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How Can Research Help Design More Effective Youth Programs?11622GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61;GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool<p>N​​onprofits that work with young people are always looking for ways to assess their effectiveness, and randomized controlled trials—which <em>randomly</em> place eligible young people into&#160;“treatment” and “control” groups to draw comparisons between them—are generally considered the most rigorous approach. Implementation studies, by contrast, examine how an effort is carried out, pinpointing strengths and weaknesses in operations. </p><p>In tandem, randomized controlled trials, or RCTs, and implementation studies can help organizations answer two major questions&#58; What is the impact of our work? What can we do to improve?&#160;&#160; </p><p>As informative as such studies can be, they are also challenging to pull off and act on. Just ask Lynsey Wood Jeffries, CEO of Washington, D.C.-based <a href="https&#58;//higherachievement.org/">Higher Achievement</a>, one of the organizations that took part in Wallace’s now-concluded <a href="/knowledge-center/after-school/pages/expanded-learning.aspx">expanded learning effort</a>. Higher Achievement, which provides academically focused afterschool programs for more than 1,000 middle schoolers in the D.C. metro area, Baltimore and Richmond, Va., has participated in two RCTs, the most recent one accompanied by an implementation study.</p><p>The first RCT, which was partially funded by Wallace and ran from 2006 to 2013, showed statistically significant effects for Higher Achievement students—known as “scholars” within the program—on math and reading test scores and in high school placement and family engagement. The second, completed last year (also with some Wallace support), found positive results, too, with the implementation study revealing some program delivery issues to be addressed in order for Higher Achievement to reach its full potential. (Readers can find the research and more information <a href="https&#58;//higherachievement.org/impact/">here</a>.) The organization was in the process of making changes when COVID-19 hit and turned everything upside down, but as the pandemic eases, the hope is to use the findings to help pave the path forward. </p><p>This is part two of our interview with Jeffries. See the first post on <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/creating-safe-spaces-for-young-people-during-the-pandemic.aspx">running an afterschool program during a pandemic</a>. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.</p><p> <strong>Why did you decide to participate in the second RCT, especially having already done one? </strong></p><p>There were two main reasons. One is that the first study only focused on what has been our home base in the D.C. metro area. So, it showed statistically significant positive impacts on academics for D.C. and also Alexandria, Virginia. But since that study was conducted, we have expanded to other locations, and our effectiveness hadn't been empirically proven in those places. That was important to understand. A number of programs may be able to show impacts in their home base, but replicating that through all the complications that come with expansion is a next level of efficacy. </p><p>Second, it was suggested to us that the way to be most competitive for the major federal <a href="https&#58;//www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-announces-inaugural-education-innovation-and-research-competition">i3 grant</a> we ultimately won was to offer an RCT. It's the highest level of evidence and worth the most points on the application.</p><p> <strong>Were there risks versus rewards that you had to weigh in making the decision to go ahead with the second RCT?</strong></p><p>We very carefully considered it because we knew from past experience the strains an RCT puts on the community and the organization.</p><p>The reward is that if you win the dollars you can learn a lot and serve more students. Our grant application was about adapting our academic mentoring to help accelerate learning towards Common Core standards. That's something we wouldn’t have been able to do, at least not at the intensity we wanted, without a multi-million-dollar investment.</p><p> <strong>Were there any results of either the RCT or the implementation study that caught you by surprise?</strong></p><p>The positive effect size for report card grades was greater in this second study than it was for test scores in a previous study. And that level of confidence did surprise me frankly, because I’ve lived and breathed Higher Achievement every day for many years now, and it's been messy. It hasn't just been a simple expansion process. There have been lots of questions along the way, adaptations to local communities, staffing changes, and more. So, to see that positive effect size for our scholars was encouraging.</p><p> <strong>You mentioned the strain an RCT can put on community relationships and the organization itself. What does that look like?</strong></p><p>Only accepting 50 percent of the students you recruit strains community relationships; it strains relationships with families and scholars most importantly but also with schools. It also fatigues the staff, who have to interview twice as many students as we can serve. They get to know the students and their families, knowing that we have to turn away half of them.</p><p>Here’s are example of how an RCT can distort perceptions in the community&#58; I'll never forget talking to a middle schooler who had applied for our program but was assigned to the control group. She said, &quot;Oh, yeah, I know Higher Achievement. It's that group that pays you $100 to take a test on a Saturday.&quot; [As part of the first RCT] we did pay students to take this test, and so that’s what we were to her.</p><p>Additionally, when you’re recruiting for an RCT, you have to cast twice as wide a net [because you need a sufficient number of students in both the treatment and control groups]. Because there was such a push for a larger sample, the interview process for Higher Achievement became pro forma, and our retention rate ended up dipping because the overall level of commitment of the scholars and families recruited for the RCT was lower than it would be otherwise. And both studies showed that we don't have statistically significant effects until scholars get through the second year. So, when scholar retention dips, you're distorting the program.</p><p> <strong>Did you approach the second RCT differently in terms of recruitment or communications to try to avoid or address that potential for strain?</strong></p><p>We were very cognizant of our school relationships the second time. Principals really value the service we provide, which makes it quite hard for them to agree to a study, knowing half the students won’t actually get the benefit of that service. So, we gave each of our principals three to five wild cards for particular students they wanted to be exempt from the lottery process in order to make sure that they got into the program. That hurt our sample size because those students couldn’t be part of the study, but it helped preserve the school relationships. We also deepened training for the staff interviewing potential scholars, which helped a bit with retention. </p><p> <strong>How did Higher Achievement go about putting the research findings into practice? In order to make changes at the program level, were there also changes that had to be made at the administrative level? </strong></p><p>The implementation study was really helpful, and I'm so grateful we were able to bring in $300,000 in additional support from Venture Philanthropy Partners [a D.C.-based philanthropy] to support it. One of the things we took away from the implementation study was that there was more heterogeneity in our program delivery than we desired. We knew that internally, but to read it from these external researchers made us pause, consider the implications, and develop a new approach—Higher Achievement 2.0. </p><p>Higher Achievement 2.0 consisted of a refined program model and staffing structure to support it. We shifted our organizational chart pretty dramatically. Previously, program implementation was managed by the local executive directors [with a program director for each city and directors of individual centers within each city reporting to the executive director]. Program research, evaluation and design were under a chief strategy officer, who was not in a direct reporting line with the program implementation. It wasn't seamless, and it led to inconsistencies in program delivery. </p><p>The big change we made was to create a new position, a central chief program officer who manages both the R&amp;D department, which we now call the center support team, and the local program directors, with the center directors reporting to those program directors. What that does functionally is lift the local center directors a full step or two or three, depending on the city, up in the organization chart and in the decision-making process [because they no longer report to a local executive director or deputy director]. Everything we're doing as an organization is much closer to the ground.</p><p> <strong>What were the main changes at the program level as a result of the implementation study?</strong></p><p>One of the key takeaways from the implementation research was that our Summer Academy, which was a six-week, 40-hours-a-week program, was important for culture building but the academic instruction wasn’t consistently high quality or driving scholar retention or academic outcomes. That prompted us to take a very different approach to summer and to make afterschool the centerpiece of what we do. The plan was to focus on college-preparatory high school placement and to expand afterschool by seven weeks and go from three to four days a week. That’s a big change in how we operate, which we were just beginning to actualize in January 2020. Then COVID hit, and we had to pivot to a virtual, streamlined program, but now we’re exploring how to go back to a version of Higher Achievement 2.0 post-COVID.