Wallace Blog Search Results

Search Blogs by Keyword
Browse by Date
clear all

 

 

Getting Ready for Summer in the Deep South3506GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>It’s late March, and in many U. S. cities, the chill hasn’t yet left the air. But in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where you can already go out of the house in short sleeves, the message is clear&#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>Wallace editorial team792019-04-16T04:00:00ZEducators 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 82https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Systematic Approach to Principal Development Can Benefit Students4810GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<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>Jennifer Gill832019-04-09T04:00:00ZSuperintendents 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 103https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
A University Works to Supply a Principal Pipeline4566GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​Responding to customers’ needs and desires is a given in retail, but in school leader preparation programs? In a <a href="https&#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>Wallace editorial team792019-04-02T04:00:00ZHow 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 98https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Building an Effective Afterschool Program…With the Evidence to Back It Up4473GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<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>Wallace editorial team792019-03-26T04:00:00ZEducation 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 189https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Five Organizations, Five Different Strategies to Build Arts Audiences3347GP0|#8056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be;L0|#08056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be|Building Audiences for the Arts;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​In 2015, Wallace set out on the <a href="/how-we-work/our-work/pages/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>Wallace editorial team792019-03-19T04:00:00ZEarly 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 202https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
“Lean on Me”: The Power of Principal Mentorship and Support3431GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Given the important role principals play in school success, how can districts promote their effectiveness, especially in improving teaching? A new article in ASCD’s <em>Educational Leadership</em> magazine details how district-led efforts to increase on-the-job supports like mentoring and coaching are helping principals become better leaders.</p><p>The article, <a href="http&#58;//www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar19/vol76/num06/Lean-on-Me.aspx">“Lean on Me,”</a> is part of an issue devoted to <a href="http&#58;//www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar19/vol76/num06/toc.aspx">“The Power of Instructional Leadership”</a> in ASCD’s flagship publication, which reaches a global audience of educators dedicated to achieving excellence in learning, teaching and leading. <br> </p>On-the-job support for principals has <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/support-for-instructional-leadership.aspx">traditionally been a low priority</a>, but districts are increasingly viewing supports like mentorship as critical to promoting instructional leadership, the article notes. In 2011, six large districts committed themselves to improving on-the-job support for principals as part of Wallace’s Principal Pipeline Initiative , and in 2014, Wallace launched the Principal Supervisor Initiative &#160;to support district-led efforts to focus the supervisor role more heavily on improving instruction. “Lean on Me” takes a closer look at how these efforts are playing out in both the pipeline initiative and supervisor effort districts.<div><br></div><div>To read the full article, <a href="http&#58;//www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar19/vol76/num06/Lean-on-Me.aspx">click here</a>.</div><div><br></div><div><em>Above photo&#58; Tommy Welch of Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, Georgia, one of the principals featured in the story. Photo by Claire Holt.</em><br><br></div>Wallace editorial team792019-03-13T04:00:00ZYour source for research and ideas to expand high quality learning and enrichment opportunities. Supporting: School Leadership, After School, Summer and Extended Learning Time, Arts Education and Building Audiences for the Arts.3/12/2019 7:31:39 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / “Lean on Me”: The Power of Principal Mentorship and Support A new article in Educational Leadership looks at district-led 214https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Ensuring That Every Student Succeeds10752GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​When Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015, it made a bi-partisan decision to devolve authority over federal education spending away from Washington, D.C. Now, it’s up to states and school districts to show that they are up to the challenge of deciding how best to use U.S. dollars to bolster public education for all students.