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Keeping Kids Learning and Connected this Fall24471GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​In response to the coronavirus pandemic last March, schools across the country closed their doors and pivoted quickly to distance learning. School and district leaders scrambled to distribute paper packets, devices and mobile hotspots, as well as to get students connected to free or inexpensive broadband internet. Inequities became apparent almost immediately as many students faced challenges accessing online classes. </p><p>With many schools now starting the new year in a hybrid or fully digital model, we took a look at how school leaders are building on lessons learned from the spring, testing out innovative approaches to digital learning and ensuring that students, particularly those who are most vulnerable, have what they need to be successful. </p><p><strong>The digital divide is not a new phenomenon</strong> </p><p>The digital divide—also known as “the homework gap”—existed long before the pandemic. A 2019 Pew Research Center study found that a third of rural Americans said they did not have a broadband internet connection at home. Ownership of desktop or laptop computers among rural Americans has only risen slightly since 2008. A Pew Research Center analysis of 2015 U.S. Census Bureau data showed that one in five school-aged children do not have high-speed internet in their home; that number increases to one in three when focused on children from low-income households. </p><p>Many district leaders, like Superintendent Robert Runcie in Broward County, Fla., had been working to eliminate this gap over the past several years and were therefore better positioned for the shift to distance learning last March. (Broward is one of six districts that participated in The Wallace Foundation’s Principal Supervisor Initiative.) The district had invested in infrastructure including a single sign-on system for teachers and staff; a learning management system called Canvas, which allowed for blended learning and sharing of ideas and curricula across the district; and a decreased ratio of students to computers, shifting from 6&#58;1 to 1&#58;1, effectively. </p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read 993de807-2551-40a5-927c-68767f169871" id="div_993de807-2551-40a5-927c-68767f169871" unselectable="on"></div><div id="vid_993de807-2551-40a5-927c-68767f169871" unselectable="on" style="display&#58;none;"></div></div><p><strong>Making the call this fall</strong> </p><p>The unprecedented crisis and limited federal guidance meant that district leaders faced complex decisions about whether or how to open their buildings. <br> “And that was, in some cases, at the expense of time and energy focused on making virtual learning as good as it can be,” said Allison Socol, assistant director of P-12 policy at The Education Trust (one of Wallace’s communications partners) and co-author of a report on promising digital learning practices from districts across the country.<br></p><p>Runcie started planning at the end of last spring for the very real possibility school would still be virtual in the fall. His team worked to understand best practices and recommendations for re-opening from other school systems across the country and around the world. At the time, infection rates in Florida were increasing and he knew his district was nowhere near ready to re-open in person. Schools opened in August with 100 percent virtual learning. </p><p><strong>Lessons learned so far this fall </strong></p><p>In Broward, with devices distributed and access to internet supported by partnerships with Comcast and AT&amp;T, Runcie turned his attention toward teachers. <br> “We wanted to make sure that there was a consistent level of high-quality education experiences online this year,” he said. </p><p>His district spent the summer training teachers to be more confident and effective using the online platform and tools. They found that some teachers had already risen to “master expert” level when it came to using these tools, and tapped their newfound expertise to help build capacity of others.</p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read cbf51070-8093-4f8c-8540-c5f5f9b8a905" id="div_cbf51070-8093-4f8c-8540-c5f5f9b8a905"></div><div id="vid_cbf51070-8093-4f8c-8540-c5f5f9b8a905" style="display&#58;none;"></div></div><p>Despite the number of challenges school leaders face, Socol notes that school and district leaders have “really rise(n) to the occasion … and marshalled all of their resources and all of their people to meet the needs of students who are most struggling.” </p><p>A report Socol co-wrote in collaboration with Digital Promise, “<a href="https&#58;//s3-us-east-2.amazonaws.com/edtrustmain/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/06163247/10-Questions-for-Equity-Advocates-to-Ask-About-Distance-Learning-During-COVID-19-May-2020.pdf">With Schools Closed and Distance Learning the Norm, How is Your District Meeting the Needs of Its Students</a>?,” compiles innovative strategies and best practices districts are using to improve digital learning, particularly for their most vulnerable students. Some highlights include&#58;</p><ul><li>New Orleans distributed tens of thousands of Chromebooks, making students experiencing homelessness a priority</li><li>New York City Public Schools partnered with Apple and T-Mobile to provide LTE-enabled iPads to students</li><li>Rock Hill Public Schools in South Carolina provided curbside IT support outside of school buildings</li><li>Highline Public Schools in Washington state and Austin school districts sent wifi-equipped buses to apartment complexes and neighborhoods where students struggled with internet access</li><li>In Phoenix Union High School District, district leaders instituted a program in which an adult contacts every student every day to ensure they and their families have what they need </li><li>In New Orleans and San Francisco, free student support hubs involve adults besides classroom teachers in helping students with digital learning in small group settings</li></ul><p>Socol notes that sharing these ideas across state borders is an important role that state leaders can play. </p><p>“We would love to see state leaders think about how to collect information about what districts are doing, to track data on the success of these new initiatives…and then to help share those practices with other districts that are still trying to figure out how to help students learn in this moment,” she said.</p><p><strong>Prioritizing historically underserved students </strong></p><p>Despite school leaders’ best efforts to equip students with the devices they need to participate in digital learning, there is more work to be done, particularly for students of color and those from low-income households. </p><p>“There are so many other challenges besides just having a computer or an iPad or the internet,” Socol points out. “Students need a quiet space in order to participate and engage in online instruction. They need access to support if their internet’s down…. Younger students may need an adult there to help them access the instruction online.” </p><p>Runcie is still focused on helping Broward students who are struggling with basic needs, who may be left at home alone at a young age or who may be facing abuse. Part of Broward’s distance learning planning includes ensuring that social services are maintained. Since June, Runcie reports that social workers have provided 160,000 interventions in response to over 36,000 referrals. </p><p>Socol encourages school and district leaders to focus their efforts and energies on thinking of those students most underserved by the public school system. Some districts, such as Arlington Public Schools in Virginia, are planning to phase in in-person learning, starting with students with disabilities, English-language learners and those from low-income families. </p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read 4b2e35fe-f919-4974-b122-ce83c3732288" id="div_4b2e35fe-f919-4974-b122-ce83c3732288"></div><div id="vid_4b2e35fe-f919-4974-b122-ce83c3732288" style="display&#58;none;"></div></div><p><strong>Advice for other school leaders </strong></p><p>Communication and transparency are at the top of Runcie’s priority list this fall, and he urges other district leaders to focus on the same.&#160;&#160;</p><p>“Communicate, communicate, communicate. Do it with integrity and be transparent, straight up with the community, what challenges you’re facing, what the approaches are and make sure you’re listening to them,” Runcie said. </p><p>His district conducted three major surveys of families. They held town halls and forums, partnering closely with the PTA, the special needs student advisory council and the school board. </p><p>Socol echoed the need to communicate regularly and honestly, adding a call for data collection. She hopes to see schools and districts conducting diagnostic assessments at the beginning of the school year to understand where students are and what they need to make up for lost instructional time. “And we need to see continued communication and transparency from school systems about how [distance learning] is going,” she added. </p><p>Finally, Runcie would like to see his fellow superintendents invest in technology, which includes both infrastructure and training for teachers and staff.&#160;</p><p>“Digital learning is something I believe is going to be here with us for the long run,” he said, noting that many children may have underlying health conditions or live in multigenerational households, factors that could keep them at home even if schools reopen their doors for in-person learning. “I think it’s something that you’ve got to commit to do, because I think it’s going to be part of our portfolio of offerings and the type of flexibility that we need to have in public education going forward.”</p>Wallace editorial team792020-09-29T04:00:00ZAs the new school year kicks off—mostly virtually—how far have districts come since March in providing a strong online learning experience for students?9/29/2020 6:11:56 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Keeping Kids Learning and Connected this Fall As the new school year kicks off—mostly virtually—how far have districts come 375https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Pandemic Brings challenges (and Opportunities) for Arts Education28602GP0|#d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8;L0|#0d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8|Arts Education;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​“My theme today is adaptation,” said Bahia Ramos, Wallace’s director of the arts, on a recent webinar hosted by Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA). “By that I mean a special kind of change. A change that makes a practice better suited to its environment.”</p><p>This environment, of course, is the one we are now six months into, where the COVID-19 pandemic, economic insecurity and uprisings for racial justice have transformed life in this country. For the students and teachers in arts learning programs, this has meant a total pivot, everything from transitioning to online learning and virtual convenings to teaching artists being laid off at extremely high rates. These changes and much more&#160;came up in the GIA webinar, where Ramos spoke along with Kimberly Olsen, executive director of NYC Arts in Education Roundtable and Alex Nock, principal of Penn Hill Group.