</p><p>High school placement has always been part of Higher Achievement’s model, but we elevated it to be our anchor indicator, so all the other performance indicators need to lead back to high school readiness and placement. While our direct service ends in eighth grade, we have long-term intended impacts of 100 percent on-time high school graduation and 65 percent post-secondary credential attainment. [Therefore], the biggest lever we can pull is helping our scholars choose a great fit for high school and making sure they’re prepared to get into those schools. Instead of running programs in the summer, we are referring scholars to other strong programs and spending much more time on family engagement in the summer to support high school placement. This starts in fifth grade, with increasingly robust conversations year after year about report cards and test scores and what different high school options can mean for career paths and post-secondary goals. We are building our scholars’ and families’ navigational capital. That discipline is being more uniformly implemented across our sites; it had been very scattered in the past. </p><p>The other thing we set out to do, which has been delayed because all our design capacity has been re-routed to virtual learning, is to build out a ninth-grade transition program. We know how important ninth grade is; the research is undeniable. The individual data from our scholars says sometimes it goes smoothly and in other cases it's really rocky. Students who’ve been placed in a competitive high school may shift later because they didn't feel welcome or supported in that school.</p><p> <strong>What challenges have you faced as you’ve gone about making these big changes? Were there any obstacles in translating the decisions of your leadership team into action?</strong></p><p>The biggest obstacle is COVID. We haven't been able to put much of our plan into action in the way intended. The other obstacle we’ve faced is what any change faces&#58; emotional and intellectual ties to the way things have always been done. I was one of the staff members who had a great emotional attachment to our Summer Academy.</p><p>​There are rituals that have been a part of our Summer Academy that are beloved rites of passage for young people. We are building these rites of passage, college trips and other culture-building aspects of Summer Academy into our Afterschool Academy. That way, we can focus in the summer on intentionally engaging our scholars and families to prepare them for college-preparatory high schools and increase our overall organizational sustainability and effectiveness.</p><p> <strong>What advice would you give to an organization that’s considering participating in an RCT and implementation study or other major research of this kind?</strong></p><p>Proceed with caution. Before undertaking an RCT, review the studies that already exist in the field and learn from those to increase the effectiveness of your program. Let’s not reinvent the wheel here. If you do decide to proceed with an RCT, be really clear on what your model is and is not. And then be prepared to add temporary capacity during the study, particularly for recruitment, program observation and support. It takes a lot of internal and external communication to preserve relationships while also having a valid RCT. </p><p>There's a larger field question about equity—who is able to raise the money to actually conduct these very extensive and expensive studies? It tends to be white-led organizations and philanthropic dollars tend to consolidate to support those proven programs. Too few nonprofits have been proven effective with RCTs—for a host of reasons, including that these studies are cost-prohibitive for most organizations and that they strain community relations. And most RCT-proven models are difficult and expensive to scale.</p><p>However, just because an organization has not been proven effective with an RCT should not mean that it is prohibited from attracting game-changing investment.&#160; If there were a more rigorous way for organizations to truly demonstrate being evidenced-based (not just a well-written and research-cited proposal paragraph), perhaps there would be a way to bring more community-based solutions to scale.&#160;With that approach, we could begin to solve challenges at the magnitude that they exist.<br></p>Wallace editorial team792021-03-31T04:00:00ZAn afterschool program CEO reflects on the risks and rewards of intensive program evaluations4/5/2021 8:18:58 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / How Can Research Help Design More Effective Youth Programs An afterschool program CEO reflects on the risks and rewards of 95https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Survey of Large Cities Shows Afterschool Systems Have Staying Power10452GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Over the past two decades, we at Wallace have learned a lot about how afterschool systems work and how cities can go about building them. One thing we still didn’t know, however, was whether cities would be able to sustain their efforts to coordinate the work of out-of-school-time providers, government agencies and others over a period of years. Now, a new report by the nonprofit human development organization FHI 360 offers some answers.</p><p><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/stability-and-change-in-afterschool-systems-2013-2020-a-follow-up-study-of-afterschool-coordination-in-large-cities.aspx"><em>Stability and Change in Afterschool Systems, 2013-2020</em></a><em> </em>is a follow-up to an earlier study of 100 large U.S. cities, of which 77 were found to be engaged in some aspects of afterschool coordination. For the current report, the authors were able to contact 67 of those 77 cities. They also followed up with 50 cities that weren’t coordinating afterschool programs in 2013 and found a knowledgeable contact in 34 of them.&#160;</p><p>The report provides a snapshot of the state of afterschool coordination just before COVID-19 hit, causing the devastating closure of schools and afterschool programs. We recently had an email exchange with the lead authors, Ivan Charner, formerly of FHI 360 and Linda Simkin, senior consultant on the project, about what they found in their research and what the implications might be for cities looking to restore their afterschool services in the wake of the pandemic. Their responses have been edited for length and clarity. </p><p><strong>What do you consider the key findings of this research?</strong></p><p>We discovered that more than three-quarters of the 75 cities coordinating afterschool programs in 2013 were still coordinating in 2020. [<em>Two of the original 77 cities were left out of the study for methodological reasons.</em>] In addition, 14 cities that were not coordinating in 2013 had adopted some coordination strategies.&#160; </p><p>Our study of the cities that sustained coordination between 2013 and 2020 explored the extent to which they had the three key components [of an afterschool system]&#58; a coordinating entity, a common data system and a set of quality standards or a quality framework. Overall, there was an increase in the proportion of cities with all three components (from 29 percent in 2013 to 40 percent in 2020). There was a decrease in the percentage of cities with a coordinating entity but increases in the percentage with a common data system or a set of quality standards, or both.<br> <br> Not surprisingly, funding was an important factor in whether or not cities had these components. Seventy-one percent of the cities that sustained their systems experienced either stable funding or increased funding over the past five years. A much higher percentage of cities reporting funding increases had all three coordination components compared to cities where funding remained the same or decreased. Increased funding was highly correlated with the presence of quality standards or a quality framework, in particular. </p><p>The commitment of a city or county leader to afterschool coordination was also important, as it was in 2013. Eighty percent of the cities that were still coordinating in 2020 characterized their current leaders as moderately or highly committed to afterschool coordination. There was a significant association between a high or moderate level of commitment and having a common data system in 2020.</p><p><strong>You found that at least three-quarters of the cities that were doing afterschool coordination in 2013 sustained their systems. What about the ones that didn’t? Were you able to identify possible reasons these cities dropped their systems?</strong> </p><p>A review of data collected for the 2013 study suggests that in some of these cities afterschool coordination was not firmly established (eight had one or none of the key coordination components). Another reason was turnover in city leadership, which brought with it changing priorities that resulted in decreases in funding for, and commitment of leadership to, afterschool coordination. In two cities, systematic afterschool coordination became part of broader collective impact initiatives. </p><p><strong>You found that more afterschool systems had a common data system and a quality framework or set of quality standards in 2020 than in 2013, but fewer had a designated entity responsible for coordination. What do you make of these changes, particularly the latter?</strong></p><p>Our finding that fewer cities had a designated coordinating entity in 2020 than in 2013 was surprising. Our survey question listed eight options covering different governance structures and organizational homes, so we’re fairly confident that the question wasn’t misinterpreted. We can only speculate about reasons for the change. It’s been suggested that mature systems may no longer see the need for a coordinating entity, which may be expensive to maintain. A coordinating entity such as a foundation or a United Way may have changed priorities, and systems may have collectively decided to operate without one, distributing leadership tasks among partners. Or cities may have been in the process of replacing the coordinating entity. This is one of those instances in which researchers generally call for further inquiry.