&#160;&#160;&#160; <br></p><p><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Ensuring-that-Every-Student-Succeeds/Brogan_Pix-crop2.jpg" alt="Brogan_Pix-crop2.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;" />That was the key message from Frank T. Brogan, assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, at a recent Wallace Foundation conference.&#160; “Is every child better off as a result,” he urged audience members to ask themselves, noting that he finds “every” the key word in the Every Student Succeeds Act. “That’s an awesome responsibility. There are 50 million of them out there.”<br></p><p>Brogan made his comments at a gathering of about 200 local and state education officials, representatives of university principal preparation programs and other education leaders from around the country. ESSA, the latest reauthorization of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, is a leading source of support for public school education and is notable for giving states and localities more control over their use of federal education money. It also offers new possibilities for funding efforts to boost school leadership—a particular interest of the conference attendees, most of whom were&#160; &#160;participants in Wallace’s ESSA Leadership Learning Community and University Principal Preparation Initiative.</p><p>Brogan said ESSA was “as important and pronounced a piece of legislation as I have seen come out of Washington, D.C., in decades.” The law’s underlying assumption, he said, is a belief that those closest to children—their schools, their communities, their districts, their states—are in a better position than federal officials to determine the students’ educational needs and how to meet them. Local educators, he said, “live with these children, they see them every day.… They know the challenges these children bring to school.” </p><p>At the same time, the law gives states and districts the weighty responsibility of showing that Congress made the right decision in placing new powers in their hands. “What ESSA is designed to say is, ‘we trust you,’” Brogan told the audience, emphasizing that what Congress giveth, Congress can also take away.&#160; “If we don’t take up that mantle of local control and flexibility and create the same, they will snatch this bad boy away from us before we knew we had it,” he said. “We have to prove that we are worthy of that trust and find ways to reach children we have not been able to reach or reach them at higher levels.”</p><p>Brogan said that those who want to improve education need to avoid suggesting that current practices are bad—and focus instead on the idea that “by most standard measures” children today “are capable of more.” Educators and education officials, he argued, also need the “courage” to identify what requires changing and then make the necessary moves, despite inevitable pushback from others. “You can’t just open the window and yell ‘work harder;’ you have to work differently,” Brogan said.</p><p>One aid in this endeavor is evidence, Brogan argued, saying that educators nationwide are “desperate” to learn about innovations that have proved effective in classrooms elsewhere. “The beauty of funding evidence-based change is that it’s not just this shiny object,” he said. “This thing works. It can work for our children.” He noted that the U.S. Department of Education is creating a new unit to make it easier to get information about evidence-based practices. As part of an effort to consolidate the work of roughly 25 offices into 14 offices, the department has put the Office of Innovation under the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, which Brogan heads.</p><p>Asked about how the Department’s policies would help achieve equity in education, Brogan pointed to data as a key lever&#58; “You can’t address what you can’t see,” he said. “The data alone won’t guarantee that you know what the problem is, but it will allow a confidence in trendlines that will enable people to stop and get them to talk about this.”</p><p>One of his priorities in leading an office responsible for distributing about $23 billion annually in grants, Brogan said, is to balance the need for adherence to grant requirements with the need for user-friendliness. A self-described “customer-relationship guy,” Brogan said that he wants “to know what the customer satisfaction rates are for our clients… and then I want to have conversations within and without the department about how we can change that to be a more user-friendly group.” </p><p>Although most of his talk focused on ESSA, Brogan began his remarks by recounting his journey from modest beginnings in Lafayette, Indiana, to his arrival to a position of influence in the nation’s capital. Brogan’s father died when Brogan and his five siblings were young. The family was raised by a single mother with an 8th grade education—and a determination to see her children advance beyond what their circumstances suggested. Working in restaurants and cleaning houses to support the family, she also managed to instill the value of education in all her kids. “She was a rock star in our neighborhood,” Brogan said. “She was unique in that all six of her children graduated from high school. At that time, it was a cause célèbre. I survived my first 18 years on the blunt end of this woman’s will. Failure was not an option. We were going to get an education. She professed it with great regularity and extreme passion.”