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Arts Open Call Yields 250 Submissions from Organizations of Color22905GP0|#8056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be;L0|#08056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be|Building Audiences for the Arts;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​<p>​​​​​​​​​​The Wallace Foundation’s arts team recently completed <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/arts-initiative-open-call.aspx">an open call</a> for proposals to participate in a major new initiative focusing on arts organizations of color. The initiative seeks to fund several such organizations and study their efforts to help answer one central question&#58; How do arts organizations of color use their community orientation to increase resilience, sustain relevance and overcome major strategic challenges?</p><p>It was our first open call in more than a decade. We generally commission surveys of eligible organizations, shortlist those that we think will fit in the initiative and ask them to submit proposals. We know of no reliable way to survey the plethora of arts organizations of color throughout the country, so we began this initiative by asking all who are interested to submit a letter of interest for further consideration. </p><p>The call resulted in 250 submissions from organizations after a call across the United States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guåhan (Guam). They gave us much insight into a new area for us, and we had much to read about and digest. While we determine the best paths ahead, we thought we'd share three things we learned from the open call thus far. </p><ol start="1" type="1"><li>We learned a bit about the landscape of the field. Our usual process of inviting a small number of organizations to submit proposals often leads us to large, well-known organizations our staffers or peer foundations already know. With the open call, however, we received letters of interest from many organizations we'd never heard of before. Most were, as we had assumed, clustered around the coasts and in large cities such as Chicago. But we were delighted to hear from organizations in other, sometimes overlooked, parts of the country that are doing fascinating work from which we can learn. <br> <br> More than a third of letters of interest came from organizations focused on African American arts or communities. We hope our ultimate cohort will be reflective of arts organizations from all communities and traditions, and the apparent underrepresentation of other communities suggests that we must work harder to make sure future opportunities are more widely shared and our invitation feels inclusive of and responsive to the work others are doing.<br><br>Conversations with leaders in the field also helped us realize that our definition of &quot;arts organizations&quot; may be too narrow. Some indigenous and native culture organizations, for example, told us what they do may not be called “art” by some, but it is about preserving and promoting a cultural heritage. Conversely, there were a few visual arts organizations that defined themselves primarily as community based organizations. They exist not just for their art, but to use their art to benefit their communities. The ways in which organizations define and categorize themselves differ from assumptions we made about who they are to their communities. It is important that we keep such nuances in mind as we develop our new initiative.<br><br>We are now working to learn more about interested organizations and exploring ways to design an initiative that can benefit not just participating organizations, but also the field at large. Our aim is to select the best cohort of organizations, not necessarily the strongest organizations or the newest ideas. For example, some projects we read about are quite innovative, but they are very specific to their organizations' situations and not as relevant to the broader field. Such projects are certainly worthy of support, but may not be the right fit for our upcoming initiative.<br><br><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Arts-Open-Call-Yields-250-Submissions-from-Organizations-of-Color/Breakdown-Organization-Type-Geography-Identity.jpg" alt="Breakdown-Organization-Type-Geography-Identity.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br><br></li></ol><ol start="2" type="1"><li>We read three main themes in the submissions we received&#58;<br> <br> <ol type="a"><li>Communities are changing. Many organizations are grappling with shifts in the communities they were created to serve. Gentrification or immigration is changing the nature of many communities, while shifts in economies and societies are changing these communities' needs. How do organizations founded by and for a particular community use their community orientation to navigate such changes?<br> <br> </li><li>Organizations are changing. Several organizations expressed the need to change long-established structures and practices. Many have to consider new strategic directions, plan for expansion, change staffing structures and recruit new leaders as long-serving founders and directors begin to step down. How do organizations use their community orientation to smooth such fundamental transitions?<br> <br> </li><li>Artistic preferences are changing. Audiences learn about and consume arts and culture much differently than they did a few decades ago, when many arts organizations of color got their start. How do organizations founded to support and maintain particular art forms and communities of artistic practice use their community orientation to adapt to new cultural environments?</li></ol></li></ol><ol start="3" type="1"><li>Lastly, we learned that we must keep learning. During our open call, we heard from so many arts organizations of color, whether through our one-on-one consultations (we hosted over 100 of them!), our email inboxes, social media or the service organizations with whom we work. Some of the feedback was critical and frank—a helpful reminder that we must tread carefully and respectfully when venturing into new areas where&#160; organizations such as ours have sometimes done harm. Sometimes we heard—more powerfully in the organizations' words than what we would have read in a research report—what these organizations are experiencing and trying to do for their communities. We listened to all of it, considered it and are redesigning and refining our initiative to respond to what we heard. </li></ol><p>And so, I’d like to express my gratitude to those who showed up and contributed to an honest and vulnerable exchange with us. I look forward to staying in conversation with you and sharing more about what we learn along the way. </p>Bahia Ramos842021-10-14T04:00:00ZAs we continue the grantee-selection process, Wallace's arts director reflects on what we've learned so far.10/14/2021 2:08:38 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Arts Open Call Yields 250 Submissions from Organizations of Color As we continue the grantee-selection process, Wallace's 29https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Getting the Most Out of Data Collection for Out-of-School-Time Systems10974GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​<p>​​Collect reliable data, mine it for insights and act wisely on the information&#58; That’s a recipe for continuous improvement for any organization. Out-of-school-time intermediaries, the organizations that oversee communitywide systems of afterschool, summer and other out-of-school-time (OST) programs, recognize the value of effective data analysis. But deciding what data to collect, how to collect it and, most importantly, how to use it to drive improvement can be overwhelming. </p><p>A new tool—<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/framework-for-measurement-continuous-improvement-and-equitable-systems.aspx"><em>Putting Data to Work for Young People&#58; A Framework for Measurement, Continuous Improvement, and Equitable Systems</em></a><em>—</em>aims to help. The tool updates an earlier version from 2014 and was developed by <a href="https&#58;//www.everyhourcounts.org/" target="_blank">Every Hour Counts</a>, a national coalition of citywide OST organizations that seeks to increase access to high-quality learning opportunities, particularly for underserved students. The framework itself consists of 11 desired outcomes for an OST system at the systemic, programatic and youth level. Each outcome features a set of indicators to measure progress toward it and the types of data to collect along the way. The data-collection efforts of three OST intermediaries—<a href="https&#58;//www.bostonbeyond.org/" target="_blank">Boston After School &amp; Beyond</a>, <a href="https&#58;//www.mypasa.org/" target="_blank">Providence After School Alliance</a>, and <a href="https&#58;//www.sprocketssaintpaul.org/" target="_blank">Sprockets in St. Paul</a>&#160;—informed the updated tool, as well as an accompanying guide written by RAND Corp. researchers Jennifer Sloan McCombs and Anamarie A. Whitaker, who led an evaluation of how the intermediaries used the framework. </p><p>Recently The Wallace Blog spoke with McCombs and Jessica Donner, executive director of Every Hour Counts, about the framework and the experiences of the intermediaries. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.<br> </p><p><strong>How did you determine the updated framework’s 11 outcomes and the related data indicators?<br> <br> Donner&#58;</strong> The selection of outcomes was driven by the on-the-ground experiences of the three intermediaries, the Every Hour Counts network, the knowledge brought to bear on the project by research partners and the existing literature on effective practice. The data indicators were developed by RAND based on their research expertise, the experience of the three intermediaries and RAND’s criteria to minimize burden on providers, intermediaries, staff and students, and efficiency for data collection and utility. This framework builds on prior iterations, specifically one developed with American Institutes for Research in 2014.<br> </p><p><strong>What did you learn from the three intermediaries as they used the 2014 framework?<br> <br> Donner&#58; </strong>We worked with these intermediaries because they had the bandwidth and expertise to hit the ground running with the framework. What we learned is that even highly accomplished intermediaries face tremendous challenges with data collection and use—staff capacity, research expertise, how to narrow down a host of outcomes and indicators to measure those outcomes. Where did they start? We had this framework, but the process was very overwhelming.