<br> </p><p><strong>Adaptation at BGCA</strong></p><p>Back in 2014, Wallace and three Boys &amp; Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) in the Midwest embarked upon the Youth Arts Initiative to discover if <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/something-to-say-success-principles-for-afterschool-arts-programs.aspx">10 principles drawn from the nation’s best, specialty afterschool arts programs</a> could be applied within a general youth-serving organization better known for its sports programs. No one knew if it would work, but over the five years of the initiative, the clubs did <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/designing-for-engagement-the-experiences-of-tweens-in-the-boys-and-girls-clubs’-youth-arts-initiative.aspx">manage to successfully implement high-quality art skill-development programs</a> as defined by the Ten Principles for Success. Additionally, the retention rates for young people in the initiative was <em>twice </em>that of young people who were not in the program.</p><p>YAI is now in its second wave in five cities, testing whether the Ten Principles can be adapted to a lower-cost model. Clubs designed several new strategies, such as hiring assistants for teaching artists and focusing on lower-cost art forms, and initial results were promising. </p><p>Then COVID-19 changed everything. </p><p>“COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on arts and culture and the education system at large,” Kimberly Olsen said in her presentation.&#160;According to Olsen, drastic budget cuts due to the pandemic have fallen disproportionately on arts education, impacting cultural organizations, their ability to serve students and also trickling down to&#160;their&#160;teaching artists. </p><p><strong>The Impact on Teaching Artists</strong></p><p>“Before the pandemic we knew that teaching artists were at risk,” Olsen said. According to a <a href="https&#58;//dataarts.smu.edu/artsresearch2014/articles/blog-white-papers/covid-19-impact-nonprofit-arts-and-culture-new-york-city">recent DataArts survey</a>, teaching artists have been laid off at high rates, with a 78% decrease in artist staffing at NYC-based organizations as of May 8; of the 5,000 teaching artists who responded to the survey, 96% have experienced a loss of income.</p><p>Amazingly, Ramos said, four of the five BGCA clubs have managed to keep all of their teaching artist staff. “We continued our funding of teaching artists and programs in our clubs regardless of whether they were opened or closed,” she explained. This enabled BGCA to launch a new program called “Creates” with a special website and tips on maximizing limited budgets, arts projects and program assessment.</p><p>Sadly, not all organizations have been as lucky. According to the same survey by SMU DataArts referenced above, over 25% of organizations stated that they have laid off or furloughed their staff and artist workforce, and 11% of organizations indicated that they do not think they will survive the COVID-19 crisis.</p><p>“Our city announced a draft budget that saw tremendous cuts to arts education funding that would not only jeopardize the city’s recovery process, but limit both school and cultural organizations’ capacity to serve and engage young people while disproportionately impacting these nonprofit cultural organizations as well as students from low income communities,” Olsen explained.</p><p>As a result, the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable launched an efficacy campaign called <a href="https&#58;//nycaieroundtable.org/arts-are-essential/">Arts Are Essential</a>, with the goal of preserving arts education funding and investing in the community. “With all of this in mind, it&#160;means that organizations must be flexible,” Olsen said. “Flexibility means survival.”</p><p>Early lessons are emerging from BGCA’s new program as well. “Some downsides are clear – going online caused attention spans to be shorter, hours had to be reduced, fewer youth are joining, and as with regular school, lack of technology is a problem for some,” Ramos explained. “But there are some unexpected upsides like new opportunities to engage with parents; older youth have come in providing leadership roles, and youth are reporting that they feel more emotionally safe doing work at home.”</p><p><strong>Heading Toward Recovery</strong></p><p>According to Olsen, the arts and culture sector and teaching artists are going to play a huge part in the recovery of schools and communities. So how can philanthropy support artists who have been hit the hardest? </p><p>Given the very real threats to teaching artists and to arts learning programs overall, the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable encourages philanthropy to take the following action steps&#58;<br></p><ul><li>Include teaching artists in conversations and decision-making processes as the arts sector is redefined </li><li>Invest resources in emergency funding to grant immediate direct-to-individual support for teaching artists to offset the disproportional financial impact </li><li>Ensure that funding language and programs include teaching artists</li><li>Examine longstanding siloed funding priorities</li><li>Ensure arts organizations that are being funded compensate teaching artists with fair wages<br></li></ul><p>Penn Hill Group’s Alex Nock added another way for organizations to take advantage of potential funding&#58; The <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/unpacking-the-federal-response-to-covid-19-in-education.aspx">Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act</a>. Its provisions include more than $30 billion for K-12 and higher education programs; more than $4 billion for early childhood education; and other supports such as forgivable loans to nonprofits, including many providers of afterschool or summer programs. It also expanded states’ ability to provide Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, including for gig economy workers and individuals like artists, who would not ordinarily be eligible. </p><p>Nock spoke about other important pieces of COVID relief that affect artists and the art world in general. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provided flexibility and additional funding for state unemployment insurance agencies to respond to COVID-19. The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act provided $319 billion to replenish the program created under the CARES Act, in&#160;which loans to small businesses and nonprofits&#160;may be forgiven if businesses maintain their payroll.&#160; </p><p>Looking ahead to next year, Nock said that&#160;the House had passed the majority of its 2021 appropriations bills in two packages, which included moderate increases, but said we can expect&#160;the&#160;appropriations to&#160;be wrapped up after the November&#160;election. He is hopeful that the next package of COVID federal funding will include more money for education.</p><p>Whatever happens with the funding going forward, Olsen emphasized that collaboration, flexibility and adaptation will help the sector survive and thrive.&#160;“While it’s been a hard time for the arts in education community, the field is resilient,” she said. “They’re creative, and they are driven to support their students in whatever way they can. We’re seeing opportunities and potential growing each day.”</p>Wallace editorial team792020-09-22T04:00:00ZRecent webinar discusses how teaching artists and cultural institutions are responding to COVID-19 and beyond9/22/2020 6:03:29 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Pandemic Brings challenges (and Opportunities) for Arts Education Recent webinar discusses how teaching artists and 474https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
What the Pandemic Means for Summer Learning-And How Policymakers Can Help24122GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>This is a challenging and uncertain time for everyone. Schools are beginning to adapt to the realities of the current crisis brought on by the global coronavirus pandemic, but what about summer learning programs? Summer programs have always played an important role in supporting students who fall behind academically, but with so many young people across the country losing vital learning time, they may be important than ever. Yet organizers of summer programs face a host of unknowns, including whether they will be able to serve students at all in the coming months and, if so, how. </p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Catherine-Augustine.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/what-the-pandemic-means-for-summer-learning-and-how-policymakers-can-help/Catherine-Augustine.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />One thing that doesn’t have to be an unknown is the way government policies—federal, state, city and school district—both help and limit summer learning efforts. <em><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-support-for-summer-learning-policies-affect-summer-learning-programs.aspx">Getting Support for Summer Learning</a></em>, a new report from the RAND Corporation, offers information and advice to aid summer learning leaders in securing and maintaining support for their programs. We talked to Catherine Augustine, one of the report’s authors, about applying the lessons of the report in this unprecedented moment.</p><p><strong>What is the outlook for summer learning during this very difficult period?</strong></p><p>For this coming summer, some programs are canceling altogether, some are pivoting to be 100 percent virtual and others are hoping to continue in person. It’s likely that most will cancel. For those shifting to online experiences, it’s important to capture how that goes. Are they reaching kids? Are kids attending regularly? Are they benefiting and in what ways? Documenting what goes well in the summer would be useful to schools because they’re likely to continue at least some virtual offerings in the fall. Schools are already learning a lot about virtual learning, of course, but school leaders might gain insights from summer programs about offering virtual enrichment classes like art, music and even physical education.</p><p>Hopefully, summer programs can be in full swing and “normal” in summer 2021. At that point, they should be a critical tool for helping those students who are falling behind now to catch up. Districts and schools should soon begin aggressively planning to serve more kids than they typically do in summer 2021 and focusing their summer programs on the skills students need to gain to catch up to their counterparts.</p><p><strong>We know that students are losing a significant amount of learning time this school year and may lose more in the school year to come. We also know that inequities between poor families and more affluent families are worsening during this period. Given these conditions, should policymakers be thinking differently about summer learning?</strong></p><p>Yes. I hope policymakers come to see summer 2021 as incredibly important for catching up those students who are now falling behind and make sure there is adequate funding and support for school districts to expand the number of students served next summer in high-quality programs.</p><p><strong>As we approach the time when summer programs would typically open, summer learning leaders are facing great uncertainty. Are there any lessons from the report that are particularly relevant to the current situation?</strong></p><p>In the report, we advise summer program organizers to try to ensure that district leaders understand the importance of summer programming, so they can make it a priority in their budget meetings and decisions about how to spend general operating or Title I dollars, or about what outside grants to pursue. This is even more critical now. As districts are scrambling to meet students’ immediate learning and other needs, they’re probably not thinking about summer programming. But if summer programs aren’t planned in advance, it’s unlikely they’ll be high quality. Program leaders should do what they can to ensure they have funding in hand or pledged for summer 2021 by the end of this calendar year so that they can start planning. </p><p><strong>What steps can states take policy-wise to help communities use summer effectively as a time for learning? What steps can districts take? Cities?