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Getting Ready for Summer in the Deep South3506<p>It’s late March, and in many U. S. cities, the chill hasn’t yet left the air. But in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where you can already go out of the house in short sleeves, the message is clear&#58; Summer is right around the corner. That’s why a group of teachers, school administrators and enrichment providers has convened at Tuscaloosa Career &amp; Technology Academy—to solidify their 2019 summer learning offerings for students and learn how the &#160;<a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/toolkit/pages/default.aspx">Summer Learning Toolkit</a> can help them in their work.</p><p>The toolkit, developed by The Wallace Foundation, is a free online compendium of more than 50 evidence-based resources, including tip sheets, customizable tools like planning calendars and budget templates, and sample documents like staff handbooks and enrollment forms. The resources grew out of research and on-the-ground insights from communities involved in the Wallace-sponsored National Summer Learning Project. Wallace launched the project in 2011, commissioning the RAND Corporation to study five large-scale, voluntary summer learning programs led by public school districts&#58; Boston; Dallas; Duval County (Jacksonville), Fla.; Pittsburgh; and Rochester, N.Y. The goals of the project were to provide a summer mix of academics and enrichment to thousands of children in low-income communities; help the districts improve their programs; and understand what impact, if any, they have on participating students—as well as what factors influence results. </p><p>Now, to ensure that the lessons of the National Summer Learning Project benefit cities and districts across the country, Wallace—along with the National Summer Learning Association, a non-profit organization, and The Learning Agenda, a consultancy—is taking the Summer Learning Toolkit on the road. First stop&#58; Tuscaloosa.</p><p>In Alabama, summer learning has historically been a local concern with philanthropy playing a major role. For example, SAIL (Summer Adventures in Learning)—a partnership of funders, program providers and community stakeholders—has been making grants to support rigorous summer learning in Birmingham and elsewhere since 2012. “Alabama is a state with a real tradition of philanthropy, so we’re used to trying to solve our problems in a community way,” says Jim Wooten, board chair of the organization. “We like less government and more citizen-based ownership.” Things may be changing, however, as the state government looks for new ways to improve academic performance, particularly in reading. Last year, the legislature added $4 million to the state’s Education Trust Fund, part of which was used to establish a pilot summer reading program. This is a moment of opportunity for Alabama’s summer learning leaders. </p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Andrew-Maxey.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Getting-Ready-for-Summer-in-the-Deep-South/Andrew-Maxey.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;220px;" />In many ways, Tuscaloosa is ahead of the game. Its district-run summer learning effort is entering its third year with programs in nine schools. Enrollment is already up for 2019, from 800 elementary students in 2018 to 1,000 so far signed up for this coming summer (out of a total of about 5,000 in the district). The district also provides grant funding and other forms of support to a number of independent programs. Andrew Maxey, the district’s director of special programs, who oversees its summer work, says he initially looked to Dallas, one of the districts in the National Summer Learning Project, for ideas. Last November, he attended the National Summer Learning Association’s annual conference, which is where he first discovered the Summer Learning Toolkit. Maxey welcomed the chance to incorporate the toolkit into a regularly scheduled planning meeting. “The tools in there are ridiculously powerful,” he says. “They’re solutions to issues every summer program needs to solve.”</p><p>Tuscaloosa may not be as big as Dallas or the other cities in the National Summer Learning Project, but it has big ambitions, Maxey says, aiming to bring every major player in town to the table and provide summer learning experiences to every student in the district who could benefit. He sees the toolkit as a means of facilitating that growth. “With just nine school-based programs, I’m able to give them very close coaching attention,” he says, “but when you scale, that’s just not practical.”