Wallace Blog

 

 

Resources to Help Guide Your Summer Learning Program2852<p>​​​​​​​The school bell may have stopped ringing, but summer is a great time for all kinds of learning opportunities for kids. In honor of this year’s National Summer Learning Week, here are some helpful reports, tools and articles to guide your summer program. And don’t forget to check out the <a href="https&#58;//www.summerlearning.org/summer-learning-week/" target="_blank">National Summer Learning Association</a> to discover summer programs, additional resources and more during this week-long celebration.<br><br> </p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/supporting-quality-in-summer-learning-how-districts-plan-develop-and-implement-programs.aspx?_ga=2.130479439.1378018415.1657643438-504352793.1654185536"> <strong> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/resources-to-help-guide-your-summer-learning-program/supporting-quality-in-summer-learning-full-report-a.jpg" alt="supporting-quality-in-summer-learning-full-report-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;146px;height&#58;188px;" />Supporting Quality in Summer Learning&#58; How Districts Plan, Develop, and Implement Programs</strong></a><strong>&#160;</strong>School district-led summer programs play a critical role in supporting students academically and providing them with enriching experiences. Drawing on existing research and the perspectives of policymakers and field professionals, this recently released report looks at the policies, practices and resources that go into the planning, development and operation of these programs.​<br><br></p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/summer-for-all-building-coordinated-networks-promote-access-to-quality-summer-learning-enrichment.aspx?_ga=2.130479439.1378018415.1657643438-504352793.1654185536"><strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/resources-to-help-guide-your-summer-learning-program/summer-for-all-building-coordinated-networks-promote-summer-learning-a.jpg" alt="summer-for-all-building-coordinated-networks-promote-summer-learning-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;145px;height&#58;207px;" />Summer for All&#58; Building Coordinated Networks to Promote Access to Quality Summer Learning and Enrichment Opportunities Across a Community</strong></a><strong>&#160;</strong>This report looks at how schools, community-based organizations and other civic organizations in four cities formed coordinated networks to increase access to high-quality summer programming for young people.<br><br></p><p> <br> </p><p> <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/two-summer-programs-inch-towards-normal-as-covid-subsides.aspx"><strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/blog-pandemic-summer-post-lg-feature.jpg" alt="blog-pandemic-summer-post-lg-feature.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;274px;height&#58;117px;" />Two Summer Programs Inch Towards Normal as Covid Subsides</strong></a>&#160;​Summer programs could be a key to addressing lost instructional and extracurricular time from COVID-19, and summer program leaders can learn a lot from the past two summers. Read about how two programs in New York and New Jersey have adapted to help young people through the pandemic, and how they’ve been preparing for this unpredictable summer.<br><br></p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-to-work-on-summer-learning-2nd-ed.aspx"><strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/resources-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&#58;5px;width&#58;144px;height&#58;206px;" />Getting to Work on Summer Learning&#58; Recommended Practices for Success, 2nd ed.</strong></a>&#160;This report addresses questions about how to implement a high-quality summer learning program and offers evidence-based recommendations on such topics as timing, hiring and training, and how to recruit students. It also discusses the costs associated with offering a voluntary summer program and provides suggestions for lowering them, such as working with community-based organizations and consolidating program sites into as few buildings as possible.​<br><br></p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/toolkit/pages/default.aspx"><strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/resources-to-help-guide-your-summer-learning-program/blog-summer-learning-toolkit.jpg" alt="blog-summer-learning-toolkit.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;180px;height&#58;110px;" />Summer Learning Toolkit</strong></a><strong>&#160;</strong>One of our most popular resources, the Summer Learning Toolkit consists of more than 50, evidence-based tools and resources drawn from the work of five urban school districts and their partners, and aligned with research from RAND. It might be a bit late to start planning this year, but it’s never too early to start the pre-planning for next summer!</p>​<br>From research reports and case studies to our popular hands-on toolkit, these materials can help you plan a high-quality summer programGP0|#507166ce-121b-4ec6-97dc-339d45606921;L0|#0507166ce-121b-4ec6-97dc-339d45606921|summer;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#cad33471-a186-455a-836f-0d0657808f00;L0|#0cad33471-a186-455a-836f-0d0657808f00|research;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|#b30ec468-8df4-44a4-8b93-5bb0225193fc;L0|#0b30ec468-8df4-44a4-8b93-5bb0225193fc|SEL;GP0|#d757acf5-471b-4382-96fe-4be19717ddbd;L0|#0d757acf5-471b-4382-96fe-4be19717ddbd|OSTGP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61Jenna Doleh91<img alt="" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/blog-King-Squonk-8-lg-feature.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2022-07-13T04:00:00ZFrom research reports and our popular hands-on toolkit to interviews with program staff and parents, these materials can help you plan a high-quality summer program.7/13/2022 1:00:21 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Resources to Help Guide Your Summer Learning Program From research reports and case studies to our popular hands-on toolkit 206https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Five Takeaways for Developing High-Quality Principals39093<p>​​​​​Effective principals are important—but they don’t grow on trees. Their preparation, development and support can make a major difference, not just for principals themselves but for teachers, staff and students as well. </p><p>Two new reports show how states, districts and universities all have a role to play in improving the quality of principal preparation across the board&#58; <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/developing-effective-principals-what-kind-of-learning-matters.aspx"><em>Developing Effective Principals&#58; What Kind of Learning Matters?