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The COVID-19 pandemic has required educators to make a seismic shift to distance learning, first on an emergency basis early in the crisis, and now with some amount of pre-planning in fall 2020. Many educators are concerned that distance learning exacerbates students' inability to access and engage in high-quality math learning. Educators are particularly concerned about learning for the groups of students that, prior to the pandemic, were already performing less well than average on the state math achievement test: Black students, English learner students, and students with disabilities.Before COVID-19, there was already a growing awareness that school site leaders' instructional leadership could be critical for raising student achievement. The pandemic further highlighted the potential for targeted leadership development to improve math teaching and learning in California schools at a moment when achievement gaps could be widening.Findings from WestEd's evaluation of a seven-year initiative called Math in Common may offer some useful insights at this time. Math in Common was organized to support 10 California districts in effectively implementing the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSS-M) across grades K-8. A key part of the effort to improve math teaching and learning in these districts involved providing leadership development opportunities for many types of district and school leaders — from teacher leaders and instructional coaches to principals and district administrators — to help them understand and support the math content and instruction that teachers are expected to use.In this brief, we offer three recommendations for how educators in California and beyond should conceptualize new leadership development opportunities to support math improvement - during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. We offer these recommendations to a broad audience of educators, administrators, and policymakers concerned with building leaders' capacity for school improvement, including representatives from county offices of education, district central offices, the California Subject Matter Projects, the newly formed California Leadership academies, and leadership associations such as the Association for California School Administrators. To ground our recommendations, we begin with some brief background on the CCSS-M and the Math in Common initiative.
Institute for Child, Youth & Family Policy (ICYFP), Heller School For Social Policy & Management at Brandeis University;
Care work is essential to meet the basic needs and wellbeing of any society. However, the U.S. faces a burgeoning care crisis. In the coming years, aging Baby Boomers will require an unprecedented amount of paid elder care services. Meanwhile, the current unmet paid child care needs remain high On the supply side, our research shows that gender and racial/ethnic inequities are built into the looming care crisis: 9 in 10 low-wage care workers are women and almost half are racial/ethnic minority groups.While there is clearly a high demand for care workers, little research examines how paid care workers afford and manage their own caregiving needs. Given that paid care workers with children and elderly dependents care around the clock—at work and at home—it is important to understand if they have enough of their own care supports to meet these needs. These questions are especially pressing during the current public health crisis, as care workers are called upon to care for the most vulnerable members of society and the importance of care work is more visible than ever. Paid care workers' ability to care for their own families even while they continue to care for ours is critical to our ability to weather the COVID-19 storm and be ready to care for our aging population.In this analysis, our sample of care workers includes a range of well-paid to poorly paid jobs including physicians, physical therapists, Certified Nursing Assistants and personal and home care aides.3 We consider care needs for children under 13 (e.g., child care centers, family child care), adult parents (e.g., at home, in a day program) or both, by race/ethnicity and work and family composition.
How Kids Learn Foundation;
Temescal Associates issued a survey on March 25, 2020. As of March 28th, 69 responses were received from which a summary of the preliminary responses was compiled. Includes a narrative summary, detailed charts and listings of the responses.
Analyses of testing data from fall 2020 indicate the transition to remote learning has resulted in significant learning loss, particularly among low-income and minority students. Using data from the online learning platform Zearn, economists at the Harvard Opportunity Insights project found large losses in math learning for low-income students, whereas students from affluent backgrounds saw gains. This has exacerbated fears that the pandemic is widening the already large achievement gap between students from different income and racial/ethnic groups. The COVID-19 crisis has also had a worrisome impact on students' emotional health — particularly among full-time remote learners, for whom supportive networks of teachers and friends have been disrupted.Findings from the Distance and Disruption study correspond with those of a separate survey of 1,549 Massachusetts parents with school-aged children conducted in October and November 2020. That study found significant gaps by income and racial/ethnic group in access to in-person schooling, and parents of children in remote-learning situations — particularly hybrid in-person/remote arrangements — were more likely to feel their child was falling behind grade level.The Distance and Disruption study further adds to our understanding of the transfer to remote learning by exploring students' perspectives on specific differences in the quality of learning experiences between the in-school and at-home environments. Such differences are a critical link in explaining why remote-learning students are more likely to experience negative outcomes.