</p><p>The program directors and teachers in the room—coming from both the district’s school-based programs and independent programs run by nonprofits like the Y and Boys &amp; Girls Club—were curious about how the toolkit could help them with the challenges they face in the here and now. During one part of the presentation, a sample schedule of a typical day in Pittsburgh’s Summer Dreamers Academy appeared on the screen, and several attendees took out their phones to get a snapshot. </p><p>Juerrette Thomas, lead teacher for one of the district’s summer programs, operated by the 21st Century Community Learning Center at The Alberta School of the Performing Arts (TASPA), says that building partnerships with high-quality enrichment providers is foremost on her mind. “Our first year, we were a half-day program, and we did all the enrichment in-house,” she says. “But now that we’re going to a full day, we want that outside support. There are people who know about things we don’t or may have a way of presenting material to the students we haven’t even thought of. We’d like to have those partnerships, but they’re not solidified.”</p><p>Sure enough, the toolkit features a section with guidance on vetting and setting expectations for enrichment partners, including sample documents like a request for proposals and a memorandum of understanding. Making the trip to Tuscaloosa to talk about putting these resources into action was Kathryn Vargas, director of Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time, the nonprofit “intermediary” organization that works with Pittsburgh Public Schools to connect community-based enrichment providers with the district’s Summer Dreamers Academy. Thomas, who, in addition to her summer responsibilities, is a full-time teacher at TASPA, commented that she and her colleagues could use the support of an intermediary to take on the enrichment part of the summer learning equation. </p><p>She may eventually get her wish&#58; Maxey told the group that he is exploring the possibility of bringing on a “backbone organization,” separate from the district, to coordinate Tuscaloosa’s summer learning activity, including the cultivation of enrichment partners.</p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Mike-Daria.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Getting-Ready-for-Summer-in-the-Deep-South/Mike-Daria.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;224px;" />The opportunity to learn and draw inspiration from someone like Vargas may have been what Mike Daria, superintendent of Tuscaloosa City Schools, had in mind when he kicked off the day by saying he was excited about “who was in the room together.” Daria says the district’s goal is to “recalibrate” what it’s doing in the summer, so that teachers and families alike think of it as “not just summer school.” Lesley Bruinton, the district’s coordinator of public relations, sees Daria’s vision of summer as a time when “learning is real <em>and</em> really fun” starting to become a reality. As an example, she mentions a summer teacher who created a class called “It’s a Piece of Cake,” in which students built their math skills by participating in a baking project and took a field trip to visit a local donut shop. </p><p>Summers in Tuscaloosa have always been sweltering, but when it comes to summer learning, it looks like things are really heating up.</p><p><em>Photos by C. W. Newell. Top&#58; Closing exercise at the event; middle&#58; Andrew Maxey,&#160;district director of special programs;&#160;bottom&#58; Mike Daria, superintendent,&#160;Tuscaloosa City Schools.</em></p><p> &#160;</p>Educators and enrichment providers in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, explore Wallace’s summer learning toolkitGP0|#507166ce-121b-4ec6-97dc-339d45606921;L0|#0507166ce-121b-4ec6-97dc-339d45606921|summer;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#413eacf8-e92b-4d47-a253-72cab0a0361f;L0|#0413eacf8-e92b-4d47-a253-72cab0a0361f|summer school;GP0|#a5b724b1-bdef-4930-b572-b343c1622ed3;L0|#0a5b724b1-bdef-4930-b572-b343c1622ed3|toolkitGP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61Wallace editorial team79<img alt="" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Tascaloosa-summer-learning-Blog-lg-feature.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2019-04-16T04:00:00ZEducators and enrichment providers in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, explore Wallace’s summer learning toolkit4/16/2019 1:30:33 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Getting Ready for Summer in the Deep South Educators and enrichment providers in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, explore Wallace’s 69https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Systematic Approach to Principal Development Can Benefit Students4810<p>​​​​​​The RAND Corporation’s new groundbreaking report, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principal-pipelines-a-feasible,-affordable,-and-effective-way-for-districts-to-improve-schools.aspx"><em>Principal Pipelines&#58; A Feasible, Affordable, and Effective Way for Districts to Improve Schools</em></a>, presents strong evidence that student achievement benefits when large&#160;districts invest in hiring, developing and supporting high-quality principals. But what does it take for a school district to build a sturdy pipeline of talented principals and sustain it? Superintendents from four districts shared insights during a panel discussion marking the publication’s launch at Baruch College in New York City. </p><p>The panelists—Richard Carranza, chancellor of the New York City Department of Education; Jeff Eakins, superintendent of Hillsborough County Public Schools, Florida; Monica