</em></a> from the Learning Policy Institute (LPI), and&#160;<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/redesigning-university-principal-preparation-programs-a-systemic-approach-for-change-and-sustainability.aspx"><em>Redesigning University Principal Preparation Programs&#58; A Systemic Approach for Change and Sustainability</em></a> from the RAND Corporation. </p><p>Authors from the two research teams recently <a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsHGy7lCZLA&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">presented highlights from their work​</a>, along with a panel of experts to help dig into the findings. Here are five key takeaways from that conversation&#58;</p><h3 class="wf-Element-H3">Leveraging federal funding can help improve principal preparation</h3><p>Federal COVID relief funds can play an important role in supporting principal development, according to Peter Zamora, director of federal relations at the Council of Chief State School Officers. He cited examples from Florida, Illinois, Kansas and Nevada, all of which have created some sort of program to help train, mentor and develop principals. </p><p>Zamora pointed out how the new research from LPI and RAND can help states seeking to use federal funds for similar types of work. He referred to an earlier example shared by the RAND researchers, which notes how states can use Federal funds from ESSA Titles I and II, as well as the <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/american-rescue-plan-five-things-state-and-district-leaders-need-to-know-now.aspx">American Rescue Plan Act</a>, along with state funds, to create leadership academies and paid internships for school leaders.<br></p><p class="wf-Element-Callout">“We do a thousand things in a day, make a thousand decisions in a day,” Tyson said. “So I appreciate those informal times, be it just a text message or a quick phone call.”​<br></p><h3 class="wf-Element-H3">Mentorship matters</h3><p>Developing a cadre of mentors to support principals is important, Marjorie Wechsler, principal research manager at LPI, emphasized. These mentors are often retired, successful principals who, importantly, receive training, ongoing support and networks of other mentor principals to learn from. Strong mentorship programs take significant time to build a culture of trust, Weschler said. And she pointed to the importance of good matches between mentors and administrators. </p><p>Rashaunda Tyson, assistant principal at University High School of Science and Engineering in Hartford, Conn. shared her experience with a clinical supervisor who became her mentor, noting that the best part for her was the informal, in-the-moment support she received.<br> <br>“We do a thousand things in a day, make a thousand decisions in a day,” Tyson said. “So I appreciate those informal times, be it just a text message or a quick phone call.”</p><h3 class="wf-Element-H3">Truly collaborative partnerships are critical</h3><p>Daniel Reyes-Guerra, associate professor at Florida Atlantic University and a project director for the University Principal Preparation Initiative’s work at FAU spoke about the importance of collaboration in the success of his program’s redesign. FAU’s principal preparation program partnered with the university’s local school district for co-construction. The program also collaborated with state policymakers so they could see firsthand what the needs were on the ground and incorporate them into state-level policies.</p><p>In Florida, policymakers created a new set of educational leadership standards and program approval standards for universities and districts. They also passed new legislation that governs how the state supports educational leadership professional development.</p><p>This kind of deep partnership takes time to cultivate, noted Reyes-Guerra, and requires a culture shift at the university.<br></p><p class="wf-Element-Callout">“Just sitting in a room and lecturing doesn’t do it,” Domenech said.​<br></p><h3 class="wf-Element-H3">Clinical experiences can make a big difference</h3><p>Dan Domenech, executive director of AASA, the superintendents association, underscored the importance of strong clinical experiences for pre-service principals.</p><p>“Just sitting in a room and lecturing doesn’t do it,” Domenech said. </p><p>He said that pre-service principals learn best by having the opportunity to practice the skills they’re learning and work closely alongside a principal. This hands-on experience also applies to developing current principals who can visit other schools and work with more experienced principals. And when it comes to these clinical experiences, strong partnerships between universities and districts continue to remain important. In one survey conducted by AASA, principals reported having less-effective clinical experiences when that strong partnership was not in place.</p><h3 class="wf-Element-H3">Equitable access to high-quality support continues to be an issue</h3><p>The role of the principal is continuing to evolve, Domenech said. Districts should support and encourage leaders to participate in high-quality development programs because it has such an impact on performance and staff. But as the research from LPI points out, not all principals have equal access to those programs. With principals from higher-poverty schools reporting fewer quality professional development opportunities than those from lower-poverty schools, equity must continue to be at the forefront of improvement conversations.</p><p>“It’s a whole new ballgame today,” said Domenech. “What are the needs, what are the skills and how do we provide opportunity to our administrators so they have the leadership that can ensure all of our students have the quality education they’re entitled to.”</p><p>See the full webinar recording <a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsHGy7lCZLA&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">here</a>.<br></p>Backed by new research, expert panel discusses how universities, districts and states can better prepare and support school leadersGP0|#3fabc3e0-eead-49a5-9e92-99d8217d8607;L0|#03fabc3e0-eead-49a5-9e92-99d8217d8607|principals;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#7986ee98-34d0-4fde-adc1-c9037cafca80;L0|#07986ee98-34d0-4fde-adc1-c9037cafca80|principal preparation;GP0|#6caf5436-4cc1-4e8a-9394-43582c698883;L0|#06caf5436-4cc1-4e8a-9394-43582c698883|universities;GP0|#0cb01eba-2e7f-46c5-93ac-fd5e107a7d36;L0|#00cb01eba-2e7f-46c5-93ac-fd5e107a7d36|districtsGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61Andrea Ruggirello114<img alt="" src="/knowledge-center/PublishingImages/blog-principal-pd-webinar-lg-feature.