention.  Several reasons exist for this disparity. There are many more teachers out there in the world than principals, for example, making them a much larger constituency for politicians. </p><p>Why should states take on a stronger role when it comes to principals? For one thing, states possess much formal authority in areas relevant to principals like setting standards for principal preparation programs, principal licensing and evaluation. State officials, especially those new to their positions, sometimes overlook these powers and responsibilities. Another reason for states to engage is the multiplier effect that principals have on excellent teaching and learning.  Ensuring that schools have excellent principals, then, can help states achieve numerous goals that they have in education.  </p><p>State involvement can also help advance the goals of equity in education. Compelling research shows that just as students from underrepresented groups tend to lack access to excellent teachers, they also lack access to excellent principals. Addressing that persistent and pressing need will require state and local leadership. School districts cannot address it alone. </p><p><strong>WF: How should states decide which domains to focus on?</strong> </p><p><strong>PM:</strong> Identifying an area for focused attention and energy depends entirely on the policy and political landscape within a state. Some states have made more progress in some areas than others.  That’s okay and to be expected in a nation as vast as the United States with its fragmented systems of education governance within each state. Picking topics where there is interest and a critical mass of political support could be one way to decide. It might be challenging in a state, for example, to muster support for overhauling principal preparation, a key element of principal pipelines. But it might be easier to adjust processes for principal licensing or license renewal. Or take the role of data use and leader tracking systems. The complexity of getting different data systems to talk with one another to support principal pipelines can be overwhelming. Determining which improvements to state systems can have the most leverage or be done most rapidly to support pipeline work could be one way to set priorities, rather than tackling everything at once. Dialogues between state and local leaders and other principal pipeline supporters will be essential for charting paths forward. </p><p><strong>WF: Are there one or two key actions that every state should look at closely?</strong> </p><p><strong>PM:</strong> Yes, two things seem very promising and, fortunately, are not that expensive either. A first state action would be to adopt and <em>put into practice</em> (that’s the most important part!) standards that drive state policy and, in turn, help bolster comprehensive and aligned principal pipeline efforts at local levels. That means when states adopt standards for principals those standards are then reflected in the areas of preparation, licensing, evaluation and professional development, for example. The standards are actually used to steer people across the state towards positive activities and behaviors that will help principals succeed on the job. In other words, standards don’t just live as unused documents—“dead letters”—in dusty binders or hidden away on agency websites where nobody will see them or use them. They are critical for organizing conversations, and helping to align state policy and local pipeline efforts in productive ways.  </p><p>A second state action would be to take seriously the state’s power as a convener. States can help foster networks between school districts that are contemplating or developing comprehensive and aligned principal pipelines. That can be an especially valuable contribution for rural districts, which typically lack economies of scale and capacity to begin initiatives like this on their own. Additionally, the convening power of the state also can come into play when states serve as switchboards for collating and distributing valuable information about best practices in principal pipelines. There is a burgeoning research literature in this area that a state could make available to its districts in various ways. That could help districts that find this work overwhelming, or are new it, learn from the experiences of others. </p><p><strong>WF: We were struck by one creative possibility for state action that you mention—using principal licensure renewal as a way to cultivate principal mentors. How would that work?</strong> </p><p><strong>PM:</strong> This idea of leveraging the licensing process to promote mentorship is motivated by a couple of findings that come out of the literature. One is that the principalship can be a very lonely job and that strong mentoring is something that principals crave. The other is that good mentoring or professional development around mentoring that is grounded in research-based practices can be expensive and often is the first thing to be cut from state or district budgets when money is tight.  </p><p>How to get principals more great mentoring, then? The idea here would be to tie the development of mentors and the practice of mentorship to the licensing that veteran principals need to pursue after they’ve been on the job for a while. To be clear, I’m not referring to the initial license that a new principal receives, but the process of re-licensing. Across education, for teachers, principals and other school professionals, renewing one’s license often amounts to a box-checking exercise where people accumulate some number of continuing education credits or hours, which often involves grabbing whatever opportunities people can get. The result is a license renewal process that often lacks coherence and meaning and, sadly, does not contribute to improved practice. But because we know that principal mentoring is such a valuable activity, state policies that govern licensing could create opportunities (the convening role, again) or incentives for current principals to consider pursuing training to become mentors and then serving as mentors either in their own district or in other districts across their state. The hours principals devote to these activities then could count as hours that go toward the hours required for renewing their licenses. The result would be a much more productive, coherent and relevant set of activities tied to the license renewal process. Such activities also would help enhance the work of comprehensive and aligned local principal pipelines, which could benefit from an overall broader availability of principal mentors across a state. </p><p><strong>WF: A </strong><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/using-state-level-policy-levers-to-promote-principal-quality.aspx" target="_blank"><strong>2020 study from RAND</strong></a><strong>, considering principal preparation in seven states, found that none of the states had a statewide leader tracking system. Why should states consider developing these systems to help advance work on principal pipelines?</strong> </p><p><strong>PM:</strong> Pretty much everyone in state policy-making positions or in school district or school leadership positions today will proudly state that they are “data driven” in their work. One of the big challenges for using data to guide practice, though, is that data systems frequently live in silos that rarely talk with one another. (That is not only a problem in education, by the way, but it is common in many fields.) Such silos can create problems for a state or for local school districts that want to support the work of comprehensive and aligned principal pipelines. It would be ideal, for example, to have a data dashboard that could reveal the pre-service preparation and learning experiences of principals; the venues where they’ve worked as principals and levels of success they’ve enjoyed; the particular skills and knowledge they bring to the work based on prior teaching, personal characteristics or other work experience; their continuing education experiences; and their proximity to retirement age. That could help school districts, and the state as a supporting partner, forecast emerging needs and make targeted efforts to help develop principals with high-demand skill sets.  </p><p>The unfortunate reality today is that many of these data exist, but they live in separate systems that are firewalled from one another. In situations where those barriers can safely come down in ways that ensure data integrity and security, it would go a long way toward seeding the development of tracking systems that local school districts could use. States have potentially big roles to play here because the world of data governance is tightly tied to state policies and regulations, including state regulations that interpret federal policy. It also is asking quite a lot to simply leave the construction of these tracking systems and data dashboards entirely to local school districts. There is a ton of complexity and expense involved, which is beyond the reach of school districts that lack the technical capabilities and people power required to stand up these systems on their own. Partnerships with the states over data governance and use are essential, then. </p>Why States Might Want to Play a Stronger Role in Developing Principalshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Why-States-Might-Want-to-Play-a-Stronger-Role-in-Developing-Principals.aspx2021-11-17T05:00:00ZAuthor of new report says states can do much to help districts cultivate “formidable leaders” who can transform schools.
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
Proper Financial Management Helps Nonprofits Improve EfficiencyGP0|#af3e9879-f65e-40d3-8cc6-25ef5b2f858e;L0|#0af3e9879-f65e-40d3-8cc6-25ef5b2f858e|Advancing Philanthropy;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Most nonprofits would agree that good financial management is essential for their success and growth. But many small organizations lack the resources and skills necessary to create a healthy financial infrastructure. </p><p> In response to this growing need, we commissioned Fiscal Management Associates, a consulting firm, to create a website that would help nonprofits strengthen their financial management and provide a number of easy to use templates and resources. The title of the site is, appropriately, <a href="/knowledge-center/resources-for-financial-management/SFM2013/Pages/default.aspx"> www.strongnonprofits.org</a>.</p><p> The genesis of the site arose from our work with 26 afterschool programs in Chicago, where it became clear that many of the organizations struggled with financial management. As our president Will Miller told the Wall Street Journal: “It became a theme that the lack of understanding of the financial realities of their own organizations was one of the things impeding them from being sustainable, successful, mission-fulfilling nonprofits.” </p><p> Looking to help train nonprofit organizations become “fiscally fit,” Strong Nonprofits contains a library of resources compiled in partnership with Fiscal Management Associates, which highlight four key elements of strong financial management: planning, monitoring, operations and governance. For each of these elements the site offers a variety of articles, resources and tools.</p><p> <em>The Chronicle of Philanthropy</em> has highlighted the site’s <em> </em> <a href="/knowledge-center/resources-for-financial-management/SFM2013/Pages/Funding-Opportunity-Assessment-Tool.aspx"> <em>Go or No Go questionnaire</em></a><em>,</em> which aims to help nonprofits decide whether or not go through with a proposed contract. This questionnaire serves as a good example of the many interactive tools available on the site. Also popular are the <em> Out-of-School Time Cost Calculator</em> and the <em> Program Based Budget Builder</em> that allows nonprofit staff to allocate their spending by program and personnel. </p><p>The demand for these resources speaks volumes about need. The Strong Nonprofits resources consistently rank among our top monthly downloads. And two of our most downloaded publications of all time, the <em>Program Based Budget Builder</em> and <em> </em> <em>A Five-Step Guide to Budget Development,</em> have accumulated 72,373 and 60,387 downloads, respectively, since they were published in February, 2013. Ultimately, what makes Strong Nonprofits so exciting beyond its ‘nuts and bolts’ subject matter, is its testimony to our research approach. Here, our afterschool work uncovered a gap in financial knowledge across many organizations, which led us to create additional tools and resources to fill this gap. </p>Proper Financial Management Helps Nonprofits Improve Efficiencyhttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Proper-Financial-Management-Helps-Nonprofits-Blog-Post.aspx2017-09-21T04:00:00ZWallace Foundation’s Financial Management website offers tools and research to help nonprofits manage their money
How School Leaders Can Create Conditions for Teacher and Student SuccessGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Two veteran principals and a leading researcher from the RAND Corporation explored both the role principals play in student achievement and the positive effects of building principal pipelines at the Education Writers Association’s recent National Seminar in Baltimore. The annual event brings together journalists and education experts from across the country.<br><br> The discussion focused on the results detailed in a new RAND 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>. Moderated by Matt Barnum, a reporter for <em>Chalkbeat</em>, the panel featured Susan Gates, a senior economist with RAND and co-principal investigator of the evaluation; Mary Beck, principal of Nicholas Senn High School in Chicago; and Robert Motley, principal of Atholton High School in Columbia, Md.<br><br> The RAND research examined the impact of The Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative, which supported six large school districts in developing the four major components of a principal pipeline. The districts were not creating a new program, Gates emphasized. Rather, by setting rigorous standards for school leaders, ensuring high-quality preservice preparation, being selective in hiring and placement, and providing aligned on-the-job support and evaluations, the districts were “doing regular and routine work strategically and effectively,” Gates said. “And they had to develop systems to sustain these improvements over time.”</p><p> <strong>The Benefits of Pipelines</strong><br> The districts, researchers found, were able to build pipelines and to do so at an affordable cost. Better still, the RAND study concluded that the pipelines were effective, benefiting districts, schools and students. Schools with new principals in pipeline districts outperformed matched non-pipeline schools with new principals in the same state by 2.87 percentile points in math and 6.22 percentile points in reading after three year or more years. (They also saw gains after two years.) Further, the districts saw less turnover among principals, Gates explained.<br><br> “This is a great study showing this program appears to be effective,” commented Barnum. He asked Gates whether national and state policymakers had been wise in focusing so much attention on teachers, rather than principals.<br><br> “The number one factor driving teacher turnover is the quality of the school leader,” Gates answered. “At the end of the day, people don’t want to go to work for a [bad] boss. If we could get stellar school leaders in every school, teachers would be happier and more effective.”<br><br> Beck agreed, saying that working for an ineffective principal had spurred her own interest in becoming a school leader. “It comes down to motivation and dedication and commitment to kids,” she said. “In the Chicago Public Schools we’re high poverty, and we are really successful. And it’s because principals believe in social justice and the transformative power of education.”