Goldson, interim CEO of Prince George’s County Public Schools, Maryland; and J. Alvin Wilbanks, CEO and superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools, Georgia—engaged in a lively conversation moderated by Sonja Santelises, chief executive officer of Baltimore City Public Schools. The panelists’ districts, along with Denver Public Schools and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, North Carolina, participated in Wallace’s Principal Pipeline Initiative, which helped fund their pipeline-building activities from 2011 to 2016. The RAND report examined the results of the effort and found that across the districts, student math and reading achievement in schools with new principals outpaced achievement in similar comparison schools elsewhere in the districts’ states. The impact was notable. “We found no other comprehensive district-wide initiatives with demonstrated positive effects of this magnitude on student achievement,” RAND’s lead research on the project, Susan Gates, has said.</p><p>The panel discussed the importance of building all four components of a comprehensive principal pipeline—rigorous leadership standards, effective pre-service training, selective hiring and placement, and on-the-job support—to see results. Here are a few key takeaways from their conversation&#58;</p><p><strong>Creating a principal pipeline takes a village.&#160; </strong> <br> Every district department has to get behind the work, and to succeed “all parts of the pipeline have to be in alignment, from beginning to end,” Eakins said. In Hillsborough, this has meant examining the work of principal supervisors, the district staff members who support and evaluate principals. The district created standards for supervisors and re-interviewed everyone in the position to ensure they were the right fit to develop principals as instructional leaders. </p><p>These efforts resonated with Valerie Wanza, chief school performance and accountability officer for Broward County Public Schools, Florida, who attended the event. Broward (as well as Santelises’ Baltimore) is one of six schools districts in Wallace’s Principal Supervisor Initiative, which aims to refashion the supervisor job so it focuses less on administration and more on work with principals &#160;to boost instruction. “As a supervisor of principal supervisors, what was reported today reaffirms that we’re going in the right direction,” she said.&#160; </p><p><strong>Principal burnout is real. On-the-job support combats it.</strong> <br> The RAND report found that pipeline activities had a profound effect on retention, with new principals in the Pipeline districts more likely to stay in their jobs for at least three years than new principals in comparison schools. On-the-job support is critical to reducing turnover, the panelists noted, especially for principals leading schools in disadvantaged communities. “We just don’t pat them on the back and tell them, “Oh, you have the tools in your toolkit to handle that,” said Goldson from Prince George’s County Public Schools. Instead, the district figures out how to help. One strategy&#58; Staff at-risk schools with a community resource advocate who can address students’ social and emotional needs, allowing the principal to stay focused on improving instruction. </p><p><strong>Be a data-driven matchmaker.</strong> <br> New York City’s Carranza likened hiring a principal to online dating. “Look at it as an eHarmony moment,” he suggested. “You have to match the right leader with the right community, and couple that with the right types of support.” <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/leader-tracking-systems-turning-data-into-information-for-school-leadership.aspx">Operating a leader tracking system</a>, essentially an electronic collection of profiles of aspiring and current principals, has made finding the best qualified candidate much easier for the Pipeline districts. It also ensures that great people don’t slip through the cracks. Not every graduate of Gwinnett’s internal training program becomes a principal immediately, noted Wilbanks. Using the leader tracking system, the district can review the skills and experiences of all potential candidates when a position opens. </p><p><strong>Your future principals are in the classroom.</strong><br> The panelists also noted that the pipeline work has made them more attentive to their leadership pools. Gwinnett, for instance, recognized it had few male principals and assistant principals who are African American. In response, it plans to launch a formal program to identify high-potential African American male teachers who might step up to the job. Hillsborough actively mines its classrooms, too—a big departure from pre-pipeline days when the district typically waited for individuals to express interest in school leadership. Today, it seeks out talented teachers, gives them opportunities to demonstrate leadership, and then gets “in their ear” about becoming a principal, said Eakins. </p><p><strong>Take advantage of partnerships.