</p><p>While it wasn’t within the scope of this study to investigate reasons for the increase in data systems and quality standards, we can speculate about why this occurred. More than half the cities that sustained their systems experienced increased funding, and that probably facilitated the development of both data systems and quality standards. One possibility is that, with the growing emphasis on accountability in the education and nonprofit sectors, funders may be calling for more supporting data. It’s also possible that cities or school systems decided to incorporate afterschool data into their own systems. It’s interesting to note that some respondents in cities without data systems were investigating them. </p><p>As for quality standards and assessment tools, we learned from anecdotal reports that cities had adopted templates and received training offered by outside vendors or state or regional afterschool networks, more so than came to our attention in 2013. </p><p><strong>In the context of the pandemic and the racial justice movement, what do you hope that cities will take away from this report?</strong>&#160;</p><p>The findings of this study present a picture of progress in afterschool coordination <em>before</em> the full impact of the challenges caused by the pandemic and the reckoning with social injustice and inequality. We’ve since learned that systems have renewed their commitment to ensuring the growing numbers of children and youth living in marginalized communities have access to high quality afterschool and summer programming that meets their social-emotional needs. Statewide out-of-school-time organizations and others have rapidly gathered and disseminated resources and tools to aid the response of afterschool providers and coordinating entities. Some intermediary organizations have shifted to meeting immediate needs, while others have found opportunities to partner more deeply with education leaders and policymakers to help plan ways to reconfigure and rebuild afterschool services.</p><p>This study gives us reason to believe that cities with coordinated afterschool programs will be in a strong position to weather these times because of their shared vision, collective wisdom, standards of quality, and ability to collect and use data to assess need and plan for the future. Not surprisingly, funding and city leadership continue to be important facilitators for building robust systems, and respondents in both new and emerging systems expressed a desire for resources related to these and other topics.​<br></p>Wallace editorial team792021-03-11T05:00:00ZYour source for research and ideas to expand high quality learning and enrichment opportunities. Supporting: School Leadership, After School, Summer and Extended Learning Time, Arts Education and Building Audiences for the Arts.3/11/2021 4:49:54 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Survey of Large Cities Shows Afterschool Systems Have Staying Power Authors of new report discuss why cities that 273https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Why Are So Many Kids Missing Out on Afterschool? 10217GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​​​​​​​​​​​​For the past few years, participation in afterschool programs has dropped precipitously. ​Families of 24.6 million children—<a href="http&#58;//afterschoolalliance.org/documents/AA3PM-2020/AA3PM-National-Report.pdf">an ​​increase of 60 percent&#160;since 2004</a>—are una​​ble to access a program and many report cost as a barrier, according to a new survey from the Afterschool Alliance.</p><p>The study, <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/America-After-3PM-Demand-Grows-Opportunity-Shrinks.aspx"> <em>America After 3pm&#58; Demand Grows, Opportunity Shrinks</em></a><em>, </em>identifies trends in afterschool program offerings and shares overall parent perceptions of afterschool programs. With responses from more than 30,000 U.S. families, this survey builds on the household surveys conducted in 2004, 2009 and 2014. While it offers a pre-pandemic snapshot of how children and youth spend their afternoons, it also includes findings from a separate survey of parents conducted in fall 2020, to capture the pandemic’s impact on afterschool. </p><p>The Wallace Blog caught up with Jennifer Rinehart, Senior VP, Strategy &amp; Programs at the&#160;Afterschool Alliance, to discuss the implications of the survey and what they might mean for a post-pandemic world. </p><p> <strong>This is the fourt​​h edition of <em>America After 3PM</em>. Why did you start collecting these data and what is the value in continuing to do so?</strong></p><p> <em>America After 3PM</em> was the first research undertaking at the Afterschool Alliance and continues to be a pillar of our work. In the early 2000​s, we realized very quickly that there wasn’t a data source that provided a comprehensive view of how kids in America spend their afterschool hours, and we set out to remedy that. As a field building, policy and advocacy organization, we recognized that having good research and data would be critical to our success in helping all young people access quality afterschool and summer programs. And we knew it wasn’t enough to have just a national snapshot. We’d need families from every state, families at all income levels and all races and ethnicities, to really tell the story of who has access to afterschool and summer programs, who is missing out, and why. Through the fourth&#160;edition of America After 3PM, we surveyed more than 31,000 families to capture this in-depth and detailed portrait of the afterschool hours across the U.S.</p><p> <strong>Unmet demand for afterschool programs continues to be a major issue, but access and availability of programs is still a concern. Can you talk more about this?</strong></p><p> <em>America After 3PM</em> paints a picture of the huge unmet demand for afterschool programs, with the heaviest burdens falling on low-income families and families of color. The families of nearly 25 million children are unable to access a program. That’s more than ever before; for every child in an afterschool program in America, three more are waiting to get in.</p><p>More families report that cost and transportation, as well as overall lack of programs, are barriers today than in 2014, and that is especially the case for families with low-income and families of color.</p><p> <strong>Despite this demand, your recent survey found that participation in afterschool programs has actually decreased for the first time since Afterschool Alliance started doing the survey. Do you have any thoughts on why?</strong></p><p>That’s right. We found that about 8 million children and youth are enrolled in afterschool programs today. That’s down from just over 10 million in 2014.&#160; We know from parent responses that cost and access are the biggest barriers to participation.&#160;&#160; </p><p>Even more troubling than the decline in participation are the inequities in terms of which students can access programs. The number of children from low-income households participating in afterschool fell from 4.6 million in 2014 to 2.7 million in 2020. The number of higher-income children in afterschool fell by just under 450,000 over the same period. </p><p>Publicly funded afterschool and summer programs like the federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) and state-funded programs have been a backbone of support for many young people from low-income households. However, these investments are not keeping up with the demand for programs, and a significant number of low-income young people are being denied the opportunity to participate in afterschool programs. We are very concerned that low-income families who in the past could manage to pay for programs can no longer do so.</p><p> <strong>We know that children in low-income families have more limited learning and enrichment opportunities outside of school compared to their higher income peers. How does having afterschool opportunities help to close this opportunity gap?</strong></p><p>The opportunity gap and the achievement gap are clearly connected. If we can begin to close the gap in terms of who has access to afterschool and summer learning and enrichment, we can also begin to close the achievement gap.&#160; </p><p>Quality afterschool programs have a long history of expanding opportunity for young people by supporting academics and learning, but also by supporting the whole child and helping struggling families. Afterschool programs help children with schoolwork; provide opportunities to explore subjects like science, technology, engineering and math; give them time to be social and active; help them develop life skills and more. The research base is clear that kids who regularly participate in afterschool programs can improve their work habits and grades, attend school more often, get excited about learning and have higher graduation rates.<br></p><p>The opportunity gap goes beyond access to afterschool and summer programs. In <em>America After 3PM</em>, we also ask about other types of enrichment in the after school and summer hours—things like sports, music and art lessons, and more—and how much families spend on those out-of-school-time opportunities. </p><p>Similar to other research on the opportunity gap, we found that higher income families report greater access to afterschool, summer and other out-of-school activities, and higher-income families spend more than five times as much on those opportunities than families in the lowest income bracket [roughly $3,600 vs. $700 per year]. </p><p> <strong>According to the report, more than 8 in 10 parents surveyed said that afterschool helps working parents keep their jobs. What other feedback did you hear from parents? </strong></p><p>Parents recognize a wide array of benefits associated with participation in afterschool programs.&#160; Parents agree that afterschool programs provide time for kids to engage with their peers and reduce unproductive screen time (85 percent), get kids more excited about learning and interested in school (74 percent) and reduce the likelihood that youth will use drugs or engage in other risky behaviors (75 percent).