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2022-06-28T04:00:00ZBacked by new research, expert panel discusses how universities, districts and states can better prepare and support school leaders6/28/2022 12:00:48 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Five Takeaways for Developing High-Quality Principals Backed by new research, expert panel discusses how universities 906https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Afterschool Arts Provide Digital Lifeline in Covid Times2961<p>​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Recent studies have shown that <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/why-young-people-need-access-to-high-quality-arts-education.aspx">creating art can help young people</a> make sense of the world around them, process their feelings and deepen empathy. After the pandemic hit and programs scrambled to go online, making art also became a source of<a href="https&#58;//www.aep-arts.org/power-of-the-arts-a-covid-19-silver-lining/" target="_blank"> healing</a>, connection and, ultimately, resilience, as well as increasing broader access to arts programs for more youth across the country. </p><p>The Wallace blog caught up with researchers involved with two arts learning programs to get a sense of the specific lessons they learned in the pivot to virtual learning and what we all might carry forward. <a href="https&#58;//www.researchforaction.org/about-rfa/meet-the-team/tracey-a-hartmann/" target="_blank">Tracey Hartmann</a>, Ph.D., is the director of qualitative research at Research for Action in Philadelphia and has been working with Wallace for a decade on our Youth Arts Initiative with the Boys &amp; Girls Club of America (BGCA). All five BGCA clubs from different parts of the country stayed open during the pandemic, offering some form of virtual,&#160; in-person and hybrid programming.&#160;<a href="https&#58;//protect-us.mimecast.com/s/ckbuCv2DQvHR4DGhzLOmI?domain=linkedin.com/" target="_blank">Monica Clark</a>, Ph.D, is the Teach YR project director at YR Media–a national media, technology and music training center and platform for emerging BIPOC content creators headquartered in Oakland, California. She leads the organization’s research team and conducted this research project collaboratively with colleagues Lissa Soep, Ph.D., and Nimah Gobir, ME.d. The pandemic gave birth to YR’s&#160;<a href="https&#58;//protect-us.mimecast.com/s/nEiACrkX2oTW65pFzkfBw?domain=yr.media/" target="_blank">Type Beat Challenge</a>, managed by Oliver &quot;Kuya&quot; Rodriguez and Maya Drexler, which allowed young people to create and submit music from anywhere, collaborating with one another and with professional music producers around different themes.</p><p></p><p>Hartmann and Clark were meeting each other personally (on Zoom!) for the first time and had a lot to say about young people and the arts. The conversation has been edited for space and clarity. </p><p> <strong>Wallace Foundation&#58; In your work with the BGCA clubs, Tracey, you found that in moving to virtual there needed to be a higher level of what you called “intentionality” in programming. Can you give an example of what you mean? And then, Monica, does this resonate with your findings too? </strong></p><p> <strong>Tracey Hartmann&#58; </strong>Our data comes from focus groups we did with 31 youth participants across the five clubs, and what we heard from youth was that what engaged them in the virtual programming was very similar to what engaged them in person. But from the teaching artists’ perspectives, they found that they had to be more intentional about the things they did, and there were three elements that came up. The first was for young people to have input into programming. The program was designed for middle school youth–and sometimes older–an age group that is really hard in any setting. So the artists had to make an effort to learn what the young people were interested in, sometimes on an individual level, and be more intentional about following these interests, even outside of the Zoom class. </p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/afterschool-arts-provide-digital-lifeline-in-covid-times/blog-photo-rfa-1.JPEG" alt="blog-photo-rfa-1.JPEG" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> <br> </p><p>Artists also had to be more intentional about connecting with youth, checking in at the beginning of class. For example, one artist said he had to make an extra effort to know who was shy and didn’t want to be on camera or what was going on for them that day. We also heard from youth that they wanted more verbal guidance, especially if they were learning new skills, to help them feel like they were getting the kind of hands-on support they might get in person. </p><p>Finally, the artists had to be intentional in thinking through how to do the hands-on art, making sure young people had the supplies or equipment they needed. Sometimes they delivered art supplies or sent home packets to young people. They also found that youth really appreciated watching them do the art. </p><p> <strong>Monica Clark&#58; </strong>So much of what Tracey just shared mirrors findings from our focus groups with about 40 people. We also held a convening where we brought together leaders from five different arts organizations to talk about the pivot to virtual. One of our instructors from that convening said something to the effect of “I’m shouting out into the void,” talking about the black screens, and the vulnerability involved in trying to engage&#160; students virtually and get them to turn their cameras on. How do you build community around that? </p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/afterschool-arts-provide-digital-lifeline-in-covid-times/blog-photo-ryl-studios-2.jpg" alt="blog-photo-ryl-studios-2.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> </p><p>One of the things that made our Type Beat project so successful for virtual was that it was co-designed with and by youth. We took advantage of remote platforms by opening up the program to young people outside of the Bay Area or to those who might not have been able to access the program in person. Doing this also highlighted the glaring inequalities that young people could face going online&#58; access to computer hardware and software, because with music production it’s not just your laptop but the software that’s going to help you bring the beats together; unreliable broadband and wifi access; equal resources and training for teachers; and a lack of basic social and economic support for our most marginalized students in their communities. </p><p>We knew we needed to meet people virtually where they were already hanging out online, and we did this by using eight different platforms. We also collaboratively created community norms for how we were going to operate as a community in the virtual space. These were specifically outlined and always pinned up in the chat. We were always thinking about how to create a positive community space focused on mental well-being. One of the Type Beat challenges was something like “chill beats for wellness,” so the young people could build that into the art they were making.