</strong> <br> University partnerships, too, have proven beneficial to Hillsborough’s pipeline, added Eakins. After recognizing that the district lacked principals with the skillset to lead struggling schools, it worked with the University of Tampa and the University of South Florida to develop a master’s degree in educational leadership for turn-around schools. Four years later, nearly 50 Hillsborough principals are now graduates of the program.&#160; </p><p><strong>Federal dollars could be available to build principal pipelines.</strong> <br> An independent analysis of the RAND report found that RAND’s research about student achievement and principal retention is of sufficient quality to meet evidence standards required (or encouraged) for certain pockets of funding under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, including the major Title I funding stream. &#160;Will Miller, president of The Wallace Foundation, took note of that at the event. <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/essa-evidence-review-of-the-principal-pipeline-initiative.aspx">Evidence from the RAND study</a>, he said, “suggests that the creation of principal pipelines, aligned with the evidence base, deserves serious consideration by large districts, understanding that they can adapt the approach to their local context and use Title I funds to do so.” </p><p>Goldson advised districts to examine their system data to make the case for change, then use RAND’s research to show why building a pipeline is money well spent. “For $42 per child [per year], you have an opportunity to invest in human capital that will deliver improvements in student achievement,” she said.&#160;&#160; </p><p><strong>Learn from your peers.</strong> &#160;<br> Wilbanks offered advice to districts starting to build their pipeline&#58; Don’t do it alone. Reach out to other districts, learn from them, then share you own strategies. In fact, he plans to call on fellow Pipeline districts that are excelling in particular areas to find out “how I can catch up with them.” After all, the RAND report confirms that they’re on to something. The findings, he added, are “proof positive that the efforts and cost in both human resources and physical resources can and does make a difference to student achievement.” </p><p>And for those who missed the official report launch, fear not. You can catch the recorded livestream<a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/principal-pipeline-implementation.aspx"> here</a>. You can also see more behind-the-scenes coverage of the event in this <a href="https&#58;//www.facebook.com/376102262278/posts/415103819282029">Facebook Live video</a>. </p>Superintendents discuss what leads to success in building principal pipelinesGP0|#3c236eec-afa6-4172-9b42-36a57befc9fe;L0|#03c236eec-afa6-4172-9b42-36a57befc9fe|principal pipeline;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#947ca5a5-4e3e-4f35-a6cb-46c302abd4f2;L0|#0947ca5a5-4e3e-4f35-a6cb-46c302abd4f2|leadership;GP0|#3fabc3e0-eead-49a5-9e92-99d8217d8607;L0|#03fabc3e0-eead-49a5-9e92-99d8217d8607|principalsGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61Jennifer Gill83<img alt="" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pipeline-Event-Blog-lg-feature.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2019-04-09T04:00:00ZSuperintendents discuss what leads to success in building principal pipelines4/15/2019 2:39:17 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Systematic Approach to Principal Development Can Benefit Students Superintendents discuss what leads to success in building 96https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
A University Works to Supply a Principal Pipeline4566<p>​Responding to customers’ needs and desires is a given in retail, but in school leader preparation programs? In a <a href="https&#58;//ung.edu/news/articles/2019/03/gwinnett-county-schools-partners-with-ung-on-certificate-program.php" target="_blank">recent blog post</a>, the University of North Georgia describes the process of earning the “seal of approval” from one of its customers—Gwinnett County Public Schools—by engaging with the school district to determine how the university’s Educational Leadership Certification Program could better respond to the needs of a district that hires its graduates.</p><p>Using a program assessment tool called <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/quality-measures-principal-preparation-program-assessment.aspx">Quality Measures</a>, representatives&#160;from the school leader training program and&#160;the large Atlanta-area district worked together to take stock of how well the program was preparing its graduates for the demands of the principalship. The information generated from the assessment guided both institutions in developing an improvement plan for the program. </p><p>In January, Gwinnett approved the University of North Georgia program as its newest partner for educational leadership certificates. The university is now one of six Georgia institutions of higher education working in partnership with the school district. The university “is going to help build and improve an assistant principal and principal pipeline for Gwinnett County,” Catherine Rosa, an assistant professor in the program, says in the blog post. She goes on to describe Gwinnett County as a leader in Georgia and the nation in developing effective school leaders.