<br></p><p>And, the benefits of participation extend to parents as well. When asked about supports they receive from programs, 78 percent of parents with a child enrolled in afterschool report that programs help them keep their jobs, and 71 percent say that programs allow them to build their skills through classes or workshops offered. </p><p>Given that wide range of benefits, it’s no surprise that parents give afterschool programs very high marks. Ninety-four percent of parents are satisfied with their child’s program. This is the highest level of satisfaction in the history of <em>America After 3PM</em> and is an indication that programs are providing high-quality programming that meets the needs of kids and families.</p><p> <strong>How have parent perceptions about afterschool and its value changed since COVID-19? What is the impact of the pandemic on future demand?</strong></p><p>While most of the data for <em>America After 3PM</em> were collected pre-pandemic (January through early March of 2020), we also fielded <em>America After 3PM</em> oversample surveys in a handful of localities from April through June, which provide a glimpse into how parents’ thinking about afterschool did or didn’t change in the midst of the pandemic. </p><p>While these data are from a smaller sample of households, we found that at the household level, parents without a child in an afterschool program in the aggregate oversample were just as likely to say that they would likely enroll their child in an afterschool program if one were available as parents surveyed at the start of the year (59 percent vs. 59 percent). </p><p>In a nationally representative follow up survey conducted in October 2020, parents also reported similar barriers to participation in the midst of COVID. While the biggest barriers were COVID-related, beyond those COVID concerns, we saw the same top barriers related to cost and access.&#160; </p><p>These data suggest that as we move towards recovery and focus on what children need to thrive and what parents need to get and keep jobs, we can expect to return to previous levels of demand for programs, and we will need to provide supports for afterschool programs to increase the capacity of existing programs and make sure more of them are available to meet the needs of all kids and families.</p><p> <strong>How can we use the findings of this study to help provide children with affordable, quality afterschool programs and what kind of support and/or funding is needed?</strong></p><p>While there have been modest increases to federal funding for afterschool since 2014, the increases have not been enough to keep up with the costs of providing a high-quality afterschool program. In fact, when adjusted for inflation, the investment in 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) is actually $10 million less today than it was in 2014. Several states have increased their funding for afterschool and those investments are critical in helping keep low-income young people in afterschool programs in those states. California is a notable example with higher than average participation levels in afterschool due in part to its state investment.&#160; </p><p>We need to use these data to convince governments at all levels, businesses, philanthropies and others to prioritize funding for afterschool programs. </p><p> <strong>What would you like policymakers to take away from this survey?</strong></p><p>Afterschool and summer programs were a key support for young people and families prior to the pandemic and have been rising to the moment during the pandemic to meet the needs of children and families. All our children and youth need access to the enrichment opportunities and resources afterschool programs provide and it’s clear from <em>America After 3PM</em> that too many were missing out prior to the pandemic, and COVID-19 has only exacerbated the disparities in access. </p><p>As we move forward, we need to be smart and invest in our future. There’s no question that afterschool is a smart investment for kids, families, our workforce, our economy and our country.​&#160;Supporting afterschool is essential to help children succeed in school and in life and to help us emerge from the pandemic strong.<br></p>Jenna Doleh912021-03-03T05:00:00ZSurvey finds satisfaction with afterschool programs are growing, but cost and access are preventing participation.4/7/2021 7:46:44 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Why Are So Many Kids Missing Out on Afterschool National survey finds high demand for afterschool programs, but cost 291https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
The CARES Act: Five Things That School and District Leaders Need to Know Now10547GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61;GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning<p> <em>​​​The newly enacted federal law in response to the coronavirus crisis provides 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. The <strong>Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act</strong> comes at a moment when many states and districts are <a href="https&#58;//www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/map-coronavirus-and-school-closures.html">closing schools</a> while seeking to continue to educate students, out-of-school-time programs are pondering how best to offer services​&#160;and summer is fast approaching.</em></p><p> <em>To assist decision&#160;makers, this post summarizes five things that school and district leaders should know about the major education provisions in the CARES Act. It also contains information pertaining to nonprofits. This summary was prepared for The Wallace Foundation by <a href="https&#58;//educationcounsel.com/">EducationCounsel</a></em>,<em> a mission-based education organization and law firm that has analyzed the text of the new law. </em> <br> </p><ol><li> <strong> <em>The $2.3 trillion CARES Act provides new, one-time funding for states, districts and schools—based in part on poverty but with significant flexibility regarding where funds are used. </em></strong></li></ol><blockquote> The law includes a $30.75 billion <strong> <a href="https&#58;//oese.ed.gov/offices/education-stabilization-fund/">Education Stabilization Fund</a></strong> divided into three parts and meant to provide initial relief to states and districts facing education challenges stemming from the coronavirus. The parts are&#58; </blockquote><ol type="A" start="0"><ol type="A"><li> <strong>The&#160;</strong><strong>$13.5 billion <a href="https&#58;//oese.ed.gov/offices/education-stabilization-fund/elementary-secondary-school-emergency-relief-fund/">Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief</a> Fund</strong>. States will receive this funding based on the number of students in poverty in the same manner as funding is provided under Title I, Part A, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act—better known today as ESSA, the Every Student Succeeds Act. States must allocate 90 percent of that funding to districts, including charter schools, based on Title I, Part A. Districts have flexibility on how to target the funds they receive, including how and which schools are funded. States have flexibility on how to target the 10 percent of funding they retain. One way to think about this funding is that it equates to about 80 percent of the most recent year’s Title I, Part A, funding.<br><br></li><li> <strong>The&#160;</strong><strong>$3 billion <a href="https&#58;//oese.ed.gov/offices/education-stabilization-fund/governors-emergency-education-relief-fund/">Governor’s Emergency Education Relief</a> Fund</strong>. States will receive funds based on a combination of both school-age population and rates of poverty, and governors have wide discretion over use of these funds to support K-12 or higher education.<br><br></li><li> <strong>The $14.25 billion <a href="https&#58;//www2.ed.gov/programs/heerf/index.html">Higher Education Emergency Relief</a> Fund</strong>. Institutions of higher education will receive this funding directly, and they have broad latitude over its use, although at least 50 percent of their allocations must support emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare and child care. About $1 billion of the higher education relief fund is earmarked for Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as Minority Serving Institutions. </li></ol></ol><blockquote> Other provisions in the CARES Act directly support early childhood education, including <strong>$3.5 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant </strong>program and<strong> $750 million for Head Start.<br><br> </strong> <strong>Afterschool providers should consider additional relief offered through small business loans</strong>. Through the <a href="https&#58;//www.uschamber.com/sites/default/files/023595_comm_corona_virus_smallbiz_loan_final.pdf">Paycheck Protection Program</a>, the CARES Act provides federally guaranteed loans to small businesses—including nonprofits—with fewer than 500 employees. These loans can be forgiven if the employer keeps its employees on the payroll. After the enactment of the CARES Act, the Paycheck Protection Program quickly depleted its $350 billion allocation; however, Congress has passed a bipartisan agreement to replenish some of its funding. </blockquote><ol start="2"><li> <strong><em>The U.S. Department of Education will allocate K-12 education funds to states, which will then disburse funds to districts, but this could take several weeks or more. </em></strong> </li></ol><blockquote> On April 23, the Secretary of Education <a href="https&#58;//www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/secretary-devos-makes-available-over-13-billion-emergency-coronavirus-relief-support-continued-education-k-12-students">released the application</a> states &#160;will need to fill out to receive K-12 funding from the Education Stabilization Fund. States have until July 1 to complete the applications, and once received by the department, they are to be reviewed and approved within three business days. The department’s state application forms require states to provide technical assistance, if applicable, to districts on district use of funding for remote learning. The form also asks states to describe how they could use their state funding to support technology capacity and student access to technology.