</p><p>The challenge posed by ESSA is whether states and districts can harness this type of fierce belief in the power of education to ensure that every child can succeed in life.</p><p>For a look at evidence-based funding opportunities for school leadership under ESSA see <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/school-leadership-interventions-every-student-succeeds-act-volume-1.aspx">here</a>.</p>Wallace editorial team792019-03-06T05:00:00ZFederal education official urges local, state officials to prove “worthy” of the trust put in them by ESSA3/6/2019 7:33:33 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Ensuring That Every Student Succeeds Federal education official urges local, state officials to prove “worthy” of the trust 441https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
The Benefits of Arts Education for Urban Tweens10583GP0|#d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8;L0|#0d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8|Arts Education;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>​​​​​Does high-quality arts programming benefit urban tweens? What does it take to recruit young people ages 10 to 14 to these programs—and keep them coming back? A recent <a href="https&#58;//www.nationalguild.org/resources/resources/free-guild-resource/designing-for-engagement-the-benefits-of-high-qua?viewmode=2&amp;lang=en-US" target="_blank">webinar</a> hosted by The National Guild for Community Arts Education provided insight into these questions drawn from research and practice in our Youth Arts Initiative (YAI).</p><p>Launched in 2014 with a grant to the Boys &amp; Girls Clubs of America, YAI selected clubhouses in Green Bay and Milwaukee, Wis., and St. Cloud, Minn. to test whether&#160;<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/something-to-say-success-principles-for-afterschool-arts-programs.aspx">10 success principles</a> for high-quality youth arts education could be applied to a large multiservice youth organization that services primarily low-income families. </p><p>The clubs offered both regular skill-development classes and drop-in opportunities to learn dance; painting, drawing and mural arts; graphic design, digital music, filmmaking and fashion design. Their experiences are discussed in <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/raising-the-barre-and-stretching-the-canvas.aspx">Raising the Barre and Stretching the Canvas&#58; Implementing High Quality Arts Programming in a National Youth Serving Organization</a>, which found that the clubs could, in fact, implement the 10 success principles. </p><p><strong>Learning from Real Professionals</strong><strong> </strong><br> The arts classes were taught by <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/teaching-artists-sparks-imaginations.aspx">professional teaching artists</a>, such as Vedale Hill, a Milwaukee native who runs a mural arts program and is a full-time staff member at the Boys &amp; Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee—and who participated in the webinar. The clubs also created designated spaces for arts instruction, worked hard with families and students to encourage regular attendance and organized community performances and art shows to showcase the tweens’ creations.</p><p>“The teaching artists were real professionals in a field and that really made tweens want to learn from them. They commanded respect and were serious about teaching the art form,” Wendy S. McClanahan of McClanahan Associates, told the online audience. McClanahan is a co-author of Raising the Barre and the more recent <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/designing-for-engagement-the-experiences-of-tweens-in-the-boys-and-girls-clubs’-youth-arts-initiative.aspx">Designing for Engagement&#58; The Experiences of Tweens in the Boys &amp; Girls Clubs’ Youth Arts Initiative</a>, &#160;which focuses on whether the clubs could recruit tweens engage them in arts activities and whether the programs added value for both the tweens and the clubs themselves. The answer to all, in short, is yes.