<br><br> Motley concurred, noting that, among other things, he has bought a “rolling desk” that he pushes around school hallways so he can stay in touch with teachers and students.</p><p> <strong>What Principals Do</strong><br> Asked by Barnum to describe a typical day for a principal, Beck and Motley also agreed: There isn’t one.<br><br> “You walk in each day with a schedule, but you’re dealing with kids, so every day something comes up and the schedule gets thrown out the window,” Motley said. “Meeting with a parent. Making the observation schedule for teacher evaluations. Lunch duty. Mandatory state testing. Covering for my [assistant principals]. Sports activities in the afternoon. Award recognitions for kids who are getting scholarships.”<br><br> Pressed by a reporter to be more specific about what effective principals do, Beck said they don’t let things slide, addressing problems right away and setting a tone for the school. “I often view my staff as my students,” she explained. “I approach coaching 108 adults the same as I would approach teaching a class with a lesson plan.”<br><br> “I see my role as helping my teachers become better teachers,” added Motley, a 13-year veteran of the job. Participating in professional learning opportunities also refreshes and sustains him.<br><br> For Gates, such answers struck a familiar note. “It’s interesting, because those responses are well aligned with our research study,” she said. “It effectively shows that if districts can create the conditions for success, then principals will stay, and schools will be successful.”</p><p> <strong>Future Research </strong> <br> Reporters asked whether the RAND study looked at effects of the pipeline on diversity, which it didn’t. But Gates said research shows school principals come from the ranks of teachers, “and there is a dramatic diversity gap when you compare the teacher workforce relative to the student population. This is an area where a concerted effort needs to be made with the teacher pipeline.”<br><strong></strong><br> Gates offered reporters a tip: “Pose questions to the senior leadership in school districts. Ask what their standards are, how they are defining what is a good principal and what are they looking for to assess the leaders in every school. Ultimately, that’s what the principal pipeline initiative was trying to do.”<br></p><br>How School Leaders Can Create Conditions for Teacher and Student Successhttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/How-School-Leaders-Can-Create-Conditions-for-Teacher-and-Student-Success.aspx2019-05-16T04:00:00ZVeteran principals and researcher dig into principal pipeline findings at gathering of education writers
Helping Afterschool Systems Find a HomeGP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61;GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning <p>Afterschool providers, schools, government agencies, private funders…they all want to give young people opportunities for growth, learning and fun. But they all have different roles and ways of working, so knitting their efforts together into coordinated systems is no easy task. Cities that set out to build, manage and sustain afterschool systems can use a little guidance along the way.</p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="sharon_deich1.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Helping-Afterschool-Systems-Find-a-Home/sharon_deich1.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:319px;" />That’s where the consulting firm FourPoint Education Partners, formerly Cross & Joftus, comes in. From 2012 to 2017, FourPoint provided technical assistance (TA) to the nine cities participating in Wallace’s “next-generation” afterschool system-building initiative, helping them solidify systems that were already in place. (An earlier Wallace initiative had supported five cities starting systems from scratch.) FourPoint drew on that work for a new paper, <em><a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Governance-Structures-for-City-Afterschool-Systems-Three-Models.aspx">Governance Structures for City Afterschool Systems: Three Models</a></em>, describing three different models for setting up and running an afterschool system.</p><p>We caught up with Sharon Deich, a FourPoint partner, to discuss her role in the initiative and get her perspective on the past, present and future of afterschool system building. </p><p><strong>Describe the work you did as a TA provider for the initiative. </strong></p><p>First, we helped the cities think about how they were going to support their infrastructure when their Wallace money went away. Hand in hand with the finance work was the governance work. How do you create anchor points in the community for the work to deepen and grow, even if one of your key champions—like a mayor, a superintendent or a project lead—were to leave? The third piece was partnerships. Who else do you need to have at the table and then how do you plug them into your governance structure? The last piece was strategy. We worked closely with Wallace, thinking about where the initiative was going and what the needs and opportunities were.</p><p><strong>What is the most important thing you learned over the course of the initiative?</strong></p><p>We came in with the notion that you build a system and then, “Here it is.” But the [actual systems] were very dynamic. More than half the cities changed the home of their system or the organizational structure. In Denver, they started out with an initiative in the mayor’s office and ended up with a networked approach where the mayor’s office, the Boys & Girls Club and the school district were jointly managing the work.</p><p><strong><img class="wf-Image-Right" alt="Governance_v1.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Helping-Afterschool-Systems-Find-a-Home/Governance_v1.jpg" style="margin:5px;" />How do cities go about finding the right governance structure for their system?</strong></p><p>One consideration is, what’s the primary work of the system? Some systems focus on [program] quality, some on data, some on creating partnerships. They all touch that elephant in different places. If you’re building [new] programs, you might need a different home than if you’re trying to boost the quality of the work. Another factor is, who are your champions? If your mayor is a big champion it may be more logical to be in the mayor’s office or one of the city agencies. </p><p><strong>What do you still not know about system building that you still hope to learn?</strong></p><p>One of the hardest things about system building is communicating what you mean by “system building.” When I work in mainstream education, I often say, “It’s not about what one school is doing. It’s about how the district is supporting all the schools.” I don’t think there’s an equivalent in this mushy space where afterschool lives. Then how do you convince people that investment in system pieces is as important as dollars for programming? </p><p><strong>What does the future of afterschool system building look like to you? </strong></p><p>In this current environment, I can’t see afterschool growing and getting a lot of attention. I worry about the money for 21st Century [Community Learning Centers, a source of federal funding for afterschool]. So, it’s really important that afterschool be part of a broader package of supports and services that school districts and communities want for their kids. Whether it’s social and emotional learning, enrichment, homework help, meals—afterschool can be a delivery vehicle.</p><p> </p><p>For more information about afterschool systems, check out <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/growing-together-learning-together.aspx">Growing Together, Learning Together</a>.</p><p> </p> Helping Afterschool Systems Find a Homehttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Helping-Afterschool-Systems-Find-a-Home.aspx2018-01-18T05:00:00ZA paper describes three models for setting up and running an afterschool system.
Orchestrating Digital Arts Programming to Meet the MomentGP0|#8056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be;L0|#08056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be|Building Audiences for the Arts;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​​​​​​​​As various performing arts organizations across the country venture toward reopening, many have been forever changed by the pandemic. Some of these changes have been positive for both organizations and audiences—shifting away from status quo and toward new levels of innovation and accessibility. One such shift has been the widespread adoption of digital programs. Indeed, a study, <a href="https://culturetrack.com/research/covidstudy/" target="_blank"><em>Culture Track: Culture and Community in a Time of Crisis</em></a>, conducted during 2020 and commissioned by Wallace, has uncovered a high level of participation in digital programs during the pandemic.</p><p>To further explore the crucial role of digital in the performing arts, we recently connected with two grant recipients from Wallace’s <a href="/knowledge-center/building-audiences-for-sustainability/pages/default.aspx">Building Audiences for Sustainability</a> initiative, which ended in 2019: Seattle Opera and Woolly Mammoth Theatre. Marketing Director Kristina Murti at Seattle Opera and Artistic Director Maria Manuela Goyanes and Managing Director Emika Abe at Woolly Mammoth shared insights from their respective organizations’ creation of digital programs, highlighting some of the advantages and challenges that they’ve experienced. The interviews have been edited for length and clarity. </p><p> <strong>Looking back at the past year, what one piece of digital content do you think was your most successful, interesting, significant or surprising? And why?</strong></p><p> <strong>Goyanes:</strong> In many ways, Woolly Mammoth was built to meet a moment like this, as risk-taking and innovation are at the core of what we do. From the outset of the pandemic, we wanted to create opportunities to continue to spark conversation through theatre and to quickly provide jobs for artists and technicians who were left unemployed. We decided to commission two works specifically for alternative mediums. It feels important to talk about both since they were both significant for us, and also so different from each other, which really showcases how wide-ranging this type of content can be. </p><p>The first was commissioning the Telephonic Literary Union to create <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IcmSt8x4h0" target="_blank"><em>Human ​Resources</em></a>, which repurposed a customer service hotline into an intimate audio anthology for remote times. The project contained audio experiences written by authors of color, employed actors from all over the country, and spurred audiences to listen, reflect and try to find the “Super Secret Happiness Code” embedded within the hotline. As evidence of its success, six months later, <em>Human Resources</em> had a future life—The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis presented the piece for their local community last month. </p><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kjPJbg0cwE" target="_blank"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Orchestrating-Digital-Arts-Programming-to-Meet-the-Moment/this-is-who-i-am.jpg" alt="this-is-who-i-am.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /></a>The second project, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kjPJbg0cwE" target="_blank"><em>This is Who I Am​​</em></a>, was a co-commission with New York City’s Play Company for Playwright and Director Amir Nizar Zuabi to write a play specifically for our current digital platform, <a href="https://www.woollyondemand.net/auth" target="_blank">Woolly on Demand</a>. Zuabi embraced that challenge completely and wrote the story of two characters, a Father and his Son, meeting on video chat with the hope of overcoming their estrangement. This fully realized production was rehearsed and performed entirely remotely, with its two actors, Ramsey Faragallah and Yousof Sultani, performing nightly from their own kitchens. We shared the play through a five-way co-production with American Repertory Theater in MA, The Guthrie Theater in MN and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. </p><p> <strong><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwjUaBA9j0E" target="_blank"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Orchestrating-Digital-Arts-Programming-to-Meet-the-Moment/don-giovanni.jpg" alt="don-giovanni.jpg" style="margin:5px;" />​</a>Murti:</strong> In my opinion, our <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwjUaBA9j0E" target="_blank"><em>Don Giovanni</em></a>, recorded in January, was our most significant opera recording this season.  It was the second full opera we recorded, and the first work we did not record in our main performance hall. There’s a lot of assumptions in opera about “how things need to be” and the idea of recording a “performance” outside of our main performance hall was not something we were seriously considering earlier in the pandemic—until we needed to, and then we decided to build a sound/film studio in our administration/operations center. We also recorded the audio separately from the staging and synced everything together in a pretty seamless way. The idea that we could record the performance “off-site” brought confidence to our next project, <a href="https://youtu.be/O35L90nbSVI" target="_blank"><em>Flight</em></a>, which was recorded really off-site: at Seattle’s Museum of Flight. That project is most certainly the pinnacle of what we’ve done so far but having <em>Don Giovanni</em> under our belt and producing opera in an entirely new way was crucial to being able to put together an amazing product like <em>Flight</em>.  </p><p> <strong>What has been the biggest challenge that your organization has faced while reconfiguring its programming for the digital space? </strong><u> </u></p><p> <strong>Abe:</strong> It’s hard to pinpoint what the biggest challenge has been, as there have been so many! </p><p>One challenge has been that in undertaking new digital projects, we really went back to being beginners, even though Woolly has been around for 41 years. At first, we didn’t know what types of professionals we needed to engage to create work online. As we were seeking an outlet to share our work virtually, new hosting and streaming platforms for the theatre community were rushing into existence to tap into a new market. We had to evaluate our options without any particular expertise on our staff about video formatting or ways to stream from your computer to your television. At least we can say with confidence that we know a lot more now than we did a year ago.</p><p>Fortunately, because so many other theatres were making similar pivots into the digital sphere, we were able to turn to our colleagues for guidance—and then later on, to share our own insights with others. It has been heartening to see the many ways in which the theatre industry has come together to collaborate and support each other through this pandemic.</p><p> <strong>Murti:</strong> We have not been able to use our main performance venue, McCaw Hall, consistently as a recording site so we have had to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoEUBC7wm0o" target="_blank">reimagine</a> several of our Opera Center spaces as movie sets. Due to social distancing requirements and space considerations, we also had to record the music separately from the staging. These two issues were challenging but allowed us to think way outside of the box. As mentioned, <em>Flight</em>, which premiered this month, takes place in an airport terminal and was filmed on location at The Museum of Flight, an impressive museum filled with aircraft and large spaces that feels very much like an airport. No opera stage set will ever match the scale and brilliance of being at that location for this opera.  </p><p> <strong>Was there any type of program you tried along the way that didn’t work, or didn’t work as expected? If so, what did you learn from this experience?</strong></p><p> <strong>Murti:</strong> We’ve really experimented a lot with community programming. What format works?  Should they occur at a specific date and time? Do we take reservations? Do we pre-record the entire talk and then edit into a more formal video? What’s the best length?  We’ve tried a lot of things here and continue to experiment.  </p><p>In general, I’d say we’ve found that shorter (20-minutes or less) is better than longer. We are still trying to determine whether it’s better to have a Zoom-style event with a set date and time, which people can join and feel like they are part of the discussion, or an event that is pre-recorded.  </p><p> <strong>Goyanes:</strong> Close to the beginning of the pandemic, we decided to experiment in the learning space, specifically offering classes entitled “Woolly for the Body, Mind and Spirit.” We offered a dance class, a class that paired a contemporary book with a contemporary play that Woolly had produced, as well as an acting class specifically geared for video audition techniques. We have not offered classes like this at Woolly in a long time, and we struggled with enrollment for many reasons, not the least of which was that we were launching this while COVID-19 numbers were high in the summer of 2020. The emotional toll of the pandemic, as well as the isolation, has been hard on our staff and our audiences. While we are energized by class ideas, in hindsight we needed more time for our community to wrap its head not only around what shelter-in-place meant, but also what it meant for Woolly to move into an intentionally educational space again. Another takeaway was that we learned to stick to what we do best and adapt it to the moment, rather than launch entirely new offerings for our audience. </p><p> <strong>Have there been any unexpected advantages to presenting virtual programming? If so, what does this success look like? </strong></p><p> <strong>Murti:</strong> I touched on this earlier with the idea of separating the audio and staging recordings—that is something we did not consider last summer but has allowed us to expand into new and different locations and possibilities. We are currently planning where to record our upcoming <em>Tosca</em> and are considering one of the most beautiful cathedrals in our city. <br> <br> Another advantage to virtual programming is the ability for people to watch the opera more than once.  We’ve found that a lot of people do this. For<em>The Elixir of Love</em>, our subscribers watched the opera on average 1.8 times. We keep each of our digital programs available to subscribers for three weeks following their online premiere, and many have reported watching early on and then again later on.  </p><p> <strong>Do you expect to incorporate digital programs into your regular programming in a post-pandemic landscape? If so, how?</strong> </p><p> <strong>Murti:</strong> Yes, although what this looks like is very much evolving. Attendance at digital talks have far outpaced what we would have in-person. Seattle has terrible traffic so I believe we will have a hybrid of an in-person and virtual atmosphere for these events going forward. Some opera/musical content will most definitely continue virtually, but we haven’t figured out yet what that will look like in the future.</p><p> <strong>Goyanes:</strong> While we are absolutely eager to bring live in-person theatre back into our programming, we also want to center the idea of abundance in our collaborations, relationships and in the theater we make. One of Woolly’s guiding principles is to reimagine collaboration and community, across industries, communities, disciplines and mediums. Digital programming fits squarely into that reimagining, and we are eager to build upon the experiments of this past year.</p><p>For one, producing in the digital realm greatly increases access to our work. For example, our theatre in downtown DC seats 270 people, and on the last night of our digital production of Amir Nizar Zuabi’s <em>This is Who I Am</em>, we saw upwards of 500 people tune in online, not only from all over the United States, but also from abroad. With a lower ticket price for our online productions, we have also been able to provide greater access by removing a financial barrier for more audiences.</p><p>We know that as vaccinations become widely available and restrictions from the pandemic get lifted, we will face new hurdles. Experts say that COVID-19 or similar viruses will be an ongoing part of our lives. A year ago, as new leaders were stewarding Woolly Mammoth into its next chapter, we were growing our operations and impact. Now, the same growth has been set back and we are not yet sure how long the ramifications of this time will last. Many of our artists are still unemployed and we fear that many will have left our field permanently.</p><p>All that said, we fully believe that Woolly Mammoth’s courage, creativity and sense of possibility will help us chart a path through these and other challenges we face. </p><p> <strong>What advice would you offer an organization who is just beginning their journey in adapting to the digital stage? </strong></p><p> <strong>Murti:</strong> Try to think outside of your normal locations. After a year of this, audiences are going to expect you to do more than simply put your normal in-person event into a digital format.  Virtual content should be designed with that in mind, as it takes just as long to figure out as an in-person event. Everyone has been surprised at how long it takes to edit a full-length opera. We’re doing it in about 2-3 weeks and it’s a real push to get it completed.</p><p> <strong>Abe:</strong> Now that there is a lot of material out in the world online, check out what you’re interested in to get a sense of the breadth of different ways that artists are creating in all sorts of digital mediums. Are you interested in interactive shows? Live or filmed? Take note of what engages you, what makes for ease of experience, what feels satisfying. And then reach out to folks at those theatres. Ask questions with curiosity and gratitude – take the advice that serves you and chart your own path. Just like there is no one way to make theatre, there is no one way to make theatre online.</p><p> <em>For more information on Seattle Opera’s and Woolly Mammoth Theatre’s full range of digital programming, please visit their websites: </em><a href="http://www.seattleopera.org/" target="_blank"><em>www.seattleopera.org</em></a><em> and ​</em><em><a href="http://www.woollymammoth.net/" target="_blank">www.woollymammoth.net</a></em></p>Orchestrating Digital Arts Programming to Meet the Momenthttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Orchestrating-Digital-Arts-Programming-to-Meet-the-Moment.aspx2021-05-11T04:00:00ZFrom obstacles to achievements and everything in between, two performing arts leaders share tales of creating art for the digital environment
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.
Wallace’s Ten Most Downloaded Publications of All TimeGP0|#6b3d2eef-1f47-4b7e-b105-bd18b7e1c384;L0|#06b3d2eef-1f47-4b7e-b105-bd18b7e1c384|News;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Since launching our Knowledge center in 2003, thousands of people visit and find our library of published research, reports and other tools every day. So, what are they looking for? </p><p>Here’s a list of our Top 10 Most Downloaded resources as of fall 2017:</p><ol><li> <strong> <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/How-Leadership-Influences-Student-Learning.aspx">How Leadership Influences Student Learning </a> </em>(Published September 2004) – 562,902 downloads</strong><br> In this hallmark publication on school leadership—our most downloaded report of all time—the authors suggest and investigate the notion that in order to improve schools, focus should be placed on not just teachers, but also on principals and administrators. </li><li> <strong> <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/The-School-Principal-as-Leader-Guiding-Schools-to-Better-Teaching-and-Learning.aspx">The School Principal as Leader: Guiding Schools to Better Teaching and Learning</a></em> (Published January 2012) – 372,094 downloads</strong><br> This report concludes that there are five key actions that effective school leaders do particularly well, including shaping a vision of academic success for all students, and cultivating leadership in others.</li><li> <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Investigating-the-Links-to-Improved-Student-Learning.aspx"> <strong>Learning From Leadership: Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning</strong></a></em><strong> (Published July 2010) – 108,970 downloads</strong><br> Based on six years of quantitative data, this report confirms that effective school leadership leads to student success, showing that teachers, principals, district leaders and state policymakers all have an impact on learning.</li><li> <strong> <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Three-Essentials-to-Improving-Schools.aspx">The Three Essentials: Improving Schools Requires District Vision, District and State Support, and Principal Leadership</a></em> (Published October 2010) – 95,857 downloads</strong><br> Published by the Southern Regional Education Board, this report examines how school districts and states are failing to provide principals with what they need to turn around America’s challenged middle and high schools.</li><li> <strong> <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/The-Making-of-the-Principal-Five-Lessons-in-Leadership-Training.aspx">The Making of the Principal: Five Lessons in Leadership Training</a></em> (Published June 2012) – 74,323 downloads</strong><br> Like many of the education leadership reports before this one, <em>Making of the Principal</em> highlights the problems facing principal training programs and offers five steps to better training.</li><li> <strong> <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/resources-for-financial-management/SFM2013/Pages/Program-Based-Budget-Template.aspx">Strong Nonprofits Microsite: Program Based Budget Builder</a></em> (Published February 2013) – 72,373 downloads</strong><br> This tool, from our nonprofit financial management microsite, allows an organization to build a budget and list revenue across different programs and functions, including allocation of personnel and direct and indirect non-personnel expenses.</li><li> <strong> <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Preparing-School-Leaders.aspx">Preparing School Leaders for a Changing World: Lessons from Exemplary Leadership Development Programs</a></em> – Final Report (Published April 2007) – 72,197 downloads</strong><br> In this groundbreaking report, Stanford University authors provide case studies and guidelines to help district and state policymakers reinvent how principals are prepared for their jobs. </li><li> <strong> <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/resources-for-financial-management/SFM2013/Pages/A-Five-Step-Guide-to-Budget-Development.aspx">Strong Nonprofits Microsite: A Five-Step Guide to Budget Development</a></em> (Published February 2013)  – 60,387 downloads</strong><br> This guide, also from our nonprofit financial management microsite, provides a team-based approach to budget development, including goals, personnel and process.</li><li> <strong> <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/The-Effective-Principal.aspx">The Effective Principal: Five Pivotal Practices that Shape Instructional Leadership</a></em> (Published April 2012) – 50,675 downloads</strong><br> The most recently released publication on our top-10 list, the <em>Effective Principal</em> highlights five practices that characterize the leadership of principals who can make a difference in teaching and learning.</li><li> <strong> <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/How-Museums-Can-Become-Visitor-Centered.aspx">Services to People: Challenges and Rewards. How Museums Can Become More Visitor-Centered</a></em> (Published April 2001) – 40,954 downloads</strong><br> This one dips way back into our archives, but practitioners looking to create a visitor-centered approach to museums still find it useful. </li></ol>Wallace’s Ten Most Downloaded Publications of All Timehttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/wallace-foundation-top-ten-downloaded-publications.aspx2017-10-19T04:00:00ZPrincipals lead the way in our list of most-downloaded publications
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
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
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
What Theater Can Do BestGP0|#8056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be;L0|#08056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be|Building Audiences for the Arts;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Two years ago, we embarked on our Building Audiences for Sustainability (BAS) Stories Series, which has chronicled early accounts from the BAS initiative. <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/denver-center-for-the-performing-arts-is-cracking-the-millennial-code.aspx">One of the organizations featured</a> was Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA), focusing on Off-Center—an experimental branch of DCPA’s Theatre Company. Off-Center is helmed and curated by Charlie Miller, who also serves as the Associate Artistic Director of Denver Center Theatre Company. </p><p> To see how the work has been progressing, Corinna Schulenburg, Director of Communications at Theatre Communications Group, sat down with Miller to discuss Off-Center’s work to date, what they’ve learned and recommendations for other organizations seeking to expand their work in audience building. <br> <br> This following is an excerpted and edited version of the exchange.</p><p> <strong>Schulenburg: Can you provide a brief overview of the Denver Center and your work with the Building Audiences for Sustainability initiative?</strong> <br> <br> Miller: The Denver Center for the Performing Arts is a nonprofit theater based in Denver, and it's a unique organization because it houses both the Broadway presenting house and the regional theater that we call the Theatre Company. Inside the Theatre Company, there's a line of programming that I lead called Off-Center, which was created in 2010 to be a theatrical testing center, a place where we could experiment with new ideas and new forms and new ways of engaging a new and younger audience. <br> <br> This really came out of the challenge we were facing a decade ago—subscriptions were declining and audiences were aging. There was more competition for entertainment dollars, so we had to find a new way to engage an audience who wasn’t necessarily predisposed to theater the way that their parents and grandparents were. We were determined to create a new kind of programming geared toward that audience and that’s where Off-Center came from. </p><p>Around the same time, I became really fascinated with immersive theater and the way that it put the audience at the center of the experience. I also felt like it was a great thing for Denver because people who come to Colorado enjoy experiences. They like being active, and immersive theater allows an audience to be active inside of a story. So we set out to build the DCPA’s capacity to produce large scale immersive work through Off-Center.</p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption"><br><img alt="miller-schulenburg.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/What-Theater-Can-Do-Best/miller-schulenburg.jpg" style="margin:5px;" />   Corinna Schulenburg, director of communications, Theatre Communications Group and Charlie Miller, associate artistic director, Denver Center Theatre Company. </p><p><strong>Schulenburg: Can you say a little bit more about the aesthetic and the audience experience of immersive theater?