Sustaining and Expanding What Works in School Improvement
How can we sustain effective school improvement efforts and bring them to scale? That was the challenge pondered last week by 19 teams working on federal Investing in Innovation (i3) projects, along with staff from foundations, universities and the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Innovation, which funds the projects. Participants shared successes and challenges at the two-day convening in Washington, which was part of the i3 Learning Community that the Forum for Youth Investment facilitates with support from the William T. Grant and Spencer Foundations.
Speaker Don Peurach of the University of Michigan urged participants to see adapting interventions to local circumstances as synergistic with program fidelity, rather than conflicting. His recent Education Week commentary urged education policymakers to pay more attention to the role of intermediary organizations in school reform efforts, and cited the i3 Learning Community as the kind of knowledge brokering group that can advance effective reforms.
Stronger Supports Boost Student Success
To see what a supportive school can accomplish, look at this new report about Gainesville, Ga., where graduation rates rose and disciplinary actions dropped after the city schools adopted a stronger system of supports in partnership with community organizations. Those supports included recreation and enrichment, community service, health care and family preservation. The initiative was designed by Scholastic and the UCLA Center on Mental Health in Schools, and supported by the American Association of School Administrators, a Ready by 21 National Partner.
Collecting Data from Collaborations
While it is essential for organizations to collaborate in order to significantly improve services and supports for all youth, collecting and using data about those collaborative efforts and their impact can be difficult. This new report from Public/Private Ventures offers practical advice.
Struggling Youth Remain Optimistic
America's teens and adults both think the nation's economic troubles have hit youth harder than anyone, but youth are still optimistic about their futures. Those are among the findings of this recent survey from the Pew Research Center, Young, Underemployed and Optimistic: Coming of Age, Slowly, in a Tough Economy. Among the conclusions: The public says today's young adults have it harder than their parents did; tough economic times are altering young adults' daily lives and long-term plans; and youths' level of optimism about having enough money now and in the future remains undiminished from 2004.
Use Ready by 21 to Guide Youth Master Plans
The National League of Cities (NLC) invites municipal leaders, city staff and community partners to a free one-hour webinar, "Using Ready by 21 Tools to Guide Youth Master Planning." The webinar will feature officials from two cities that have used Ready by 21 to guide their planning processes - Nashville, Tenn., and Charlottesville, Va. - as well as staff from the Forum for Youth Investment and NLC's Institute for Youth, Education and Families.
When: March 21, 2:30 PM ET
Skills for Managing Human Services
"Human Services in Transition: Sustaining Impact in a Changed Economy," provides an opportunity to learn essential skills to be an effective nonprofit human services manager. This institute is run by the National Network for Social Work Managers and co-sponsored by the National Human Services Assembly, a Ready by 21 National Partner.
When: April 26-27, San Diego