<br> </p><p>We undertook the framework update and intentionally designed a tool that would make the data collection and use process more digestible, such as tips for staging the work and previewing a menu of options. We also infused racial equity questions throughout the framework. These questions are especially critical now as communities grapple with missed learning opportunities, particularly for students of color. The updated tool helps communities be efficient, effective and strategic with data, all in the service of high-quality programs for young people, particularly those who lack access due to structural inequities. That’s what we’ve always been about—recognizing inequities in opportunities and forwarding that agenda.<br> </p><p><strong>What did the intermediaries find were the framework’s key benefits?</strong><br> </p><p><strong>McCombs&#58;</strong> The core benefit was that the framework focused system leaders on data use, not just data collection. It really provides a roadmap to assess and align the goals and activities of an OST system and how to measure the outputs of those activities—not just for the sake of measuring progress toward goals, but also to drive systems improvement.<br> </p><p>Systems are constantly evolving. Very often, they get bogged down collecting data that once had a clear purpose but is now no longer utilized. In some cases, using the framework led the intermediaries to measure less but utilize more. It’s a bit like cleaning out your closet. Letting go of something you haven’t worn in a long time makes room for something else. Not using data that’s collected is a waste of resources and an opportunity cost for other activities. There’s also the burden of data collection on programs and youth. It’s very important that everything that systems ask of programs and youth has value that can be communicated back to them. <br> </p><p><strong>What are the toughest challenges for effective data collection and analysis?</strong><br> </p><p><strong>McCombs&#58;</strong> One challenge for OST systems leaders is the development of data systems and protocols that allow for the collection and safe storage of accurate data. This is easily forgotten by people who don’t have a background in research or data science. It’s not intuitive. To help system leaders overcome this, we wrote <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/putting-data-to-work-for-young-people.aspx"><em>Putting Data to Work for Young People&#58; A Ten-Step Guide for Expanded Learning Intermediaries</em></a> in 2019.<br> </p><p>OST systems also don’t tend to be robustly funded. System leaders have to make choices on a continuous basis about where to invest monetary and human capital resources. And that leads to difficult decisions. I don’t know any OST system that’s able to do everything it wants.&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; <br> </p><p><strong>In addition to using surveys and management information systems, the framework suggests low-budget options for gathering data, such as interviews with program leaders and youth representatives. Was this deliberate?</strong><br> </p><p><strong>McCombs&#58;</strong> It was an intentional choice. The goal of the framework is for systems to collect data that they can use to inform decision making. Some indicators are very expensive and time-consuming to measure well. But systems don’t have to measure everything that they do. There are other mechanisms that give people an opportunity to reflect on their work in a way that can drive future activities. System leaders can use touchpoints with community stakeholders to learn the extent to which their work is meeting the intended objectives. Some activities, like talking with youth council representatives, have benefits beyond measuring progress toward a particular goal. They build voices into the system and improve equity. <br> </p><p><strong>Donner&#58;</strong> When Jennifer and the team at RAND worked with the three intermediaries, they steered them toward open-source, free and accessible data-collection tools so they wouldn’t face a funding cliff later. They were realistic with their recommendations so systems would not need a massive grant to sustain their data collection work. <br> </p><p><strong>McCombs&#58;</strong> Because we’re researchers, I think people expected that we would push them to measure more and at the highest level of rigor for everything. That was not our approach. We really wanted to help them build processes that were sustainable and that they could implement themselves over time.<br> </p><p><strong>The</strong> <strong>sample worksheets in the guide suggest that OST intermediaries don’t need to measure everything to track progress and make informed decisions. How can they make smart choices about the data they do collect and analyze?</strong><br> </p><p><strong>McCombs&#58;</strong> It's far better to measure three things reliably and use it to drive improvement, than to measure 10 things not particularly well and not have the capacity to use any of it. As system leaders go through the framework and want to measure this and this and this, they should really think about where they can derive the greatest value and what they have the capacity to accomplish well. What pieces of data are highest leverage? How can they make the most out of every data point so that stakeholders can make decisions that advance goals and continuous improvement processes? We encourage system leaders to ask themselves&#58; what do you have the capacity to collect, store, analyze and use right now?​<br> </p><p><strong>How did the framework help the three intermediaries improve their data efforts? And how will it continue to be used in the field?</strong><br> </p><p><strong>McCombs&#58;</strong> Intermediaries in the study used the framework in many different ways.&#160;As small examples, Sprockets [in St. Paul] used data to more explicitly communicate with various stakeholders, including community members, funders, and policymakers.​ For Boston After School &amp; Beyond, the framework propelled how it communicates data with programs in its network, and therefore, how programs utilize data themselves for their own improvement. Providence Afterschool Alliance really took stock of the data they needed, the data they didn’t, and how to share&#160;data back to providers.<br> </p><p><strong>Donner&#58;</strong> Every Hour Counts is forming a learning community with a cohort of city organizations who will work intentionally with the tool over the next year to use data to drive improvement. Intermediaries come in many shapes and sizes, but there is a common through line of the importance of system indicators, program indicators and youth indicators, which all intersect with each other. The framework is designed to meet communities wherever they are in the process. We’re eager to see how it helps them move from point A to B.&#160; </p>Jennifer Gill832021-10-06T04:00:00Zafterschool systems; cities; citywide systems; research; education research; OST10/7/2021 7:42:38 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Getting the Most Out of Data Collection for Out-of-School-Time Systems Developers of OST assessment tools discuss how to 234https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
5 Questions We’ve Been Asked About Wallace’s Arts Open Call for Grantees & Researchers14324GP0|#8056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be;L0|#08056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be|Building Audiences for the Arts;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​There is still time (deadline is midnight Friday, August 20!) to <a href="https&#58;//wallacefoundation.submittable.com/submit">submit</a> your brief expression of interest <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/arts-initiative-open-call.aspx">to the Wallace Foundation for our Arts Open Call</a>. As we’ve been meeting with and learning from many arts organizations of color, some of the same questions have come up frequently, so today we’re going to answer a few of the most common ones. </p><p>One thing to keep in mind is that in addition to funding grantees for their direct benefit, Wallace initiatives are also designed to benefit the field by sharing lessons from&#160; grantees. Also to recap, this is the guiding question of the new initiative&#58; “When facing strategic challenges, how can and do arts organizations of color leverage their experience and histories of community orientation to increase their resilience, while sustaining their relevance?” </p><p> <strong>1. In the application you ask about our “strategic challenge.” What do you mean by that? How should I respond in 150 words?</strong><br> <br>As with all of Wallace’s initiatives, this one will follow our dual strategy of supporting grantees while developing lessons that can benefit the broader field. For this initiative specifically,&#160;we’re interested in learning what kinds of challenges and community orientation practices arts organizations of color are most interested in learning about. So, it's difficult for us to give one concrete example of a strategic challenge. </p><p>If you are having a hard time choosing which challenge to focus on, describe the one (or two) that you feel are important for <em>your </em>organization and that you’d really like to explore and learn more about over the five years of this initiative. </p><p>You can find several examples of strategic challenges expressed by organizations of color in this <a href="https&#58;//culturaldata.org/pages/the-alchemy-of-high-performing-arts-organizations-a-spotlight-on-organizations-of-color/">study</a> by SMU Data​Arts we commissioned and published earlier in the year. A few challenges stated in the report are&#58; </p><blockquote style="margin&#58;0px 0px 0px 40px;border&#58;none;padding&#58;0px;"> <br>...racism, gentrification, and lack of access to funding, which some see as elements of white supremacy culture. Interviewees noted that when organizations of color seek to grow and serve low-income communities, their ability to expand is inhibited by a participant base that does not have the means itself to generate substantial earned revenue and individual contributions, and by lack of access to corporate and foundation funding at levels equitable to those provided to their peers that do not primarily serve communities of color. The absence of an engine for revenue growth appears to perpetuate critical organizational capacity shortages reflected in burnout, low wages, and insufficient staffing, particularly in the administrative areas that generate revenue. It also limits the number of people that can be served.<br> </blockquote><p> <br> These examples are in no way meant to limit your own thinking.</p><p> <strong>2. What kind of responses are you looking for? What’s most compelling for Wallace?