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Building an Effective Social and Emotional Learning Committee in Dallas: One of Six Case Studies of Schools and Out-of-School-Time Program Partners

September 15, 2022

This case study is one of a series detailing how schools and out-of-school-time (OST) programs in six communities have collaborated to build students' social and emotional skills. The communities are participants in Wallace's Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative, which has brought together school districts and their OST partners to develop and implement mutually reinforcing social and emotional learning (SEL) activities and instruction across learning settings.This case study features Webster Elementary in Dallas and its OST partner, Thriving Minds Afterschool. The two worked together to make SEL sustainable, even in the face of staff turnover and other challenges, by forming an effective steering committee that became the driving force behind their SEL work. With an eye toward sustainability, the committee prioritized particular strategies to cultivate an SEL-focused climate across campus, provided training to school and OST program staff members, and monitored and documented implementation of these efforts.This case study finds that by focusing on sustainable social and emotional learning: The effort saw improvements in attendance, school climate, and student behavior. Staff members beyond the steering committee began sharing responsibility for SEL on campus. Short SEL rituals became embedded in the campus's daily schedule before the onset of the pandemic, which helped ease the transition of SEL to hybrid learning.

Strengthening Students’ Social and Emotional Skills: Lessons from Six Case Studies of Schools and Their Out-of-School-Time Program Partners

September 15, 2022

This report presents cross-cutting lessons from a set of case studies detailing how schools and out-of-school-time (OST) programs in six communities have worked together to build students' social and emotional (SEL) skills. The communities are participants in a Wallace initiative that has supported elementary schools and their OST partners in incorporating SEL activities and instruction into both the school and OST parts of the day.For five of the case studies, researchers selected a partnership in each community that has done an exemplary job of addressing one of a series of challenges widely shared by participants in the initiative. In one of the cases, the partnership between the school and its OST programs was in an early stage of development, so the researchers focused on what took place during the school day.The case studies explore:developing a brand-new school-OST partnership focusing on SEL (Boston),developing an effective SEL committee that includes a school and OST partner (Dallas),finding and jointly prioritizing time for SEL in the school and afterschool schedules (Denver),engaging teachers, staff members and parents in SEL (Palm Beach County, Fla.),incorporating equity into SEL (Tacoma), andfocusing on adult SEL first (Tulsa). The report summarizes the case studies and discusses nine factors that facilitated progress in carrying out SEL programs and practices, each of which was common to at least two of the cases:Committed school/OST program leaders were the foundation on which SEL work was built.SEL committees guided and supported implementation.Prioritizing time for SEL in school and OST schedules was important to making implementation routine.Starting the efforts by building adults' social and emotional skills proved central.Short SEL rituals were often the first and most widely adopted strategy, setting the stage for more extended SEL instruction.Establishing trusting relationships enhanced the collaboration on SEL in school-OST program partnerships.Formal, written SEL resources facilitated a consistent approach within and across settings.Distributing "ownership" of SEL across staff members and students increased people's buy-in to the effort and its sustainability.Experience with SEL before the pandemic helped schools and OST programs adapt to COVID-19 disruptions.

Albuquerque Justice for Youth Community Collaborative: 2021 Year One Documentation Team Report

August 15, 2022

This report documents the first year of an ambitious, long-term effort by the Albuquerque Justice for Youth Community Collaborative, to reduce and eventually eliminate dependence on the juvenile justice system and to build a culturally grounded alternative that keeps youth out of institutions. The Collaborative is made up of local grassroots oranizations, youth justice advocates, and young people and families who have een directly affected by the juvinile justice system.

Regional Trends in Tech as Art: Supporting Artists Who Use Technology as a Creative Medium

August 8, 2022

In June 2021, the National Endowment for the Arts published Tech as Art: Supporting Artists Who Use Digital Technology as a Creative Medium. This report is the culmination of a nearly two-year research study into artists whose practices are rooted in digital technologies. Launched in partnership with the Knight Foundation and Ford Foundation, with research conducted by 8 Bridges Workshop and Dot Connector Studio, the report explores the broad spectrum of tech-centered artistic practice, as well as the networks, career paths, and hubs of activity that support this work.Prior to the report publication, the Arts Endowment organized a series of seven virtual field meetings between June 15-24, 2021. These roundtable gatherings welcomed 116 artists, funders, administrators, academics, writers, educators, activists, and other field leaders, in addition to representatives from the Knight Foundation, Ford Foundation, and National Endowment for the Arts. Convenings focused on distinct geographic regions anchored by the cities of St. Paul, Minnesota; Detroit, Michigan; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; New York, New York; Miami, Florida; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and San Jose, California. Participants discussed challenges, existing assets, and practical steps for building the arts and technology field across the nation from the ground up. Through advancing regional conversations, the Arts Endowment sought to both strengthen regional arts and technology networks and develop an array of practical action steps for potential field supporters that complement Tech as Art findings and recommendations.

Changing the Playbook: Immigrants and the COVID-19 Response in Two U.S. Communities

July 27, 2022

U.S. cities and towns have responded to COVID-19 in ways that are as diverse as the communities they aim to support. This report looks at how two very different locations—Worthington, MN, and the greater Houston area—incorporated immigrants into their relief efforts, through partnerships, strategic outreach, targeted assistance, and more. The report also highlights useful lessons for responses to future emergencies.