</strong></p><p>Some states, like Texas, have recently established new funding streams for extending school time, including in the summer. Other states might want to replicate these laws, given the importance of focusing on children who are now falling behind. States will also have the opportunity to hold back a small portion of the K-12 funding that they will pass on to districts from the federal Education Stabilization Fund [part of the federal <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/the-cares-act.aspx">CARES Act stimulus package</a>]. They could use that funding to incentivize district-led summer programs. Districts can use this stabilization funding for summer programming, too, although it’s likely that at this point their priority is technology, which is critical for their online learning efforts. City budgets are likely to be more strained than is typical in the next year, but cities that offer jobs programs might continue to support those programs and should advocate for that funding if it’s at risk. Summer jobs programs have been <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/investing-in-successful-summer-programs-essa-review.aspx">demonstrated to have several positive outcomes</a>, including less risky and illegal behavior on the part of participants. At-risk youth will likely need these programs more than ever in 2021 if small businesses in their communities close. </p><p><strong>What, if anything, is known about virtual forms of summer learning, which may be the best option for many programs this summer?</strong></p><p>Districts have had success delivering credit recovery summer programs to high school students in online form. But those programs are more akin to school with a focus on academic learning, rather than the enrichment activities typically offered in summer programs. If summer programs do attempt to replicate enrichment activities online, they’re likely to do so with small groups of students who take breaks to create on their own or with another student online and then return to the group to share what they have done through a video exchange. Students might, for example, create a video to be shared with the rest of the group. Teachers can ensure that students have time to present their thoughts and have a say in what they learn and experience. To support social and emotional learning, teachers can hold virtual restorative practice circles [i.e., dialogues in which students and teachers respond to challenging behavior and try to “make things right”] by asking students to respond to a prompt. Some teachers who are already leading online classes are using props such as wheels that display various emotions to start conversations about how students are feeling.</p><p>All of this is new, so we have few roadmaps to follow. But I have faith in those who teach in <a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/pages/default.aspx">summer programs </a>. If anyone can find creative ways to continue to engage children during the summer, they can. And the rest of us should follow along and learn from their trailblazing. </p>Wallace editorial team792020-05-14T04:00:00ZRAND’s Catherine Augustine discusses a new report on the summer learning policy landscape and what lies ahead for summer programs8/27/2020 3:12:11 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / What the Pandemic Means for Summer Learning-And How Policymakers Can Help RAND’s Catherine Augustine discusses a new report 1600https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Keeping Young People Creative (and Connected) in Quarantine9888GP0|#d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8;L0|#0d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8|Arts Education;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61;GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning<p>​​Kylie Peppler, a researcher who focuses on the intersection of art, education and technology, authored the report, <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/new-opportunities-for-interest-driven-arts-learning-in-a-digital-age.aspx">New Opportunities for Interest-Driven Arts Learning in a Digital Age</a></em>, in 2013. Social media was relatively young then, and Peppler set out to determine ways in which it, along with other digital technologies, could help make up for cuts in arts education and help young people develop the creativity they need to become well-rounded adults.</p><p>Those cuts in arts education pale in comparison to the disruptions we face now, as the world struggles to contain the novel coronavirus. Schools and out-of-school programs are shuttered, young people are confined to their homes and, for many, digital technologies are now the only connection to art or the outside world.</p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="KylieHeadshot.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Literacy-Expert-on-Why-Kids-Must-Keep-Reading-During-This-Unprecedented-Moment/KylieHeadshot.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;219px;height&#58;219px;" />Wallace caught up with Peppler, now an associate professor at University of California, Irvine, to see how digital technologies could be used to keep young people engaged in an unprecedented era of social distancing and isolation. Below is an abridged and edited version of our conversation.</p><p> <strong>The Wallace Foundation&#58; You had written in the report about three benefits of the arts&#58; learning about oneself, learning about one's group and learning about other cultures. Can you talk a little bit about how you think any of those might apply in our situation now?</strong></p><p> <strong>Kylie Peppler&#58;</strong> Thinking about the self, there's a large body of research that points to the importance of expression and the therapeutic value of the arts. I think of <a href="https&#58;//www.cnn.com/2020/03/20/europe/italian-radio-national-anthem-intl-scli/index.html">the wonderful example from Italy</a> of people turning to music. People in my own neighborhood, every day at five o'clock, have a small concert and people social-distance in the street to come and listen.</p><p>Even as adults, we’re challenged to put words to this situation. For children, art can be so important in the expression of loss and sadness, of being cut off from friend groups and just how long this time must feel to them. It can be really valuable for them to visually represent those emotions, to put them to music, to dance, to drama.<br></p><p>My daughter is five. Her grandfather passed away, and she drew this lovely drawing that had two very similar parts. She later told me, “That was before, and this is after. Things are almost the same, but a little bit different now.” It struck me how aware she was, and it allowed us to have a conversation that we wouldn't have otherwise had.</p><p>As we think about the group, art gives us a way to understand ourselves, understand the people that are bunkering down with us and allows us to express that in ways that might evade words. Zoom was primarily a tool for business. But it has quickly turned to a tool we’re using to play music together, trying to do things that help us connect to one another. </p><p>We’re connecting through our creative writing and sharing of our stories. I've noticed my kids wanting to do more video production highlighting what this time is like and how similar and how varied all our experiences are. Sharing those messages and what that means brings us together.</p><p>In my own household, my kids and their cousins and friends are all meeting in Minecraft to build together and creating very meaningful pieces. Some high schools are <a href="https&#58;//www.today.com/parents/kid-creates-graduation-minecraft-after-school-closure-t176475">having graduation in Minecraft</a>. </p><p> <strong>WF&#58; You spoke about four types of areas—the technical, the critical, the creative, the ethical. Can you think of any one of those areas that you would put more emphasis in as an educator? Are there opportunities to work on any of those four areas?</strong></p><p> <strong>KP&#58; </strong>I think there's opportunity to work across all four of them. I would put the creative at the center. We all need a creative mindset to get through this, to think about possibilities that aren't there and solve problems in new ways. Everything from cooking without all the right ingredients to using current technologies, but in in vastly different ways. </p><p>What are our boundaries and how can we defy them? How can we use what we have in hand to do something new? The arts have a way of teaching that. As we’re exposing kids to these creative expressions, we're looking at the tools that we might have buried in our garages or under the kitchen sink and thinking, well, what can I do with these today? </p><p>And that takes us into the technical. We start learning about STEM aspects of whatever our kids are creating. Whatever they want to create, they're not going to be able to get around the technical aspects; that they have to learn how to code, for example. </p><p>And our current moment puts, whether we like it or not, another emphasis on the critical and the ethical portions of arts. With <a href="https&#58;//www.politico.com/states/new-york/newsletters/politico-new-york-education/2020/04/06/carranza-says-city-will-transition-out-of-zoom-333886">this pushback on Zoom</a>, for example, we have more context to think through. We have to think about the pressure we're putting on companies to regulate themselves. We're putting pressure on schools and teachers to learn digital technologies, to update them and to use them thoughtfully. </p><p>When you’re in a creative line of thought, you have to think critically about how you're engaging children. So the critical and the ethical are definitely going to be important in this period.</p><p> <strong>WF&#58; A large part of your report is about interest-driven arts, where young people select their creative pursuits for themselves. Now that young people are at home, perhaps with more freedom and less structure to select their pursuits, is there anything adults should be doing to direct them?</strong></p><p> <strong>KP&#58; </strong>A lot of times we have a notion of what kids <em>should</em> be doing or what we <em>should</em> be doing. It distracts us from seeing the value of what they're <em>actually</em> doing.<br> Why does my kid keep coming back to Minecraft, for example? What might they be learning? What social skills are they practicing? How can I talk to them about that? </p><p>I think the first part is to be curious to take a genuine interest.</p><p>My son, for example, just made a replica of the Statue of Liberty in Minecraft. But on the inside, he had created a garden. What was he thinking about there? It became a venue for us to talk about how little of his physical environment he can change, and how he’s turning to Minecraft to redesign things and explore ideas. </p><p>If we stay curious, if we stay interested, we can start to connect these things to children’s development and understanding. As adults we know what other people are going to value. We should be thinking about how we can help young people make small steps towards those things, through the things they’re already interested in, rather than saying, “Stop what you're doing, do this thing because society values it.”</p><p> <strong>WP&#58; In your report, you mentioned social learning networks and that they're not very well studied. Has that changed? If it has, are there any lessons about social learning that parents or educators might use in this period of social distancing?