</strong> <br> <br> Miller: For me what immersive means—and I also often use the word “experiential” interchangeably—is that it puts the audience at the center. They have some kind of role in the experience or in the story. It doesn't mean that the audience is playing a part like the actor, but instead that there is no fourth wall. It also needs to engage your senses and often involves not being seated the whole time, sometimes moving through multiple spaces, sometimes moving through the real world, but within a story that serves as a lens through which you’re viewing the world.<br>                            <br> <strong>Schulenburg: I know that an initial impulse was around engaging millennial audiences, particularly because you are a millennial yourself. Do you feel that millennial audience members have a particular relationship to this kind of work?</strong> <br> <br> Miller: On average we’ve seen 35 percent of the audience is made up of millennials for these experiential productions, which is a departure from the Theatre Company, which is closer to 16 percent. We've also noticed that there is a halo effect, where you create programming that you think will speak to one generation and it becomes compelling to other generations. The common denominator is not your age, it’s how adventurous you are and what you’re looking for in your cultural experience. <br> <br> What’s exciting to us is that the work we’re doing is engaging a significantly newer and younger audience but it’s also engaging a diverse audience and people of all ages who are interested in engaging with their art in a different way. <br> <br> Also through the work we’ve been doing, I've continued to feel a tension in artistic programming between listening to what the audience wants and just doing interesting work that people will be excited about that they didn't know they want. There’s the famous Henry Ford quote that I love, something like, “If I listened to what people wanted I would have just given them a faster horse.” <br> <br> <strong>Schulenburg: I remember in some of your past work you’ve uncovered that there’s a gap in what they think they want and what you actually found they wanted through market research.</strong> <br> <br> Miller:  As we were starting our Wallace-funded work we did a lot of market research, both qualitative and quantitative, to look at millennials in Denver and to understand if they would be interested in immersive theater. And when we asked them what type of experience, what attributes they wanted in an experience, they wanted “entertaining,” “lighthearted and fun,” “casual and relaxed.” They did not want “exclusive,” “serious” or “high end.” </p><p> <em>Sweet & Lucky</em>, which was the first big project we produced, was serious and emotional and contemplative and people loved it, but it was the opposite of what they said they wanted. And it turns out that some of the subsequent work we've done that has been categorized as “entertaining, lighthearted and fun” has not been as popular among audiences. So even though they said they thought they knew what they wanted, it turns out they didn't. <br> <br> <strong>Schulenburg: Since Wallace released the Building Audiences for Sustainability Story on your work, what has changed since then? What have you been up to?</strong> <br> <br> Miller: The production that is running right now is called <em> <a href="https://www.denvercenter.org/tickets-events/between-us/">Between Us</a></em>, and it is a trio of one-on-one experiences between one actor and one audience member. This was inspired, in part, by an observation from <em>Sweet & Lucky</em>: during that production, every audience member received a brief one-on-one with an actor, and we saw how impactful that was for audience members. </p><p>Through all our projects this spring I've been fascinated with how much agency we can give the audience. How do we create a situation where the audience can show up as themselves, not have to play a part, but can have a meaningful and authentic impact on the direction and possibly even the outcome of the story? And how do we do that in a way that still guarantees that there's satisfying narrative arc? We're really experimenting with that in all of these pieces. We've had to rethink how we do things and learn along the way. <br> <br> <strong>Schulenburg: Do you have any advice for smaller organizations looking to begin the work of audience building?</strong> <br> <br> Miller:  I think it's really important to get feedback from your audience. You don’t have to have a big budget to collect information and to use that to inform some of your decisions. It’s a skill set and a muscle that you can develop, and there are free tools out there to help. I believe that audience members have more buy-in with an organization if they feel like they’re able to share their opinion, so I’m a big proponent of continuous learning—as Wallace calls it—and using data to support strategy. <br> <br> Another thing we've learned is that experimental and nonlinear work has been least successful, as determined by audience response. We’ve heard that loud and clear on three different projects now. I always have to remind myself that at the core you have to provide a good story and that’s what brings people in. Theater is an art of storytelling.</p><p>Finally, I’m a huge proponent of prototyping and taking small, incremental steps to improve based on what you learn. The analogy I like to give is climbing up two feet and trying out your parachute and then climbing up another two feet, rather than just jumping off a cliff and hoping that the parachute opens. The more you can iterate, prototype and experiment, that can be really valuable. It’s a way to take calculated risks.</p><p> <strong>Schulenburg: We’ve been talking a lot about the role human contact plays in the work you do at Off-Center, so I wanted to end by mentioning the New York Times article, "</strong><strong><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/23/sunday-review/human-contact-luxury-screens.html">Human Contact Is Now A Luxury Good</a></strong><strong>" – have you seen it?</strong></p><p>Miller: Oh yes, I did see this piece. <br> <br> <strong>Schulenburg: The research suggests that it used to be that people who had resources and money had access to screens. Now, it's reversed—folks who are economically distressed have screens around them all the time and human contact has become a luxury good for the wealthy. What’s so interesting to me about the work that you are doing, it feels like it's connected to that, that you are hitting on the significance of direct human contact. It seems to me like you're tapping into a real wellspring of hunger.</strong> <br> <br> Miller: I think you're right there. This relates to why I think millennials are drawn to immersive work. Our lives are mediated through screens, and theater like this forces you to put your screen down and to just be real, present and embodied. <br> <br> Spending an hour with a stranger and just getting to know them is a unique experience; you put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see the world from a different point of view. My hope is that this can wake us up from the monotony of our everyday routine and give us a new perspective on our own lives and on the world. That’s what we’re really trying to do at the end of the day. That’s what theater can do best. </p>What Theater Can Do Besthttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/What-Theater-Can-Do-Best.aspx2019-06-25T04:00:00ZChecking in with Denver Center’s Theater Company on what they’ve learned about their audiences from championing immersive theater
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
To Build Afterschool Systems, Communities Must “Figure It Out, Then Figure It Out Again”GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Seeing is believing, the saying goes, and Priscilla Little has seen the benefits of afterschool systems up close for more than two decades. From 1996 to 2010, she oversaw the Harvard Family Research Project’s afterschool efforts. In 2012, she became the manager of Wallace’s “next-generation” <a href="/knowledge-center/after-school/Pages/default.aspx">afterschool system building effort</a>, the successor to an initiative, begun in 2003, to increase access to high-quality afterschool programming by coordinating the work of program providers, government agencies, private funders and other players. </p><p>Now that her time at Wallace has come to a close, we asked Priscilla to reflect on her experience in this evolving field.*</p><p> <strong>How has the field of afterschool system building changed since you started working with Wallace?</strong></p><p>On a base numbers level, there are more communities trying to do it. And we now have cross-sector community collaborations that weren’t in place 10 years ago. Afterschool systems may start off as straight-up networks of programs, but they quickly embrace the fact that they’re operating in a larger community context. They recognize that they need to connect with other initiatives that touch young people and try to be more efficient, streamlined and coordinated in their approach. More afterschool systems are also working intentionally with school districts now, partly in response to education reform and greater openness on the part of schools. Another thing I’m seeing is increasing language about afterschool as a solution to workforce challenges—not just because it solves a childcare issue for the workforce but because it promotes the kind of skills employers need. It’s not that afterschool programs are doing anything different, but the way they’re being talked about is different.</p><p> <strong>What is the most important thing you’ve learned about system building in your time with Wallace?</strong></p><p>One thing I’ve come to appreciate is the importance of coordination that<a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Growing-Together-Learning-Together.aspx"> fits the local context</a>. What was a revelation for many of the sites in the Wallace initiatives is that coordination is going to change over time because community context changes. The notion of “one and done” is just not realistic. I could tell you many stories of systems that incubate in one place and land in another, and that’s an inherently good thing. That disruptive change is healthy for a system. Communities just want to figure out, “What is this going to look like?” And I tell them, “Good enough, good until. We’ll figure it out, and when something new comes along, we’ll figure it out again.” </p><p> <strong>What do you not know about system building that you still hope to learn?</strong></p><p>What I keep getting asked is, “How do we sustain this work absent big resources from foundations?” How does it become part of the course of nurturing children to have these systems in place? Beyond the systems approach, how do we change education so that afterschool becomes part of the equation without school districts co-opting it? Wallace’s new <a href="/knowledge-center/Social-and-Emotional-Learning/Pages/default.aspx">Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning initiative</a> is partly about how we can help both school and afterschool systems do what they do well but coordinate better.</p><p> <strong>What does the future of afterschool system building look like to you? </strong></p><p>Continuing to build systems is important because they’re good for providers and kids. The next frontier is changing the conversation so that it starts with equity and what young people need to be successful, not what we can do. We’re quick to jump to institutions and settings without asking, “What is your vision for young people in this community? How can the organizations in the community support that vision?”</p><p>*This interview has been edited and condensed.</p>To Build Afterschool Systems, Communities Must “Figure It Out, Then Figure It Out Again”https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/figuring-out-how-to-build-afterschool-systems-qa-priscilla-little.aspx2017-11-02T04:00:00ZInsights from Former Initiative Manager Priscilla Little
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
Speaking the Language of Social and Emotional LearningGP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>What’s in a name? In the fields of education and youth development, the name we give an emerging idea can cause confusion or controversy and even make a difference in whether it is embraced or rejected.</p><p>Nowhere is this more apparent than in the way we talk about learning that does not fall into the category of traditional academics. Interest in helping young people manage their emotions, build positive relationships and navigate social situations has been growing in recent years. But the discourse surrounding this work is rife with vague and competing terminology—from the colloquial (“character,” “grit”) to the clinical (“non-cognitive skills,” “growth mindset”). </p><p>That’s why <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/08/14/542070550/social-and-emotional-skills-everybody-loves-them-but-still-cant-define-them">this <em>nprEd</em> article</a> by Anya Kamenetz is so valuable. As an education journalist, Kamenetz was bothered by the proliferation of jargon on this topic. So she created a glossary, updated in summer 2017, to help non-wonks sort through it all.</p><p>This caught our eye at Wallace because we had taken on a similar project. In 2016, in preparation for a new initiative, <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/SEL-Feedback-and-Communications-Insights-from-the-Field.aspx">we commissioned Edge Research</a>, a Virginia-based market research firm, to look at more than 40 terms and report back on what they meant, how often they were used and how effective they were in motivating parents, educators and policymakers.</p><p>Edge conducted in-depth interviews with 45 leaders in education and afterschool, an online survey of another 1,600 professionals, and focus groups with parents. Like Kamenetz, they concluded there is no “silver bullet” term that works for everyone and in all contexts. They did, however, find that the term “social and emotional learning,” while not without its pitfalls, was familiar and clear to practitioners and policymakers in both K-12 and afterschool and accessible to parents once it was explained.</p><p>That is, in part, why we decided to name our new initiative <a href="/knowledge-center/Social-and-Emotional-Learning/Pages/default.aspx">Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning</a>. </p><p>Martin West of the Harvard Graduate School of Education tells Kamenetz that the “semantic debate” may already have been settled in favor of “social and emotional learning” and its variants, “but more from exhaustion than from progress toward consensus.” We at Wallace have found working with Edge on this knotty naming problem more invigorating than exhausting, and we hope the results will help researchers, philanthropic organizations, policymakers and practitioners.</p><p> We also recognize that, when discussing the well-being of our young people, a “one-size-fits-all” approach is not the way to go. Each community has different needs and different sensitivities. References to “character” make some people cheer and others suspicious. Associating the word “emotional” with the word “learning” may provoke eye rolls in some places and applause in others. </p><p>It’s important to respect these differences. If we want our children to learn to relate to others in a positive and skillful way, it starts with us.</p>Speaking the Language of Social and Emotional Learninghttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Speaking-the-Language-of-Social-and-Emotional-Learning.aspx2017-11-15T05:00:00ZWhat’s in a name? In the fields of education and youth development, the name we give an emerging idea can cause confusion or controversy and even make a difference in whether it is embraced or rejected.