&#160; <br> <br> Each state will make Elementary and Secondary Relief Funds available to districts, using Title I formulas. The districts will then make decisions about funding priorities. Although there is an expectation that all involved will move quickly, the process could well take time to unfold—even as states and districts approach the end of their school and/or fiscal years. This means that district and school leaders should consider thinking about use of funds not only for immediate needs but also for the longer term, that is, over the summer and into the coming school year.<br></blockquote> <img alt="The-CARES-Act.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/The-CARES-Act/The-CARES-Act.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> <ol start="3"><li> <strong><em>The CARES Act provides districts (and states) with broad discretion over how they use new funds. </em></strong></li></ol><blockquote> The Elementary and Secondary Relief Fund provides <em>district</em> leaders with broad authority over both the targeting of funds to specific schools and the use of funds more broadly. The CARES Act includes a long list of allowable activities, including any activities authorized under a range of existing federal education laws, as well as a long list of activities broadly related to coronavirus, such as support for principals and other school leaders to meet the needs of their schools; support for education technology essential to&#160; &#160;distance learning; and support for measures to address the unique needs of low-income students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness and foster care youth. Also on the list is support for summer learning and afterschool programs.<br></blockquote> <img alt="Allowable-Activities.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/The-CARES-Act/Allowable-Activities.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> <blockquote> States, meanwhile, have broad authority over spending from the Governor’s Education Relief Fund and their 10 percent share of dollars from the Elementary and Secondary Fund.<br><br> Given this, state, district and school leaders should quickly consider&#58; <ul><li>How to use federal funds most effectively; </li><li>What data, evidence and input they will use to inform those decisions; and</li><li>How to coordinate efforts and adopt the most coherent approach across funding streams, including with regard to CARES Act funds supporting early childhood and higher education.</li></ul></blockquote><ol start="4"><li> <strong><em>The CARES Act creates expedited waiver authority regarding ESSA requirements, but federal civil rights laws remain. </em></strong> <br></li></ol><blockquote> <span><span>In addition to establishing the Education Stabilization Fund, the CARES Act authorizes the Secretary of Education to approve, upon state request, expedited waivers from ESSA requirements, including those regarding state assessments, accountability, and data reporting. If subject to waivers, schools identified for school improvement this school year would retain that status for the 2020-2021 year. Before the CARES Act became law, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had already begun to <a href="https&#58;//www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/secletter/200320.html">approve state waivers</a> for these requirements under existing ESSA waiver authority.</span></span><br><br>It is important to note that the CARES Act does not permit states or the Education Secretary to waive federal civil rights requirements. However, the act does require the secretary to report to Congress within 30 days on what additional waivers may be necessary, including with regard to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.<br><br> Upon request by a state or district, the education secretary may waive several financial requirements in ESSA, according to the CARES Act. &#160;Among them are the limitation on carrying over Title I funding from the previous year, the requirement that a school have 40 percent of its students qualify for Title I to use funds schoolwide and the definition of “professional development” (so that districts can train and support teachers using methods that would not otherwise qualify). Also subject to waiver is the restriction on how much Title IV funding can be used for technology infrastructure and the requirement for a school to complete a needs assessment to justify use of Title IV funding. On April 6, the Secretary announced the creation of <a href="https&#58;//www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/secretary-education-betsy-devos-authorizes-new-funding-flexibilities-support-continued-learning-during-covid-19-national-emergency">a streamlined process</a> so that states can be approved for these waivers within one business day.<br><br> Last, the act requires states and districts to continue to meet “maintenance of effort” requirements regarding state and local education funding. However, the act also empowers the secretary to waive this requirement if states experience a “precipitous decline in financial resources.” <p></p></blockquote><ol start="5"><li> <strong><em>There are several actions that school and district leaders should consider taking now to promote the most efficient, effective use of CARES Act funds.</em></strong></li></ol><blockquote> In the next several weeks, states and districts are slated to begin receiving CARES Act funds. The <a href="https&#58;//www.cbpp.org/research/state-budget-and-tax/how-much-will-states-receive-through-the-education-stabilization-fund">specific amounts</a> have already been estimated for each state and district. There are three immediate steps that school and district leaders can take to prepare for these funds&#58; <p></p><ol type="A"><li> <strong>Identify</strong><strong> the most critical needs—now and over time.</strong>&#160; As noted above, school districts and states will have significant flexibility in use of CARES Act funds, including with regard to which schools and students are supported, and how funds are used. Now is the time to consider key data and evidence, as well as stakeholder input, to identify highest priorities. Given the outsized impact this crisis is having on the most marginalized children and families, decision makers should pay particular attention to equity and the children in greatest need, as well as to ensuring equitable access to education services consistent with federal civil rights laws. <br> <br> <ul><li> <em>For district and school leaders. </em>Consider issues such as how these funds can close equity gaps in remote learning, support school communities that need them most, promote summer learning to mitigate further learning loss and aid good faith efforts to ensure equitable access to education resources for students with disabilities. <br> <br></li><li> <em>For state leaders. </em>Consider statewide priorities but also how funds can be directed at places and populations with the greatest needs. Also consider whether and how to seek ESSA waivers while still keeping critical systems of data and school improvement in place long term. Finally, consider making widely available evidence on effective approaches to supporting districts, schools and students during the pandemic.<br><br></li></ul></li><li> <strong>Maintain</strong><strong> and improve systems for effective coordination and integration of funds. </strong>Districts and states have authority over different CARES Act funding sources. This means it will be important for school, district and state leaders to coordinate effectively about how best to target and use funds as part of a coherent approach to spending. Because CARES Act funds are supplemental and flexible, they can be combined with other state and local funds and strategies (including under ESSA plans) to promote an integrated approach. Further, family and community engagement can play a key role in making the best decisions and having the greatest impact.&#160; <br> <br> <ul><li> <em>For district and school leaders. </em>Consider how to best engage families and communities to help identify the greatest needs and best strategies, and how to best engage with state leaders as well. <br> <br></li><li> <em>For state leaders. </em>Consider what existing or new mechanisms could be used to ensure coordination and learning from the field. Think about how funds could be used most strategically with other plans and establish systems to determine how CARES Act funds are spent. This can help support continual review and improvement in use of funds over time.<br><br></li></ul></li><li> <strong>Analyze</strong><strong> and track additional needs as early as possible.</strong> The coronavirus crisis is far from predictable. Uncertainties include the duration of the pandemic as well as its impact on public health and safety, the economy, and state and local revenues. What it will mean for education opportunity and learning is another question mark. Further, the crisis could extend well into the next school year or beyond, and we cannot know when things will return to “normal” or what “normal” will or should look like. CARES Act funds are likely to be helpful but insufficient. Key national organizations representing school and district leaders have already begun to identify likely priorities for additional funding. To inform other policy actions over time, school, district and state leaders should act early to analyze the likely impact of the crisis on children’s development—academically, socially and emotionally—and on the education system. <br> <br> <ul><li> <em>For district and school leaders. </em>Plan now for different scenarios in the fall and identify likely strategies and needs given your circumstances, including with regard to issues such as professional learning, student diagnostic assessments,​ and child and family supports.&#160; <br> <br></li><li> <em>For state leaders. </em>Consider the same statewide, particularly the budget implications of the current crisis and what it will take to ensure equitable access to education resources, including greater support for children, families and communities in greatest need.