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Cross-Community Evaluation Findings 2019: for the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative

July 1, 2020

Four years into this collective effort to aggregate and analyze data of communities in the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative, we are beginning to yield some findings that are consistent year-over-year—and actionable. This report presents the findings of evaluation work completed during the 2018–2019 program year and homes in on those findings most ripe for appreciation and action.There is a strong correlation between teens' connection to Jewish values and and the influence those values have on the livesteens choose to lead. Substantive Jewish content creates a sense of belonging, a desire to do good in the world, and a platformfor teens to build friendships—these peer relationships also contribute to strong Jewish outcomes overall. Importantly, the report concludes with recommendations applicable beyond the 10 community-based teen initiatives, informing any organization committed to effective teen programs, professional development for youth professionals, and affordability of programs for parents.The report draws from a variety of sources to offer a snapshot of a moment in time, and evaluation alone cannot provide the full picture of tectonic shifts occurring on the ground in these 10 communities. Extremely complex efforts involving stakeholders, implementers, and the communities are making lasting and positive changes to the culture impacting teen engagement.We encourage you to read the complementary case studies documenting the work, along with previous reports, all found onthe Learnings page of 

Systems Change in the National Fund: Case Studies from the Field

December 15, 2015

Since its inception in 2007, National Fund and its regional collaboratives have invested in improving America's education and workforce systems. Through the work of its regional funder collaboratives and their industry partnerships, National Fund communities have intentionally pursued systems change as a critical strategy to enhance its impact and scale by sustaining positive changes over time. This report provides in-depth case studies from the field in six communities in which National Fund collaboratives make a lasting improvement in their communities' workforce systems.

Building District Capacity for System-Wide Instructional Improvement in Cincinnati Public Schools

December 1, 2013

This report summarizes findings from one component of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education's (CPRE) evaluation of the General Electric Foundation's (GEF) Developing FuturesTM in Education program in Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS). The purpose was to closely analyze the district's capacity to support system-wide instructional improvement. To understand how CPS, one of the four Developing FuturesTM districts that were examined, built capacity for system-wide instructional improvement, our study during Phase Two focused on a single, overarching question: to what extent has CPS central office adopted and institutionalized the seven core principles of Developing FuturesTM?

America's Big Cities in Volatile Times: Meeting Fiscal Challenges and Preparing for the Future

November 11, 2013

The Great Recession created fiscal challenges for the 30 cities at the centers of the nation's most populous metropolitan areas that continued well past the recession's official end in June 2009. For most of these cities, the fiscal brunt was borne later than for the national and state governments and recovery has been slow. Cities dealt with fiscal strain in a variety of ways: dipping into reserve funds, cutting spending, gaining help from the federal or state governments, and increasing revenue from tax and nontax sources. Although these strategies offered short-term solutions, many cities still faced declining revenue in 2011, the consequence of reduced spending, shrunken reserves, and rising pension and retiree health care costs. Property taxes, which can be slow to respond to economic swings, helped delay the early fiscal effects of the Great Recession for most of these cities, but they began to decline in 2010, reflecting a deferred impact of the housing crisis. This trend was compounded by increasingly unpredictable aid from states and the federal government that were dealing with their own budgetary constraints. Researchers from Pew standardized data from the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports from 2007 through 2011, the latest year of complete data available, for all of these 30 cities. This report examines key elements of each city's fiscal conditions, including revenue, expenditures, reserves, and long-term obligations, and adjusted them for inflation to facilitate comparison across the years. These adjustments allow insight into fiscal trends across cities and over time. Direct comparisons between cities may be limited, however, by differences in cities' tax structures and the range of services each city provides

Food on Wheels: Mobile Vending Goes Mainstream

September 19, 2013

Mobile food vending generates approximately $650 million in revenue annually. The industry is projected to account for approximately $2.7 billion in food revenue over the next five years, but unfortunately, most cities are legally ill-equipped to harness this expansion. Many city ordinances were written decades ago, with a different type of mobile food supplier in mind, like ice cream trucks, hot dog carts, sidewalk peddlers, and similar operators. Modern mobile vending is a substantial departure from the vending typically assumed in outdated local regulations. Vendors utilize large vehicles packed with high-tech cooking equipment and sanitation devices to provide sophisticated, safe food usually prepared to order. Increasingly, city leaders are recognizing that food trucks are here to stay. They also recognize that there is no "one size fits all" prescription for how to most effectively incorporate food trucks into the fabric of a community. With the intent of helping city leaders with this task, this guide examines the following questions: What policy options do local governments have to regulate food trucks? What is the best way to incorporate food trucks into the fabric of a city, taking into account the preferences of all stakeholders?Thirteen cities of varying size and geographic location were analyzed for this study. Information on vending regulations within each of these cities was collected and analyzed, and supplemented with semi-structured interviews with city staff and food truck vendors.