</p><p>Gwinnett County Public Schools is one of six large districts that participated in Wallace’s Principal Pipeline Initiative, which tested whether <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/building-a-stronger-principalship.aspx">districts could build and improve “principal pipelines”</a> to train, hire, and&#160;support and evaluate school principals. A report on the impact of principal pipelines is scheduled to be released in April.&#160; </p><p>To read the full article, click <a href="https&#58;//ung.edu/news/articles/2019/03/gwinnett-county-schools-partners-with-ung-on-certificate-program.php">here</a>. </p><p> <em>Header photo&#58; Berkmar High School, headed by Principal Al Taylor, is one of 140 schools in Gwinnett County. Photography by Claire Holt.</em></p>How the University of North Georgia earned the Gwinnett school district’s ‘seal of approval’GP0|#942328a9-239e-45a6-9e0f-0a454a44d2b1;L0|#0942328a9-239e-45a6-9e0f-0a454a44d2b1|university prep;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#585ab5b2-b18b-4f5a-a5e0-0c2e83ebbf6a;L0|#0585ab5b2-b18b-4f5a-a5e0-0c2e83ebbf6a|leadership development;GP0|#3c236eec-afa6-4172-9b42-36a57befc9fe;L0|#03c236eec-afa6-4172-9b42-36a57befc9fe|principal pipelineGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61Wallace editorial team79<img alt="" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/ung-gwinnett-lg-feature.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2019-04-02T04:00:00ZHow the University of North Georgia earned the Gwinnett school district’s ‘seal of approval’ for its principal training program4/2/2019 5:07:12 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / A University Works to Supply a Principal Pipeline How the University of North Georgia earned the Gwinnett school district’s 97https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Building an Effective Afterschool Program…With the Evidence to Back It Up4473<p>So you want to start an afterschool program or expand the one you’ve got. You have demand in your community and an idea of what kinds of activities you want to offer. You even have a space lined up. What you need now is funding. The good news is that the federal government makes money available for afterschool under a number of funding streams in the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), particularly through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. (President Trump’s latest budget proposal would do away with 21st Century funding in the 2020 fiscal year, but the program has survived other recent efforts at elimination.) In order to be eligible for that money, however, you may need something else&#58; strong, research-based evidence that your program can be effective in improving outcomes for young people. &#160;</p><p>Fortunately, there’s a body of evidence about the effectiveness of afterschool programs already out there. To help providers tap into that research, Wallace commissioned <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/afterschool-programs-a-review-of-evidence-under-the-every-student-succeeds-act.aspx">a report</a> from Research for Action, an independent organization with a focus on education. The report reviews virtually all the available studies of afterschool programs from 2000 to 2017 and identifies those programs that meet ESSA requirements for credible evidence. Research for Action found more than 60 programs—covering all grade levels and almost every type of program—that fall into the top three of four levels of evidence described in ESSA. The report is accompanied by a guide that provides details about each program and summaries of the studies included in the review. </p><p><img class="wf-Image-Right" alt="Ruth-Neild copy.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Building-an-Effective-Afterschool-Program-With-the-Evidence-to-Back-It-Up/Ruth-Neild%20copy.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />We talked to Ruth Neild, the report’s lead author and recently-named president of the Society for Research on Education Effectiveness,&#160; about why afterschool should be more than an afterthought and how providers and policymakers can use her work to create programs that make a difference for students.*</p><p> <strong>What is the need that this report and companion guide are intended to fill?</strong></p><p>ESSA encourages, and, in some cases, requires, providers and districts to use evidence-based practices, and it has specific standards for different levels of evidence. This raises a question&#58; Folks in the afterschool space and the district aren’t researchers, so how in the world are they going to know what the evidence is? How are they even going to access it since a lot of it is behind paywalls? Our contribution to the field is that we’re bringing that evidence out into the open for everyone to take a look at. We did a comprehensive scan of the literature on every afterschool program we could find and reviewed it against the ESSA standards, so districts and providers don’t have to do that for themselves. </p><p> <strong>Why does afterschool programming matter for young people?