How Principals (and their Bosses) Can Use Technology for Learning and ManagementGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​<p>​​​The timing was certainly not intentional, but shortly before the Omicron variant surged late last fall and sent schools across the country into another round of reliance on remote and hybrid learning, Wallace published a study titled <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principal-leadership-in-a-virtual-environment.aspx"><em>Principal Leadership in a Virtual Environment</em></a>. The report offers early considerations from a field of emerging research on how school districts can develop a large corps of principals adept at employing technology to manage their schools and keep students learning. It centers on the idea that high-quality, equitable education in the digital realm—described as “powerful learning”—emerges through the combination of three essentials: meaningful use of technology; inclusive access to it; and, notably, the leadership of principals with the know how to implement both.<br></p><p>The report, commissioned by Wallace, was produced by <a href="https://digitalpromise.org/" target="_blank">Digital Promise</a>, a nonprofit that works with districts and schools nationwide on the effective use of technology. Recently, as the nation began what almost everyone hopes will be an emergence from the worst of COVID-19, the Wallace blog caught up with Stefani Pautz Stephenson, the publication’s lead author and director of educator community partnerships at Digital Promise. Through an email exchange, she discussed how the embrace of technology for learning and school operations during the pandemic may have a lasting influence on school leadership.  <strong></strong></p><p><strong>Wallace Foundation: What have school leaders learned over the last two years about leading in a virtual environment?</strong></p><p><strong>Stefani Pautz Stephenson:</strong> In our report, we share the emerging finding that nimbleness and flexibility are essential traits for both principals and principal supervisors who are leading in a virtual environment. This continues to hold true today. School leaders have learned how to make decisions with limited information, or information that’s rapidly changing. They’ve learned how to be responsive with their own learning, by re-learning or upskilling their own leadership abilities. They’ve also learned a lot about how to lead people who aren’t physically in the same space. Just as teachers have learned to teach students who aren’t in the same classroom, school leaders have learned how to, for example, virtually observe a classroom and virtually model risk-taking and growth mindset.</p><p><strong>WF: In a recent EdWeek Research Center</strong><a href="https://www.edweek.org/leadership/the-teaching-strategies-educators-say-will-outlast-the-pandemic/2022/03" target="_blank"><strong> survey</strong></a><strong>, principals and other educators listed pandemic-spurred changes that they thought would stick, and at or near the top were technologies, including teaching software and platforms to monitor students’ progress. What innovations do you think are here to stay, and what can principals and/or districts do to ensure they are used effectively?</strong></p><p><strong>SPS:</strong> The survey states that educators believe the digital learning platforms most likely to stay are those that facilitate making assignments and monitoring progress. I think that’s an accurate assessment. Many school districts were already using a learning management system, at least in some capacity, prior to the pandemic. But the pandemic turned it from a<em> nice to have</em> to a <em>must have</em>. The learning management systems that integrate student learning, teacher feedback and communication with families are likely to have the greatest longevity because they support the school-to-home transparency that all stakeholders have grown accustomed to in the last two years.</p><p>To ensure technology is used effectively, school leaders must set clear expectations for use. As with any technology adoption, there will be innovators and early adopters who embrace it and want to use it to its fullest potential. There will also be those who are slower to adopt and want to know what the “must-dos” are. School and district leaders will see more successful implementation if they are clear about how the technology is supportive and set baseline expectations for how it is integrated. It has to be clear that it's not an add-on. Then, it’s critical to provide ongoing, growth-oriented feedback and to make professional learning and coaching readily available.</p><p><strong>WF: EdWeek has also reported that educators who had scurried to learn about and then use digital tools were</strong><a href="https://www.edweek.org/technology/tech-fatigue-is-real-for-teachers-and-students-heres-how-to-ease-the-burden/2022/03"><strong> </strong></a><a href="https://www.edweek.org/technology/tech-fatigue-is-real-for-teachers-and-students-heres-how-to-ease-the-burden/2022/03" target="_blank"><strong>experiencing some tech fatigue</strong></a><strong>. How can principals keep the momentum for sound use of technology going?</strong></p><p><strong>SPS:</strong> One strategy is to help teachers manage all of the incoming information, including the amount of technology they’re learning. Focus on a few critical pieces of technology and look to technologies that serve multiple functions and can be implemented across the board, like a learning management system. Aim for deep learning with those technologies, and give it the time it needs.</p><p>Attending to educators’ social-emotional needs is also essential. The Council of Chief State School Officers published<a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/163ZNDs7sZ0FWOT7-1JFxQ9Lbo6zbQNJhaHSs0LbljCE/edit#heading=h.85w6zatiiauu" target="_blank"> guidance on fostering staff wellbeing and connection</a>, highlighting the importance of creating opportunities for staff to reconnect, heal, and feel safe and supported. School leaders can, for example, give staff an opportunity to engage in a community-connection activity prior to formal professional development on technology implementation. Creating those opportunities for connection, coupled with clear and realistic expectations for technology use, can help prevent burnout.</p><p><strong>WF: One lesson from the pandemic seems to be that Zoom or similar conferencing technologies have allowed for more inclusive communications with families, enabling schools to maintain contact with parents and others who had previously found it hard to attend in-person meetings because of work or other circumstances. How do you think this lesson will influence principal-parent interactions once schools fully reopen?</strong></p><p><strong>SPS:</strong> We continue to see positive responses from school administrators to the increased communication with families. Schools have seen the positive effects of conferencing technologies in breaking down barriers to participation, and they want that level of family engagement to continue. Parents have also gained a new insight into what and how their students are learning, and they value that transparency. We’ve heard these things consistently, across the country. This is here to stay.</p><p><strong>WF: The report highlights considerations for districts that want to ensure that their principals can manage schools equitably and well in a virtual environment. Among them:  revising principal standards and updating principal preparation programming to take account of virtual learning and management. Have you seen movement in these areas? </strong></p><p><strong>SPS:</strong> We haven’t seen movement on these fronts yet, and we still believe these recommendations are mission critical if we want to develop better leadership capacity for the virtual environment. There is increased funding going into broadband, and technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence are rapidly advancing in education. We haven’t prepared leaders for this. We need to take action so that school leaders can think both conceptually and practically about these topics and others like them.</p><p>Education officials can begin with advocacy. On the local level, they can start with human resources directors and offices of organizational effectiveness advocating for changes in standards for evaluation and principal preparation. At universities, they can make the case to deans and other officials who are making decisions about programming that leads to licensure. They can work with state departments of education that set certification requirements. Change starts by making people pay attention to the issues. </p><p>The pandemic drew everyone’s attention to virtual learning; now it’s time to draw attention to the changes needed for the future of education leadership.<br></p><p><br></p>How Principals (and their Bosses) Can Use Technology for Learning and Managementhttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/how-principals-and-their-bosses-can-use-technology-for-learning-and-management.aspx2022-05-10T04:00:00ZSchool Leadership, principals, principal pipeline, school districts, technology, virtual learning, education research
Afterschool Systems Show Promise for Learning and EnrichmentGP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>“Proof of principle.” It’s a clinical-sounding phrase derived from the search for new medications.</p><p>But oh, what excitement it generated here at Wallace when we first read it in print in 2010, because the phrase also means that something has shown promise and warrants further development. There it was, on pg. 74 of a RAND Corp. report, <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Hours-of-Opportunity-Volumes-I-II-III.aspx"> <em>Hours of Opportunity</em>, </a>which examined Wallace-supported afterschool program efforts in five cities. For years, organizations in those communities—Boston; Chicago; New York City; Providence, R.I.; and Washington, D.C.—had been working to see if a then-novel concept was possible. </p><p>The idea? To have the major groups involved in afterschool programs—parks, libraries, schools, recreation programs, government agencies and others—collaborate to build a coherent system of high-quality afterschool programming, especially for the neediest children and teens. </p><p>The cities had embarked on this effort in the early 2000s, not knowing whether afterschool coordination on a wide scale and involving numerous players was possible. But apparently, the after-school systems idea had something to it. “This initiative provided a proof of principle—that organizations across cities could work together toward increasing access, quality, data-based decision-making, and sustainability,” RAND concluded. </p><p>In other words, the cities had demonstrated the feasibility of launching afterschool systems with the potential to improve programs and make them more readily available. Ultimately, that meant kids might have a better shot at filling their spare time with enrichment and learning, rather than risk. </p><p>Hours helped guide what we called our next-generation afterschool effort, in which nine other cities with system work underway received support to boost their efforts, especially in the collection and analysis of data. That work, in turn, gave rise to several other notable reports. One, an updated Wallace Perspective called <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Growing-Together-Learning-Together.aspx"> <em>Growing Together, Learning Together,</em> </a>found that building strong afterschool systems required four key elements: leadership from all the major players, a coordinating entity, use of data and efforts to bolster program quality.  </p><p>By 2013, we had some reason to believe that system-building was more than a flash in the pan. A Wallace-commissioned scan found that at least 77 of the nation’s 275 largest cities were endeavoring to build afterschool systems. </p><p>What’s the latest figure? The answer will have to wait for another study. </p>Afterschool Systems Show Promise for Learning and Enrichmenthttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/After-School-Systems-Help-Bolster-Student-Learning-and-Enrichment-blog-post.aspx2017-09-21T04:00:00ZOrganizations band together to create a powerful network of afterschool programming
Creating Safe Spaces for Young People During the PandemicGP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>T​​he best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry, according to the poet Robert Burns. For a nonprofit organization serving young people in the midst of a pandemic that has forced them to stay at home and take on a raft of additional worries and responsibilities, the best-laid plans don’t so much go awry as get adapted on the fly. At the beginning of 2020, Washington, D.C.-based <a href="https://higherachievement.org/">Higher Achievement</a>, which provides academically focused afterschool programs for middle schoolers in the D.C. metro area, Baltimore, and Richmond, Va., was all set to promote the impressive results of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) it had recently wrapped up as well as roll out new programming to better serve its students. </p>​ <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Creating-Safe-Spaces-for-Young-People-During-the-Pandemic/LynseyWoodJeffries.jpg" alt="LynseyWoodJeffries.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin:5px;color:#555555;font-size:14px;width:174px;height:174px;" />Then, COVID-19, along with an overdue racial reckoning and a wildly contentious presidential election, flipped the script. Through it all, Higher Achievement, a participant in Wallace’s now-concluded <a href="/knowledge-center/after-school/pages/expanded-learning.aspx">expanded learning effort</a>, has continued serving its students, known as “scholars” within the program. The intent is to respond, CEO Lynsey Wood Jeffries says, “with both urgency and gentleness.” <div> <br>​In this interview, the first of a two-part blog post, Jeffries discusses what it’s been like for one youth-serving nonprofit to face the great unknown—a topic on the minds of many this month as we mark the first anniversary of the declaration, by the World Health Organization, that the coronavirus outbreak was a pandemic. The interview has been edited for length and clarity. In part two, scheduled to be published later this month, Jeffries talks about the challenges that can come along with the benefits of research, the steps Higher Achievement took to put the research into practice, and considerations for other nonprofits contemplating an RCT. <br></div><p> <strong> <br>Has the pandemic caused you to view the role that Higher Achievement plays in a different way? </strong></p><p>The pandemic has forced us to prioritize what matters most. This pandemic has devastated traditionally marginalized communities and exacerbated health disparities and economic instability. Too many of our scholars are shouldering additional burdens, whether it’s worry about the health of family members or responsibility for childcare for their younger siblings because their family members are essential workers. </p><p>With these realities at home, and Zoom fatigue from virtual school, we had to radically adapt our high-dosage afterschool program to focus on where we could be most effective in this context of trauma, extra responsibility, learning loss and isolation. </p><p> <strong>You had these really positive RCT results to share right when the pandemic hit. Did that change the way you went about communicating the results of the research?</strong></p><p>We had plans to highlight the results of the study with our funders and our school partners in 2020, but those plans got overtaken by events. The study was published three weeks after George Floyd was murdered. We weren’t going to do a virtual roadshow on our study when it felt irrelevant. That was what was in the hearts of our staff. </p><p>Now the conversation is beginning to move towards what we can do to recover what's been over 12 months of learning loss, according to McKinsey's estimates, for kids who've been in virtual learning. As school districts and funders are considering “high-dosage” tutoring as one of the solutions, the RCT is elevating Higher Achievement’s position as a potential part of that solution. When we think about the results, particularly the positive effect on Black boys’ math scores, we’re asking how does this encourage us to be bolder in this racial reckoning work, in the achievement gap work?</p><p> <strong>How exactly has the pandemic affected the services that Higher Achievement provides?</strong></p><p>We’ve narrowed our program down to three things for now. The newest is virtual math tutoring pods, in which small groups of scholars review and practice what they’re learning in school. Second is mentoring, including high school placement mentoring. Third is community meetings. All those happen throughout the week. The virtual math pods are the biggest play we made. We realized our scholars were really slipping in math, and families are largely unprepared for that. Our school partners and school teachers have also asked us to support math instruction in these small groups. Scholars have wanted to be able to ask questions and have that person over their shoulder to help work through these concepts. We’ve had to re-skill our staff to be able to deliver. We did four rounds of pilots from March until August, then we rolled out a full program in September based on those pilots. With math, first semester grades are seven percent higher in December 2020 than in December 2019, pre-pandemic. </p><p>Math instruction by our volunteer mentors did not work well in the pilots of spring 2020, so we switched approaches in September, and the math pods are now led by our paid staff members.  