</p><p><strong>Meeting Youth Where They Are</strong><br> While professional knowledge is important, Hill agreed, effective teaching artists also know how to work with young people. Since tweens are at an age where participation in afterschool programs often declines, he stressed the importance of getting to know the students and their interests before diving right into formal instruction. </p><p>“It was important to me, as one of the kids who grew up in the inner city in Milwaukee and knowing where they were coming from, to make it a point to meet them where they were, before any drawing or painting,” Hill explained. “I went to the gym to shoot a round and played soccer and met them as the person they are. </p><p>“The best person for the kids,” he said, “is the one who gets them to learn the lesson and have it be relevant content to give purpose to the skill.” </p><p><strong>Fostering Youth Voice and Choice</strong><br> Clubs also gave tweens a say about the programming. Ben Perkovich, director of clubhouse operations for the Boys &amp; Girls Club of Greater Green Bay, explained that his club involved tweens early on in deciding what arts programs to offer and even in hiring the professional artists who taught them. That decision was strategic, he noted&#58; “Once we started having them involved in the programmatic direction, that built enthusiasm and excitement.” The clubs in Milwaukee and Green Bay also offered incentives for participation and behavior, such as pizza parties, field trips and art supplies they could take home.</p><p><strong>Positive Youth Development for SEL</strong><br> Tracey A. Hartmann of Research for Action, a co-author of both reports on the Youth Arts Initiative, said the clubs’ use of strong youth-development practices was key to keeping tweens engaged. These included building positive relationships with adults and peers; giving tweens the opportunity to have input and play leadership roles; providing hands-on activities; and ensuring that participants were physically and emotional safe.</p><p>“These were deal-breakers for the youth,” she said of the welcoming climate. In return, the clubs expected them to make a commitment to attend the skill-development classes as much as possible, a major change from the drop-in nature of the other programs offered by the clubs.</p><p>Tweens developed social and emotional skills along with artistic skills, Hartmann said. “We heard from parents that they saw a sense of responsibly and time management. Parents pointed to the high expectations, the relationship with teaching artists and high engagement with the program.”</p><p>For more insights on the benefits of arts education for young people, read this <a href="https&#58;//www.brookings.edu/blog/brown-center-chalkboard/2019/02/12/new-evidence-of-the-benefits-of-arts-education/?utm_campaign=Brown%20Center%20on%20Education%20Policy&amp;utm_source=hs_email&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_content=70054033" target="_blank">Brookings Institution</a> evaluation of an initiative in Houston to restore arts education through community partnerships and investments. To learn more about the evidence behind the use of arts to improve student achievement—known as arts integration—and which programs would qualify for federal funding under the Every Student Succeeds Act, read our <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/essa-arts-evidence-review-report.aspx">ESSA evidence review</a>.</p> <br>Wallace editorial team792019-02-26T05:00:00ZWebinar highlights publications and emerging lessons from the Boys & Girls Club’s quality arts program2/26/2019 4:00:49 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / The Benefits of Arts Education for Urban Tweens Webinar highlights publications and emerging lessons from the Boys & Girls 484https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Building an Ecosystem of Talent Development for Principals 10375GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​In 2011, we launched the Principal Pipeline Initiative to test whether six large districts could put in place systems aimed at developing corps of effective school principals. Independent studies of the initiative’s implementation thus far have found that <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/perspective-building-principal-pipelines-update.aspx">building principal pipelines</a> proved both feasible and affordable in the six participating districts, and we’ll soon know more about how this work impacted student achievement. But when the initiative concluded&#58; the question of sustainability remained&#58; Would districts maintain these pipeline components—and if so, how? </p><p>Now a Policy Studies Associates team led by researchers <a href="/about-wallace/People/Pages/Leslie-Anderson-.aspx">Leslie Anderson​</a> and Brenda Turnbull has interviewed key decision makers and surveyed novice principals to understand to what extent they are still carrying out the four components of the pipeline, what changes they have made and if principals’ perspectives on their hiring and placement, evaluation and support are similar to previous findings. Their findings are published in a new study <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/sustainability-of-principal-pipeline-initiative.aspx">Sustaining a Principal Pipeline</a>. &#160;&#160; </p><p>We asked Anderson to elaborate on the report’s findings and what they mean for the sustainability of strong principal pipelines.&#160; </p><p> <strong>What are the most significant implications of these findings for districts that want to develop and operate principal pipelines?