</strong></p><p> <strong>KP&#58; </strong>That's one area in which we have done a lot of design and development and research. We're still in early stages, but one thing that we know is that the wide-open internet is just too big for kids. If you start searching for something, you see all the solutions. Whether you're going on <a href="https&#58;//www.instructables.com/">instructables.com</a> or <a href="https&#58;//scratch.com/">scratch.com</a>, you're almost intimidated. There's just too much. </p><p>Right-sized developmental groups are coming up. <a href="https&#58;//diy.org/">DIY.org</a>, for example, has started creating camp-like structures. They're small groups where people with similar interests can come together. Seven or eight parents could band together with their kids, who all share the same interest and have weekly interactions. You could trade off among parents and have small homework groups. Why should it just be one parent working with one child? Why not band together and do group work? <a href="https&#58;//connectedcamps.com/">Connected Camps</a> is another one, led by my colleague, Mimi Ito. </p><p>Another thing we know that promotes interest-driven learning is that there's usually an audience for it. Pulling in an audience—as big or as small as right-sized for your kid—is important. Create a thirst and an accountability so they want to share what they learn. </p><p>Third, we’re looking at pathways. How do we move from one interest to the next piece? Maybe a kid has an ambition to be one of Beyonce’s backup dancers. How do I move from an interest to that next level? We've started thinking about ways to connect those interest-driven activities to future opportunity. </p><p>If you've got money and time, you can give your kids options. You have a large network of people, you've got other adults or other parents giving you other ideas as well. That's not true of all parents and all contexts. How can institutions like afterschool centers connect kids to those futures and to future economic opportunity?</p><p>We’ve found that new technologies can help do that. Social learning networks have blossomed. <a href="http&#58;//digitalyouthnetwork.org/staff/nichole-pinkard/">Nichole Pinkard</a>, for example, is starting to think about how learning opportunities can be connected to enrollments in other programs, and how all our policies and programs start to be well aligned to support future learning. </p><p> <strong>WF&#58; You mentioned diy.org and Connected Camps. In your report, you mentioned Etsy and Revelry as sites that might be constructive and artistic, but without the vitriol that we often see online. What is it about those sites that helps keep things constructive? What could parents and educators look for to ensure that time online is as constructive as possible and avoids the worst of the internet?</strong></p><p> <strong>KP&#58; </strong>A lot of social spaces can be constructive spaces if there's some accountability. To leave a comment, you need to log in, for example. There are also ways of monitoring. <a href="https&#58;//scratch.mit.edu/">Scratch.mit.edu</a>, for example, has full time monitors looking at things flagged by the community and pulling things off. A lot of times people will flag something as useful or flag something down. You want to look for that kind of group moderation or paid moderation. </p><p> <a href="https&#58;//www.commonsensemedia.org/">Common Sense Media</a> is a great place to start if you're looking for new apps or new web communities. But if you want a gut check, go right to the comments, go right to the forums and just see what kind of language people are using.</p><p> <strong>WF&#58; Since young people are spending a lot of time online right now, perhaps with little supervision, are there ways for adults to differentiate between time spent constructively and time spent just to kill time? </strong></p><p> <strong>KP&#58; </strong>There are two things I think that you need to do. One is to look for the creative over the consumptive. Consuming it is quite easy and sometimes important. You can’t make a game if you've never played a game, for example. You can’t make a movie if you've never seen a movie. </p><p>But often, we're consuming way more than what we're producing. So look for the creative technologies, the ones in which kids are producing something, anything.</p><p>The second piece is to make it social. If you look at early studies about Sesame Street, for example, it wasn’t just kids watching Sesame Street. They were watching with parents or siblings or other adults. Adults have to take experiences kids learn and apply them to other situations. That's what we do well as adults. Kids don't see the connections between contexts. </p><p>Right now, while we’re shut in our homes, that’s a very large ask. Thinking about doing more together is stressful. But even if you're just trying to do it for 20 minutes a day, or one hour a day. The media consumption done together as opposed to apart can make small inroads.</p><p> <strong>WF&#58; A lot of what we’ve talked about assumes there are parents at home while schools are closed. But the pandemic is affecting different socioeconomic groups in different ways. Many young people may be home from school, but the adults of the household may be out delivering mail, collecting trash, driving buses or operating trains. What can society do to keep such young people engaged? </strong></p><p> <strong>KP&#58; </strong>Structured and scheduled peer interactions can help. A physical example is the <a href="https&#58;//theclubhousenetwork.org/">Computer Clubhouse Network</a>. It’s an adult-supervised, physical space where kids come together, but the kid-to-adult ratio can be up to 100 to one. Still, those learning environments can be of higher quality than what we can do in our homes. Because the kids are involved in long-term production together.</p><p>So, before the parents go out the door, they could say, “Oh, at one o'clock. you've got this call by phone,” or a call with a grandparent, or with peers. Making these connections part of the rhythm of the day can be very helpful. Just bringing a peer group together, trying to have people meet in a video game and asking how it went that day, can make a difference.</p><p>You can try small things that could generate an audience. Taking the sidewalk chalk outside, for example, and having kids draw things. Maybe leaving a piece of chalk there for other people to respond. Different ways to kind of create audience to create that social community. </p><p>But, unfortunately, this is going to be one of our most inequitable times. Wifi is going to be a problem. Having the digital technologies is going to be a problem. I'm looking at school districts that have whole libraries of Notebooks and Chromebooks. They've got one per child, but they're not releasing them to homes. A lot of times we want to hold on to these technologies. We're not sure that we’ll get them back in the right condition or get them back at all.</p><p>But in reality, programs that do lend out their equipment are often amazed at how well-respected things are. These are things that people appreciate. They will take care of them. Give people a chance right now to meet that expectation.</p><p>Instead of canceling your programs, think about how you can move services. Let's take this as a time to go to the next level. How can I move my services to bring people into a Zoom chat? How can I lower their costs? How can I lobby to help them [kids] get wifi?</p><p>I hope, out of this, we’ll have lots of really cool stories about how people really stepped up in this time. It's still not going to be equitable, but we'll certainly know a lot more about how to achieve equity through all of this.</p><p> <strong>WF&#58; What recommendations would you have for philanthropies or foundations that are interested in arts education? What can we do at this time of very great but uncertain need?</strong></p><p> <strong>KP&#58; </strong>Equity is something that we all need to double down on. The middle class needs to take responsibility for ensuring that not just that our children and our homes have access, but the other kids that go to school with our children, that they have access. </p><p>Second, now that people are interested and we're looking at this, how can we start to document some of the innovation happening here? How are people continuing with music lessons? How are people continuing with dance lessons? What are the ways in which this enforced isolation is changing the amount of time spent on the arts? </p><p>There are always going to be pluses and minuses. How do we learn from what was great? And what did we lose in translation?</p><p>Third, art museums are letting up to 80 percent of their workforce go, and that's just the first hemorrhage. A lot of times, in these kinds of structural losses, people look for other jobs, and they start doing other things. We lose all that capacity. It's not a switch we can just turn on later.</p><p>Arts organizations I'm working with are not feeling like they're going to be able to open doors within the next year or so. How can foundations help translate those services and try to keep as many people in their jobs? Not just for their human needs but also because of that lost infrastructure? </p><p>These will be changed organizations when they do reopen their doors. How do we prevent the epic loss that could really happen here?</p> Wallace editorial team792020-04-14T04:00:00ZExpert at the intersection of arts, education and technology shares ideas and resources to help keep kids constructive at home.8/27/2020 3:14:37 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Keeping Young People Creative (and Connected) in Quarantine Expert at the intersection of arts, education and technology 2273https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
How Communities Can Put Data to Work for Young People24075GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​“Show me the numbers.” It’s a refrain that’s sure to be familiar to those who work hard to create enriching afterschool and summer experiences for young people. Funders and civic leaders want data demonstrating how their dollars are making a difference. Program providers want to use data to get better and make a case for public support. Often, they rely on intermediaries—nonprofit organizations that coordinate out-of-school-time (OST) efforts and resources in a community—to oversee the data gathering and analysis. But what if intermediaries are gathering the wrong data in the wrong way? </p><p>As part of a project spearheaded by Every Hour Counts, a coalition representing intermediaries, the RAND Corporation explored how three of the nation’s most mature intermediaries gather and use data. RAND reviewed the quality of the data the organizations collected, the measurement tools and databases they used and more. The result was the recently published <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/putting-data-to-work-for-young-people.aspx">Putting Data to Work for Young People&#58; A Ten-Step Guide for Expanded Learning Intermediaries</a></em>. Developed with support from Wallace and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the guide offers practical advice on gathering and working with data to improve decision making. </p><p>Every Hour Counts Executive Director Jessica Donner, along with the heads of the three intermediaries that participated in the project—Erik Skold of Sprockets in St. Paul, Minn., Hillary Salmons of the Providence After School Alliance, and Chris Smith of Boston After School &amp; Beyond—provided us with their take on the power of data and what intermediaries and others in the field can do to harness it. </p><p> <strong>What is the problem this guide is intended to solve?</strong></p><p> <strong> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Jessica.jfif" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/How-Communities-Can-Put-Data-to-Work-for-Young-People/Jessica.jfif" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;168px;height&#58;212px;" />Donner&#58;</strong>&#160;Over the course of our project with RAND and the three intermediaries, we learned that data use is messy, much more so than we anticipated. A number of key questions came up, like, What youth outcomes should we measure to show the impact our out-of-school-time programs are having? What’s the best approach for sharing data with providers and schools? How do we act on data in a timely and meaningful way? We developed the guide to answer those questions and to help intermediaries and others deal with common data-related challenges.