</strong></p><p>Afterschool programming obviously has the potential, at minimum, to keep students safe and supervised. It also has the potential to help students keep pace academically. A lot of programs, for example, include tutoring and academic enrichment. Beyond that, it has the potential to provide enrichment, including interest exploration and physical activity, that complements the school day and, in some cases, may not be available during the school day. Examples of that include arts, apprenticeships, internships, and self-directed science activities like robotics. In addition to standards of evidence, ESSA talks about a “well-rounded education.” Afterschool can help with that.</p><p> <strong>What are the headlines from your review of the available evidence on the effectiveness of afterschool programs?</strong></p><p>One of the important things this review shows is that, when you do a comprehensive search and assessment of the most rigorous evidence, you find there are many programs that have positive effects and that, taken together, these programs have positive effects on a range of outcomes, whether you’re talking academics, physical health, attendance, or promotion and graduation. I think that is news, actually. There have been questions in the past based on a small handful of studies about whether there are net benefits of afterschool programs. But when you do a comprehensive search and you pull all the studies together and look at the average effects, for most outcomes the average effects are positive, and there are plenty of programs that have had positive impacts on students. </p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption"> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Afterschool_Illustration2.1.png" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Building-an-Effective-Afterschool-Program-With-the-Evidence-to-Back-It-Up/Afterschool_Illustration2.1.png" style="margin&#58;5px;" />&#160;<em>The report's companion guide provides summaries, such as this one, on the research about the effectiveness of specific afterschool programs. </em></p><p> <strong>How can program providers use the report and guide in their decision-making?</strong></p><p>For providers, we summarize both branded and unbranded programs. Branded programs are formally organized and have a formal model. They may have a manual and a name. Some afterschool programs are branded, but probably most of them are homegrown models. For providers who might be thinking about purchasing products from the branded programs, the guide is a place to go and check a summary of their evidence. For providers who are developing a homegrown model, looking to see what others have done is a way of doing a tune-up on your own offerings. It helps you to think, “Here’s what I’m offering. What might I be able to expect in terms of outcomes for my kids?” </p><p> <strong>What advice do you have for a provider who may be seeking federal funding for a program that doesn’t already have established evidence of effectiveness?</strong></p><p>First of all, in the afterschool context, a lot is left to the states to determine, so it’s important to know what level of evidence your state is requiring. Another thing providers should do is look in the guide to see if there is a program with important similarities to the one they’re offering that’s been shown to have a positive impact. When you’re putting in evidence to apply for federal funding, that evidence doesn’t haven’t to be from your particular program; it could be from a like program. </p><p>Another important thing to know is that Tier 4 [the fourth level of evidence described in ESSA], offers a door through which a program can be offered, as long as there’s a compelling research-informed argument for why the program would have an impact <em>and</em> it’s being studied for effectiveness. Our review highlights some areas evaluators and programs should keep in mind as they’re figuring out what their evaluations should look like. For example, it’s important to think about getting a large enough sample size, otherwise your program is going to appear to have no statistically significant effects—even if it’s actually effective.</p><p>The afterschool field should also be thinking about what kind and intensity of outcomes afterschool programs can realistically produce. We found an awful lot of programs that use standardized test scores as an outcome. Test scores are easily available from school records. The problem is they’re very hard to budge. Think about school improvement grants&#58; Millions and millions of dollars went into intensive school-day interventions, and it was hard to get a bang out of that. It seems potentially harmful to hold afterschool programs to that standard. The amazing thing is that afterschool programs have done it, but we would encourage providers and funders to think hard about whether there are other meaningful measures that can be used to capture what these programs are trying to change. Sometimes, funders may need to help providers develop those measures.</p><p> <strong>What lessons does your review of the evidence base hold for state and federal policymakers? What can they do to promote effective afterschool programming?