</li></ul></li></ol></blockquote>Sean Worley, Scott Palmer1072020-04-23T04:00:00ZFederal Coronavirus Aid Package Provides School and Preschool Funding; Summer and Afterschool Programs Eligible8/27/2020 3:24:12 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / The CARES Act: Five Things That School and District Leaders Need to Know Now The newly enacted federal law in response to 10331https://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 3256https://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 1152https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Cross-sector Collaborations for Education Show Promise, Face Challenges3441GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61;GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning<p>Complex social issues must be solved with a comprehensive approach. That’s the idea driving a recent surge in cross-sector collaborations anchored in communities and aimed at improving local educational outcomes, especially for low-income students. In one study, researchers from Teachers College at Columbia University <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/collective-impact-and-the-new-generation-of-cross-sector-collaboration-for-education.aspx">found 182 such place-based collaborations nationwide</a> working to improve students’ readiness for and success in early childhood, K-12, and post-secondary education. </p><p>A&#160;companion study (also from Teachers College), <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/building-impact-a-closer-look-at-local-cross-sector-collaborations-for-education.aspx"><em>Building Impact&#58; A Closer Look at Local Cross-Sector Collaborations for Education,​</em>&#160;</a> now examines&#160;eight collaborations, which often include philanthropies, school districts, businesses, higher education and social service agencies. Prior to the study's release, Carolyn Riehl, an associate professor at Teachers College, presented a few&#160;of the&#160;&#160;findings at a ​​Collective Impact Convening in Chicago. She was joined by Will Miller, president of The Wallace Foundation, and Danae Davis, executive director of Milwaukee Succeeds, one of the collaborations featured in the study. </p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Panel-photo-1.1.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Cross-sector-Collaborations-for-Education-Show-Promise-Face-Challenges/Panel-photo-1.1.jpg" style="margin&#58;170px 5px;width&#58;442px;" />While cross-sector collaborations were often overly optimistic about their initial goals, there’s reason for “cautious optimism” about their future, Riehl told a crowd gathered at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. They will likely take “more time than the usual window of opportunity social programs are given for making an impact,” she said, but they are bringing together partners who have rarely cooperated before, soothing local political tensions and making steady progress. </p><p>Here we highlight some key questions posed by the panel and preview findings from the upcoming report, which Miller called, “one of the most in-depth studies of the cross-sector collaboration approach.”</p><p> <strong>Can local collaborations mount comprehensive change?</strong></p><p>Several of the eight collaborations studied set out to provide supports from early childhood through post-secondary education, but only one—Say Yes Buffalo—has come close to meeting that promise so far, the study found. That group convinced the city to provide “a broad menu of wraparound support services” for students, Riehl said. “The ‘carrot’ that enticed the city to commit was that Say Yes promised college scholarships for all eligible public school graduates in the city. The stick was that if the city reneged on the support services, there would be no more scholarships.”</p><p>Other collaborations studied had expanded services on a more gradual and limited scale and not yet met their goals. Obstacles included getting participants to agree on strategies and a shortage of funding and organizational capacity. Still, the vision to provide comprehensive services “seems to give people a sense of purpose and significance, a horizon to reach for,” she noted. </p><p> <strong>How do collaborations address education?</strong><strong><br></strong><br> “The politics and pragmatics of collaborations working closely with school districts turned out to be much more complicated than we might imagine,” Riehl said to appreciative laughter. The initiatives studied often supported instructional improvement by launching afterschool programs or by backing a district’s strategic plan, but appropriately refrained from trying to drive instructional reforms.&#160;&#160;</p><p>But districts also were often hesitant to work closely with cross-sector collaborations, the study found. One reason, Riehl said, seemed to be a desire to avoid expensive, complicated and politically challenging work. Pressure to focus on immediate testing and accountability concerns may have played a role. Districts also commonly want to be viewed as the “source and motivator” of their own improvement, she noted, and working with an external collaboration might imply that the district couldn’t manage improvement on its own.</p><p>Collaborations did make one significant contribution to core education reform, the study found&#58; they calmed entrenched interests and tensions that often surround urban school systems. They reduced “the sense of frustration and urgency,” Riehl said, and created “an environment more conducive to school system stability and productivity. This may not be the kind of ambitious change implied in the rhetoric of collective impact, but it did count for something in local contexts.”</p><p> <strong>How do collaborations address equity in their systems?</strong><strong> </strong></p><p>Most collaborations were motivated by the desire to end disparities in academic performance for students from low-income backgrounds and students of color. Yet at their start, they refrained from naming the problem directly or addressing other inequities that affect education, such as housing, employment, community safety and services. But over time, collaborations have become more explicit and intentional about equity, the study found. Researchers attributed that in part to the influence of national networks supporting collaboratives and growing national attention to class and race disparities, especially in the wake of the 2016 presidential campaign. &#160;<br><br> Still, collaborations generally continued to be made up of community leaders, “often without involving the people most impacted by inequity and poor education,” she observed. The original idea was to involve “powerful decision-makers in systemwide change” but that approach, she said, might ultimately fail to galvanize widespread support, including from those they intend to serve. </p><p> <strong>What can influence sustainability in a collaboration? </strong></p><p>“Goodwill and enthusiasm for the idea of collective impact gave these initiatives their start and seem to be boosting them along,” Riehl reported. Other factors aiding sustainability include effective “backbone” organizations to manage the collaboration, leaders with strong interpersonal skills, and national networks providing technical assistance, networking, strategies, funding and other supports. &#160;<br> Davis of Milwaukee Succeeds, which belongs to the national StriveTogether network, said that her collaborative has sustained itself since 2011 despite launching amid local education politics “that had been toxic for 25 years.” The city’s education landscape included a high-poverty school system struggling to raise student achievement, a large number of independent charter schools and private (mostly religious) schools enrolling students with vouchers. &#160;</p><p>Keeping all three education systems working together through the collaborative, she said, “is no small feat.”</p><p>She attributes their commitment to a shared desire to benefit children, a refusal to allow the collaborative’s forum “to be hijacked for political reasons,” such as elections, and insistence among the five major foundations funding the work that the three education systems show evidence of partnership. “That sends the message that you want to stay in the tent,” she said.</p><p>Early on, the collaboration also realized that it would get more traction if it placed school system priorities at the forefront, she added.</p><p>While Milwaukee Succeeds had to scale back on its ambition to tackle the whole “cradle to career spectrum” at once, it has had some wins, Davis said. After a technology manufacturing company promised the county 13,000 jobs, the collaborative helped to convene 18 local two- and four-year colleges and universities to come up with a workforce development plan that included raising college enrollment and completion. &#160;</p><p>“That was a huge deal,” she said. “I don’t know how many of you have worked with higher ed—it’s worse than the Titanic in terms of turning it around. And they are moving with great speed.”</p><p>In another win, they convinced state legislators to fund a statewide expansion of a tutoring program for early readers that the collaborative had brought to Milwaukee. Business partners in the collaborative made the request, backed by data, she said, and philanthropic partners promised funding for a quarter of the cost.</p><p> <strong>What does the immediate future look like for collaborations?</strong></p><p>Davis said she regrets that the collaborative neglected grassroots involvement at the start and so is not well-known in the wider community. Eight years in, they are working to forge those relationships. An important step, she said, will be finding ways to support grassroots agendas. To build community buy-in, she advised “don’t bring them to your table, go to their table.” &#160;</p><p>Miller added that in his own personal experience, he’s found that a cross-sector collaboration needs support both from elites to bring resources to the table and from grassroots participation to give the effort legitimacy. Some collaborations he’s participated in, he said, owed their success in large part to “a lengthy, exhaustive process” for identifying where the interests of each overlapped. &#160;</p><p>Riehl and Davis agreed that sustaining cross-sector collaboration long-term will depend on the skill of “backbone” organizations like Milwaukee Succeeds to forge and manage diverse relationships and become more representative of the communities they serve. </p><p>“This process takes a long time,” Riehl said. “People get bored and stop coming, they argue, there’s conflict, factions develop, so it really takes a steady hand to get everyone rowing in the same direction.”