&#160; </p><p> <strong>WF&#58; How did the teaching artists specifically need to change their practice in the virtual world? And what kind of support or tools did they need to be able to teach their art in this way? </strong></p><p> <strong>MC&#58; </strong>In some ways they were doing the things that were already done but learning how to do them in the virtual space. Of course, we always want to support our young people when they're showcasing their art. We want them to feel confident in what they're producing. But how do you do that when they're in their bedroom and you're in your apartment or wherever you are? For the Type Beat challenge, we asked our instructors to support young people in developing the design aesthetic of the background space of their room, knowing that we were asking them to be very vulnerable in showing their space. </p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/afterschool-arts-provide-digital-lifeline-in-covid-times/blog-photo-ryl-studios-1.jpg" alt="blog-photo-ryl-studios-1.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> </p><p>Then there are the kinds of interpersonal and community building activities that are needed in any space, but you need to be even more innovative in the ways that you do it in the virtual space. For instance, you could support students on screen by doing a hype up dance that each person would perform in their own space, so the whole group would be together dancing and getting each other excited. It helps break the discomfort and model that it’s safe to be vulnerable in this space.&#160; </p><div> <strong>TH&#58; </strong>Monica was referencing physical and emotional well being before, which is one of the <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/something-to-say-success-principles-for-afterschool-arts-programs.aspx">10 principles</a> [for developing high-quality afterschool arts], and which was definitely coming up around people feeling shy about having their camera on. The artists worked to help young people create virtual backgrounds. They were aware that family members were also in the room, and some artists used that as an opportunity to invite them into the conversation or the activity. In fact some of the young people in focus groups suggested that it would have been okay for the artists to ask them to turn on the camera more often to show their work.</div><p> <br>​The instructors also needed basic tools. In addition to having the wifi capacity, maybe good cameras, microphones, lighting. There was a certain software that dance artists needed that helped them sync music with their video. Some of the TAs were digital artists, so they already had a lot of tech skills, and they ended up being kind of advisors to other staff in the club. But others did not have those skills, and it was a steeper learning curve for them. They needed more training and professional development to develop the skills to be able to offer programming virtually. <br></p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/afterschool-arts-provide-digital-lifeline-in-covid-times/blog-photo-rfa-2.JPEG" alt="blog-photo-rfa-2.JPEG" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> </p><p> <strong>WF&#58; What did you learn about how young people used art during the pandemic to support their mental health, process their feelings, support civic engagement or anything else? </strong></p><p> <strong>MC&#58; </strong>We found that young people turned to art as an escape from what is happening in the world and also in trying to make sense of and reshape what they're experiencing under these extreme and uncertain conditions. They are using art as a social intervention to formulate and share their points of view, connect with others and mobilize for equity and justice. One of our young people said, “I think my view on art has definitely changed, and now I see it, less of something, just like doodling or whatever, and more as a tool that I can use in my life moving forward.” Another one of our national correspondents from Minneapolis was talking about a <a href="https&#58;//yr.media/news/a-minnesotan-weighs-in-is-there-hope-after-the-hashtags/" target="_blank">journalism piece she published ​</a>​with YR&#160; during the George Floyd protests, after his killing, and how it was one of the most difficult things that she ever wrote, but it was also the most powerful and it made her feel so good afterwards–particularly due to the fact that she was able to work with a Black editor that she looked up to in making final edits to her piece.<br></p><p>The&#160; prevailing assumption was that the pandemic lockdown meant that young people could not go anywhere, that everyone was stuck in their house and trapped. But from a number of our focus group participants we found that the same conditions also enabled young people to explore more widely than before, forming new communities through digital access to faraway places and professional artists.​<br></p><p> <strong>TH&#58; </strong>We saw that youth created artwork about Covid, about racial injustice, about grief and loss. It was a coping mechanism and a way to calm their nerves. Some young people needed opportunities to process some of the things that were going on in the world. But the program also served youth as young as nine, and maybe even younger, and for them it just took their mind off of what was going on, helped them feel “normal” or represent their private experiences. An instructor at one club described a song that his class created called quarantine crazy where youth were rapping and singing about their experiences during Covid. </p><p>The teaching artists were always responsive to where young people were at any given day and created the space, if needed, for them to talk about what was on their minds. Again this was particularly so for the older youth, who often wanted that space to talk about things. One artist said, “I feel as if I'm a counselor and an art teacher when they're sharing with me, and if I affirm how they feel, hopefully that makes some type of positive impact.”</p><p> <strong>WF&#58; What unique role do you see art making continuing to offer young people, and how can we best support both the practitioners and the organizations that are dealing with them as they do this?</strong></p><p> <strong>MC&#58; </strong>We are focusing now on the idea that STEAM [science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics] implementation can be built on solid foundations and serve genuine opportunities for deep learning at the intersection of creative and technical disciplines. Our young people are creating art but they're also learning the technical side of packaging, developing and creating music, which is a tech skill.