<br> </strong> <br> Providers, districts, and schools can be lauded&#58; Great job. You’ve shown that afterschool programs can be evaluated in rigorous ways and have some positive outcomes. Where the field needs to go next is to conduct better studies that test particular approaches, not just a mishmash of different approaches and outcomes. For example, if you’re going to have a program that’s trying to affect academic outcomes, really take a look at what it takes. How much time does it take? Can you offer it two days a week or do you need to offer it five days a week? What kind of staffing do you need to have? Are there requirements or incentives for participation you need to have?</p><p>States are in a great position to incentivize or require providers to develop a learning agenda because they’re re-granting a billion dollars collectively through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. There is evaluation money built into that program. But I don’t see great examples of states developing clear learning agendas with their grantees. That seems like the next step to me.</p><p>*<em>This interview has been edited and condensed.</em></p>Education researcher Ruth Neild on afterschool research and the funding requirements of the Every Student Succeeds ActGP0|#cad33471-a186-455a-836f-0d0657808f00;L0|#0cad33471-a186-455a-836f-0d0657808f00|research;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#88b77bae-56d6-47d9-922f-54af703d57b5;L0|#088b77bae-56d6-47d9-922f-54af703d57b5|learning;GP0|#91bf67c6-3cc1-4097-9074-16701a50b2ac;L0|#091bf67c6-3cc1-4097-9074-16701a50b2ac|enrichment;GP0|#a494c0bb-aee6-4c93-9e3a-c4141e38023f;L0|#0a494c0bb-aee6-4c93-9e3a-c4141e38023f|afterschool;GP0|#061b3ed1-b2fd-4948-ac9b-c4fde6290166;L0|#0061b3ed1-b2fd-4948-ac9b-c4fde6290166|ESSAGP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61Wallace editorial team79<img alt="" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/QA-Ruth-Neild-lg-feature.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2019-03-26T04:00:00ZEducation researcher Ruth Neild on afterschool research and the funding requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act3/26/2019 5:33:09 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Building an Effective Afterschool Program…With the Evidence to Back It Up Education researcher Ruth Neild on afterschool 187https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Five Organizations, Five Different Strategies to Build Arts Audiences3347<p>​In 2015, Wallace set out on the <a href="/how-we-work/our-work/pages/building-audiences-for-the-arts.aspx">Building Audiences for Sustainability initiative</a>, a six-year journey with <a href="/knowledge-center/building-audiences-for-sustainability/pages/bas-appendix.aspx">26 arts organizations</a> to figure out ways to stem decades of declines in arts audiences. The initiative supports organizations' efforts to draw new audiences, encourage repeat attendance, interest people in new works or any other goal they feel is necessary to bring them closer to their mission. </p><p>The results of these efforts so far are as diverse as the organizations themselves (now down to 25 after one organization exited the initiative). Some strategies have shown success. Others faltered and required significant reexamination. Many fall somewhere in between, helping to meet some of an organization's objectives but not others. </p><p> Researchers from the University of Texas are studying these efforts to see if they can spot any trends and uncover evidence that could help other organizations. Firm results aren't expected until 2020, so we sent writers and video crews to five of the participating organizations over the past few years to see how things were going. Their stories show some intriguing early results that other groups might consider as they formulate their own audience-building plans.</p><p>&quot;There's no one-size-fits-all solution for all organizations, of course,&quot; says Bahia Ramos, Wallace's arts director. &quot;But these stories offer some interesting examples of how market research and methodical experimentation could move organizations towards their audience goals. Each organization's experience is specific to its own local context, but we hope these stories will spark some ideas in other organizations facing similar concerns.&quot;</p><p>Click through below to see what the organizations are trying and how they're faring so far&#58;</p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="BAS-Ballet-Austin-1.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Five-Organizations-Five-Different-Strategies-to-Build-Arts-Audiences/BAS-Ballet-Austin-1.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;809px;height&#58;482px;" /> </p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/ballet-austin-building-audiences-for-sustainability.aspx">Ballet Austin</a> planned to shepherd audiences along a &quot;familiarity continuum,&quot; a path it assumed audiences take from classics such as <em>The Nutcracker</em> to obscure contemporary performances. Market research suggested, however, that there is no such path; audiences seem less concerned about familiarity with the work than they are about the uncertainty of the experience. The organization therefore reoriented efforts from informing audiences about new works to ensuring they felt at home, regardless of the show.