</strong></p><p> <em>It’s worthwhile&#58;</em> There is a real payoff that districts have seen from steady investment of time and thought in developing and refining several key ingredients for leader development&#58; standards; partnerships; succession planning; mentoring and coaching, and leader tracking systems. Moreover, principals’ survey responses indicate that newly placed principals see strengths in the preparation and support they have received. As of 2018, the principal pipeline shows staying power. </p><p> <em>It’s a process not a product&#58;</em> One district leader described their pipeline experience as a journey rather than a destination that one reaches through shortcuts. No one should think that one district is “the district to watch” and try to copy what that district does. Instead, building a pipeline is a developmental process that district leaders must grow into. </p><p> <em>It’s affordable&#58;</em> There is almost no cost associated with developing leadership standards. In addition, only moderate costs are associated with creating a standardized application for principal candidates. Yet this relatively low-cost upgrade to district hiring practices can quickly strengthen the pool of candidates qualified to fill school vacancies. Indeed, seven years after starting the Principal Pipeline Initiative, district leaders no longer report struggling to find highly qualified candidates to fill vacancies; they are impressed with the skills of the principals they are hiring. Moreover, over time, districts saw fewer principal vacancies, suggesting that principal turnover had declined and new principals were better prepared.<br> </p><p> <strong>What lessons does the study hold about how districts and universities can work together to improve preservice training for principals? What are the challenges and how can they be overcome? </strong></p><p>PPI districts saw real benefits from investing staff time in the care and keeping of their university partners. Denver, for example, assigned a staff person to meet with district partners regularly, often monthly or more, to co-plan the programming. The result, according to another district administrator, has been that “they're producing candidates that are highly qualified [to lead our] schools.” Similarly, principal supervisors in Charlotte-Mecklenburg spent years on a university partner’s board and worked together closely to identify gaps between the district’s leadership standards and the university’s preparation program coursework. Ultimately, as one district leader explained, if done right, the benefits of the partnership are shared&#58; “There is that mutual beneficial relationship that enables the university to have outstanding graduates and for us to have outstanding leaders.”&#160; </p><p>By 2018, district investments in their university partnerships had yielded dividends. Higher percentages of principals who had started on the job in more recent years (after March 2012) compared with those who had started earlier (before March 2012) reported that their preservice preparation emphasized competencies related to school improvement, including instructional leadership.&#160; Moreover, more recently prepared principals reported having started on the job with higher levels of preparedness for leadership. </p><p> <strong>The report mentions that there are some areas of confusion or overlap in the various systems of support for principals that the pipeline developed. &#160;What are these areas and how can schools and districts remedy them? </strong></p><p>Districts strive to coordinate principal support in a way that addresses principal needs but mitigates the risk of delivering conflicting messages. While principal supervisors, mentors and coaches are all necessary principal support, they need to be managed appropriately to avoid contradictory or confusing advice. A Denver principal supervisor described a novice principal getting four sets of guidance from four different people on a daily basis, for example.&#160; </p><p>Creating more lines of communication between support streams is a good first step toward mitigating conflicting messaging.&#160; Because people are busy, it’s often hard to know which support provider is helping principals develop which capacity or competency. A leader in Gwinnett County maintained that it was incumbent upon district leaders and support providers to work together to provide a coherent support structure that ultimately helps principals succeed. She suggested that districts should start by calibrating support providers in defining or diagnosing the needs of the school. And she cautioned that coordination does not mean standardization and that the support delivered to principals should vary in response to school contexts and needs.</p><p>Finally, there is a danger of overwhelming principals with support.&#160; First-year principals often feel as if they are “drinking from a firehose,” as an administrator put it, and they cannot absorb all of the support they receive. Prince George’s County has tried to address this problem by creating what it calls “a central office school support network” to coordinate all of the offices that impact the building so that the principal “didn't have to have 13 different meetings with 13 different offices at the beginning of the school year.”