</p><p>It’s also important to remember that we are freed from many of the constraints of schools, including short class periods, mandated use of grades, academic tracking limits on admissible subject matter.&#160; Out-of-school-time afterschool arts educators, who are often working artists themselves, can help support young people in the creation of creatively and socially challenging products that are guided by the young people and the issues that they want to be addressing.</p><p> <strong>TH&#58; </strong>The artists described how they themselves needed support in these roles. They needed to know who to go to for referrals if issues came up that were beyond their ability to respond to. They needed more training in areas related to social and emotional well-being. For example, they received training in how to manage their own emotions to support young people. They received some training around supporting youth experiencing trauma, but they would have liked even more of that training. They received training around setting appropriate boundaries, because in the virtual space, the boundaries are a little different. How to de-escalate intense situations–this was for artists that were back in person–and then again just responding to grief and loss, because that was coming up a lot. </p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/afterschool-arts-provide-digital-lifeline-in-covid-times/blog-photo-rfa-4.jpg" alt="blog-photo-rfa-4.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;380px;height&#58;507px;" /> </p><p> <strong>WF&#58; Any final words of advice for other organizations who are thinking about expanding their virtual arts learning or other models that include some people being online while others are in person? </strong></p><p> <strong>TH&#58; </strong>One of our takeaways was that the synchronous model, which is live programming on Zoom or a similar platform, works best for youth who are really passionate about the art form. We heard from the artists as well that you have to be really motivated to do virtual synchronous programming. The hybrid model that the clubs used with the artist Zooming into the in-person classroom seemed to work well, especially if the artist was able to be in the club occasionally. It works better for exposure programming, meaning programming that allows youth to try out an unfamiliar art form to see if they like it. The hybrid model also has promise for bringing in artists from all over the country, which can expand youth access to all kinds of resources.</p><p> <strong>MC&#58; </strong>The design of hybrid programs must be carefully considered in order for programs to, as one of our participants said, “bring the activity, energy and vibe that instructors bring to class to the virtual format.” As Tracey says, you have to carefully consider the work that's being done and determine which activities could be suited for the virtual space. Also remember that you can’t just be in one social space or one app. You have to meet students where they are and that’s always going to be shifting. <strong></strong></p><p>Most importantly, anytime you're doing programming that supports young people, young artists, they need to be brought into the design. I am really hyped about how our Type Beat challenge did that. It meant a lot to our young people, particularly in the moment in time that we were in, for them to have that agency, to feel that power and feel like they would produce not only the music but they would produce this program that is now living on.​<br></p><p> <em>All photos courtesy of the Boys &amp; Girls Club of America and YR Media.​</em></p><p><em>Lead photo courtesy of YR Media, featuring </em><em>Oliver &quot;Kuya&quot;&#160; Rodriguez,&#160;music and audio production program manager, who ran the <a href="https&#58;//protect-us.mimecast.com/s/nEiACrkX2oTW65pFzkfBw?domain=yr.media/" target="_blank">Type Beat Challenge</a>.</em></p>Two arts education researchers share what they learned when programs went online–and the strategies that might endureGP0|#1aa0d0d6-f4e7-4b62-81d0-664a301459d1;L0|#01aa0d0d6-f4e7-4b62-81d0-664a301459d1|youth arts;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#fedf430f-c658-4cbc-acad-5a5cf7177bd3;L0|#0fedf430f-c658-4cbc-acad-5a5cf7177bd3|digital;GP0|#fa7c1881-5fb8-40e1-854d-d4e75f6f824b;L0|#0fa7c1881-5fb8-40e1-854d-d4e75f6f824b|digital arts;GP0|#b30ec468-8df4-44a4-8b93-5bb0225193fc;L0|#0b30ec468-8df4-44a4-8b93-5bb0225193fc|SEL;GP0|#186580ec-fa40-4a7a-b2d6-22664b52228e;L0|#0186580ec-fa40-4a7a-b2d6-22664b52228e|BGCA;GP0|#819f2117-2e62-4679-bb90-340c46ac2bdf;L0|#0819f2117-2e62-4679-bb90-340c46ac2bdf|STEAM;GP0|#d12b494a-8c5d-4014-9866-51539e68ea50;L0|#0d12b494a-8c5d-4014-9866-51539e68ea50|COVID-19GP0|#d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8;L0|#0d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8|Arts Education;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61Wallace editorial team79<img alt="" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/blog-photo-rfa-yrmedia-lg-feature.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2022-06-21T04:00:00ZTwo arts education researchers share what they learned when programs went online–and the strategies that might endure7/12/2022 7:15:11 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Afterschool Arts Provide Digital Lifeline in Covid Times Two arts education researchers share what they learned when 1079https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Pandemic Recovery Cannot Happen Without Great Principals2799​<p>​​​J​​​ames Lane, assistant secretary of the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education in the U.S. Department of Education, began his address on a recent webinar for education leaders with gratitude for principals. “You’ve stepped up in ways that none of us could have ever imagined,” he said, going on to thank principals for their dedication, perseverance and tenacity in keeping communities together during the pandemic.&#160;<br></p><p>Citing the report,&#160;<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/how-principals-affect-students-and-schools-a-systematic-synthesis-of-two-decades-of-research.aspx">How Principals Affect Students and Schools</a>, Lane emphasized the importance of school leaders, quoting the report authors&#58; Principals really matter.</p><p>Indeed it is difficult to envision an investment with a higher ceiling on its potential return than a successful effort to improve school leadership. He underscored this point by reviewing the Department of Education’s priorities and its supplemental priorities.</p><p>The supplemental priorities include&#58;<br> </p><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet"> Diversifying the education workforce to reflect the diversity of students.