</strong><br><br>Sometimes it's easier to say what we’re not looking for. You don’t need to “copy/paste” information from your website about your strengths and successes. You also don’t need to show that your project ideas are fully buttoned up. We know a lot can change—especially now—but the strategic challenge, your mission and vision, and the value we place on learning are constants. So, at this point, we don’t need project details. It’s important to think about the kinds of challenges you’re facing and how your roots in the community are and could help you surmount them. </p><p> <strong>3. The open call eligibility (for the first of two cohorts) is for organizations with budgets between $500,000 and $5 million. What if my budget is smaller than $500,000?</strong><br><br>In our previous arts initiative, the budget threshold was one million dollars. We thought about the ways that we’d have to work differently so that we could lower the budget threshold. We are therefore starting with the first cohort of 10 to 12 organizations with annual budgets starting at $500,000 and capped at $5 million. </p><p>Of course, we know that the majority of arts organizations of color fall below annual budgets of $500,000. This is why we will be funding a second, larger cohort of organizations with budget sizes under $500,000. There is a lot that we need to learn to design this second cohort, which we expect to begin in late 2022. </p><p> <strong>4. Why did you add the four U.S. territories, in addition to Puerto Rico?</strong><br><br>We have expanded the list of eligible U.S. territories in response to an inquiry from a group of arts organizations, artists and arts workers. It was an oversight on our part, and we are glad it was brought to our attention so that we could correct it before the deadline. </p><p>American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guåhan (Guam), are now eligible, along with Puerto Rico, the 50 states and the District of Columbia.<br></p><p> <strong>5. Why is Wallace doing this initiative, and why now?</strong><br><br>&#160;Wallace funds the arts in large part due to our founder <a href="/about-wallace/pages/history.aspx">Lila Acheson</a>’s passion to ensure that “the arts belong to everyonel.” There are a wealth of arts and culture organizations founded by and for a diversity of people, including for specific racial and ethnic communities in the U.S., and they already have a <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/the-alchemy-of-high-performing-arts-organizations-part-ii-a-spotlight-on-organizations-of-color.aspx">strong community orientation </a>that is an integral part of their success. </p><p>This initiative—with its five-year investment for planning, project support, cohort learning and research—is one step toward highlighting and building upon&#160; the strengths, assets and work of organizations of color, while adding to the research and knowledge base about them, which at this point is relatively slim. That’s why we’re also seeking researchers who have experience working with organizations of color to study and document the initiative. Our hope is that the resulting lessons on the links between community orientation, relevance and resilience will be useful not only to other arts organizations of color, but to the broader field of the non-profit arts.</p><p>Still ha​ve questions? Feel free to <a href="mailto&#58;artsopencall@wallacefoundation.org">shoot us an email</a>. </p>Wallace editorial team792021-08-13T04:00:00ZAs 8/20 deadline to apply for new $53 million initiative focused on arts organizations of color approaches, we answer a few common questions and concerns.8/13/2021 4:17:16 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / 5 Questions We’ve Been Asked About Wallace’s Arts Open Call for Grantees & Researchers As 8/20 deadline to apply for new 506https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Decade-long Effort to Expand Arts Education in Boston Pays Off14317GP0|#d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8;L0|#0d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8|Arts Education;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​​​​​​A few years ago, a middle school student came to the United States without knowing any English.&#160;Joining a chorus through her school in the Boston Public Schools (BPS) district helped change that. By translating the songs on her phone, she was able to get a swift grasp of the language, something that otherwise might have taken years.&#160;&#160; <br></p><p>Anthony Beatrice, BPS’s director for the arts, share​​d this and other stories with us in a recent Zoom conversation spurred by a new study that documents the unexpected benefits and power of the arts in schools. Published by Edvestors, a school improvement nonprofit in Boston, <a href="https&#58;//www.edvestors.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/The-Arts-Advantage-Impacts-of-Arts-Education-on-Boston-Students_Brief-FINAL.pdf"> <em>The Art​s Advantage&#58; Impacts of Arts Education on Bos​ton Students</em></a> found consistent positive effects on student attendance as a result of students taking arts courses, and these effects are notably stronger for students who have a history of chronic absenteeism and students on Individualized Education Plans. In addition, parent and student school engagement were higher when more students in a school were enrolled in arts courses. Teachers were more likely to report that students put more effort into their work and parents were more active at the school. The study was based on more than 600,000 K-12 student-level observations across every Boston Public School over 11 school years from 2008-09 through 2018-19.</p><p>The benefits for students documented by the research come on top of the intrinsic benefits of the arts as a discipline, a point alluded to by Marinell Rousmaniere, president and CEO of EdVestors.&#160; </p><p>“We're an education organization,” she said. “We're not an arts organization, and our underlying belief about the arts is that all students deserve access to arts education as part of a well-rounded education.”<br></p><p>The study used data collected through EdVestors’ BPS Arts Expansion program, launched in 2009. A public-private partnership led by EdVestors and the Visual and Performing Arts Department at BPS, which Wallace&#160;​<a href="/news-and-media/press-releases/pages/boston-receives-4-million-grant-to-expand-arts-education-in-boston-public-schools.aspx">helped fund in 2012</a> through a four-year grant,&#160; the multiyear initiative brought together local foundations, the school district, arts organizations, higher education institutions and the mayor’s office to focus on creating a coherent, sustainable approach to high-quality arts education for all of the district’s students.<br><br>“Boston is a large urban district, and a very diverse district,” said ­­­ Carol Johnson, who served as superintendent at BPS from 2007 to 2013. “Almost half of students in Boston come from households where English is not the first language. That diversity, coupled with a number of equity issues and equity access issues, were important factors in how we began to approach this work.”</p><p>In the early days of the initiative, according to Johnson, the district had to deal with challenges such as financial constraints, budget cuts and competing interests from some principals. However, she and the school committee were dedicated to not allowing these barriers push them away from their main goal—equitable access to the arts for all students.</p><p>“Even though there were doubters about the strategy from some principals, once they began to expand opportunities for students, they began to see that this had possibility,” she noted.</p><p>Early planning of the initiative was extremely important, according to Johnson&#58;&#160;“We had to be very strategic, thoughtful and purposeful and set up our methods of collecting data to see where we are, then map out a long-term strategy.”</p><p>The longstanding partnerships between the district, EdVestors, local and national funders, arts organizations and other community members were key to&#160;the district’s success in boosting arts education.</p><p>“We are truly fortunate to have such a cohesive arts community in Boston,” said Beatrice, the BPS arts director “Simply put, we have more impact when we work together. The vision of the BPS Arts Expansion from 11 years ago has worked. A majority of our schools that were able to be granted funds for arts partners have now also added certified arts educators, nearly doubling the amount of certified arts teachers from around 164 in 2009 to over 300 today.”</p><p>Indeed, the study supports the value of increased access to arts learning, specifically stating, “when students have more opportunities to participate in arts learning experiences, their engagement in school overall increases, as measured by reductions in absenteeism; increases in student and parent school engagement; and modest effects on student achievement, particularly English Language Arts for middle school students.”<br></p><p class="wf-Element-Callout"> “Simply put, when we talk about the social-emotional well-being of our students, the arts are a huge part of that.&quot;</p>​Arts can be powerful for young people in other ways, too, Beatrice said.&#160; “The arts provide an opportunity for students to not only showcase their artistic skills but also give an opportunity to reflect about their process and their learning,” he said. “Simply put, when we talk about the social-emotional well-being of our students, the arts are a huge part of that.&quot;<p><br>​Brian Kisida, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri’s Truman School of Public Affairs who co-led the study, said its findings about arts learning and the link to student engagement might help schools as they begin to respond to the disruptions to in-person learning caused by COVID-19.</p><p>“Arts education should absolutely be a focus of getting students re-engaged in school as we return to some sense of normalcy after the pandemic,” he said. “I think there are some fears that schools may try to prioritize tested subjects at the expense of the arts, and I think that that would be a mistake. We know that students didn't just suffer from learning loss, but the last year has done serious harm to students’ social and emotional health—they lost the connections with their friends, they've lost the connections with their teachers.”<br><br>Rousmaniere also agreed that the findings are important as schools try to return to normalcy after the pandemic.​</p><p>​“People are focused on learning loss, but I think we need to be focused on learning readiness,” she said. “Arts is like a swiss army knife​—it feeds many different needs that schools have and will reach certain populations of students that maybe other things would not.”&#160;<br></p><p>Kisida pointed out that often the arts teacher is the only teacher, especially in an elementary school, who knows every student in the building and knows them for multiple years. “That's a real connection point for re-engaging in school that needs to be given serious consideration,” he said.<br></p><p>In preparation for the 2021-2022 school year, BPS has formed&#160;a working group of arts educators to create arts lessons connected with the core competencies of social and emotional learning&#160;to accompany&#160;the curriculum materials provided by the district’s social and emotional learning office. Beatrice sees this as a continuation of Boston’s unique system-wide approach to arts education. </p><p>“Over time I have learned that there are so many people who have our students’ interest at the heart of what they do,” he said. “Having a systems approach to ensuring students have access to quality arts education ensures that everyone is working in tangent with each other. Each program and organization have a sense of autonomy while understanding their role in the bigger piece of the arts education pie.”<br></p>Jenna Doleh912021-08-10T04:00:00ZStudy finds arts education increases student attendance and student and parent engagement8/13/2021 12:32:01 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Decade-long Effort to Expand Arts Education in Boston Pays Off Study finds arts education increases student attendance and 991https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