<br><br> But, she said, “we’ve seen lovely instances where partner agencies have changed their strategies because they want to be part of the action.”</p><p><em>To learn more about the Teachers College study of cross-sector collaborations in education,</em> see <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/putting-collective-impact-into-context.aspx">Putting Collective Impact Into Context</a> <em>and</em> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/collective-impact-and-the-new-generation-of-cross-sector-collaboration-for-education.aspx?_ga=2.17155889.962354234.1561754504-1014093728.1520357385">Collective Impact and the New Generation of Cross-Sector Collaborations for Education</a>. </p>Photo&#58; ​Will Miller, president, The Wallace Foundation; Danae Davis, executive director, Milwaukee Succeeds; Carolyn Riehl, associate professor, Teachers College<br>Elizabeth Duffrin972019-06-18T04:00:00ZYour 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.1/16/2020 4:30:17 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Cross-sector Collaborations for Education Show Promise, Face Challenges Upcoming report examines collaborations and their 1577https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Implementation Gets the Job Done, Benefiting Kids by Strengthening Practices24080GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61;GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GP0|#d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8;L0|#0d2020f9f-c87c-4828-b93b-572786ae94a8|Arts Education<p>​​Better&#160;​services in schools and afterschool programs. Reforms that work. Exciting new opportunities for young people. They all come from a single source.​​</p><p>It’s not politics.<br></p><p>And it’s not money.</p><p>It’s better professional practices.</p><p>Think about what happens when planning for summer learning programs is left until the last minute. Or when training gaps mean that school and afterschool staff members are unprepared to support kids’ social and emotional development. Or when novice principals who are key to district efforts to improve school leadership have to fend for themselves, without mentors or coaching. <br></p><p>It’s not pretty. How efforts are implemented really matters. Even the best ideas and the most well-resourced programs can’t make up for weak implementation.</p><p>We know this because we’ve seen what happens when implementation goes awry. It’s a problem first pinned down in the 1970s, when Seymour Sarason’s <em>The Culture of the School and the Problem of Change</em> traced the surprising shortfalls of the 1960s “New Math” to lapses in how this approach to grade-school math education was carried out. Notably, teachers asked to teach the new math hadn’t been trained in how to do so. Moreover, the new curriculum wasn’t adapted to the local context, and planning was left until the new books arrived.</p><p>The bottom line was clear&#58; Even the best idea, done with the best of intentions, doesn’t help kids if it isn’t implemented thoughtfully, carefully and with a smart change process that responds to the challenges faced by practitioners.</p><div> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="ED_5991.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/ED_5991.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;204px;color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;" /> </div><p>​Practitioners in schools and youth services take their work very seriously, so they know that well-executed programming is the best way they can help kids grow. And at The Wallace Foundation, we take practitioners’ work as seriously as they do. That’s why in addition to supporting improved practices and gathering many kinds of evidence to help enhance services for young people—from cost studies and outcomes data to market research and case studies—we gather practical, reliable lessons on implementation. Indeed, we place the highest priority on finding lessons that practitioners in education, youth services and other fields can use to strengthen their work, overcome barriers to effective programming and assist staff members when new services are being introduced. And we’ve seen how useful and beneficial these lessons are for practitioners and the kids they serve.</p><div>​​Our vehicle for this is the implementation study—independent research, which we commission and publish, that examines how an effort is put into operation. In uncovering both the strong points and flaws of implementation, this research identifies and illuminates the practices needed to carry out an innovation well.&#160;​In the foundation’s early days in the 1990s, for example, researchers examined our initiative to support then-novel efforts by public schools to provide services for children and families beyond regular school hours. Among the lessons in <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-started-with-extended-service-schools.aspx"><em>Getting Started with Extended Service Schools</em></a><em>&#58;&#160;&#160;</em>It’s crucial to include school custodians in planning lest afterschool programming and afterschool cleaning and repairing collide. This simple reminder saved time and backtracking when the 21st Century Community Learning Centers effort began, and the U.S. Department of Education sent each center a copy of <em>Getting Started</em>.</div><div>&#160;</div><p>Here are three examples from our more recent work&#58; </p><p>In our National Summer Learning Project, begun in 2011, we supported five urban school districts as they worked to make high-quality summer learning programs available to children. <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-to-work-on-summer-learning-2nd-ed.aspx"><em>Getting to Work on Summer Learning&#58; Recommended Practices for Success, 2nd ed.</em></a> finds, among other things, that the districts needed to begin summer planning well ahead of summer’s onset if they wanted the programming to be as sound as possible. Best practices uncovered included this&#58; Start planning in January at the latest. </p><p>Our effort to help youth-serving organizations introduce high-quality arts programming for young people in disadvantaged areas began in 2014. <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/raising-the-barre-and-stretching-the-canvas.aspx"><em>Raising the Barre and Stretching the Canvas</em></a>&#160;highlights the ways local Boys &amp; Girls Clubs of America managers integrated teaching artists into their staff teams so the “arts kids” were supported by the entire Club community.</p><p>And then there’s the Principal Pipeline Initiative, launched in 2010, which supported six large school districts as they developed a systematic effort, known as building a principal pipeline, to cultivate a large corps of effective school leaders. A <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principal-pipelines-a-feasible,-affordable,-and-effective-way-for-districts-to-improve-schools.aspx">recently published outcomes study</a> found that these pipelines proved advantageous to both student achievement and principal retention. The examination of the initiative’s implementation suggests <em>how and why </em>this played out—in part, through flexibility that allowed for local adaptation. Specifically, even though each district set out to build pipelines with common components—such as rigorous job standards and on-the-job supports including mentoring for new principals—each district adapted the components to its circumstances and managed to overcome the barriers that inevitably cropped up locally. In other words, principal pipelines benefit kids when school districts emphasize strong implementation. The evidence is laid out in five Wallace-commissioned implementation reports, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/building-a-stronger-principalship.aspx"><em>Building a Stronger Principalship</em></a>.</p><p>We are looking forward to future explorations of implementation, too. A forthcoming Wallace-commissioned report from our Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative, for example, is setting out to detail how front-line youth workers and teachers find the time to incorporate social and emotional learning into their regular practices.</p><p>Over more than two decades of commissioning and communicating about implementation studies of Wallace’s initiatives, we’ve learned a lot&#58;</p><ul><li>We’ve learned to pay attention to straightforward descriptions of what’s feasible in several different places. Practitioners value descriptions of what their peers have actually done in the real world, because that’s how they see they can do it, too. And we’ve seen that comparisons among several sites deepen the value of the implementation evidence.</li></ul><ul><li>We’ve learned to look at the start-up process, because it points to the stakeholders who need to be at the table and the practical ideas they contribute.</li></ul><ul><li>We’ve learned to identify hindrances to implementation—whether planning oversights, disengaged management teams, unequal treatment of some practitioners, lack of preparation time, staff inexperience or other commonplace operational challenges—and crucially, how practitioners overcome them.</li></ul><ul><li>We’ve learned that sensible adaptations help practitioners respond to their own context—and show people who are considering an improvement approach how they can tweak it to fit their own situation.</li></ul><p>Most of all, we’ve found that <em>every serious improvement effort requires significant operational changes in day-to-day practices and management</em>, so it is essential to probe and learn from the on-the-ground experiences of the front-line practitioners who are serving kids. The payoff for good implementation evidence is feasible, adaptable, practical ideas that enable institutions to engage in continuous improvement of services—with a consistent focus on benefitting young people. Strong practitioners are constantly figuring out how to do their work better. Smart implementation evidence helps them in that and, ultimately, in serving kids. </p><p>Effective implementation is the not-so-hidden story of services that work, and Wallace’s support for disadvantaged young people is rooted in the foundation’s recognition that the right kind of implementation is what gets the job done. That’s the most useful, and most constructive, lesson from Wallace’s work. And it’s the lesson practitioners use.