</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Addressing staffing shortages through measures such as encouraging states to increase compensation; improving teacher working conditions; supporting teacher-wellbeing; and building a cadre of substitute teachers.</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">​Investing in an educator pipeline by establishing loan forgiveness, teacher development residencies and teaching as a registered apprenticeship.</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Providing technical assistance to states and studying teacher shortages in order to provide researched guidance as to how to increase the number of teachers in the pipeline and improve retention.</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Preparing and developing principals by expanding the definition of “educator” in certain grants to include not only classroom teachers but all those involved in education, including principals. These grants include the&#160;​<a href="https&#58;//oese.ed.gov/offices/office-of-discretionary-grants-support-services/innovation-early-learning/education-innovation-and-research-eir/" target="_blank">Education Innovation and Research (EIR) grant program</a>, and&#160;<a href="https&#58;//oese.ed.gov/offices/office-of-discretionary-grants-support-services/effective-educator-development-programs/supporting-effective-educator-development-grant-program/#&#58;~&#58;text=The%20purpose%20of%20the%20SEED%2cenhance%20the%20skills%20of%20educators." target="_blank">Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grants</a>.</div><p>Lane also addressed the administration’s commitment of federal funds to meet the needs of students and educators trying to recover and reimagine schools.</p><p>“We have got to invest those dollars <em>now,</em>” Lane said, addressing education leaders across the country. Lane and his colleagues are meeting with district leaders nationally who are using their federal funding to support activities such as partnering with community organizations to provide holistic services to students, putting a health clinic on campus that is open to the entire community and others. </p><p>Lane ended his remarks urging district leaders to be bold about the actions they take to make sure every student has the support they need to be successful.</p><p>You can view the recording of the webinar <a href="https&#58;//vimeo.com/705801954/334fd7c94b" target="_blank">here</a>. </p>U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education explains how the department is prioritizing educators now and in the futureGP0|#3fabc3e0-eead-49a5-9e92-99d8217d8607;L0|#03fabc3e0-eead-49a5-9e92-99d8217d8607|principals;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#d12b494a-8c5d-4014-9866-51539e68ea50;L0|#0d12b494a-8c5d-4014-9866-51539e68ea50|COVID-19;GP0|#7ff2f131-13bc-4778-9e94-2b922fd73327;L0|#07ff2f131-13bc-4778-9e94-2b922fd73327|pandemic;GP0|#c3867193-6dcc-4564-8abf-509d6883257f;L0|#0c3867193-6dcc-4564-8abf-509d6883257f|teachers;GP0|#3ab38f86-968a-4357-8214-f3b9195f9ef7;L0|#03ab38f86-968a-4357-8214-f3b9195f9ef7|education;GP0|#df6633e1-b8df-43ca-ba68-271e2e7a12d5;L0|#0df6633e1-b8df-43ca-ba68-271e2e7a12d5|DOEGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61;GP0|#b68a91d0-1c13-4d82-b12d-2b08588c04d7;L0|#0b68a91d0-1c13-4d82-b12d-2b08588c04d7|NewsAndrea Ruggirello114<img alt="" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/blog-james-lane.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2022-05-31T04:00:00ZU.S. Assistant Secretary of Education explains how the department is prioritizing educators now and in the future5/31/2022 5:30:34 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Pandemic Recovery Cannot Happen Without Great Principals U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education explains how the department 700https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Covering Education in a Crisis3680<p>​​Education has been at the center of the news over the past couple of years as the nation continues to wrestle with the pandemic and the havoc it has wreaked on schools. Education writers, too, have at times found themselves having to stretch to cover more areas of public policy, health issues and basic concerns like food and housing.<br></p><p>In early 2020, just before the first cases of Covid began to surface in the U.S., the Education Writers Association commissioned the EdWeek Research Center to conduct a study of education journalism. Released the following year, the <a href="https&#58;//www.ewa.org/sites/main/files/file-attachments/ewa_ed_beat_report_2021_1.25.21_0.pdf?1616011351" target="_blank">State of the Beat report</a> surveyed 419 education journalists, following up with 24 phone conversations, to tell the story of the people who are covering education today.&#160; According to the survey, 83 percent of respondents said education journalism is a career path they’re committed to pursuing, and 98 percent said their w​​​ork has had a positive impact on the community. Despite these positive perceptions, education journalists surveyed indicated that they face serious challenges–from outright harassment and hostility to diminishing resources, financial difficulties&#160;and the public’s distrust in the news media.<br></p><p class="wf-Element-Callout">“​School and home overlapped in so many ways that it became more important to understand both contexts—the expectations that schools were placing on families for virtual learning and the nature of quarantine policies, for example, combined with the challenges children and parents faced at home.​” — Linda Jacobson<br></p><p>The Wallace blog spoke with two education writers to discuss some of the obstacles and bright spots they’ve encountered and how the pandemic has affected the education beat in general. Linda Jacobson, senior writer at The 74 Million, has been covering education for over a decade, and Dahlia Bazzaz, education reporter at The Seattle Times, has been covering education for about four years. Her first two years at the publication were spent as an engagement editor for the <a href="https&#58;//www.seattletimes.com/education-lab-about/" target="_blank">Education Lab</a>, a project that started in 2013 that spotlights promising approaches to some of the most persistent challenges in public education. This conversation has been edited for length and clarity. </p><p> <strong>The Wallace Foundation&#58; Linda, as a veteran in education writing, can you talk about how the education beat has changed during the pandemic?