How Libraries Can Partner with Communities for Summer Learning Success14175GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​​​​By providing free and accessible summer learning activities and reading materials, <a href="https&#58;//www.urbanlibraries.org/blog/reimagining-summer-learning-during-the-pandemic" target="_blank">even during the pandemic</a>, public libraries have a unique role in the summer learning landscape. Libraries are one of the most trusted institutions in the communities they serve, <a href="https&#58;//www.nextlibraries.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/PI_2017.09.11_FactsAndInfo_1-02.png" target="_blank">according to Pew research</a>. They are also one of the widest-reaching—there are <a href="https&#58;//www.imls.gov/news/imls-releases-new-data-american-public-libraries" target="_blank">more U.S. library branches</a> than <a href="https&#58;//www.scrapehero.com/location-reports/Starbucks-USA/" target="_blank">Starbucks locations</a>, and visiting the library is the <a href="https&#58;//news.gallup.com/poll/284009/library-visits-outpaced-trips-movies-2019.aspx" target="_blank">most common cultural activity</a> for Americans, having outpaced visits to movies or sporting events by a wide margin in the pre-pandemic world. </p><div> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/how-libraries-can-partner-with-communities-for-summer-learning-success/Liz_headshot.jpg" alt="Liz_headshot.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;width&#58;220px;" /> <span style="color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;"></span></div><div>In fact, public libraries have been providing learning materials and opportunities to youth in the summertime for over a century. This began with the distribution of Victorian-era reading lists designed to keep youth on the moral path. Today, the efforts of libraries, and their partners, have become more joyous&#58; making available beautiful, culturally appropriate books and other resources to support young people in myriad ways, from letting them indulge in the simple pleasure of reading to helping them develop 21st century learning skills.</div><div> <br> </div><div>For over half a decade, the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) has taken a leading role in catalyzing the evolution of public libraries as essential hubs and partners for summer learning. ULC is a think and action tank of leading North American public libraries with a primary focus on advancing more positive outcomes for all youth by dismantling barriers they face, providing them with high-quality learning opportunities and strengthening local partnerships between libraries and other educational institutions.</div><div> <br> </div><div>ULC’s <a href="https&#58;//www.urbanlibraries.org/initiatives/the-leaders-library-card-challenge/participating-libraries" target="_blank">Leaders Library Card Challenge</a>—which started as an Obama Administration initiative—has equipped more than 4 million K-12 students with library cards, an achievement made possible by partnerships forged between libraries, local schools and mayors and county executives. ULC’s <a href="https&#58;//www.urbanlibraries.org/initiatives/stem-middle-school" target="_blank">Partners for Middle School STEM</a> initiative aligns libraries, local governments, schools and businesses to increase high-quality STEM learning opportunities for middle grade youth from low-income families—positioning the library as a critical partner in fixing the “leaky” STEM pipeline.</div><p> <br>ULC’s focus on building partnerships to strengthen summer learning started in 2016, when we published the <a href="https&#58;//www.urbanlibraries.org/assets/Leadership_Brief_Expanding_Summer.pdf" target="_blank"> <em>Libraries Expanding Summer Opportunities</em></a>&#160;leadership brief in collaboration with the National Summer Learning Association, the pre-eminent authority on summer learning in the United States. That pivotal document has directly helped to shape the ways that libraries think and go about their work to support youth during the summer—shifting from a focus on “summer reading” to “<a href="https&#58;//journals.ala.org/index.php/cal/article/view/7200/9831" target="_blank">summer learning</a>,” intentionally addressing a wide range of academic and developmental challenges.</p><p>Driving that shift is a growing recognition of the importance of summer learning for improving the lives of all youth, and the unique role that libraries can play in supporting those opportunities. Over the past two summers, the devastating impact of COVID-19 has made it more important than ever for communities to leverage the unique capacity of libraries as partners for addressing learning loss.</p><p> <strong>Combating opportunity &amp; achievement gaps</strong></p><p>Even before COVID-19, much research had been compiled about the widening of achievement and opportunity gaps between students from low-income families and their peers from higher-income families during the summer months. Emerging post-pandemic data now also reveals profound inequities for children who have been historically excluded, including Black, Hispanic and Indigenous youth. Research from McKinsey &amp; Associates reported in <a href="https&#58;//www.mckinsey.com/industries/public-and-social-sector/our-insights/covid-19-and-learning-loss-disparities-grow-and-students-need-help" target="_blank">Mind the Gap</a> shows the disparities in access and educational equity which have created barriers to learning. &#160;</p><p>The good news is that high-quality summer learning can make a real difference for children, as&#160;<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/every-summer-counts-a-longitudinal-analysis-of-outcomes-from-the-national-summer-learning-project.aspx">research</a> clearly shows. The National Academy of Sciences, too, recently released a <a href="https&#58;//www.nationalacademies.org/our-work/summertime-experiences-and-child-and-adolescent-education-health-and-safety" target="_blank">study</a>, which analyzes availability, accessibility, equity and effectiveness of summer learning experiences in conjunction with overall health, social-emotional and safety outcomes for youth.<br><br><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/how-libraries-can-partner-with-communities-for-summer-learning-success/Active_Learning_NOT4.jpg" alt="Active_Learning_NOT4.jpg" />​​<br><br>While <a href="https&#58;//www.brookings.edu/blog/brown-center-chalkboard/2021/04/29/covid-19-the-educational-equity-crisis-and-the-opportunity-ahead/" target="_blank">learning loss research</a> underscores the importance of helping youth in Kindergarten through third grade recover or level-up reading and math skills, the further good news is that public libraries across the country are offering reading and learning programs targeted to these ages during critical out-of-school time periods, including summer. Early math, social-emotional learning and play-based programming are also part of these efforts.</p><p>Complementing these programs are workshops for parents and caregivers, offering them meaningful time to reflect on learning. Additionally, understanding that we must reduce barriers to youth learning, thousands of public libraries that serve young people living in poverty now tap federal food programs to offer <a href="https&#58;//www.cslpreads.org/libraries-and-summer-food/" target="_blank">meals</a> and afterschool snacks.&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </p><p>In the words of Brian Bannon, Merryl and James Tisch Director for Branch Libraries and Education at the New York Public Library, “Summer is a time of immense inequities for America’s youth. The public library is uniquely poised to reach children with high-quality books, STEM and active learning activities that I have personally seen … [improve] anticipated outcomes for our youth.” </p><p>Programs such as the New York Public Library’s <a href="https&#58;//www.nypl.org/summer/book-kits" target="_blank">book and activity give-away</a>—which provides children and teens with totes or colorful drawstring bags filled with age-appropriate books and other goodies—&#160;show how libraries continue to innovate to reach children during COVID-19 and Summer 2021. For another great example, look to <a href="https&#58;//www.cantonrep.com/story/news/2021/07/12/heart-stark-stark-county-district-library-offers-summer-fun-school/7908675002/" target="_blank">The Stark District Library</a> in Canton, Ohio, which is working with a local elementary school to provide learning activities for over 2,000 rising kindergarteners through third graders with targeted learning interventions, book ownership and meals. </p><p> <strong>Partnering for greater equity</strong></p><p>All education institutions—and libraries are no exception—confront systemic barriers that limit opportunity, particularly for those from traditionally marginalized populations or who are living in low-income households. One obstacle facing many children and their caregivers is lack of access to the reliable transportation needed to visit library buildings and other institutions in person. A related&#160;barrier, hindering both reaching and engaging youth, is inadequate digital access. <a href="https&#58;//www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/06/22/digital-divide-persists-even-as-americans-with-lower-incomes-make-gains-in-tech-adoption/" target="_blank">Pew research suggests</a> that “35% of lower-income households with school-age children [do] not have a broadband internet connection at home.” </p><p>By convening