</p><p> <strong>Why is it important for intermediaries to be able to work with data effectively? What does effective data work look like?</strong></p><p> <strong> <span> <span> <span> <span> <img class="wf-Image-Right" alt="Erik.jfif" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/How-Communities-Can-Put-Data-to-Work-for-Young-People/Erik.jfif" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;167px;" /></span></span></span></span>Skold&#58;</strong> Data is a space where intermediaries can really add value to the field.&#160;Youth-serving organizations often lack the time and capacity to<span></span> effectively collect, analyze and use data. Intermediaries can provide them with the systems, tools and processes to help them better understand what’s happening in their programs and make improvements.&#160;Intermediaries can also aggregate&#160;data from across programs to tell a broader story about what’s happening in a city or a system.&#160;That allows for larger community conversations about how best to support youth and helps policymakers and other stakeholders analyze gaps and needs and think about how to prioritize investments.</p><p> <strong> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Chris.jfif" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/How-Communities-Can-Put-Data-to-Work-for-Young-People/Chris.jfif" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;259px;height&#58;173px;" />Smith&#58;</strong> Data is one way for us to know, as a city, if we are effective in our work of providing high-quality opportunities for students to grow in their knowledge and skills. It can shine a light on what we're doing well and what we need to work on, and help programs across the city build capacity together. </p><p> <strong>How should intermediaries get started working with data? What's the first step?</strong></p><p> <strong>Donner&#58;</strong> There is an overwhelming plethora of data out there for intermediaries to consider so the first step for intermediaries, as noted in the report, is to do some hard thinking about the purpose of the data gathering. Then, we hope communities will turn to the <a href="https&#58;//static1.squarespace.com/static/5b199ed585ede1153ef29e8a/t/5b19a09e2b6a28c655798a25/1528406174521/Every+Hour+Counts+Measurement+Framework.pdf">Every Hour Counts Measurement Framework</a>, a tool that our organization has developed (and is revising) to &#160;streamline and simplify a data collection process that can be daunting. The framework lays out what we’ve assessed as the most valuable outcomes for out-of-school-time system builders to measure, how to measure them and the research base for each. The framework has an intentional tri-level focus on a small number of system-, program- and youth-level outcomes that we hope communities will achieve as a result of building local expanded-learning systems. Informed by our work with RAND and our network, we are releasing a revised Framework in 2020 that further distills the outcomes into an even more manageable and focused list for intermediaries. </p><p>We advise communities to tread lightly when it comes to measuring youth outcomes. Systems are ultimately developed to support young people, so there’s a natural desire to want to measure the impact of your investment. But positive youth outcomes develop through multiple experiences over the course of a lifetime. We encourage systems to start by focusing on promoting and measuring the conditions that research has shown to improve youth outcomes&#58; program design, high-quality program implementation and frequent attendance. </p><p> <strong>What are the biggest data-related challenges that OST intermediaries face?</strong></p><p> <strong>Skold&#58;</strong> One of the biggest challenges is working with large amounts of data from various program models.&#160;Aggregating&#160;and making meaning of data collected from programs of varying focus, length and age groups is difficult.&#160;It can be especially difficult when trying to demonstrate the impact that the programs and the intermediary are having on participants.&#160;Intermediaries need to be very thoughtful about what data they’re collecting from programs and what types of data to aggregate.&#160; </p><p> <strong>Donner&#58;</strong> Out-of-school-time intermediaries, and they aren’t alone in this, don’t know what they don’t know. Data work is complex, and without tremendous in-house data expertise, it’s hard to know what questions to ask, where to start and where there are missed opportunities for efficiencies. Intermediaries need to develop an infrastructure to do data work well, and that takes support, financial and in-kind, from public and private partners. </p><p> <strong>What’s one piece of advice you would give to other intermediaries to help them get better at working with data?</strong></p><p> <strong> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Hillary.jfif" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/How-Communities-Can-Put-Data-to-Work-for-Young-People/Hillary.jfif" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;110px;height&#58;165px;" />Salmons&#58;</strong> Take the changes one step at a time. While you may have an ultimate vision to guide you towards where you want to be, understand that each step along the way requires thoughtful planning, trial, reflection and improvement. That way, you can set clear goals of what to accomplish within a set time period; be honest with your partners and stakeholders about what’s realistic within the coming months and years; and make sure that each data improvement you make is meeting their needs. </p><p> <strong>Smith&#58;</strong> As early as you can manage it, set up a system that makes it easier for programs to collect and submit data and designate intermediary staff who can devote time and attention to answering questions, troubleshooting and helping programs see the importance of continuous improvement.</p><p> <strong>How can intermediaries use the guide to get better at working with data? What are some of the most useful tips that came out of the research? </strong></p><p> <strong>Donner&#58;</strong> One of the most important tips featured in this guide is for intermediaries to find a way to have in an in-house point person for data—even if they work with an outside research firm or university. Due to the complexity of data collection, the intense nature of collaboration with stakeholders and the likelihood of mistakes, we’ve learned it’s a good idea to have a person on the team who’s dedicated to using data effectively and efficiently and, above all, thinking about the right questions to move the work forward. </p><p>Another recommendation from the guide is to start by making a list of your key stakeholders, what they need or want to know and how they’re likely to use the information. That advice is everything. We hear time and again that the mayor or superintendent asks a particular question, and intermediaries want to be at the ready with attendance, retention and other stats. So how do you get in front of that, anticipate questions and design a system that gets you the data you need to answer them? The guide has template—data needs for program directors—to help. </p><p><em>Top photo&#58; Youth race cardboard boats they designed and built in one of the many out-of-school time offerings in Providence. Photo courtesy of the Providence After School Alliance.</em> </p> <p></p><p> <em>For more information, see these publications on <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/afterschool-programs-a-review-of-evidence-under-the-every-student-succeeds-act.aspx">afterschool</a> and <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/investing-in-successful-summer-programs-essa-review.aspx">summer programs</a> for a review of evidence about out-of-school-time programming. These Wallace Perspectives offer insights on <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/summer-a-time-for-learning-five-lessons-from-school-districts-and-their-partners-about-running-successful-programs.aspx">summer</a> and <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/growing-together-learning-together.aspx">afterschool</a> as well.</em></p>Wallace editorial team792020-01-28T05:00:00ZYour 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.1/28/2020 2:53:42 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / How Communities Can Put Data to Work for Young People Four leaders in the out-of-school-time field offer practical advice 1023https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
What It Takes to Make Summer a Time of Growth for All Young People 24120GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​The phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child” has become commonplace in our society. Ask a researcher, though, and she might put a twist on the adage, saying, “It takes a <em>system</em> to raise a child.” In other words, children and young people are either helped or held back by the social, economic and physical conditions in which they live, and those conditions depend on an interconnected array of institutions, including schools, parks, public transit, the police and the courts, not to mention the family. Take summer learning&#58; There may be an enriching summer program in your community, but if there’s no public transportation that goes there, the streets aren’t safe for your children to walk alone, and you work two jobs and can’t take time off to accompany them, then as far as your family is concerned, it may as well not be there at all.</p><p>Showing how different parts of the system influence the way children and young people experience summertime is just one of the achievements of a landmark report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. <em><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/national-academy-of-sciences-report-on-summer-learning.aspx">Shaping Summertime Experiences</a></em>—funded by Wallace and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and authored by the Academies’ Committee on Summertime Experiences and Child and Adolescent Education, Health and Safety—examines the state of the evidence on summer and children in America, with a focus on the availability, accessibility, equity and effectiveness of summer learning experiences. The report, released this fall, also shines a light on the experiences of groups that are often left out of the conversation about summer learning, including LGBTQ youth, those living in rural areas and those involved in the juvenile justice system.</p><p><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/What-It-Takes-to-Make-Summer-a-Time-of-Growth-for-All-Young-People/mccombs_jennifer_5_300.jpg" alt="mccombs_jennifer_5_300.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;238px;height&#58;298px;" />We talked to one of the report’s authors, Jennifer Sloan McCombs of the RAND Corporation, about how the publication came together and what it has to say to those who play a part in shaping the system.</p><p><strong>What is the unique contribution of this report to the discourse on summer learning?</strong><br> <br> The report investigates the effect that summer has on school-aged children and youth across four domains of well-being&#58; academic learning, social and emotional development, physical and mental health, and safety. We approached this charge from a “systems perspective,” examining the way people associated with various sectors—including education, city government, public safety, summer camp and families—contribute to the risks and rewards of summertime for children and youth. The recommendations are targeted to policymakers at the city, state and federal level, but we believe the report can be useful to practitioners, nongovernmental funders and scholars, too. <br> <br> <strong>What was the process of putting the report together? What types of information did the committee consider? What types of people and organizations did it seek out?