Humanities mentoring is working, however, and serves as a critical vehicle for tackling relevant social justice topics. We build on the curriculum and materials of a group called <a href="https://youthcomm.org/">Youth Communication</a>. They produce a youth-written online magazine about relevant topics from identity to the presidential election to activist movements to relationships, and it builds in reading, writing and critical thinking skills. Mentoring is consistently the most popular element of our program, with scholars and mentors so eager to deepen their relationships, combat isolation and dive into social justice together. </p><p>The high school placement mentoring looks radically different this year. Even though many of our eighth graders have not learned eighth grade content in school, we expect most of them will be ninth graders next year. And we want to make sure we’re supporting them in the transition. Family engagement throughout this year, starting with one-on-one outreach the week after COVID closed schools, has been critical to our high school placement efforts. </p><p>Community meetings have been a wonderful time for scholars, staff and mentors to all come together to process current events. There have been a lot of conversations about the election and now about figuring out how to support our communities through the recent assaults on democracy.</p><p> <strong>Do you anticipate any of the changes you’ve made because of the pandemic becoming permanent?</strong></p><p>We will see. We are conducting a strategic review in late March to develop our COVID recovery plan for the next two school years. We expect to continue our math pods in some form, but convert them to in-person settings, and possibly during the school day. We are also involved in advisory efforts to design and scale tutoring efforts in our cities.</p><p> <strong>Any advice for organizations struggling to adapt to the pandemic? A lot of time has passed, but we still unfortunately don't exactly know where we're at in terms of recovery.</strong></p><p>Do not try to do it all. Focus on your towering strengths to meet the extreme urgency of this moment. And then balance that with care for self and team. Try to act with both urgency and gentleness. The stake are high, and humans are fragile. </p><p>These turbulent times are hard, but also potentially transformative. Don’t lose sight of the hope.  </p>Creating Safe Spaces for Young People During the Pandemichttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Creating-Safe-Spaces-for-Young-People-During-the-Pandemic.aspx2021-03-18T04:00:00ZHow one afterschool program is balancing ‘urgency and gentleness’ for middle schoolers in these difficult times
Pandemic Brings challenges (and Opportunities) for Arts EducationGP0|#d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8;L0|#0d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8|Arts Education;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​“My theme today is adaptation,” said Bahia Ramos, Wallace’s director of the arts, on a recent webinar hosted by Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA). “By that I mean a special kind of change. A change that makes a practice better suited to its environment.”</p><p>This environment, of course, is the one we are now six months into, where the COVID-19 pandemic, economic insecurity and uprisings for racial justice have transformed life in this country. For the students and teachers in arts learning programs, this has meant a total pivot, everything from transitioning to online learning and virtual convenings to teaching artists being laid off at extremely high rates. These changes and much more came up in the GIA webinar, where Ramos spoke along with Kimberly Olsen, executive director of NYC Arts in Education Roundtable and Alex Nock, principal of Penn Hill Group.<br> </p><p><strong>Adaptation at BGCA</strong></p><p>Back in 2014, Wallace and three Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) in the Midwest embarked upon the Youth Arts Initiative to discover if <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/something-to-say-success-principles-for-afterschool-arts-programs.aspx">10 principles drawn from the nation’s best, specialty afterschool arts programs</a> could be applied within a general youth-serving organization better known for its sports programs. No one knew if it would work, but over the five years of the initiative, the clubs did <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/designing-for-engagement-the-experiences-of-tweens-in-the-boys-and-girls-clubs’-youth-arts-initiative.aspx">manage to successfully implement high-quality art skill-development programs</a> as defined by the Ten Principles for Success. Additionally, the retention rates for young people in the initiative was <em>twice </em>that of young people who were not in the program.</p><p>YAI is now in its second wave in five cities, testing whether the Ten Principles can be adapted to a lower-cost model. Clubs designed several new strategies, such as hiring assistants for teaching artists and focusing on lower-cost art forms, and initial results were promising. </p><p>Then COVID-19 changed everything. </p><p>“COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on arts and culture and the education system at large,” Kimberly Olsen said in her presentation. According to Olsen, drastic budget cuts due to the pandemic have fallen disproportionately on arts education, impacting cultural organizations, their ability to serve students and also trickling down to their teaching artists. </p><p><strong>The Impact on Teaching Artists</strong></p><p>“Before the pandemic we knew that teaching artists were at risk,” Olsen said. According to a <a href="https://dataarts.smu.edu/artsresearch2014/articles/blog-white-papers/covid-19-impact-nonprofit-arts-and-culture-new-york-city" target="_blank">recent DataArts survey</a>, teaching artists have been laid off at high rates, with a 78% decrease in artist staffing at NYC-based organizations as of May 8; of the 5,000 teaching artists who responded to the survey, 96% have experienced a loss of income.</p><p>Amazingly, Ramos said, four of the five BGCA clubs have managed to keep all of their teaching artist staff. “We continued our funding of teaching artists and programs in our clubs regardless of whether they were opened or closed,” she explained. This enabled BGCA to launch a new program called “Creates” with a special website and tips on maximizing limited budgets, arts projects and program assessment.</p><p>Sadly, not all organizations have been as lucky. According to the same survey by SMU DataArts referenced above, over 25% of organizations stated that they have laid off or furloughed their staff and artist workforce, and 11% of organizations indicated that they do not think they will survive the COVID-19 crisis.</p><p>“Our city announced a draft budget that saw tremendous cuts to arts education funding that would not only jeopardize the city’s recovery process, but limit both school and cultural organizations’ capacity to serve and engage young people while disproportionately impacting these nonprofit cultural organizations as well as students from low income communities,” Olsen explained.</p><p>As a result, the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable launched an efficacy campaign called <a href="https://nycaieroundtable.org/" target="_blank">Arts Are Essential</a>, with the goal of preserving arts education funding and investing in the community. “With all of this in mind, it means that organizations must be flexible,” Olsen said. “Flexibility means survival.”</p><p>Early lessons are emerging from BGCA’s new program as well. “Some downsides are clear – going online caused attention spans to be shorter, hours had to be reduced, fewer youth are joining, and as with regular school, lack of technology is a problem for some,” Ramos explained. “But there are some unexpected upsides like new opportunities to engage with parents; older youth have come in providing leadership roles, and youth are reporting that they feel more emotionally safe doing work at home.”</p><p><strong>Heading Toward Recovery</strong></p><p>According to Olsen, the arts and culture sector and teaching artists are going to play a huge part in the recovery of schools and communities. So how can philanthropy support artists who have been hit the hardest? </p><p>Given the very real threats to teaching artists and to arts learning programs overall, the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable encourages philanthropy to take the following action steps:<br></p><ul><li>Include teaching artists in conversations and decision-making processes as the arts sector is redefined </li><li>Invest resources in emergency funding to grant immediate direct-to-individual support for teaching artists to offset the disproportional financial impact </li><li>Ensure that funding language and programs include teaching artists</li><li>Examine longstanding siloed funding priorities</li><li>Ensure arts organizations that are being funded compensate teaching artists with fair wages<br></li></ul><p>Penn Hill Group’s Alex Nock added another way for organizations to take advantage of potential funding: The <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/unpacking-the-federal-response-to-covid-19-in-education.aspx">Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act</a>. Its provisions include more than $30 billion for K-12 and higher education programs; more than $4 billion for early childhood education; and other supports such as forgivable loans to nonprofits, including many providers of afterschool or summer programs. It also expanded states’ ability to provide Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, including for gig economy workers and individuals like artists, who would not ordinarily be eligible. </p><p>Nock spoke about other important pieces of COVID relief that affect artists and the art world in general. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provided flexibility and additional funding for state unemployment insurance agencies to respond to COVID-19. The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act provided $319 billion to replenish the program created under the CARES Act, in which loans to small businesses and nonprofits may be forgiven if businesses maintain their payroll.  </p><p>Looking ahead to next year, Nock said that the House had passed the majority of its 2021 appropriations bills in two packages, which included moderate increases, but said we can expect the appropriations to be wrapped up after the November election. He is hopeful that the next package of COVID federal funding will include more money for education.</p><p>Whatever happens with the funding going forward, Olsen emphasized that collaboration, flexibility and adaptation will help the sector survive and thrive. “While it’s been a hard time for the arts in education community, the field is resilient,” she said. “They’re creative, and they are driven to support their students in whatever way they can. We’re seeing opportunities and potential growing each day.”</p>Pandemic Brings challenges (and Opportunities) for Arts Educationhttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Pandemic-Brings-challenges-and-Opportunities-for-Arts-Education.aspx2020-09-22T04:00:00ZRecent webinar discusses how teaching artists and cultural institutions are responding to COVID-19 and beyond
How Principals Can Improve Student SuccessGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>The word “landmark,” used as a modifier rather than a noun, is not one you’ll hear a lot at Wallace.  In fact, we reserve it pretty much for one thing: a slim report with a nondescript cover published in 2004. <br> <br> At the time, we had no idea that <a href="http://wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/Pages/How-Leadership-Influences-Student-Learning.aspx"> <em>How Leadership Influences Student Learning</em></a> would go on to become the closest thing that Wallace has to a best-seller—more than 550,000 downloads to date, almost twice the number of our second-most downloaded report.</p><p>What makes <em>How Leadership</em> a landmark, however, is more than its popularity. Written by a team of education researchers from the University of Toronto and the University of Minnesota, the report helped bring to light the importance of an overlooked factor in education—the role of the school principal. In short, it found that leadership is, in the phrase we’ve used innumerable times since the report’s publication, “second only to teaching among school influences on student success.” Moreover, the researchers wrote that there were “virtually no documented instances of troubled schools being turned around without intervention by a powerful leader.”</p><p> Over the years, the report has served as the bedrock rationale for Wallace’s work in education. Since 2004, the foundation has invested in an array of initiatives aimed at providing excellent principals for public schools, especially those serving the least advantaged students. Wallace spending on those efforts amounted to roughly $290 million from 2006 to 2015.</p><p>In the wake of <em>How Leadership</em> are numerous other important Wallace-commissioned education studies, most recently a series documenting the implementation of our Principal Pipeline Initiative, in which six large school districts set out to introduce rigorous hiring, training, evaluation and other procedures to create a large corps of effective school leaders. The culminating report in that series, <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Building-a-Stronger-Principalship.aspx"> <em>Building a Stronger Principalship</em></a>, published in 2016, suggested that it is indeed possible for districts to do this work—to shape the kind of school leadership, that is, which <em>How Leadership</em> tells us is so important to the education of our nation’s children.</p>How Principals Can Improve Student Successhttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/How-Principals-Can-Improve-Student-Success-blog-post.aspx2017-09-21T04:00:00ZOur education leadership work offers a rationale and roadmap for supporting effective principals
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
National Principals Month Highlights the Tough Job of Leading a SchoolGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>“T he principal is the most pivotal role in the entire system,” Carmen Fariña, the former chancellor of New York City's school system, said in an episode of <em>The Principal Pipeline</em> podcast. “Having the best principals in New York is a mandate. There's nothing that's more important.” </p><p>While there are many ways to work toward advancing learning and running a school, one thing is clear: being a principal is hard work. So every year in October the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) join forces to celebrate principals. This year, <a href="https://www.principalsmonth.org/">National Principals Month</a> is focused on nationwide advocacy to help ensure principals have what they need to meet the challenges that come with leading a school. </p><p>To add to the celebration, we’ve put together a list of a few of our landmark and new reports and tools to help districts better support principals in the work they do. </p><ul><li>The 2004 report, “<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/how-leadership-influences-student-learning.aspx">How Leadership Influences Student Learning</a>” establishes the now widespread idea that leadership is second only to teaching among in-school influences on student success. </li><li>While this groundbreaking <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principal-pipelines-a-feasible,-affordable,-and-effective-way-for-districts-to-improve-schools.aspx">2019 report from RAND</a> shows how six large school districts that build principal pipelines—a systematic approach to hiring, preparing and supporting leaders—saw notable, statistically significant benefits for student achievement and principal retention. </li><li>Two series of <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/podcast-principal-pipeline.aspx"><em>The Principal Pipeline</em> podcast​</a> bring you some of the voices of principals, school district leaders, state leaders and others from the six districts that built pipelines. </li><li>And of course the <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/default.aspx">School Leadership</a> section of our Knowledge Center houses many more reports, videos, presentations and infographics. <br><br></li></ul><p> <img alt="principal-pipeline-main-image.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/National-Principals-Month-Highlights-the-Tough-Job-of-Leading-a-School/principal-pipeline-main-image.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /> </p><h2 class="wf-Element-H2" style="text-align:center;">Happy reading and happy National Principals Month!</h2>National Principals Month Highlights the Tough Job of Leading a Schoolhttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/National-Principals-Month-Highlights-the-Tough-Job-of-Leading-a-School.aspx2019-10-09T04:00:00ZYour 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.