and strengthening partnerships with summer and out-of-school program providers, libraries can help bring literacy and learning programs to children and families who would not otherwise have access. Relationships with park districts enable libraries to provide literacy and other educational opportunities to campers and youth living in areas where they may not otherwise have access to learning resources. Our ability to share program materials makes us a strong ally of community camps and other summer programs. And, critically, our relationships with schools allow us to align summer learning activities to school priorities. </p><p>In addition, public libraries develop partnerships with cultural institutions and with organizations across the nation to promote more equitable outcomes for young people and ensure our program content is culturally appropriate and healing. The <a href="https&#58;//sfpl.org/events/special-programs/summer-stride-2021" target="_blank">Summer Stride</a> program at the San Francisco Public Library, for example, involves a partnership with the local Human Rights Commission to develop deeper connections to communities where youth have been historically excluded from high-quality summer programming access. As another example, <a href="https&#58;//www.crlibrary.org/2021/06/03/mobile-technology-lab-ready-to-roll-to-cedar-rapids-parks/" target="_blank">Cedar Rapids Public Library</a> forged a partnership with Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation’s Rollin’ Recmobile to offer unique tech learning opportunities at four parks per week throughout the summer, providing youth with access to e-readers, laptops, robotics and more.</p><p>The Urban Libraries Council continues to find ways to support the essential role of libraries in the&#160;&#160;education ecosystem. Over the past year and half, ULC’s <a href="https&#58;//www.urbanlibraries.org/initiatives/going-forward-from-the-pandemic/action-team-school-partnerships" target="_blank">Partnering with Schools</a> action team has been researching and working on tools to help libraries across the nation rethink and recommit to partnerships with their local school districts, including aligning library work to efforts to help children and teens accelerate their learning after the instructional losses caused by the pandemic. In June, the Urban Libraries Council supported the development of the National Summer Learning Association’s <a href="https&#58;//discoversummer.inplay.org/" target="_blank">Discover Summer</a> web app, which is designed to help families nationwide locate accessible summer learning opportunities in their local communities, including public library programming.</p><p>“Public libraries are uniquely positioned to help all kids rise and close … [education] gaps,” said the National Summer Learning Association’s president and CEO, Aaron Dworkin. “It’s going to take the enormous energy and heart of us all, working together to make a meaningful difference.” Luckily, many tools and models to activate these opportunities already exist. The Wallace Foundation has given out-of-school and summer providers a <a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/toolkit/pages/default.aspx">toolkit</a> to develop vigorous summer learning programs that help build equity and develop strong outcomes. Libraries can play a critical partner role through each phase of this toolkit—from recruiting youth, strengthening academics and enrichment opportunities, offering safe and resource-rich learning sites, filling staffing gaps and supporting program planning. Together with libraries, summer learning program providers can drive deep, meaningful and equitable outcomes for youth that will last a lifetime.<br></p><p> <em>Photos courtesy of Urban Libraries Council and Chicago Public Library.</em><br></p>Elizabeth McChesney1172021-07-28T04:00:00ZPublic libraries have long been poised to help strengthen learning opportunities and equitable outcomes for youth7/28/2021 7:17:44 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / How Libraries Can Partner with Communities for Summer Learning Success Public libraries have long been poised to help 790https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Think States Play No Role in Shaping Effective Principals? Think Again.14084GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>​​​​States often tread lightly when it comes to assuming a full role in improving principal quality. They are concerned, among other things, about overreach into an area—public education—where local authority is prized. But that doesn’t mean states have to be bystanders as interest in cultivating effective school leadership grows. Indeed, according to a RAND report published by Wallace last fall, states have seven key policy levers to consider pulling&#58;<br></p><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Setting principal standards<br></div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Recruiting promising candidates into the profession</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Licensing new and veteran principals<br></div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Approving and overseeing principal preparation programs</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Supporting principals’ growth with professional development</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Evaluating principals</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Supporting “leader tracking systems,” online systems to collect and analyze data on aspiring and established school leaders.</div><p>The report,<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/using-state-level-policy-levers-to-promote-principal-quality.aspx"><em>Using State-level Policy Levers to Promote Principal Quality</em></a>, examines how seven states have pulled these levers, or not, as well as what helps and hinders effective use of the levers.&#160; A <a href="/knowledge-center/Documents/Infographic-Policies-Seven-States-Enacted-to-Promote-the-Quality-of-Principal-Preparation.pdf">new infographic​</a> also details what pulling the levers can entail as well as the degree to which the seven states have used each one. The states—California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Virginia—are part of Wallace’s&#160;<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/launching-redesign-university-principal-preparation-programs.aspx">University Principal Preparation Initiative</a>, an effort bringing together university-based preservice school leadership programs, school districts and states to improve principal training.&#160; </p><p>We spoke via email with Susan Gates, a senior researcher at RAND and the lead author of the report, to find out more about using state policy levers for better school leadership. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.</p><p><strong>What’s the main lesson of your study for states that may be eyeing the principalship and considering what steps to take to improve it?</strong></p><p>When setting policy priorities related to the principalship, states need to consider the mix of policy levers they are currently using compared with the full range of options we outline in the report. What are you doing that is working well? What is not working so well? Think about how your successes could be leveraged to improve upon the gap areas. For example, all of the University Principal Preparation Initiative states have leader standards and are using them to promote principal quality to some degree, but not consistently across all levers. Extending the use of leader standards to levers where they are not currently used—such as evaluation—to create coherence across the entire pathway is a good option for states to consider.</p><p>Another key insight is that the pathway to the principalship is more complicated than most people think, and it differs state to state. The seven levers our report highlights typically target specific stages of the pathway. The best levers for one state to focus on may be different from those for another because the two states may have dissimilar pathways.&#160;&#160;&#160; </p><p><strong>What else did you find out about the varying routes to becoming a principal among the states you examined?&#160; </strong></p><p>When people think about the pathway to the principalship, they often have something simple in mind. A teacher attends a graduate program, gets a license and becomes a principal. We found that the pathway to the principalship is much more complex than that. It is common for there to be multiple stages in the licensure process. In addition, some states have alternative pathways that allow candidates to bypass state-approved preparation programs. This was true in three of the seven initiative states—California, Kentucky and Virginia. These alternative pathways are really interesting. If used with restraint, they can allow states to increase the stringency of program regulation and oversight without unduly burdening specific districts—because there is a work-around districts can pursue when they want to hire a compelling candidate who did not attend a state-approved program. But if used excessively, these alternative pathways can render state-approved programs irrelevant. These alternative pathways have potentially important implications for the use of other levers, and states should gather and examine data about the prevalence and implications of their use.</p><p><strong>You emphasize that a change in one area of state principal policy can trigger changes in others. Why does that matter?</strong></p><p>Our study highlights that the seven policy levers are highly interconnected. By reinforcing the ties between and among levers, states can amplify their effectiveness. We saw numerous examples of this. For example, program approval requirements in most states include that programs engage in effective candidate recruitment practices such as getting input from districts. Another example is that principal licensure, as I suggested earlier, typically requires completion of a state-approved principal preparation program. As a result, licensure requirements drive aspiring principals into programs that are in turn shaped by state policy. This interconnectedness means that when new policies are implemented that target one lever, they can have downstream or upstream implications for other levers. For example, when states change the assessment they use for state licensure, state-approved principal preparation programs modify their programs to support the success of their students on these assessments—even when the state’s program approval requirements do not explicitly change.&#160; </p><p><strong>Of the various key levers states can pull to improve school leadership, one stands out for having received nearly universal agreement in the seven states that it was effective in promoting principal quality&#58; leader standards. Why are standards so powerful?