</strong><br> <br> The National Academies of Sciences formed a multidisciplinary committee with expertise that included pediatric medicine, youth development, summer and out-of-school programming, safety and justice, city systems building, and private employment. It was an amazing group of dedicated scholars and practitioners. I learned a lot from each of them. We met periodically over a year to discuss issues, listen to invited experts in public information sessions and develop recommendations. We specifically sought out data that would address the key aspects of our charge&#58; the effects of summer on the developmental trajectories of young people, access to summer programs and the effectiveness of summer programs.&#160;Where we lacked data or needed additional context to help our understanding, we reached out to individuals and organizations who could help fill those gaps. For instance, during public information-gathering sessions, we heard from those with expertise in rural programs and policies, American Indian programs, and private employer interests and activities related to summer programs.&#160; <br> <br> While members of the committee drafted the report chapters, the committee chair and NAS staff did a significant amount of work in the final production of the report, including editing, summarizing, fleshing out recommendations and weaving the report together. <br> <br> <strong>One of the focuses of the report is inequity in access to summer learning and in outcomes for a variety of groups—not just black and Latino students and those from low-income families but also Native Americans, LGBTQ students, students living in rural areas, differently abled students, among others. How can providers, policymakers and funders begin to think about issues of equity pertaining to summer learning?</strong><br> <br> Based on the evidence, three things were clear to the committee&#58;&#160;1) Summer is a time of risks and opportunities for children and youth; however, those risks and opportunities are not equitably spread across populations.&#160;Children and youth who are less advantaged face greater risks in terms of safety, health, and nutrition and have reduced access to quality summer experiences. 2) To be effective, programs need to be aligned to community context and needs. 3) Certain populations of children and youth appear to be underserved and are definitely understudied, such as those who are American Indian, LGBTQ, migrant and refugee, or involved in the juvenile justice system.<br> <br> To create more equitable experiences during the summer, we recommend that local governments conduct a needs assessment—one that gathers input from families and youth—in order to fully understand what the community needs and what barriers stand in the way. They should also do a systematic inventory of the programming available in the community and compare it to the needs assessment so they can identify gaps that need to be filled and priorities for public and private funding.&#160; &#160;<br> <br> Individual program directors can also take action by looking at the population of children and youth they currently serve, identifying and addressing barriers to participation that certain groups may face, and engaging families and youth in the development of program content to ensure that it meets their needs and builds on their cultural strengths, including language, life experiences and culturally specific skills and values. <br> <br> <strong>How do basic needs like safety and adequate nutrition affect the way children and young people experience summertime? What is the role of summer learning programs in addressing these needs?</strong><br> <br> Safety and nutrition are basic developmental needs that must be met year-round to ensure the health and cognitive development of children and youth. Unfortunately, during the summer months, children and youth from low-income families are more likely to experience food insecurity and lack appropriate supervision. Organized summer programs can help address these basic needs and more by providing meals and engaging activities overseen by trained and caring adults. <br> <br> <strong>One of the report's conclusions is that families and communities have existing resources that can be used to provide young people with positive summer experiences. What are some examples of these resources, and how can those involved in creating, running and funding summer learning programs work with families and communities to make positive summer experiences more available and accessible?</strong><br> <br> The report describes how family structure, parental education and employment, the built environment, public safety and contact with law enforcement dynamically influence the summertime experience for children and youth. While children and youth from disadvantaged families and neighborhoods face greater challenges and risks during the summer, their families and communities also have a set of assets that can be leveraged. For instance, families are in the best position to identify the needs of their children and youth, the community context that has to be addressed to make positive summer experiences more available and accessible, and how community culture can be embedded into programming to make it more relevant to participants. </p><p><em>Vist our&#160;<a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/pages/default.aspx">Knowledge Center</a>&#160;to find more research on summer learning, along with downloadable, evidence-based tools to help create effective summer programs.&#160;</em><br></p> <br>Wallace editorial team792019-12-10T05:00:00ZYour source for research and ideas to expand high quality learning and enrichment opportunities. Supporting: School Leadership, After School, Summer and Extended Learning Time, Arts Education and Building Audiences for the Arts.1/3/2020 5:59:42 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / What It Takes to Make Summer a Time of Growth for All Young People Co-author discusses landmark National Academies of 1784https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Summer—From the “Wild West” to a “Center of Success”4198GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>“My high school basketball coach used to say, ‘No one gets better once the season starts. If you really want to get better, you put in time and effort over the summer.’” Aaron Dworkin took that lesson to heart. In June, he was named chief executive officer of the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA), which helped put summer on the map as a time for young people to sharpen their academic skills and discover new interests. Dworkin, a veteran of the nonprofit youth development field, is stepping into his new role at an exciting time for NSLA. The organization recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and is preparing to move its headquarters to Washington, D.C., where it will seek to persuade policymakers that providing a high-quality summer learning experience to every child is, in Dworkin’s words, “something we can cross off America’s to-do list.”</p><p>We talked to Dworkin about the journey that got him where he is today, how the conversation about summer learning has changed over time, and the work NSLA is doing now.*</p><p><strong>How did you get interested in youth development? How has your background prepared you for this new position? </strong><br> <br> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="AaronDworkin.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Summer-From-the-Wild-West-to-a-Center-of-Success/AaronDworkin.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;231px;" />I’ve always been passionate about education and closing opportunity gaps. As a young person, I was in a range of schools and settings where I saw what some kids had and some didn’t. When you see that, it stays with you. I had a great appreciation for the opportunities I was given and a great commitment to making sure all young people have similar opportunities. I started a youth leadership program in New York City called Hoops and Leaders to recruit mostly men of color to be big brothers and mentors to teenage boys. That led me to study education and public policy formally at Harvard and Columbia, where I learned more about the broader nonprofit and education landscape. When I was a grad student, I was part of the team that helped start a sports-based youth development coalition called Up2Us Sports, which focuses on training youth sports coaches in youth development. I gained a national perspective to go with my local grassroots experience, and all that brought me to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s charity After-School All-Stars, first as their inaugural national program director and then as president of their national network of 20 chapters. When I was at After-School All-Stars, we created and scaled lots of different summer learning programs. They were great for the for kids but doubled as terrific professional development for staff. Summer has always been one of these spaces where you can innovate and partner more to better serve kids and communities.</p><p><strong>How is NSLA helping organizations connect their priorities to summer learning?</strong></p><p>In the American education system, we make a commitment to kids from September to June. Then, you get to summer, and I’m not going to say it’s the wild west, but it’s a quarter of the school year, and some kids are going to camp and museums and traveling and learning around the world, while too many have little or nothing to do besides sitting on the couch or looking at their phone. There’s research to prove that over the summer months low-income students fall behind academically. They’re not as physically active, they gain weight and eat less healthily. They may not have access to meals. There are safety issues. And the effects of this are cumulative from summer to summer. </p><p>So we partner with lots of different organizations, from funders like The Wallace Foundation to school districts, libraries, housing authorities, parks and recreation centers, nonprofits and CBOs. We want to make sure they have whatever evidenced-based resources they need, whether it’s staff training, best practices for running a program, or research so they’re able to make the case locally that this matters. We work with people to draft legislation. We have a national conference every year with 500 to 700 education leaders. We also give national recognition to model programs with our Excellence in Summer Learning Awards, which are very rigorous. Hundreds of groups apply every year, and we only honor three to four programs as examples of what’s possible.</p><p><strong>NSLA has reached a 25-year milestone. How has the field of summer learning evolved in that time? </strong></p><p>For one thing, we’ve broadened the focus&#58; We’re not just closing academic achievement gaps but also opportunity gaps—opportunities such as field trips, mentoring, social-emotional learning, career exploration, internships, all of which we know matter to a child’s education and development, too. If you’re taking a standardized test and there’s a question that refers to a museum or place you’ve never heard of or visited, it’s very hard to answer that question without context even if you can read it. </p><p>We’ve also expanded our notion of what summer learning is for and for whom. Summer learning isn’t just 12 weeks, it’s the center for success for the whole school year. And it’s not just for young people. It’s for adults, too. One thing I’ve really been inspired by is how much training and re-invigoration is happening among teachers and staff, so they’re fired up to go back to school. There are lots of reasons for that&#58; They have the ability to be more creative. The ratios are smaller, so they can get to know students. There are different settings and activities. It’s less bureaucratic and reminds them why they love and got into teaching in the first place. </p><p>We’re also seeing summer learning in the workforce-readiness space. There’s been an evolution to say that summer internships are a form of summer learning. And NSLA is going to do more to advocate for paid summer internships for low income youth because unpaid internships lead to jobs but are inherently off limits to many. </p><p>People are also thinking about the power of summer in critical life transition moments. For those worried about high school dropout rates, for instance, there’s a big emphasis on the summer between eighth and ninth grade as the critical time to intervene and get kids excited. If you wait until high school, it’s too late. Similarly, in the summer between high school and college, there’s a phenomenon called the summer melt when students have gotten into college [but no one prepares them for what they’re about to experience] or even calls them to tell them when orientation is, and they do not arrive on campus for their freshman year. That’s a horrible wasted opportunity which can be prevented. </p><p><strong>In the past, NSLA has focused on policy at the national level. Your new strategic plan puts more emphasis on the states. What can states do to promote summer learning?