S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation;
In 2014, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation launched its National Character Initiative, committing $130 million over six years to advance character development practices in youth-serving organizations. Investments were directed toward organizations working outside the traditional school day and classroom environment to support learning and development that happens during recess, after-school, summer, one-on-one mentoring, sports activities, and nature-based programming. The Foundation collaborated with 13 national youth-serving organizations, several national intermediaries, policy-focused organizations, and the California after-school system. The direct-service organizations involved collectively reach over half of youth ages five to 18 years old in the United States. This brief provides Foundation staff's reflections on the Initiative, including progress made and lessons learned.This philanthropic partnership with some of the largest youth-serving organizations in the country spans six years, involves a system of diverse supports, and builds organization and field-level capacity to advance character, social-emotional learning, and developmental outcomes in young people. The process used and lessons learned may benefit other funders pursuing similar outcomes in out-of-school time settings.
S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation;
Math in Common is a seven-year initiative launched in spring 2013 that supports a formal network of ten diverse California school districts as they implement the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSS-M) in grades K-8. The ten unified school districts are: Dinuba, Elk Grove, Garden Grove, Long Beach, Oakland, Oceanside, Sacramento City, San Francisco, Sanger, and Santa Ana. Eight districts, all but Garden Grove and Long Beach, will continue to work together in a community of practice through June 2020. The initiative is funded by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. WestEd serves as the formative evaluator and California Education Partners facilitates the community of practice.Foundation staff has partnered with all ten districts in the initiative's first five years through regular phone calls, site visits, formal grant reports, participation in three community of practice meetings each year, and involvement in optional multi-district events. Based on this experience, staff has compiled reflections on this ambitious investment in California's students and educators. We are sharing these reflections here in the belief that learning from Math in Common provides current "real-world" evidence of best practices applicable to standards implementation, as well as insights into barriers districts may encounter.
S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation;
The S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, a spend-down foundation sunsetting in 2020, invested in four major education initiatives during its final decade of grantmaking. A firm believer in the importance of building and sharing knowledge, the Foundation also made significant, complementary investments in evaluation that were intended to help grantee partners improve their work and to capture lessons learned that funders, nonprofits, policymakers, and other education actors might benefit from. This essay offers a high-level comparison of the evaluation approach taken in each initiative and shares reflections on why we took the paths we did.
From 2017 to 2020, Child Trends served as the evaluation partner for the YMCA of the USA's (Y-USA) Character Development Learning Institute (CDLI); through that work, we learned about efforts to improve DEI in afterschool, summer learning, camps, and other OST programs during site visits to more than 100 YMCAs around the country. In this brief, we summarize lessons learned from that research for OST programs seeking ways to be more intentional in their efforts to strengthen DEI.
S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation;
Recognizing that adults -- both in and out of the classroom -- play a pivotal role in building character in young people, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation invests in youth-serving organizations in California and across the nation that are committed to using data to improve and sustain the character development practices of adult staff and volunteers.The S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation envisions children and youth developing the knowledge, skills, and character to explore and understand the world around them, growing into caring, informed, and productive adults. This snapshot, prepared as the Foundation nears conclusion in 2020, documents essential aspects of the National Character Initiative.
S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation;
Recognizing teachers as the single most important contributor to student achievement, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation invests in high-quality models of math teaching and learning in California's K-8 classrooms through full implementation of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSS-M).The S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation envisions children and youth developing the knowledge, skills, and character to explore and understand the world around them, growing into caring, informed, and productive adults. This snapshot documents essential aspects of the Education Program's math portfolio.
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors;
The tool is designed for new or seasoned organizations, families and individuals engaged in philanthropy who are seeking a deeper understanding of how their organizations work and how to better leverage their resources and investments for impact.The tool can be particularly helpful for donors to:Conduct a philanthropic "gut check" or review of whether your identity, structure and approaches makes sense in the context of internal and external shifts.Ensure there is alignment across all levels of the organization on the core concepts, values and approaches.Better manage important organizational inflection points, such as leadership transitions or adopting new directions or approaches.
Oregon Community Foundation;
Cascading crises in Oregon in 2020 have compounded existing inequities, resulting in disproportionate impacts on Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), low-income Oregonians and rural communities. Every sector of society that OCF supports is grappling with the need for systems change: education, arts and culture, housing, business infrastructure, health care and more. How we are working to address these disproportionate impacts is informed by the findings in our newly released report, "Cornerstones: Economic Mobility and Belonging in Oregon." Working with Harvard-based research group Opportunity Insights, the report combines Census tract level data of economic opportunity with qualitative examinations of what helps kids in high opportunity neighborhoods succeed. OCF has identified key areas of investment and policy change needed to create more high opportunity neighborhoods in Oregon: economically integrated neighborhoods, high-quality schools, living wage jobs and increased social capital.