</strong></p><p>Leader standards are important because they provide a way of communicating priorities and objectives about the principalship that is relevant to all stakeholder groups (aspiring and current leaders, principal preparation programs and districts) and across all stages of the pathway to the principalship. Standards help states reinforce the ties between and among levers. For example, stakeholders we interviewed reported that program approval and licensure requirements were viewed as more effective when clearly aligned with standards.<br> <br> <strong>On the other hand, few of the people you interviewed for the report thought the recruitment lever was being used effectively. What do you think might be keeping states from pressing this lever more forcefully?</strong></p><p>Recruitment is a particularly complex one for states because using it effectively involves influencing the behavior of all three groups of policy targets&#58; aspiring leaders, programs and districts. Aspiring leaders must be encouraged to enroll in a state-approved principal preparation program, programs must be encouraged to accept high-potential candidates and districts must encourage those with potential to pursue the pathway to the principalship. The decision to enroll in a particular program requires the aspiring leader to make a financial commitment to the principal pathway in general and to a particular program. That can be a dealbreaker even in situations where all three groups agree that a particular candidate would be a good leader and that a particular institution is a good fit for that candidate.</p><p>All of the states in our study establish pre-requisites for admission to state-approved principal preparation programs and most encourage these programs to collaborate with districts in the candidate admission process. But only one of the states has a state-funded effort that provides financial resources to promising candidates to attend designated preparation programs. I think this approach is not used more widely because of the costs associated with it and the political difficulty associated with allocating state funds to support an aspiring principal’s pre-service preparation at some but not all state-approved programs.&#160;&#160;&#160; </p><p><strong>The report describes a number of ways to encourage change—coupling mandates with support, for example, or engaging early on with the variety of people and institutions that have a stake in the policy at hand. But you note that “among the most significant” policy changes you saw were those that emerged from efforts that had piggybacked on earlier K-12 education reforms. What’s an example? Why does this approach work?</strong></p><p>There’s a lot going on at the state level when it comes to education policy, and the principalship is often what is called a “low agenda status” topic in this space. It’s just not on the radar of a lot of people. This can make it difficult for principal quality to bubble up to the top of the priority list for policy change. One way to get principal quality initiatives on the agenda and successfully implemented is to link them clearly to a broader state education priority. Even better is to craft principal quality initiatives that piggyback on prior initiatives targeting teachers. For example, if the state revamps the teacher evaluation system or assessment for aspiring teachers, it can leverage that work and advance related efforts to revise principal evaluation systems or assessments for aspiring leaders. By leveraging the prior efforts, the costs of developing the system or assessment itself may be lower and some of the political legwork needed to achieve buy-in will have already been done. <br> <br> <strong>State policymakers—like their counterparts on the federal, local and school-district level—find themselves in an unprecedented moment. They are facing not only the pandemic’s dire effects on education but also the nation’s long overdue reckoning with racial justice. Is there a way in which state school leadership policy can help provide a beneficial response to these developments?</strong></p><p>The challenges facing our nation’s schools and school districts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and reckoning with racial justice pose deep questions for state policymakers that go well beyond school leadership policy. Within the school leadership space, the base of evidence about how to effectively address these challenges is relatively thin. Our study found that policy lever use is perceived as effective when it is grounded in evidenced-based, rigorous requirements. We also found that stakeholder engagement allows states to leverage expertise from across the state and expand and or supplement state capacity in order to push forward on a change agenda.</p><p>So as a first step, states could support knowledge-building about equity-centered and crisis-oriented school leadership, tapping a wide range of stakeholders to inform next steps.&#160; This could take the form of support for learning communities, or the development of templates for districts or preparation programs to use as they engage with community groups on these complex issues.</p><p>Another idea would be for states to orient their support for principal professional development toward these issues. Our study found that PD was being&#160;<em>used&#160;​</em>by all states, but stakeholders in only three states felt that it was being&#160;&#160;<em>used effectively</em> to promote principal quality. Professional development was a real focus of new state activity during the study time frame, with most states launching efforts to expand PD support. Orienting these efforts toward these pressing concerns is something states could consider.​<br><br></p>Wallace editorial team792021-07-22T04:00:00ZResearcher discusses seven policy levers states can pull to improve school leadership7/22/2021 5:00:29 AMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Think States Play No Role in Shaping Effective Principals Researcher discusses seven policy levers states can pull to 583https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
5 Reports and Tools to Help Guide Your Summer Learning Program9774GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​ <p>​​It’s been said thousands of times but bears repeating&#58; the summer of 2021 promises to be a most unusual one as schools, districts, nonprofits, parents and others roll up their sleeves to help counteract some of the learning losses of the pandemic—and simply bring children together again safely. Then again, what could be more normal than corralling a group of children in summer, whether to learn how to multiply fractions or swing a bat? <br></p><p>As Summer Learning Week begins, we’ve pulled together an unofficial list of Wallace’s Top 5 Summer Learning Publications. A majority of the research stems from the experiences of five urban school districts and their partners who formed Wallace’s <a href="/how-we-work/our-work/pages/summer-learning.aspx">National Summer Learning Project</a> (NSLP) from 2011 through 2016. While the most current findings and popular tools headline the list, there is much more to be discovered in the <a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/pages/default.aspx">Summer Learning section</a> of Wallace’s Knowledge Center, all of which can be easily downloaded free of charge.<br> <br> </p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-to-work-on-summer-learning-2nd-ed.aspx"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/5-Reports-and-Tools-to-Help-Guide-Your-Summer-Learning-Program/Getting-to-Work-on-Summer-Learning-2nd-ed-a.jpg" alt="Getting-to-Work-on-Summer-Learning-2nd-ed-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;width&#58;200px;height&#58;286px;" /></a> <span style="color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;"></span> <div><strong>1.</strong><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-to-work-on-summer-learning-2nd-ed.aspx">The </a> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-to-work-on-summer-learning-2nd-ed.aspx">First Stop for Summer Learning Practitioners</a>&#160;</div><p>Based on the RAND Corporation’s evaluations from the NSLP, <em>Getting to Work on Summer Learning&#58; Recommended Practices for Success, 2nd ed </em>addresses questions about how to implement a high-quality summer learning program and offers evidence-based recommendations around such topics as timing, hiring and training, and how to recruit students. For example, do you know the recommended month to begin planning a summer program? (If you guessed January, gold star.) Many more specific recommendations and guidance await your perusal. <br><br></p> ​ <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/every-summer-counts-a-longitudinal-analysis-of-outcomes-from-the-national-summer-learning-project.aspx"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/5-Reports-and-Tools-to-Help-Guide-Your-Summer-Learning-Program/Every-Summer-Counts-A-Longitudinal-Analysis-a.jpg" alt="Every-Summer-Counts-A-Longitudinal-Analysis-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;200px;height&#58;287px;" /></a><strong>2.</strong> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/every-summer-counts-a-longitudinal-analysis-of-outcomes-from-the-national-summer-learning-project.aspx">Running a High-Quality Program Shows Meaningful Results</a><br> <em>Every Summer Counts&#58; A Longitudinal Analysis of Outcomes from the National Summer Learning Project </em>also stems from RAND and the NSLP and finds both short-term and long-term benefits among students who consistently attended voluntary five- to six-week summer learning programs. The largest and longest study of its kind, the research confirms previous studies finding that after the first summer high-attenders outperformed control group members in math, and after the second summer, high-attenders saw advantages in math, language arts and social-emotional skills. This report shows that even three years after the second summer, while academic benefits had decreased in magnitude and were not statistically significant, they remained educationally meaningful. All of this suggests that summer programs can be an important component in how school districts support learning and skill development, particularly for children from low-income families who may face widening achievement and opportunity gaps in any summer, let alone this one post-COVID.<div><br><p></p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/toolkit/pages/default.aspx"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/5-Reports-and-Tools-to-Help-Guide-Your-Summer-Learning-Program/toolkit.final-WEB-titles.jpg" alt="toolkit.final-WEB-titles.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;200px;height&#58;200px;" /></a><strong>3.