</strong></p><p>States can do a lot to create policies that articulate the importance of having these programs in place. They can say we’ll give money to these programs but they have to meet standards of quality, structure, ratio, curriculum, training, data collection and supervision. They also have convening power to bring together business leaders, the nonprofit community and elected officials to make it a priority to take care of all kids all year round. </p><p>We can work at the federal level, and we are. We have a bi-partisan bill with Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon called the Summer Meals and Learning Act that would keep schools and libraries open over the summer. But because the political process is arduous at the federal level, you can be more nimble at the state level. We’re seeing a lot of governors and mayors and legislatures saying this is something we can do. There are so many resources in our communities, and they’re sometimes underleveraged. At the state level, people know what they have and what they’re good at and what their needs are. That localized control and responsiveness is what people want to see. We’re helping state departments of education think about how summer can be a solution to a lot of different problems. </p><p><strong>What can organizations do to make the case for summer learning to parents?</strong></p><p>Again, a lot. We do want summer learning experiences to feel different from school. We love our summers because they give us a chance to explore things we haven’t had a chance to do. If you go to a new summer program, and all of sudden there’s an arts experience you’re turned on to that you’ve never had before, then you’re finding a new skill set and a passion. What families with resources know is that every opportunity is a learning opportunity. You can play basketball, but you can also add in an article or lessons on leadership, or tie it into math in a fun way. Families are trying to find—and programs are now creating—experiences that connect arts <em>and</em> literacy, math <em>and</em> baseball, sports <em>and</em> social emotional learning. </p><p>It’s important to recognize not all kids live in the stereotypical two-parent household. There are incarceration trends and opioid crisis effects. It takes a village. I meet people all the time who say my kid is going to live with his grandparents for the summer. How do we make sure grandparents know what resources there are to use? Thanks to the internet there are a lot more tools you can activate than there used to be. Even if you don’t have a museum across the street, there are a lot of online resources we can direct you to. </p><p><strong>Your annual conference is coming up in October. Can you give us a preview of the agenda?</strong></p><p>It’s going to be in Atlanta. We’re still confirming some high-profile guests and speakers. We have three themes&#58; One is programmatic, if you’re in direct service with kids. One is systematic if you’re coordinating all the programs in your city and state. The third is leadership if you’re the executive director or C.E.O. of an organization, working in fundraising, marketing and research. It all starts with our preconference tracks. There’s a group representing leaders of school districts who are trying to maximize the summer school experience. We have a group for librarians setting up citywide summer reading and learning experiences. For the first time, we’re bringing together summer pipeline programs, many affiliated with health institutions, that are working to get low-income or minority kids more interested in health careers. If you’re someone who’s trying to start and run a summer program for the first time, we have a professional development training called Summer Starts in September, so you can learn best practices and plan for continuous program improvement. We’re issuing a report in partnership with the United Way looking at the landscape of programs in Georgia, what’s working well, where there’s room for improvement. We’ll be putting a spotlight on our award winners. There’s something for everyone who cares about kids and leveraging summer to help them.</p><p><em>*This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.</em></p>Wallace editorial team792019-09-17T04:00:00ZYour source for research and ideas to expand high quality learning and enrichment opportunities. Supporting: School Leadership, After School, Summer and Extended Learning Time, Arts Education and Building Audiences for the Arts.9/17/2019 1:54:50 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Summer—From the “Wild West” to a “Center of Success National Summer Learning Association CEO Aaron Dworkin on making summer 1326https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Making Sure Every Student Succeeds…In the Summertime24088GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​Summer has long been thought of as a break from the rigors of school. Increasingly, though, summer is becoming a time for programs&#58; academic programs, sports and arts programs, programs that enable young people to explore their interests or build new skills. Policymakers, educators and others see summer programs as an opportunity to move the needle on academic and other outcomes and to help close the gaps in opportunity and achievement between students from low-income families and their more affluent peers. But with so many different types of programs out there, they may find themselves wondering which are worth investing in.</p><p>A new Wallace-commissioned report from the RAND Corporation has answers for anyone who needs help navigating the world of summer programs. <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/investing-in-successful-summer-programs-essa-review.aspx"><em>Investing in Successful Summer Programs​​​</em></a><em> </em>looks at the available research and offers detailed descriptions of 43 programs—some commercially available, some locally developed—that meet the top three of four levels&#160; of credible evidence of effectiveness described by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The rigor of the research behind these programs makes them eligible for certain significant sources of ESSA funding.&#160;</p><p>We talked by email with the lead authors of the report, Catherine Augustine and Jennifer Sloan McCombs, about how the evidence on summer learning stacks up and how providers and funders alike can put it to use.*</p><p><strong>What is the need that this report is intended to fill?</strong></p><p>Policymakers and practitioners all want to select evidence-based programs and approaches in order to maximize benefits for children and youth. Further, federal and state grant opportunities increasingly require practitioners to demonstrate that their proposed programs are evidence-based.&#160;Now, practitioners can use this report to demonstrate that their programs are evidence-based or to add evidence-based features to their programs, which should improve them. Funders can also use this report to get a better understanding of the types of summer programs that are evidence-based. This guide doesn’t just focus on academic summer programs—it contains information about programs promoting social and emotional well-being and career-related outcomes, as well.</p><p><strong>Why does summer programming matter?&#160;</strong></p><p>First, summer is an opportune time to provide programming that supports positive developmental outcomes or meets particular needs of certain children and youth, such as mental health needs. Second, summer programming may be particularly important to mitigate the opportunity and achievement gaps that exist between children from low-income families and their higher-income peers. We know from other research that lower-income children and youth are less likely to engage in sports, join clubs, or take private lessons. They are also more likely to stay indoors, and they have reduced access to healthy meals during the summer. We want all children to have access to enrichment during the summer for its own sake but also because participating in sports, clubs, lessons and the like leads to outcomes we care about such as identifying skills and interests that can be pursued throughout one’s life. Summer programming also matters because children and youth from lower-income families fall behind their wealthier peers academically over the summer. Finally, we want children and youth to have safe places to be during the summer, with healthy meals.&#160;</p><p><strong>​What are the headlines from your review of the evidence on the effectiveness of summer programs?&#160;What have you learned about what benefits summer programs can generate for children?</strong></p><p>This review affirms that many types of summer programs can benefit children and youth. We found evidence of effectiveness for academic learning, learning at home, social and emotional well-being, and employment and career summer programs.&#160;Also, we found programs can be developed that benefit youth at all grade levels.</p><p><strong>How can program providers use the report to guide their decision-making?</strong></p><p>First, they can see if any of the 43 programs we highlighted as evidence-based contain the same features as their programs. If so, they can use the guide to argue that their program is evidence-based if they are applying for state or federal funding. Second, if their programs do not look like any of the programs in this guide, they can consider augmenting their programs to more closely resemble the ones we have identified as evidence-based. Third, if they do not want to change their program, but would like to have it rigorously evaluated, they can use this report to design an evaluation that could meet the highest three evidence tiers of ESSA, providing them with greater grant writing opportunities in the future. In addition, providers can use it to consider the range of programs that are available to meet particular needs of children and youth.&#160;</p><p><strong>What advice do you have for a provider who may be seeking federal funding for a program that isn’t in the report and which doesn’t already have established evidence of effectiveness?</strong></p><p>The provider should first check to determine if their program contains the same design features as any of the evidence-based programs we found to be effective. If that is not the case, providers should check to see if the funding stream they’re pursuing allows evidence at the Tier IV level. The programs described in this report meet the highest three evidence tiers defined in ESSA, but there is a fourth tier.&#160;Tier IV allows program providers to argue that their program is evidence-based if there is rigorous research underscoring at least part of the program’s logic model or theory of action. Tier IV also stipulates that the program (or one just like it) is currently being evaluated. If the provider can demonstrate that at least part of the program’s logic model is supported by rigorous research and that the program is currently being evaluated, the provider could apply for federal funding streams that allow Tier IV evidence.