</p><p> <strong>With the emergence of the principal supervisor role as a key element of the pipeline, how can districts ensure that supervisors are able to focus mainly on principal support and development? </strong></p><p> Districts used a variety of strategies to ensure that supervisors could focus on principal support. Several hired more supervisors, reducing their span of control and thereby increasing the time supervisors could devote to developing principals’ instructional leadership skills. One district removed any responsibility for operations management from principal supervisors’ span of control by creating a department of academic support and another department for school operations.<br></p><p>Another, less costly approach one district took was organizing supervisors into different buckets of responsibility. Leaders in this district recognized that their supervisors reflected an assortment of competencies, some uniquely qualified to guide principals’ growth in instructional leadership, and some not. They opted to divide the work of their eight supervisors so that five would be instructionally focused and three would be operationally focused.&#160; </p><p> <strong>What was surprising to you about these findings? </strong></p><p>That this initiative has real staying power. That is, seven years after the PPI began, districts still have their principal pipelines. Districts still use standards to shape their principal preparation, hiring, evaluation and support systems; hiring managers have well-stocked pools of vetted principal candidates as well as individual-level data for use in their succession planning. Mentors, coaches and supervisors continue to build principals’ skills on the job. All six districts continue working on strengthening and expanding the pipeline components in ways that further manage and support the career progressions of principals. For example, they continue to strengthen the principal supervisors’ skills in supporting principals. They also work on strengthening principals’ capacity to identify and develop the leadership talents of aspiring leaders, recognizing that sitting principals play a key role as mentors. </p><p>In summary, as we mention in the <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/sustainability-of-principal-pipeline-initiative.aspx">sustainability report</a>, they are trying to build an ecosystem for talent development in which principals and principal supervisors regularly seek to identify and nurture the very best and brightest future leaders.&#160; </p><p><em>Leslie Anderson is&#160;a Managing Director at Policy Studies Associates (PSA).&#160;To read her full bio </em><a href="/about-wallace/People/Pages/Leslie-Anderson-.aspx"><em>click here​</em></a><em>.</em><br></p>Wallace editorial team792019-02-19T05:00:00ZStudy finds Principal Pipelines have staying power and big payoffs for districts.2/19/2019 2:55:47 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Building an Ecosystem of Talent Development for Principals Study finds Principal Pipelines are durable and have big payoffs 573https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
What Leading for Equity Can Look Like3330GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​My question hung in the air at a conference for rural school and district leaders&#58; How many of you have heard common misconceptions about equity-related issues for students, like chronic absenteeism and access to diverse teachers? Slowly a principal raised his hand and shared that he, as a school leader, until recently believed that at-risk families (those living below the poverty line and/or facing significant financial or emotional hardships) value school less and therefore do not believe in the importance of regular attendance. I found his honesty remarkable, and it spurred a conversation about the importance of shifting to what’s been identified as an “equity mindset”—where we value the life experiences of all students and their families by identifying and removing misconceptions and barriers so we can provide differentiated supports and services to those most at-risk. </p><p>Shifting to an equity mindset on attendance, to use this example, means that we assume all of our families equally value the importance of their children’s education. Rather than accept the status quo, we therefore focus on understanding what might get in the way of their children’s attendance, and try to remove those barriers. And when we succeed, we can dramatically accelerate the trajectory of a student’s pathway towards postsecondary opportunities. For example, when low income elementary students attend school regularly, they can see outsized literacy gains, eight percent more growth in kindergarten and seven percent more growth in first grade than their higher income peers (Ready, 2010). By the time they hit sixth grade, students attending more than 90 percent of the time have significantly greater chances of graduating on time (Balfanz, Herzog, &amp; Maclver, 2007). The key is helping to make sure students at risk attend – something that begins with an equity mindset. </p><p class="wf-Element-Callout">In the struggle to create great schools for all students, equity often rides at the back of the bus. The Tennessee Leaders for Equity Playbook provides a powerful