</strong></p><p> <strong>Linda Jacobson&#58; </strong>For me, the access to and growing awareness of families’ and educators’ lives outside of school has been a noticeable departure from how I, and probably many other reporters, routinely interacted with sources prior to the pandemic. School and home overlapped in so many ways that it became more important to understand both contexts—the expectations that schools were placing on families for virtual learning and the nature of quarantine policies, for example, combined with the challenges children and parents faced at home. Did they have reliable internet? Were students sharing a study space with siblings? Did they have to go to work with their parents? I know I also had to develop knowledge in some areas that were outside the typical boundaries of education policy. COVID testing, vaccines, supply chain issues&#160;and broadband access are a few examples. </p><p> <strong>WF&#58; Dahlia, You were a member of EWA’s New to the Beat rookie class in 2018. What was it like being newer to the education beat in the middle of a pandemic? Can you talk about some of the challenges?&#160; </strong></p><p> <strong>Dahlia Bazzaz&#58;</strong> By the time the pandemic began, I had been a full-time reporter for about two years, and an engagement editor for the education team for two years prior to that. For some context, I covered the closure of Bothell High School in the Seattle area, the first school in the United States to shutter in the pandemic. I remember pairing up with our health reporter at the time for that first story, and believing it would blow over. A few months prior, a Seattle school had closed because of a norovirus outbreak, so this type of story wasn’t unusual to me. Two days later, on February 29, when a King County man’s death was announced as the first known in the U.S. from the coronavirus, I realized I had helped write some of the earliest pages of our pandemic history. One of our stories, about the order closing all schools in King County, actually “broke” the analytics tracker that the Seattle Times uses and set a pageview record. </p><p class="wf-Element-Callout"><span style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;">“</span>To fully capture how the disruption of foundational services are affecting people, you have to understand them at a deep level, and understand how they used to work (and not work) before 2020.<span style="color&#58;#2b92be;font-size&#58;24px;">”</span> — Dahlia Bazzaz​<br></p><p>The pressure and responsibility we felt, and still feel, was immense. Children are the most vulnerable members of our society. Almost every day early on, someone would cry during an interview. Then I would cry afterward as I processed their worries about their future and my own. We got an unprecedented amount of feedback and attention on our reporting from around the world.&#160; </p><p>It was a huge test of everything I’d learned about the education system and government until that point. To fully capture how the disruption of foundational services are affecting people, you have to understand them at a deep level, and understand how they used to work (and not work) before 2020. I also found myself truly living in every single beat—one day a health reporter, researching the best air filtration systems for schools, another day out at protests against institutional racism and police brutality. The definition of education beat reporter has really expanded. </p><p>A lot of things helped me keep going. I am fortunate to live and work in a community where there are many kids and adults willing to spend time speaking with a reporter in the midst of chaos and trauma in their lives. I am forever thankful to them for their trust. My experienced colleagues came up with the questions I never thought to ask because my reporting or life hadn’t taken me there yet. The Education Lab team has also kept a steady lens on racism and inequity in schools, which meant our first questions and stories centered on how the pandemic would affect kids of color, kids receiving special education services and kids living in low-income communities. I’m a better education reporter now, almost four years into the game, than I was two years ago. But part of that improvement is realizing how much I didn’t know and how much I still need to learn. The pandemic made me see that. <br></p><p> <strong>WF&#58; According to the State of the Beat report, access has been a challenge for education journalists. What kind of access do you have to school leaders and how has that changed during the pandemic?</strong></p><p> <strong>LJ&#58; </strong>Because I cover education from a national perspective and don’t concentrate on a specific district, it’s rare that I get to visit and meet with leaders in person. It might only happen if I’m reporting on something in the Los Angeles area, where I live, or traveling for a story. But I’m constantly developing connections with superintendent and principal organizations at both the national and state levels. On deadline, they’ve been quick to refer me to principals or district leaders, and I’ve found that throughout the pandemic, many have been especially candid about their experiences.<br><br> Perhaps it’s because whether they were in rural Georgia or the Pacific Northwest, they’ve all experienced the same dilemmas—burned out teachers, annoyed parents and disengaged students. Instead of being reticent, many leaders I’ve interviewed over the past two years have talked as if they were almost waiting for someone to ask how they were coping. Our retrospective on&#160;<a href="https&#58;//www.the74million.org/article/700-days-since-school-lockdown-covid-ed-lessons/" target="_blank">700 days</a> of the pandemic, in particular, was a platform for some of these leaders to share their personal and professional reflections. </p><p> <strong>DB&#58; </strong>Because Western Washington schools opened later compared to the rest of the country, there was a good solid year where our coverage took place outside. We managed to get inside a few schools in between, but they were outside of the Seattle area, where policies on visitors inside schools were less restrictive. Since schools reopened full-time this past fall, the access has been really dependent on the district. Some are much more open and friendly to reporters than others. Or the access appears predicated on the type of story we’re pursuing. </p><p> <strong>WF&#58; The survey also shows that journalists are split on whether or not K-12 schools were going in the right direction—roughly half say they are going in the right direction and the other half say they’re not. Do you think these numbers would look different now, given everything that has changed in the education field over the past 2 years? Why or why not?</strong></p><p> <strong>LJ&#58; </strong>My coverage largely focuses on this exact question, so I don’t think it’s my place to share any personal perspectives here or speculate on what journalists would say. It’s important for me to keep the lines of communication open with sources that fully believe in traditional public schools as well as those working outside of the system to offer new options to children and families. Besides, there’s never an easy answer to that question. For students and families, these aren’t simple, either-or choices. There are challenges and marks of success with all schools and educational models.