&#160;</p><p><strong>What lessons does your review of the evidence have for state and federal policymakers?&#160;What can they do to promote effective summer programs?</strong></p><p>State policymakers can share this review with practitioners in their state to raise awareness of the types of summer programs that have been found to be evidence based. They could encourage practitioners to design or amend programs to be similar to those described in the review. They can use this review to determine if programs proposed for state funding are indeed evidence-based. Federal policymakers can do the same when reviewing proposals. Finally, if they are allocating research funding, they can use the information to target research funding towards under-studied programs or populations.&#160;Most of the rigorously studied programs are academic learning programs offered in schools, focused on reading, and targeting elementary students. There were far fewer rigorous studies conducted for other types of programs or outcomes.</p><p><em>​*This interview has been edited and condensed.</em></p>​<br>Wallace editorial team792019-07-01T04:00:00ZRAND researchers on using evidence to build, and secure funding for, summer learning programs7/1/2019 7:16:19 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Making Sure Every Student Succeeds…In the Summertime RAND researchers on using evidence to build, and secure funding for 660https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Building an Effective Afterschool Program…With the Evidence to Back It Up24062GP0|#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 735https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Looking Toward a Nation at Hope16104GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>“I don’t see this as an initiative – I see this as the way we do schools.” </p><p>That comment by LaTanya McDade, chief education officer in Chicago Public Schools, captured the spirit at the launch in Washington, D.C., of a new report&#58; <a href="http&#58;//nationathope.org/report-from-the-nation/"><em>From A Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope&#58; Recommendations from the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development.</em></a> </p><p>The Wallace Foundation was one of a group of foundations funding the commission’s work, which has unfolded over the past two years or so, and was one of more than 100 signatories to its recommendations.</p><p>Although they have no direct authority, national commissions can play important roles in promoting dialogue and defining issues. In 1983, the landmark report <em>A Nation at Risk </em>was credited with sparking the standards-based accountability movement. In a nod to that report, the new report’s title, coined by Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, referenced the power of that earlier report as an agenda-setting device–but with the twist that its findings give us new hope for progress. </p><p>If <em>A Nation at Risk </em>focused on a particular kind of accountability, <em>A Nation at Hope </em>urges a broader focus on tapping the <em>combined </em>forces of academic learning and social and emotional learning&#58; “After two decades of education debates that produced deep passions and deeper divisions, we have a chance for a fresh start. A growing movement dedicated to the social, emotional and academic well-being of children is reshaping learning and changing lives across America. On the strength of its remarkable consensus, a nation at risk is finally a nation at hope.”</p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="SEAD-Report-Launch-ch1.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Looking-Toward-a-Nation-at-Hope/SEAD-Report-Launch-ch1.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /></p><p>At the heart of the report is a finding that “Social, emotional, cognitive, linguistic and academic development are deeply intertwined in the brain and in behavior and together influence school and life outcomes, including higher education, physical and mental health, economic well-being, and civic engagement.” This means that providing more opportunities for acquiring social and emotional skills has the chance to improve both academic outcomes, and the ability to compete in the labor market, the report concludes.</p><p>An implication, said Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, a professor at the USC Rossier School of Education, is that educators focus both on transferring knowledge to students, and seeking to understand them and create a climate where learning can flourish. In addition to recognizing that we need to “enable children to relate well to other people and manage emotions,” we need to recognize that “the process of building knowledge can often be connected to emotions.” </p><p>Rooted on the finding that academic learning and social and emotional learning are “intertwined,” the report makes key six recommendations&#58; </p><ul><li>Set a vision for student success that prioritizes the whole child.</li><li>Transform learning settings so they are physically and emotionally safe and foster strong bonds among students and adults.</li><li>Change instruction to teach students social, emotional and cognitive skills; embed these skills in academics and schoolwide practices.</li><li>Build adult expertise in child and adolescent development.</li><li>Align resources and leverage partnerships across schools, families and communities to address the whole child.</li><li>Forge closer connections between research and practice to generate useful, actionable information for educators.</li></ul><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="SEAD-Report-Launch-ch2.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Looking-Toward-a-Nation-at-Hope/SEAD-Report-Launch-ch2.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /></p><p>The livestreamed launch saw a broad range of support for the commission’s work.</p><p>Josh Bolten, president and CEO of the Business Roundtable representing the nation’s 200 largest corporations employing 17 million people, said that over the past two years, concerns have grown among his members that while “they can find people, they can’t find people who are prepared technically and with the soft skills they need to enter the workforce.” In 2017, he noted, when asked about the greatest headwinds they face, for the first time concerns about the labor force nudged out regulation; by 2018, labor was the lead concern by a two-to-one margin. Businesses, he said, are already engaged in some way “to try to make sure that the education system is preparing graduates to do the jobs they have.” </p><p>From the policy community, Gov. Mitch Daniels applauded the notion that SEL was a “missing ingredient” in educational attainment, saying “this report is timely, necessary and the gap is not going to be filled by the environments that the children go home to after schools.” He also urged inclusion of social and emotional learning in the curricula of the nation’s 1,300 colleges of education, one of the recommendations in the report.</p><p>Former Delaware Governor Jack Markell offered that “movements will spread when there are narratives of people doing this right,” and suggested that parent-teacher associations and others could share stories of success that can be emulated and adapted locally rather than in a “top-down” manner. </p><p>Marc Morial, CEO of the National Urban League, said a focus on social and emotional learning was a strong fit with the League’s emphasis on excellence and equity. “There is something commonsensical about this. For us to raise the next generation, we have to imbue them with a range of skills. Now we have to be much more intentional about it because of changes in family structure, diversity and globalization.”</p><p>He, like others, urged that community-based organizations providing afterschool be part of the solution. “It’s going to take a symphony, it’s going to take an orchestra, I want to make sure afterschool providers are in the band and not in the stands.”</p><p>That was a theme also shared by Josh Garcia, deputy superintendent in Tacoma Public Schools, a Wallace grantee, who emphasized the importance of having multiple partners and not just one. He described an “accordion strategy” used over the past decade to shape the Tacoma Whole Child Initiative that comprised four shifts&#58; schools, parents, afterschool providers and partnerships between all three. By accordion, he meant devising plans, listening to the community for ideas and input, and then closing the accordion to revise the plan–then repeating the process. Garcia credited the plan for helping boost high school graduation ratesfrom 55 percent in 2010 to 89 percent in 2018, along with significant decreases in absenteeism, and tardiness and expulsions.</p><p>LaTanya McDade of Chicago Public Schools emphasized the value of partnerships with research organizations, noting the Chicago schools partnership with the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, and emphasizing the value of public-facing reports that both mark progress and hold the district and its partners accountable. “When you expose the data in a meaningful way, then you are dealing with a common set of facts, and that builds understanding in the community that this work really matters.”</p><p>An example of research that affected practice was a study by the Consortium highlighting differential disciplinary patterns across schools. Fixing that involved changing adult practice, she noted. For example, Sabrina Anderson, a principal in Chicago Public Schools, described how they now begin each morning with a chance for students to share anythingthat would stop them from learning. When conflicts do arise, students in a dispute go to the “peace center” in the classroom, turn over a water bottle filled with glitter and watch the glitter fall to the bottom–reminding them to take the time to listen and talk through their differences. </p><p>Panelists, as well as Tim Shriver, co-chair of the commission, urged organizations and individuals to act on the recommendations.</p><p>“The question before is all of us is can we mount the energy on the implementation and execution side and can we hold together this cross section which includes teachers, and business and community providers to push sensible change,” said Morial of the National Urban League. “What’s exciting about this is this is the next generation of education reform with excellence and equity as its guiding principle.”</p><p>And Becky Pringle, vice president of the National Education Association, returned to the theme that in outlining a consensus, the report created the ground for action at the local and state levels&#58; “I am energized that we are putting students at the core of this work. The report is so comprehensive and so well structured. Thank you. We have the research, we have the evidence…This is power, and together we will be worthy of our students.”</p><p>Wallace’s own work focuses on learning more about the intersection of schools and out-of-school time organizations in providing opportunities for students to acquire social and emotional skills. You can read about what we’ve already learned about social and emotional learning <a href="/knowledge-center/social-and-emotional-learning/pages/default.aspx">here</a>. </p> Lucas Bernays Held182019-01-15T05:00:00ZNew report from national commission taps combined forces of academic learning and social and emotional development1/16/2019 3:36:15 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Looking Toward a Nation at Hope New report from national commission taps combined forces of academic learning and social 2799https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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