</strong> <a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/toolkit/pages/default.aspx">A Hands-On How-To Guide for High-Quality Summer Learning</a><br> This online resource hub houses more than 50 evidence-based tools, templates and resources used successfully by NSLP’s districts and their partners. Additional resources created by field experts round out the offerings, all of which are aligned to RAND’s key research findings and contain guidance for how to use them. Each section of the toolkit includes a timeline for when you should start thinking about the various components of planning and design. Maybe you’re late to the toolkit for this summer, but fear not, you can begin many of the pre-planning and logistical steps for next summer this fall. <br><br></p><p><a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Out-of-School-Time-Programs-This-Summer.aspx"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/5-Reports-and-Tools-to-Help-Guide-Your-Summer-Learning-Program/Learning-Heroes-Finding-Passion-a.jpg" alt="Learning-Heroes-Finding-Passion-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;200px;height&#58;113px;" /></a><strong>4.</strong> <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Out-of-School-Time-Programs-This-Summer.aspx">What Parents Want from Out-of-School Programs This Summer</a><br> For this recently released study, Edge Research and Learning Heroes surveyed parents of K-8th grade children, out-of-school-time (OST) professionals, field leaders and others to explore the unique role OST programs play in youth development compared with home and school as well as the impact of COVID-19 for this summer and beyond. Among the many nuggets, the researchers found that parents were indeed concerned about the impact of the pandemic, with many expressing fears that their children were struggling academically, socially and emotionally. Overall parents identified three priorities for what they’d like to see summer programming address for their children&#58; their social and emotional health, providing them with physical outdoor activities and helping them discover their passion and purpose. ​​<br><br></p><p><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/evidence-based-considerations-covid-19-reopening-recovery-planning-summer-learning-with-academic-non-academic-activities.aspx"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/5-Reports-and-Tools-to-Help-Guide-Your-Summer-Learning-Program/Wallace-Foundation-Brief-Implement-Considerations-Summer-Learn-w-Annotated-Bib-March-2021-a.jpg" alt="Wallace-Foundation-Brief-Implement-Considerations-Summer-Learn-w-Annotated-Bib-March-2021-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;200px;height&#58;278px;" />​</a><strong>5.</strong> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/evidence-based-considerations-covid-19-reopening-recovery-planning-summer-learning-with-academic-non-academic-activities.aspx">Federal Funds Are Now Available for Summer Learning</a><br> Complementing parents’ concern for their children’s academic, social and emotional well-being, the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act has made funds available to states and districts to speed up recovery from the effects of the pandemic, including addressing learning loss. In <em>Evidence-based Considerations for COVID-19 Reopening and Recovery Planning&#58; Summer Learning with Academic and Non-Academic Activities, </em>Wallace has distilled evidence from our summer-learning work that may be helpful in informing choices about how to spend those funds, as well as how to implement key strategies. The paper includes an annotated bibliography with links to resources and tools (more than we could fit in this Top 5 list, so it’s a bonus!). ​<br><br></p></div>Wallace editorial team792021-07-09T04:00:00ZEverything from planning district-wide summer programs to maximizing resources available under the American Rescue Plan Act—and Wallace’s popular summer learning toolkit7/9/2021 1:56:13 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / 5 Reports and Tools to Help Guide Your Summer Learning Program Everything from planning district-wide summer programs to 406https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Why Young People Need Access to High-Quality Arts Education9829GP0|#d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8;L0|#0d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8|Arts Education;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​ <p>​​​​​Though he'd been drawing since he was young, Kaden Robinson, 17, says it was his program at the Boys &amp; Girls Club in Knoxville that taught him how to express himself through art. Help from mentors, and access to easels and canvases, helped him escape the &quot;dark place mentally&quot; he says he'd been in. &quot;I cannot imagine being the person I am without art,&quot; he says.&#160;&#160;</p><p>Kaden’s experience is not unique. Studies confirm that especially with sustained engagement, arts experiences, and especially making art, can help young people gain new perspectives, deepen empathy, picture what is possible, collaborate, and even fuel civic engagement.</p><p>Arts learning can also promote school success. In Houston, a<a href="https&#58;//kinder.rice.edu/sites/default/files/documents/Investigating%20Causal%20Effects%20of%20Arts%20Education%20Experiences%20Final_0.pdf" target="_blank"> randomized study</a> of 10,548&#160; students in grades 3-8 found increasing arts education improved writing achievement, school engagement, college aspirations and arts-facilitated empathy.</p><p>Yet spending on arts education has declined, and too many miss out&#58; A 2017 National Endowment for the Arts survey found among 18-24 year-olds, 67 percent of white students reported having had an art class in or out of school, 52 percent of African-Americans, 47 percent of Asian-Americans and 33 percent of Hispanics.<br></p><p>All children deserve access to high-quality arts education in and after school;<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/something-to-say-success-principles-for-afterschool-arts-programs.aspx"> research</a> shows that includes knowledgeable instructors, positive relationships with adults and peers, high standards, a welcoming environment, and a culminating event to build confidence and community. Within cities, schools and arts organization<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/revitalizing-arts-education.aspx"> collaborations</a> can help overcome barriers like transportation and access to instructors.</p><p>As Kaden reminds us, arts experiences affirm children’s imaginations, and expand their sense of self--and possibility--in the world. With parents deeply concerned about both learning loss and social and emotional well-being, and in the context of our emergence from COVID-19 and in a national conversation on race, ensuring access to arts experiences will help us build a more equitable future.</p><p> A shorter version of this post first appeared in Time Magazine’s <a href="https&#58;//time.com/collection/visions-of-equity/6046015/equity-agenda/" target="_blank"> Visions of Equity </a> project.​<br></p><p><em>Top&#160;photo&#58;&#160;Kaden Robinson, 17, in creative writing class; with Shannon Hance, 14, to his left and Kayla Brawner, 15, right. ​Courtesy of the Boys &amp; Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley.</em><br></p><p></p>Bahia Ramos842021-06-15T04:00:00ZStudies confirm that arts experiences can boost academic and social skills--but too many children and teens are still missing out8/3/2021 9:37:31 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Why Young People Need Access to High-Quality Arts Education Studies confirm that arts experiences can boost academic and 2387https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Shining the Spotlight on Assistant Principals22056GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​​ <p>​​​​​​​​​They are second in command in a school, and yet assistant principals often are not given opportunities to strengthen leadership skills that are vital to their effectiveness in the role as well as in the principal post many will assume one day. That is one of the main takeaways of <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/the-role-of-assistant-principals-evidence-insights-for-advancing-school-leadership.aspx"> <em>The Role of Assistant Principals&#58; Evidence and Insights for Advancing School Leadership</em></a>, a major new research review that synthesizes the findings of 79 studies about APs published since 2000 and includes fresh analyses of national and state data. The review found that the number of APs has grown markedly in the last 25 years and that the role has become a more common stop on the path to the principalship. At the same time, the researchers found disparities in the composition of the leadership workforce. Educators of color are less likely to become principals and more likely to become APs than white educators. Women are less likely than men to become either APs or principals.</p><p>Recently, the Wallace Blog spoke with the report’s authors, Ellen Goldring and Mollie Rubin of Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development, and Mariesa Herrmann of Mathematica, about their findings and the implications for district policies and practices. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.<br></p><p> <strong>The number of APs has grown six times faster than the number of principals in the last 25 years. Why do you think that is?</strong> </p><p> <strong>Herrmann</strong>&#58; We looked into whether it was due to an increased number of students in elementary schools and found that explained some but not all of the increase. You’re still seeing an increase in the assistant principal-student ratio in elementary schools over this time period.</p><p> <strong>Goldring&#58;</strong> That’s important, because at least officially, districts might have a funding formula that says if a school is of a particular size, it gets an AP position. But we also surmise that local districts can certainly fund positions differently. They might combine a coaching position with a teacher-leader position and turn that into an AP position. We have no idea why [the increase] is happening, the implications vis-à-vis other staffing decisions and what the rationale might be for a district or principal to think that the AP position is a better role to help fulfill the needs of a school as compared to other positions.</p><p> <strong>The synthesis found uneven opportunities for advancement for educators of color and women in the leadership pipeline. Does the research suggest reasons why? What measures could be taken to promote equitable opportunities?