</p><p> <br> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="BAS-SSO-7.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Five-Organizations-Five-Different-Strategies-to-Build-Arts-Audiences/BAS-SSO-7.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;809px;height&#58;482px;" /> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/can-the-citys-boom-mean-new-audiences-for-seattle-symphony.aspx">Seattle Symphony</a> came up with three series of informal performances to capitalize on explosive growth in downtown Seattle. The organization assumed most of the area's emigres were millennials, so it focused on edgier performances and incorporated contemporary musicians to draw younger crowds. But market research showed that Gen-Xers and older empty-nesters were also promising targets. The organization therefore tweaked its series to accommodate a broader age range, with encouraging early results.</p><p> <br> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="BAS-DCPA-5.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Five-Organizations-Five-Different-Strategies-to-Build-Arts-Audiences/BAS-DCPA-5.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;809px;height&#58;482px;" /> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/denver-center-for-the-performing-arts-is-cracking-the-millennial-code.aspx">Off Center, an experimental theater company at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts</a>, is testing interactive and immersive performances to see if they draw millennials. Its first Wallace-funded performance was a resounding success. The second, which attempted to replicate that success at lower cost, didn't do as well. But the organization used those experiences to create future performances that, so far, are keeping the company moving in the right direction.</p><p> <br> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="BAS-OTSL-3.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Five-Organizations-Five-Different-Strategies-to-Build-Arts-Audiences/BAS-OTSL-3.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;809px;height&#58;482px;" /> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/think-opera-is-not-for-you-opera-theatre-of-saint-louis-says-think-again.aspx">Opera Theatre of Saint Louis</a> tried many strategies to draw young, diverse audiences to compensate for audiences that are aging out of regular attendance, but few worked. The company was baffled, until it conducted market research, which challenged assumptions about potential audiences and the sorts of performances that would draw them. It has responded by refining its approach and revamping many engagement programs to help break stereotypes of opera audiences. </p><p> <br> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="IMG_8545.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Five-Organizations-Five-Different-Strategies-to-Build-Arts-Audiences/IMG_8545.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;809px;height&#58;482px;" /> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/world-music-crasharts-tests-new-format-new-name-to-draw-new-audiences.aspx">World Music/CRASHarts, a presenter in Boston</a> with no dedicated space of its own, started hosting an annual festival to attract millennials and build name recognition. The party atmosphere of the festival appears to be bringing some younger people into the fold, but it's unclear whether the strategy is financially sustainable. The research that preceded the festival, however, is triggering a much broader change&#58; a new name for the organization and a whole new brand identity.</p><p>Need more ideas? Check out some of the other free resources to help build audiences in <a href="/knowledge-center/building-audiences-for-the-arts/pages/default.aspx">our knowledge center</a>. </p>Early accounts from a major Wallace initiative to help increase participation in the arts. GP0|#459b8438-9b87-47d0-814e-02452652da81;L0|#0459b8438-9b87-47d0-814e-02452652da81|arts;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#7ee74777-f4ad-4204-a3cc-1a02bb45abab;L0|#07ee74777-f4ad-4204-a3cc-1a02bb45abab|arts audiencesGP0|#8056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be;L0|#08056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be|Building Audiences for the Arts;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61Wallace editorial team79<img alt="" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/BAS-Stories-Overview-lg-feature2.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2019-03-19T04:00:00ZEarly accounts from a major Wallace initiative to help increase participation in the arts.3/22/2019 4:50:21 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Five Organizations, Five Different Strategies to Build Arts Audiences Early accounts from a major Wallace initiative to 198https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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