Interest in Social and Emotional Learning Heats UpGP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>There is growing consensus among educators that children must develop skills beyond academics to succeed in the classroom and in life. Often grouped under the term “social and emotional learning,” (SEL), these skills, when nurtured and developed, can ​help kids manage their emotions, build positive relationships, and navigate social situations, among other things. </p><p>As the field of social and emotional learning continues to build momentum, our work at Wallace has begun to focus on helping teachers, afterschool educators and others define what SEL skills are, why they matter, and how practitioners can incorporate them into their programs. Late in 2016, we gleaned a sense of the curiosity on this topic when we held <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/sel-feedback-and-communications-insights-from-the-field.aspx">a webinar</a> with insights from the field collected by Edge Research. The researchers found that practitioners and policymakers were familiar with the term social and emotional learning and that educators in both K-12 schools and out-of-school-time (OST) programs considered building SEL skills a priority.  </p><p>Still nothing prepared us for the keen interest in what’s become our runaway hit: <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/navigating-social-and-emotional-learning-from-the-inside-out.aspx"><em>Navigating Social and Emotional Learning from the Inside Out</em></a>. This in-depth guide to 25 evidence-based programs—aimed at elementary schools and OST providers—seeks to help practitioners make informed choices about their SEL programs. Using the guide, practitioners can compare curricula, program features and methods across top SEL programs, based upon their own needs. Users can also see how programs can be adapted from schools to out-of-school-time settings, such as afterschool and summer programs. </p><p>The apparent need for what is, in effect, the first consumer guide to SEL cannot be overstated: In just several months the 349-page publication has been downloaded almost 10,000 times from our website, and practitioners have been sharing it widely across social media. The guide was written by noted SEL expert Stephanie Jones at Harvard. Complementing the SEL guide is a special edition of <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/The-Future-of-Children-Social-and-Emotional-Learning.aspx">The Future of Children</a>, a compilation of articles showing that SEL skills are essential for kids and that teachers and OST staff need professional development to help children develop them. Multiple authors, all preeminent voices in the field, urge a greater focus on outcomes at the classroom level and age-appropriate interventions. They also begin to wrestle with the complicated question of how to measure SEL skill development. </p><p>Taken together, these products are helping to build a canon for social and emotional learning. We have more publications currently in the works to keep up with new insights and knowledge in this ever-growing field. </p>Interest in Social and Emotional Learning Heats Uphttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Interest-in-Social-and-Emotional-Learning-blog-post.aspx2017-09-21T04:00:00ZWallace Foundation products help inform the emerging field of social and emotional learning, focusing on what we know about SEL programs and practices
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
Taking Principal Training to the Real WorldGP0|#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, which seeks to help improve training of future principals so they are better prepared to ensure quality instruction and schools. A research effort to determine the effects of the work is under way. 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>It’s one thing to learn a skill in a class. It’s another to practice it in the real world, where conceptual lines are blurrier than they are in textbooks. It’s a distinction that leads many professional training programs to feature internships, which some may call clinical experiences of practicums, to complement the skills students learn in class. It is one that led the University of Connecticut’s Administrator Preparation Program (UCAPP) to reexamine internships when it began revamping its offerings to strengthen principal training.</p><p>UCAPP internships were once sets of largely isolated experiences, each designed to build a specific skill with little connection to the rest of a student’s training. Each student was matched to what UCAPP calls a “mentor principal,” an experienced school leader who guides the student through at list of activities, and a UCAPP supervisor, who ensured students met minimum graduation requirements. There were few structured opportunities to explore the interdependence of each of the required activities.</p><p>During a semester focused on clinical supervision, for example, a student would observe a teacher, provide feedback about the quality of instruction and check “performance evaluation” off the to-do list. There was no infrastructure in place to ensure that the student saw how that evaluation affects other areas of concern for principals, such as instructional leadership, school ​culture or the equity of educational opportunities.</p><p>UCAPP’s internships are now a lot more rigorous and, leaders hope, offer a more complete understanding of the principalship. The program still assigns each student to a host school for the two years of the program. Now, however, interns must visit the school regularly, get to know its staffers and help with several principalship responsibilities. UCAPP also assigns each student to what it calls a “coach,” a UCAPP staffer or a school-district leader who works closely with both student and mentor and helps draw connections to concepts covered in class. The goal, says TJ Salutari, principal of Daniel Hand High School in Madison, Conn., and a longtime mentor for UCAPP students, is to get students accustomed to the role of a school leader.<br></p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read d5edb8f6-467b-4842-8230-b94da6a5cc8f" id="div_d5edb8f6-467b-4842-8230-b94da6a5cc8f" unselectable="on"></div><div id="vid_d5edb8f6-467b-4842-8230-b94da6a5cc8f" unselectable="on" style="display:none;"></div></div><p>“One of the goals I have as a mentor principal is to help the teacher get beyond just thinking and responding as a teacher,” Salutari said. He wants students to think beyond individual classrooms and also consider the politics, administrative infrastructure, community relationships and legal systems that affect teaching and learning in schools. “When they get done with their internship, my goal is they don't sound like a teacher anymore,” he said. </p><p>Two major changes appear to be helping UCAPP students make the shift from their previous roles as teachers to future roles as leaders: the “core assessment,” a yardstick of students’ leadership skills, and the introduction of leadership coaches. </p><p> <strong>Not just an assessment</strong></p><p>The core assessment, some UCAPP students say, is helping them understand how different concepts from the UCAPP curriculum come together in schools. It asks students to complete one project each term at their host schools and produce deliverables such as presentations to school staffers and memos to superintendents. Students then work with mentors and coaches to use these deliverables and assess whether they are on track to learn the skills they’ll need as principals. UCAPP designed the projects to touch on all four areas of leadership defined in the <a href="https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/SDE/Evaluation-and-Support/LeaderEvalRubric2017.pdf?la=en">Connecticut Leader Evaluation and Support Rubric</a>: instructional leadership, organizational systems, talent management and climate and culture. </p><p>Thomas Bushnell, a social studies teacher and first year UCAPP student interning at TJ Salutari’s school, said the assessment helped him see how different aspects of leadership must come together to improve student outcomes. He completed an “organizational diagnosis” at Salutari’s school, a requirement of the core assessment that asks interns to investigate reasons behind an achievement gap of their choice. He chose math scores among students with disabilities, an issue he assumed he would understand using teacher evaluation skills learned in instructional leadership courses. </p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read d013e515-025a-40d1-a4db-238257610d78" id="div_d013e515-025a-40d1-a4db-238257610d78"></div><div id="vid_d013e515-025a-40d1-a4db-238257610d78" style="display:none;"></div></div><p>But, Bushnell said, he quickly learned he had to dip into material from other courses as well. He had to survey parents to identify supports students most frequently receive at home, something he learned in an organizational leadership course. He had to ensure math teachers were working effectively with the special-education specialists, which required skills covered in talent management courses. </p><p>“We're noticing all of these connections between what we're learning in school and taking them to the internship experience,” Bushnell said. “The coursework matches up tremendously with what we're being asked to do as far as the internship is concerned. That's been my favorite experience.”</p><p> <strong>A little help from a friend</strong></p><p>To help ensure students can make such connections, UCAPP introduced leadership coaches. Supervisors, who previously oversaw internships, focused largely on the bureaucratic details of the work. “They read student reflections [of internship experiences], made sure a total of 480 internship hours were completed over two years and helped resolve problems,” UCAPP director Richard Gonzales said. “It was a passive and compliance-oriented role.”</p><p>The program has now replaced supervisors with coaches, who work closely with interns and their mentors to ensure UCAPP students get a thorough introduction to the principal role. Coaches don’t just help resolve problems; they also help students set goals, devise plans to meet them and work with students and mentors to ensure adherence to and adaptation of these plans.</p><p>“Probably the biggest thing I do,” said Joanne Manginelli, a UCAPP coach who also serves as project coordinator for the program’s Wallace-funded efforts, “is help [students] make sense of what they're learning in the classroom and then bring it over into the internship and into real life.”</p><p>Manginelli coaches nine students in the 2019-2020 school year, including Thomas Bushnell. She maintains regular contact with each of them throughout the program, meeting with them and their mentors at least once a semester, and helps ensure they are on track to develop the leadership skills they will need. Bushnell says she has helped him think more clearly about his leadership experiences.</p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read e5e459ef-3911-4c37-bbee-61201f57215e" id="div_e5e459ef-3911-4c37-bbee-61201f57215e"></div><div id="vid_e5e459ef-3911-4c37-bbee-61201f57215e" style="display:none;"></div></div><p>He pointed to a tense relationship between two staffers he had to help resolve. Bushnell approached the situation gingerly at first, without much luck. But conversations with Manginelli convinced him that he needed to be bolder and ask more of the staffer who appeared to bear greater responsibility for the conflict. </p><p>“She asked me to push a little bit more,” Bushnell said of Manginelli. “I did, and I was able to have a really great meaningful conversation. … It turns out that there were a couple of things that I was unaware of that had led to a rift between those two colleagues. And it ended up working itself out.”</p><p>“The role of the coach is to be there to ask the questions that help move [students] forward,” Manginelli said. “To know them well enough to know the skills and dispositions that they already have and where there are areas that you need to help them build.”</p><p>Bushnell says he appreciates the opportunity to have two sources of feedback from two different perspectives. “[Salutari and Manginelli] both asked me great questions that pushed me and challenged me, which I really appreciate,” he said. “That's been a great part of the whole coaching and internship experience so far.”</p><p>Such experiences require a fair amount of work, of course. Coaches need training and support. UCAPP administrators must maintain communications with coaches and mentors so classroom and internship experiences complement each other. Mentor principals must make time to ensure a valuable experience for their interns. And the schools where UCAPP students currently teach must hire substitutes while those students work in other schools learning to be principals.</p><p>It is too early to say whether these extra efforts will translate to improved performance among UCAPP graduates. The program’s careful reexamination of its internships, however, has drawn a significant source of support to continue its efforts. The Neag School of Education, of which UCAPP is a part, has earmarked $48,000 of annual funding from the school’s endowment to cover all costs of substitutes at UCAPP students’ home schools. </p><p>Such support could help train better principals. It could also help the schools in which they develop their leadership skills. Bushnell is thinking ahead to his “change project,” the capstone of the core assessment projects that he is to complete in his second year. The change project requires students to take elements of their work throughout the two years of UCAPP, learned both in class and in their internships, use them to help improve instruction at their host schools and work to ensure that the improvements continue beyond the internship. </p><p>“I’m hopeful,” Bushnell said, “that the work that I’ve done will last at the school, hopefully long after I’m gone.”</p><p>Read the previous post in our UConn series: <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/a-road-to-more-effective-principals-begins-in-one-universitys-classrooms.aspx">A Road to More Effective Principals Begins in One University’s Classrooms</a>. <br> </p>Taking Principal Training to the Real Worldhttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Taking-Principal-Training-to-the-Real-World.aspx2020-06-02T04:00:00ZThe University of Connecticut strengthens supports to help aspiring principals navigate new roles