</p><p> <strong>DB&#58;</strong> This is a hard question because I personally don’t feel we have a uniform experience of education in the United States. It is vast, it is inequitable and it is largely dependent on zip code. I think we’ve seen how heavily state and local policies drive what happens in schools, especially when it comes to funding and the efforts in places to suppress teaching about racism and social issues. </p><p>Here in Washington State, I’ve had the opportunity to witness a lot of things that make me hopeful at the local level. Our job at Education Lab is to find promising, research-backed solutions to longstanding problems in education. For example, I’ve been able to read and report about ways schools and nonprofits are successfully improving kids’ reading skills or finding alternatives to suspending and expelling students. But for a variety of reasons, promising practices can take a long time before they float up to state policy, if they even do at all. School districts still rake in more money if their community has high home values and is amenable to passing levies. So, even within a state, there can be a multitude of different experiences and outcomes for kids. I don’t believe the pandemic has changed this. <br></p><p> <strong>WF&#58; How do you cover such hot-button issues while retaining your journalistic point of view?</strong></p><p> <strong>LJ&#58; </strong>I’ve worked hard over the past two years to understand the arguments on all sides of the more contentious issues we’ve covered—reopening schools, mask mandates, vaccine requirements, discussions of race and gender. I always try to represent the multiple positions in my articles, and again, for families and teachers, these issues can be more complicated than the public debate suggests. We try to capture that when we can. I think we’ve also strived to give readers realistic expectations about where things are headed and the relevant legal and policy options. If a lawsuit or piece of legislation has no chance of advancing, we try to make that clear.</p><p> <strong>DB&#58; </strong>I think the key to covering hot-button issues is not losing sight of who the issue will affect the most. Because that is often not the person who will be the most accessible to the press or the loudest person in the room. In education reporting, we need to remind ourselves that it’s about the kids. They are the recipients of this system. It matters the most what happens to them as a result of any policy or change.</p><p> <strong>WF&#58; What are some of the big issues we should be watching in 2022? Where might we see some “bright spots”?</strong></p><p> <strong>LJ&#58;</strong> We ran an article in the fall of 2020 with the headline, “Right Now, All Students are Mobile,” quoting a source with expertise on the issue of student mobility. There are students who have spent each year of the pandemic in a different schooling situation—traditional, homeschooled, a virtual charter. Recent research is showing that the correlation between multiple school changes and declining academic performance is even stronger than previously thought. It’s another aspect of the long-term effects of the pandemic’s disruption that I know I want to better understand.<br><br> With our recent coverage of&#160;<a href="https&#58;//www.the74million.org/article/covid-school-enrollment-students-move-away-from-urban-districts-virtual/" target="_blank">enrollment trends</a>, I think it’s important to keep following the departure of students from urban districts and the tough decisions leaders will make regarding school consolidations and closures. And we need to understand where families are going, what districts and new models they’re choosing and how those decisions are working for students.<br><br> Data is emerging not just on how districts plan to spend federal relief money, but actually how they’ve spent it. There are endless opportunities there to track where it goes and what difference it makes for students.​<br></p><p> Certainly, we’ll be watching the midterm elections. President Biden already hasn’t been able to accomplish all he set out to do in the early phases of his presidency—including his plan for child care, universal pre-K, and teacher and administrator preparation. And if Republicans gain control of the House—or the House and Senate—that could bring his agenda to a standstill.<br><br> As for bright spots, I would expect that districts have learned a lot from the past two summers and that there would be even more ambitious and creative examples of summer learning programs to watch this year.</p><p> <strong>DB&#58;</strong> I’m interested in watching how schools spend their unprecedented amount in federal aid due to the pandemic. The last of those funds expire in a couple of years from now, so we’ll need to keep our eyes on those dollars for a while. These funds can be used to start helpful beneficial programs for kids most affected by the past two years, and we need to be shining a light on where and if that happens—and whether people in power will invest to prolong their lifespan. We should also be holding leaders accountable for the promises they made to improve the education system for Black and brown students in 2020.<br></p>Two journalists discuss the challenges and rewards of working the education beat and how COVID-19 has changed things for them GP0|#3ab38f86-968a-4357-8214-f3b9195f9ef7;L0|#03ab38f86-968a-4357-8214-f3b9195f9ef7|education;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#d12b494a-8c5d-4014-9866-51539e68ea50;L0|#0d12b494a-8c5d-4014-9866-51539e68ea50|COVID-19;GP0|#a1fce493-e86d-443d-86b0-574fb03e37f9;L0|#0a1fce493-e86d-443d-86b0-574fb03e37f9|research survey;GP0|#3b1adca7-9ee2-4aeb-a9de-b4a01989a4b8;L0|#03b1adca7-9ee2-4aeb-a9de-b4a01989a4b8|Q&A;GP0|#37e72e97-63c0-4a59-a307-c9cd87ec9ef2;L0|#037e72e97-63c0-4a59-a307-c9cd87ec9ef2|education research;GP0|#af601d73-7b6f-4545-8747-0b0ce065c916;L0|#0af601d73-7b6f-4545-8747-0b0ce065c916|interview;GP0|#b9334c26-a923-4388-bc0a-e17897e654f7;L0|#0b9334c26-a923-4388-bc0a-e17897e654f7|schoolsGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61Jenna Doleh91<img alt="" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/blog-ewa-lg-feature2.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2022-05-24T04:00:00ZTwo journalists discuss the challenges and rewards of working the education beat and how COVID-19 has changed things for them5/24/2022 2:38:59 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Covering Education in a Crisis Two journalists discuss the challenges and rewards of working the education beat and how 1122https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​