</p><p><span style="text-align&#58;left;color&#58;#555555;text-transform&#58;none;text-indent&#58;0px;letter-spacing&#58;normal;font-family&#58;freightsans_probook;font-size&#58;14px;font-variant&#58;normal;font-weight&#58;400;text-decoration&#58;none;word-spacing&#58;0px;display&#58;inline;white-space&#58;normal;orphans&#58;2;float&#58;none;background-color&#58;#ffffff;"><em>Ed Pauly is Wallace’s director of research</em></span><em>​.</em><br><br></p><div><table width="100%" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="16" style="background-color&#58;#e4e4e4;"><tbody><tr><td><h3>​<strong>One More Look&#58;&#160; Highlights from Wallace-Commissioned Implementation Evidence</strong></h3><p>Over the years, Wallace-commissioned research has looked at the implementation of initiatives in areas ranging from adult literacy and financial management of not-for-profit organizations to school leadership and summer learning. Which reports have ideas to help strengthen <em>your</em> practices?</p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-started-with-extended-service-schools.aspx"><em>Getting Started with Extended Service Schools</em></a><em>&#58; Early Lessons from the Field</em><strong>, </strong>Kay E. Sherwood (2000)</p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/a-study-of-adult-student-persistence-in-library-literacy-programs.aspx"><em>“One Day I Will Make It”&#58; A Study of Adult Student Persistence in Library Literacy Programs</em></a> (2005)</p><p> <em>Aligning Student Support With Achievement Goals&#58; The Secondary Principal’s Guide</em> (2006).&#160; The book is available for purchase online. A free Wallace <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/wallace-perspective-aligning-student-support-with-achievement-goals.aspx">brief</a> highlights key report findings. </p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/hours-of-opportunity-volumes-i-ii-iii.aspx"> <em>Hours of Opportunity&#58; Lessons from Five Cities on Building Systems to Improve After-School, Summer School, and Other Out-of-School-Time Programs</em></a> (2010)</p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/the-skills-to-pay-the-bills.aspx"><em>The Skills to Pay the Bills&#58; An Evaluation of an Effort to Help Nonprofits Manage Their Finances</em></a> (2015)</p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/building-a-stronger-principalship-vol-5-the-principal-pipeline-initiative-in-action.aspx"><em>Building a Stronger Principalship Vol 5&#58; The Principal Pipeline Initiative in Action</em></a> (2016)</p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/leader-tracking-systems-turning-data-into-information-for-school-leadership.aspx"><em>Leader Tracking Systems&#58; Turning Data Into Information for School Leadership</em></a> (2017)</p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/raising-the-barre-and-stretching-the-canvas.aspx"><em>Raising the Barre and Stretching the Canvas&#58; Implementing High-Quality Arts Programming in a National Youth Serving Organization</em></a> (2017)</p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/designing-for-engagement-the-experiences-of-tweens-in-the-boys-and-girls-clubs’-youth-arts-initiative.aspx"><em>Designing for Engagement&#58; The Experiences of Tweens in the Boys &amp; Girls Clubs’ Youth Arts Initiative</em></a> (2018)</p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/launching-redesign-university-principal-preparation-programs.aspx"><em>Launching a Redesign of University Principal Preparation Programs&#58; Partners Collaborate for Change</em></a> (2018)</p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/a-new-role-emerges-for-principal-supervisors.aspx"><em>A New Role Emerges for Principal Supervisors&#58; Evidence from Six Districts in the Principal Supervisor Initiative</em></a>(2018)</p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-to-work-on-summer-learning-2nd-ed.aspx"><em>Getting to Work on Summer Learning&#58; Recommended Practices for Success, 2nd edition</em></a> (2018)​<br></p></td></tr></tbody></table><p><br>&#160;</p><br></div>Ed Pauly992019-05-20T04:00:00ZStudies Probing How to Carry Out Improvement Efforts Help Practitioners See What Works—and What Doesn’t7/17/2019 6:55:11 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Implementation Gets the Job Done, Benefiting Kids by Strengthening Practices Studies Probing How to Carry Out Improvement 1230https://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 812https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Keeping the Lights On for Afterschool10263GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​This week, in more than 8,000 communities across the country and at U.S. military bases worldwide, afterschool programs will open their doors to showcase the skills students gain and the talents they develop at their afterschool programs. We expect more than a million people to participate in <a href="http&#58;//www.afterschoolalliance.org/loa.cfm" target="_blank">Lights On Afterschool</a>, the only national rally for afterschool.</p><p>This event began 19 years ago, when afterschool programs were little known but badly needed. In those days, most people could quickly and easily articulate the need for afterschool programs, but few knew what the term meant. A weekly chess club? Seasonal football or cheerleading practices? A monthly volunteer activity? </p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="group_of_kids_at_table.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/group_of_kids_at_table.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;425px;" />Neither policymakers nor educators had reliable information about where the country’s children were and what they were doing each afternoon after school closed. Police and prosecutors knew too many were unsupervised and on the streets. First responders and health care providers knew too many were at risk for substance abuse, sexual activity and other dangerous behaviors. Educators knew not enough were getting homework help and enriching, engaging activities. Business and college leaders knew they weren’t using that time to hone the communications and team-building skills that ready them for jobs or college. And millions of parents knew–all too well–the anxiety that came with crossing your fingers each afternoon, hoping against hope that your kids would be okay until you got home from work.</p><p>All that has changed. </p><p>Today, more than 10 million children are in afterschool programs. By overwhelming majorities, the public recognizes that these programs provide comprehensive supports and activities that improve students’ prospects in school and in life, boost families, make communities safer and strengthen our workforce, according to a <a href="http&#58;//afterschoolalliance.org/research.cfm" target="_blank">national public opinion survey</a> the Afterschool Alliance released this week. <a name="_Hlk526952191"></a></p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Right" alt="Balloons-and-teen-students-.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Balloons-and-teen-students-.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;406px;" />What got us here? A combination of factors, including afterschool providers, educators and school system leaders who were willing to advocate for the programs they knew children and families needed; <a href="/knowledge-center/after-school/pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">a growing body of research</a> documenting the benefits afterschool and summer learning programs provide; strong policies that built on that research; and a field that has been receptive and innovative in both applying lessons from research into practice and finding new ways to engage students in learning.&#160; We can actually see evidence of these factors at work during Lights On Afterschool this month. Students nationwide are showing off the skills they’re learning after school, from engineering robots to public speaking to performing music and plays they wrote themselves. </p><p>Many Lights On Afterschool events feature mayors and city leaders, who have emerged as champions of programs that give working parents peace of mind, reduce juvenile crime and engage businesses in preparing the workforce of tomorrow. And nearly every governor has issued a proclamation in support of Lights On Afterschool Day. </p><p>We have a lot to be proud of, but we also have a long way to go. While programs have stepped up, and more elected officials recognize the value of these programs, demand for afterschool and summer options still far outpaces supply. Most families today need afterschool and summer programs, but for every child in an afterschool program, two more are waiting to get in.</p><p>Where will we be in another 19 years? We certainly hope that, before long, no child will be without the afterschool program she or he needs. But whether that happens depends on all of us. Business, philanthropy, government, communities and parents each have a role in play in charting the course of afterschool and summer programs.&#160; It is my sincere hope that by 2040, afterschool and summer are treated as the integral part of a child’s education we know them to be.&#160; </p> <em>Jodi Grant is executive director of the </em> <a href="http&#58;//www.afterschoolalliance.org/" target="_blank"> <em>Afterschool Alliance</em></a><em>.</em>Jodi Grant882018-10-23T04:00:00ZAnnual Lights On Afterschool Event Highlights the Benefits and Value of Afterschool Programs Across the U.S.10/23/2018 7:59:24 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Keeping the Lights On for Afterschool Annual event highlights the benefits and value of afterschool programs across the 864https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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