The Benefits of Arts Education for Urban TweensGP0|#d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8;L0|#0d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8|Arts Education;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>​​​​​Does high-quality arts programming benefit urban tweens? What does it take to recruit young people ages 10 to 14 to these programs—and keep them coming back? A recent <a href="https://www.nationalguild.org/resources/resources/free-guild-resource/designing-for-engagement-the-benefits-of-high-qua?viewmode=2&lang=en-US" target="_blank">webinar</a> hosted by The National Guild for Community Arts Education provided insight into these questions drawn from research and practice in our Youth Arts Initiative (YAI).</p><p>Launched in 2014 with a grant to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, YAI selected clubhouses in Green Bay and Milwaukee, Wis., and St. Cloud, Minn. to test whether <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/something-to-say-success-principles-for-afterschool-arts-programs.aspx">10 success principles</a> for high-quality youth arts education could be applied to a large multiservice youth organization that services primarily low-income families. </p><p>The clubs offered both regular skill-development classes and drop-in opportunities to learn dance; painting, drawing and mural arts; graphic design, digital music, filmmaking and fashion design. Their experiences are discussed in <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/raising-the-barre-and-stretching-the-canvas.aspx">Raising the Barre and Stretching the Canvas: Implementing High Quality Arts Programming in a National Youth Serving Organization</a>, which found that the clubs could, in fact, implement the 10 success principles. </p><p><strong>Learning from Real Professionals</strong><strong> </strong><br> The arts classes were taught by <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/teaching-artists-sparks-imaginations.aspx">professional teaching artists</a>, such as Vedale Hill, a Milwaukee native who runs a mural arts program and is a full-time staff member at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee—and who participated in the webinar. The clubs also created designated spaces for arts instruction, worked hard with families and students to encourage regular attendance and organized community performances and art shows to showcase the tweens’ creations.</p><p>“The teaching artists were real professionals in a field and that really made tweens want to learn from them. They commanded respect and were serious about teaching the art form,” Wendy S. McClanahan of McClanahan Associates, told the online audience. McClanahan is a co-author of Raising the Barre and the more recent <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/designing-for-engagement-the-experiences-of-tweens-in-the-boys-and-girls-clubs’-youth-arts-initiative.aspx">Designing for Engagement: The Experiences of Tweens in the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Youth Arts Initiative</a>,  which focuses on whether the clubs could recruit tweens engage them in arts activities and whether the programs added value for both the tweens and the clubs themselves. The answer to all, in short, is yes.</p><p><strong>Meeting Youth Where They Are</strong><br> While professional knowledge is important, Hill agreed, effective teaching artists also know how to work with young people. Since tweens are at an age where participation in afterschool programs often declines, he stressed the importance of getting to know the students and their interests before diving right into formal instruction. </p><p>“It was important to me, as one of the kids who grew up in the inner city in Milwaukee and knowing where they were coming from, to make it a point to meet them where they were, before any drawing or painting,” Hill explained. “I went to the gym to shoot a round and played soccer and met them as the person they are. </p><p>“The best person for the kids,” he said, “is the one who gets them to learn the lesson and have it be relevant content to give purpose to the skill.” </p><p><strong>Fostering Youth Voice and Choice</strong><br> Clubs also gave tweens a say about the programming. Ben Perkovich, director of clubhouse operations for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Green Bay, explained that his club involved tweens early on in deciding what arts programs to offer and even in hiring the professional artists who taught them. That decision was strategic, he noted: “Once we started having them involved in the programmatic direction, that built enthusiasm and excitement.” The clubs in Milwaukee and Green Bay also offered incentives for participation and behavior, such as pizza parties, field trips and art supplies they could take home.</p><p><strong>Positive Youth Development for SEL</strong><br> Tracey A. Hartmann of Research for Action, a co-author of both reports on the Youth Arts Initiative, said the clubs’ use of strong youth-development practices was key to keeping tweens engaged. These included building positive relationships with adults and peers; giving tweens the opportunity to have input and play leadership roles; providing hands-on activities; and ensuring that participants were physically and emotional safe.</p><p>“These were deal-breakers for the youth,” she said of the welcoming climate. In return, the clubs expected them to make a commitment to attend the skill-development classes as much as possible, a major change from the drop-in nature of the other programs offered by the clubs.</p><p>Tweens developed social and emotional skills along with artistic skills, Hartmann said. “We heard from parents that they saw a sense of responsibly and time management. Parents pointed to the high expectations, the relationship with teaching artists and high engagement with the program.”</p><p>For more insights on the benefits of arts education for young people, read this <a href="https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brown-center-chalkboard/2019/02/12/new-evidence-of-the-benefits-of-arts-education/?utm_campaign=Brown%20Center%20on%20Education%20Policy&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=70054033" target="_blank">Brookings Institution</a> evaluation of an initiative in Houston to restore arts education through community partnerships and investments. To learn more about the evidence behind the use of arts to improve student achievement—known as arts integration—and which programs would qualify for federal funding under the Every Student Succeeds Act, read our <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/essa-arts-evidence-review-report.aspx">ESSA evidence review</a>.</p> <br>The Benefits of Arts Education for Urban Tweenshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/The-Benefits-of-Arts-Education-for-Urban-Tweens.aspx2019-02-26T05:00:00ZWebinar highlights publications and emerging lessons from the Boys & Girls Club’s quality arts program
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”
Ensuring That Every Student SucceedsGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​When Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015, it made a bi-partisan decision to devolve authority over federal education spending away from Washington, D.C. Now, it’s up to states and school districts to show that they are up to the challenge of deciding how best to use U.S. dollars to bolster public education for all students.    <br></p><p><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Ensuring-that-Every-Student-Succeeds/Brogan_Pix-crop2.jpg" alt="Brogan_Pix-crop2.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin:5px;" />That was the key message from Frank T. Brogan, assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, at a recent Wallace Foundation conference.  “Is every child better off as a result,” he urged audience members to ask themselves, noting that he finds “every” the key word in the Every Student Succeeds Act. “That’s an awesome responsibility. There are 50 million of them out there.”<br></p><p>Brogan made his comments at a gathering of about 200 local and state education officials, representatives of university principal preparation programs and other education leaders from around the country. ESSA, the latest reauthorization of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, is a leading source of support for public school education and is notable for giving states and localities more control over their use of federal education money. It also offers new possibilities for funding efforts to boost school leadership—a particular interest of the conference attendees, most of whom were   participants in Wallace’s ESSA Leadership Learning Community and University Principal Preparation Initiative.</p><p>Brogan said ESSA was “as important and pronounced a piece of legislation as I have seen come out of Washington, D.C., in decades.” The law’s underlying assumption, he said, is a belief that those closest to children—their schools, their communities, their districts, their states—are in a better position than federal officials to determine the students’ educational needs and how to meet them. Local educators, he said, “live with these children, they see them every day.… They know the challenges these children bring to school.” </p><p>At the same time, the law gives states and districts the weighty responsibility of showing that Congress made the right decision in placing new powers in their hands. “What ESSA is designed to say is, ‘we trust you,’” Brogan told the audience, emphasizing that what Congress giveth, Congress can also take away.  “If we don’t take up that mantle of local control and flexibility and create the same, they will snatch this bad boy away from us before we knew we had it,” he said. “We have to prove that we are worthy of that trust and find ways to reach children we have not been able to reach or reach them at higher levels.”</p><p>Brogan said that those who want to improve education need to avoid suggesting that current practices are bad—and focus instead on the idea that “by most standard measures” children today “are capable of more.” Educators and education officials, he argued, also need the “courage” to identify what requires changing and then make the necessary moves, despite inevitable pushback from others. “You can’t just open the window and yell ‘work harder;’ you have to work differently,” Brogan said.</p><p>One aid in this endeavor is evidence, Brogan argued, saying that educators nationwide are “desperate” to learn about innovations that have proved effective in classrooms elsewhere. “The beauty of funding evidence-based change is that it’s not just this shiny object,” he said. “This thing works. It can work for our children.” He noted that the U.S. Department of Education is creating a new unit to make it easier to get information about evidence-based practices. As part of an effort to consolidate the work of roughly 25 offices into 14 offices, the department has put the Office of Innovation under the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, which Brogan heads.</p><p>Asked about how the Department’s policies would help achieve equity in education, Brogan pointed to data as a key lever: “You can’t address what you can’t see,” he said. “The data alone won’t guarantee that you know what the problem is, but it will allow a confidence in trendlines that will enable people to stop and get them to talk about this.”</p><p>One of his priorities in leading an office responsible for distributing about $23 billion annually in grants, Brogan said, is to balance the need for adherence to grant requirements with the need for user-friendliness. A self-described “customer-relationship guy,” Brogan said that he wants “to know what the customer satisfaction rates are for our clients… and then I want to have conversations within and without the department about how we can change that to be a more user-friendly group.” </p><p>Although most of his talk focused on ESSA, Brogan began his remarks by recounting his journey from modest beginnings in Lafayette, Indiana, to his arrival to a position of influence in the nation’s capital. Brogan’s father died when Brogan and his five siblings were young. The family was raised by a single mother with an 8th grade education—and a determination to see her children advance beyond what their circumstances suggested. Working in restaurants and cleaning houses to support the family, she also managed to instill the value of education in all her kids. “She was a rock star in our neighborhood,” Brogan said. “She was unique in that all six of her children graduated from high school. At that time, it was a cause célèbre. I survived my first 18 years on the blunt end of this woman’s will. Failure was not an option. We were going to get an education. She professed it with great regularity and extreme passion.”</p><p>The challenge posed by ESSA is whether states and districts can harness this type of fierce belief in the power of education to ensure that every child can succeed in life.</p><p>For a look at evidence-based funding opportunities for school leadership under ESSA see <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/school-leadership-interventions-every-student-succeeds-act-volume-1.aspx">here</a>.</p>Ensuring That Every Student Succeedshttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Ensuring-that-Every-Student-Succeeds.aspx2019-03-06T05:00:00ZFederal education official urges local, state officials to prove “worthy” of the trust put in them by ESSA
New and Improved Financial Tools Help Nonprofits Stay NimbleGP0|#af3e9879-f65e-40d3-8cc6-25ef5b2f858e;L0|#0af3e9879-f65e-40d3-8cc6-25ef5b2f858e|Advancing Philanthropy;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​Recently, Hilda Polanco, founder and CEO of the consulting firm <a href="https://www.bdo.com/" target="_blank">Fiscal Management Associates</a> (FMA), talked to us about changes she’s seen over the years in the way nonprofit organizations approach their financial responsibilities. She noted that nonprofits are increasingly accepting the idea that financial planning is a “process that never ends,” one that calls for a nimble response to shifting winds and bumps in the road.</p><p>It’s no surprise then that <a href="/knowledge-center/resources-for-financial-management/SFM2013/Pages/default.aspx">Strongnonprofits.org</a>, the website we created with FMA five years ago to help organizations build their financial know-how, has also changed to meet their evolving needs. We asked John Summers, director of consulting services at FMA, to walk us through some of the site’s latest features and updates.*</p><p><strong>What is your process for updating the site? How do you determine when a feature needs updating or there’s a need for a new feature? </strong></p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="jsummers_portrait_72square.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/jsummers_portrait_72square.jpg" style="margin:5px;" />We get feedback from users that will suggest a modification of an existing tool or a totally new tool. They’ll say, “Do you have something that can do X?” Then there’s our own practice. We’re consultants working with nonprofit organizations every day. So, if there’s something we put together for one of our consulting clients or someone we’re doing outsourced accounting for, and it seems like it would be widely applicable, that can become a tool on Strongnonprofits. </p><p><strong>What is the new or updated feature on the site that you’d most like to highlight?</strong><br> <br> Cash flow projection is one of the backbones of financial management in any organization. The <a href="/knowledge-center/resources-for-financial-management/SFM2013/Pages/Cash-Flow-Projections-Template.aspx">cash flow projection tool</a> on the site was originally a 12-month calendar, but the modifications we made allow users to update it each month, so they can see how much they have actually spent and what remains in their budget and have a better sense as the year goes on of what their cash position is going to be and answer questions like, “Are we going to have enough when we need it?”</p><p><strong>You’ve created narrative guides to show how individual features of the site can be used in combination. What is the advantage of using the tools this way?</strong></p><p>If you’re doing some annual task like budget development, there’s pretty close to a comprehensive package of budget development tools on the site. The <a href="/knowledge-center/resources-for-financial-management/SFM2013/Pages/Topic-Area-Guide.aspx">narrative guide</a> is an attempt to pull those together and give an outline: If you use these tools in this order that’s going to help you produce your organization’s budget, from figuring out who should be involved in the process all the way through planning your expenses, planning your revenue, looking at cash flow, presenting it to the board. There are resources for each step that, together, can be a do-it-yourself guide to budget development. We’ve got guides for budget development, auditing, financial reporting.<br> <br> <strong>Is there anything else that regular users of the site should keep an eye out for the next time they visit? </strong></p><p>We’re not finished. Within the next few months, there will be new tools on there, including a tool to establish operating reserves. Just keep checking back.</p><p>*<em>This interview has been edited and condensed.</em></p> New and Improved Financial Tools Help Nonprofits Stay Nimblehttps://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/john-summers-QA.aspx2018-01-04T05:00:00ZNew and Improved Tools to Help Nonprofits Build Their Financial Know-How
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.