</strong></p><p> <strong>Herrmann&#58;</strong> For educators of color, the research mentions things like differences in access to mentoring, particularly for Black women. It also suggests hiring discrimination, such as people of color not being considered for suburban schools or schools with predominately white student populations. One African American female educator in a study had a nice quote about this; she was not hired and informed that she wasn’t the right “fit.” She said, “Most of the [African American female administrators in our district]…are placed in high-poverty schools. Perhaps this is where we fit?” There’s also some evidence of differences in assigned leadership tasks by race, which could prevent people’s advancement. For women, there are a bunch of explanations—differences in access to mentorship, differences in assigned tasks, family responsibilities and the time commitments of being an assistant principal or a principal, differences in aspirations or confidence, and also discrimination.</p><p> <strong>Goldring&#58;</strong> The point about not being a “good fit” is something to emphasize. There’s probably a lot of both explicit and implicit bias about where leaders of color want to be placed, should be placed and the implications for their career trajectories. We suggest using equity audits and leader tracking systems [which compile data on the backgrounds and careers of potential and sitting school leaders] to bring patterns to light and show how they play out in different types of schools. It’s an important first step but beyond that, districts need to create spaces for people to have really honest and open conversations about the patterns. That is key to addressing them.</p><p> <strong>Hermann&#58;</strong> Besides just understanding the patterns, I think addressing this requires mentoring people of color and women. Someone who is already a principal can help them understand how to be a leader in that particular district. Maybe to the extent that they share similar backgrounds or experiences, they can relate to that person.</p><p> <strong>Rubin&#58;</strong> It’s also about making space to hear the experiences of people who are facing differential outcomes and how they’re experiencing the roles that they’re in. We often assume that we know what we’re trying to fix, but we don’t necessarily understand it at a deep level. </p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Shining-the-Spotlight-on-Assistant-Principals/FIGURE-7-2-Emerging-Framework-Connecting-Equity-in-Principal-Leadership-to-Equitable-Outcomes-ch.jpg" alt="FIGURE-7-2-Emerging-Framework-Connecting-Equity-in-Principal-Leadership-to-Equitable-Outcomes-ch.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> </p><p> <strong>Principals today are more likely to have served as assistant principals than in the past. Many say that the experience was pivotal to their leadership preparation. What makes a strong principal-assistant principal mentoring relationship?&#160;</strong></p><p> <strong>Herrmann&#58;</strong> One study mentioned areas where assistant principals found advice and mentoring useful. One was skills development, such as building strong relationships, honing decision-making skills, having strong communications skills. This suggests that principals need to have strong leadership skills themselves, so that they can model them for the assistant principal.</p><p> <strong>Goldring&#58;</strong> We noted in our report that there are no studies on how principals think about or conceptualize the role of assistant principals. We don’t know why an assistant principal might spend more time on task A or task B, or what principals consider when they hire assistant principals. There are gaps in terms of the research as well. &#160;</p><p>Your question brings out the important notion of the relationship between the assistant principal role and their evaluation, and the extent to which there is systematic, competency-based formative feedback that’s built into both the role of and the relationship between the assistant principal and the principal. In most cases, principals and assistant principals are evaluated on the same rubric. The few studies that talk about the assistant principal experience with evaluation note a lot of ambiguity. In one study, the assistant principals did not even know if they were formally evaluated or how. Another study mentioned the complexity of using the same rubric&#58; If I’m an assistant principal and evaluated on the same rubric as the principal, does that mean I can never be exemplary because that’s only for principals? What does this mean for the types of tasks and leadership opportunities that an assistant principal has?&#160; </p><p> <strong>Rubin&#58;</strong> A principal might assign tasks to their assistant principal to fill in for their own weaknesses. Together they make one really powerful team, but when it comes to the assistant principal’s evaluation, what does it say? They may not have the opportunities to do or learn certain things.</p><p> <strong>The pandemic has upended education and created unprecedented challenges for school leaders this year. Has it heightened awareness of the role of assistant principals? Could it lead to lasting change to the job and if so, how? </strong></p><p> <strong>Goldring&#58;</strong> During National Assistant Principals Week, I facilitated a webinar with a panel of four assistant principals about their role during COVID. The most important point they wanted to bring home was that they are school leaders in their own right and that this year highlighted their overall importance as part of the leadership team. They are not assistants to their principals. It was a nice link to the importance of assistant principals having opportunities to really be school leaders and not necessarily be the assistant principal of X—of student affairs, of curriculum and instruction, of a particular grade level. COVID put the focus on the complexity of school leadership and the need for partners in that work. You really need more than one leader.</p><p> <strong>Rubin&#58; </strong>I worry that in some ways, assistant principals may once again slip through the cracks. I keep hearing that assistant principals have become COVID contact tracers. That says a lot about how nebulous the job is. “<em>Who’s going to do contact tracing? Oh, the AP can!”</em> Principals who have lost their assistant principals, perhaps in the last recession, will be the first to tell you how important they are. But at the same time, there seems to be a lack of recognition and attention paid to the role. Perhaps it needs to be more deliberate.</p><p> <strong>Your report found that assistant principals have been seriously under-studied. If money and time were no object, what would you study about the role? </strong></p><p> <strong>Rubin&#58;</strong> I would love to watch the changes that happen when districts decide to invest in the assistant principal position—how they define the role to align with their vision and goals, and how it plays out in schools in terms of interpersonal dynamics, such as the relationships between assistant principals and principals, assistant principals and teacher leaders.</p><p>There’s also a study I want Mariesa to do because I don’t do this kind of work. We don’t know a whole lot about the effects of assistant principals or the effects of serving as an assistant principal on leader performance. I hypothesize that’s because the role is so nebulous. My question is, what are the leadership tasks that lead to the outcomes we’d like to see, both in terms of evaluation performance as an assistant principal and later as a principal, as well as outcomes for students, school and staff. If you could really figure out what matters most, then you could create a model of an assistant principalship that’s constant at a district level.</p><p> <strong>Herrmann&#58;</strong> Mollie did a really good job there! Assistant principal roles vary considerably and I think we need to better understand what aspects are most important for improving student learning and well-being. Are there ways the role can be better leveraged to improve outcomes for students? I don’t know if the role actually has to be constant across a district. I think you could investigate how it should be different, based on the local context, and what to take into account when developing the role.<br> <br> <strong>Rubin&#58;</strong> I wish I could fund you, Mariesa. </p><p> <strong>Goldring&#58;</strong> One of our big problems is that we have very blunt measuring instruments. We say that assistant principals’ tasks vary, but the way in which that has been measured is very unsatisfactory and leading to misunderstanding and misreporting. Researchers typically ask assistant principals how they spend their time, but no two studies ask that question similarly. In some studies, time is reported for a typical week, sometimes it’s not even clear what the timeframe is. We also need to rethink categories of tasks. Why is student disciplinary work not considered instructionally focused? If you’re working with a student to be more focused in class, isn’t that core instruction work? This is deep conceptual work that could greatly enhance the field.</p><p>The second thing that has emerged for me is trying to understand how and why some assistant principals choose to make the role a stepping-stone to the principalship while others choose to stay in the role and make it their own leadership position in its own right, alongside the principal. Is it an individual preference, a district preference, something in the school context and the way that leaders are developing teams? If we understood this, we would be better able to counsel and speak about the options to teachers who are coming up through the ranks. </p>Jennifer Gill832021-05-18T04:00:00ZAs an increasing presence in schools, APs merit more attention and study, report authors say5/18/2021 6:00:12 AMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Shining the Spotlight on Assistant Principals As an increasing presence in schools, APs merit more attention and study 385https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Take a Minute (or Three) for Summer Learning11652GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-embedcode ms-rte-embedil ms-rtestate-notify s4-wpActive" style="margin-bottom&#58;500px;"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/embed/2FfSODepxdg?enablejsapi=1&amp;origin=http&#58;//admin.wallacefoundation.org" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" data-gtm-yt-inspected-2194631_46="true" id="935418708"></iframe>&#160;</div> <br>Wallace editorial team792021-04-06T04:00:00ZCo-author of latest RAND report on summer learning discusses key findings, including benefits for kids who attend frequently4/6/2021 2:51:29 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Take a Minute (or Three) for Summer Learning Co-author of latest RAND report on summer learning discusses key findings 402https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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