Collective Impact Case Study: Partners for a Competitive Workforce

September 10, 2013

Partners for a Competitive Workforce (PCW) supports a collective impact initiative that marries workforce development with employer demand -- accelerating the ability of each to solve their own challenges and those of the region.

Continuous Improvement in Education

May 6, 2013

In recent years, 'continuous improvement' has become a popular catchphrase in the field of education. However, while continuous improvement has become commonplace and well-documented in other industries, such as healthcare and manufacturing, little is known about how this work has manifested itself in education.This white paper attempts to map the landscape of this terrain by identifying and describing organizations engaged in continuous improvement, and by highlighting commonalities and differences among them. The findings classify three types of organizations engaged in continuous improvement: those focused on instructional improvement at the classroom level; those concentrating on system-wide improvement; and those addressing collective impact. Each type is described in turn and illustrated by an organizational case study. Through the analysis, six common themes that characterize all three types of organizations (e.g., leadership and strategy, communication and engagement, organizational infrastructure, methodology, data collection and analysis, and building capacity) are enumerated. This white paper makes four concluding observations. First, the three case studies provide evidence of organizations conducting continuous improvement work in the field of education, albeit at different levels and in different ways. Second, entry points to continuous improvement work are not mutually exclusive, but are nested and, hence, mutually informative and comparative. Third, continuous improvement is not synonymous with improving all organizational processes simultaneously; rather, research and learning cycles are iterative and gradual in nature. Fourth, despite being both iterative and gradual, it is imperative that improvement work is planned and undertaken in a rigorous, thoughtful, and transparent fashion.

Shuttered Public Schools: The Struggle to Bring Old Buildings New Life

February 11, 2013

Large-scale public school closures have become a fact of life in many American cities, and that trend is not likely to stop now. This report looks at what happens to the buildings themselves, studying the experiences of Philadelphia and 11 other cities that have decommissioned large numbers of schools in recent years: Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Mo., Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tulsa and Washington.

No Windfall: Casino Taxes Won't Make Up Cuts to Local Governments

October 1, 2012

The opening of casinos in Cleveland and Toledo and the "racino" at Scioto Downs in Columbus means, among manyother things, additional tax revenue. A third casino is scheduled to open in Columbus on Oct. 8, with a fourth tofollow in Cincinnati next spring. This brief reviews tax revenue that may be produced by casinos, and how that compares with state cuts to schools and local governments. Any new revenue is a welcome addition to strained local budgets. However, casino revenue makes up only a fraction of the cuts that local governments recently sustained because of slashed revenue from the state and the impending end ofthe estate tax.

Getting Better at Teacher Preparation and State Accountability

December 22, 2011

Profiles the goals, activities, implementation, and challenges of the twelve states that won Race to the Top federal funds to improve teacher quality and preparation program accountability; analyzes their strategies; and makes policy recommendations.

Greater Cincinnati Foundation - 2009 Annual Report: Built to Last

August 27, 2010

Contains mission statement, message from the board chair and the president, 2009 in review, grantee and donor profiles, program information, grant summary, financial statements, and lists of new funds, board and committee members, and staff.

Helping Students Succeed: Communities Confront the Achievement Gap

March 15, 2010

Between 2007 and 2009, more than 3,000 citizens met with their neighbors in community centers, classrooms, churches, and libraries throughout the United States to talk about the issue known as the achievement gap. Participants in the forums discussed three possible options for closing the gap: raising expectations; providing more funding for struggling schools; and addressing root causes, such as poverty and poor health. As they deliberated, the citizens learned a great deal -- about their schools and their neighborhoods, about the persistence of subtle racial inequities, about the lives of young people, and about how these factors interact to support or prevent learning. Attitudes about teaching and parenting were questioned and reassessed. The experience of immigrant families, shrouded by language and culture, was brought into focus.These and other findings are the subjects of this Kettering Foundation report. In the end, the people who participated in forums realized that schools cannot shoulder the entire task of educating the next generation, that the quality of education cannot be measured by test scores alone, and that success for all our children requires something more from all of us.