Continuing Efforts To Slow Violent Crime: Promising Innovations From 3 Democrat-Led Cities

July 27, 2022

Historically, the United States' approach to crime has been reactionary and overreliant on criminal legal sanctions, and it has failed to adequately address the social, health, and behavioral factors that drive crime. Still, as the country continues to grapple with a rise in gun violence, a new wave of "tough-on-crime" rhetoric has emerged, blaming progressive policies for the increase in violent crime. While violent crime rose across the country in 2020, progressive leaders in cities are investing resources into proven public health and community-based solutions to stop gun violence before it starts, and these cities are seeing early signs of success in stemming the tide.Rather than accept calls for tough-on-crime policies, leaders in Houston, Boston, and Newark, New Jersey, have taken a more holistic approach to prevent violence before it starts. These cities are three examples of jurisdictions that have implemented comprehensive public safety plans focused not only on stopping violent crime but also on prioritizing community-driven and public health-focused innovations that break the cycle of violence.

Guns and Anti-Government Extremism in Nevada

July 20, 2022

The rise in violent white supremacist and anti-government extremism has permeated across the United States in recent years. All eyes were on Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021, when—after years of rising tensions instigated by former President Donald Trump and his supporters—hundreds of militia groups and right-wing extremists attacked the Capitol. More than one year later, on May 14, 2022, a white 18-year-old espousing the racist "great replacement theory" fatally shot 10 Black people in a Buffalo, New York, grocery store. This white supremacist conspiracy theory posits that white people across the globe are going to be replaced by people of color.These devastating attacks did not occur in a vacuum. Gun violence prevention advocates had cautioned for months that the dangerous rhetoric could manifest in violent, deadly extremism; however, many did not heed the warning. In 2016, the Center for American Progress—in partnership with the Institute for a Progressive Nevada—released a detailed report on anti-government violent extremism in Nevada that echoed across the country. Nevada has an infamous history of violent extremist and anti-government actions by some residents. Now, the state is at a crossroads, experiencing rising extremist rhetoric alongside calls for weaker gun laws that, if combined, could be devastating and result in higher levels of extremist violence.This report is an update on the 2016 Center for American Progress report and examines how the combination of rising violent extremist ideologies and weak gun laws can lead to disastrous results for state residents. This report also presents the following policy solutions, which can be used to prevent future violent extremist attacks:Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.Ban guns at polling places.Implement waiting periods for purchasing guns.Enact preemption laws.Address hate crimes.Enact a licensing law.

The Economic Contributions of Immigrants in Texas

July 11, 2022

This fact sheet highlights the crucial role of immigrants in the state's workforce across the manufacturing, healthcare, and education fields. As of 2019, Texas had the second-largest immigrant population in the country. The increase in the immigrant population has helped strengthen and grow the already massive Texas labor force, even amidst disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, labor shortage, and supply-chain disruptions to the local, state, and national economies.

The Economic Benefit of Proposition 308: Expanding In-State Tuition to Arizona Dreamers

June 14, 2022

New research from the American Immigration Council highlights the crucial role that new Americans play in Arizona's economy, including in some of the state's fastest-growing and most in-demand fields, like healthcare, education, and the skilled trades. Still, the state is facing critical workforce shortages across the skills and education spectrum. One meaningful way for Arizona to remain competitive and tackle these workforce shortages is by increasing access to higher education for Dreamers. By passing Proposition 308, Arizona would join more than 20 states that recognize the financial hardship that out-of-state tuition imposes on young Dreamers. Granting access to in-state tuition to all Arizona graduates is an important step toward meeting critical workforce needs and would greatly benefit the state's economy. 

Texas AFT Respect Us Expect Us Survey Stats

June 8, 2022

In the wake of the shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, we surveyed school employees and parents about their reactions and concerns:90% of Texas school employees have worried about a shooting happening at their school.42% of those employees said the Uvalde shooting may affect their decision to return.Still, 77% of Texas school employees reject the idea that teachers should be armed in the classroom.Instead, high majorities of both Texas school employees and parents support red-flag laws (87%), required background checks (87%), raising the minimum age for gun purchases to 21 (85%), and even a ban on assault weapons (75%).Additionally, 96% of survey respondents support the Texas Legislature increasing funding for public education to invest in mental health resources and make meaningful security upgrades. The emphasis here is on meaningful: Uvalde CISD received $69,000 from a one-time, $100 million state grant to enhance physical security in Texas public schools, according to TEA data.

Power of the Purse: Contributions of Hispanic Americans in the Rio Grande Valley

June 3, 2022

New research from the American Immigration Council underscores the crucial role Hispanic Texans play in the Rio Grande Valley's labor force, population growth, and economy. This new fact sheet was prepared in partnership with the Rio Grande Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Texans for Economic Growth.

Power of the Purse: Contributions of Hispanic Americans in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission Metro Area

June 3, 2022

New research from the American Immigration Council underscores the crucial role Hispanic Texans play in the metro area's labor force, population growth, and economy. This new fact sheet was prepared in partnership with the Rio Grande Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Texans for Economic Growth.