framework to change that dynamic. It is an especially thoughtful and actionable tool to bring equity to center stage in classrooms and schools. <br><em>—Dr. Joseph F. Murphy, Associate Dean, Peabody College of Vanderbilt University </em></p><p>Evidence-based equity shifts of this sort are part of the <a href="https&#58;//www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/education/reports/Tennessee-Leaders-for-Equity-Playbook.pdf" target="_blank"> <em>Tennessee Leaders for E​quity Playbook</em></a>, a publication developed by the Tennessee ESSA Leadership Learning Community (ELLC) team as part of its participation in a collaborative effort of the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Council of the Great City Schools, the National Urban League and The Wallace Foundation, funded by Wallace. The initiative brings together teams from 10 participating states—each working on its own state’s priorities for and approaches to building the capacity of principals and other school leaders to support schools and students most in need of improvement—to help them develop their plans and to learn from each other’s work. Our playbook in Tennessee was developed by a statewide team of school, district, community, higher education and state leaders, with substantial feedback received from a comprehensive set of stakeholder groups. It features seven equity commitments, all selected for their strong research base that correlates with improved student outcomes, and corresponding actions for school, district, school board and community leaders&#58; </p><ul><li>Decrease chronic absenteeism</li><li>Reduce disproportionate suspension and expulsion rates</li><li>Increase early postsecondary opportunities</li><li>Provide equitable access to effective teachers</li><li>Recruit and retain a diverse teaching force</li><li>Embed cultural competence in school practices</li><li>Partner with community allies </li></ul><p>The use of the word <em>commitments</em> is intentional to signal the importance of taking deliberate and specific action to advance equity. Other sections of the playbook include an action plan framework to assist leaders in the selection, implementation and monitoring of the most relevant equity commitments for their community; an “equity shifts continuum” describing the common misconceptions that must be examined and discussed for each equity commitment before moving to an equity mindset; and a list of key terms defined, including “equity” and a “leader for equity.” </p><p>My interaction with the rural principals demonstrates the importance of viewing equity through two lenses&#58;<strong> improving outcomes for all students is not an exclusively urban problem </strong>and <strong>equity needs to be embedded into the DNA of school and district policies and practices</strong> if we want to successfully move our collective thinking about equity from an <em>initiative</em> to a necessary and enduring <em>systematic approach</em> for reaching every student. This shift requires us as leaders to grapple with the powerful notion that student outcomes will not improve until adult learning and behaviors change. </p><p>Since the release of the Playbook in the spring of 2018, I have been fortunate to see both rural and urban districts in Tennessee use it as a training and support tool to help shift adult learning and behaviors towards equity. For example, Bobby Cox, superintendent of rural Warren County, uses it as part of a comprehensive district approach for training all employees, from district leaders and principals to cafeteria workers and bus drivers on the importance of learning strategies—such as providing meditation and counseling for disciplinary infractions rather than relying exclusively on out-of-school suspensions. This approach helps increase the social and emotional well-being of students. And it’s paying big dividends so far with significant increases in student attendance; the chronic absenteeism rate is 3 percent this year compared with 14 percent last year, with decreases in out-of-school suspensions. </p><p>I am convinced the equity shifts and commitments we’ve articulated in the <em>Tennessee Leaders for Equity Playbook</em> can play a role in accelerating the urgency and summoning the collective courage we need to make educational equity no longer a dream deferred in our state. We hope it can help provide a guide for others across the country, as well. &#160;<br></p><p>Paul Fleming is the Assistant Commissioner for the Teachers and Leaders Division at the Tennessee Department of Education. See his full bio <a href="/about-wallace/People/Pages/Paul-Fleming.aspx">here​</a>. ​​ <br> </p><p> <em>Lead photo&#58; Principal James Nebel of Sweetwater Middle School; Gwinnett County, Georgia</em></p>Paul Fleming942019-02-12T05:00:00ZStatewide collaboration and new “Leaders for Equity Playbook” are helping schools and districts in Tennessee better support all students.4/19/2019 6:48:28 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / What Leading for Equity Can Look Like Statewide collaboration and new “Leaders for Equity Playbook” are helping schools and 2407https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

​​​​​​​