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Promising Practices in Combatting Juvenile Sex Trafficking Surrounding Large Events and Beyond

August 3, 2016

Proactive, inter-agency, multidisciplinary collaboration has proven helpful in effectively addressing human trafficking surrounding large events, such as the Super Bowl, as multiple municipal entities, neighboring law enforcement agencies, various service providers, local and visiting volunteers, and heightened media focus are generally involved.

2015 Portfolio: Culture Across Communities, an Eleven-City Snapshot

October 27, 2015

This report examines the heart of the nonprofit cultural sector across 11 of the country's major metropolitan regions. Using Cultural Data Project (CDP) information, we examined 5,502 organizations, which collectively have 906,000 paid and volunteer positions and spend $13 billion annually. The communities examined had a collective population of over 75 million residents, 23.7% of the total population of the country. Our goal was to understand the distinctive and shared attributes of the cultural communities across every metro region and 11 distinct disciplines. What are the underlying trends running across all metro regions and disciplines?Are communities recovering from the Great Recession? Where are the pressure points for the sector? What are the challenges and opportunities for specific disciplines? What trends are impacting the long-term health of all cultural nonprofits? Keeping in mind that all data has limitations and that our snapshot represents only a portion of the full scope of creative activity across the country, our analysis nonetheless revealed both expected and surprising findings.

Why Where? Because Who: Arts Venues, Spaces and Tradition

December 3, 2014

This report explores art programming in unusual spaces for new audiences in an effort to understand the impetus behind the work and what lessons can be learned from leading examples of it. It builds on other recent efforts that discuss participation and location by placing the trend in its historical context, and it challenges the assertion that the trend is a recent one. Unusual locations are as much a part of the history of art as are the venues that are today considered more usual. Likewise, the venue that is unusual to some is often quite usual to many others including, importantly, new audiences that the arts seek to reach. A typology of this activity follows the historical survey, with some suggestions as to the vocabulary that might be used to describe what is happening. A series of case studies are then presented, indicating the range of outcomes possible when arts programming is pursued in unusual places. Lessons from these case studies, as well as from the broader survey, lead to some conclusions about the future of the work and its significance. The hope is that this report is inspiring to practitioners who have begun experimenting with work in unusual places as well as those who are eager to join in.

Public Funding for Art: Chicago Compared with 12 Peer Regions

June 5, 2014

Supported in part by Arts Alliance Illinois, and with the cooperation of several local arts agencies, including Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special events, and of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.This study compares the direct public dollars received by organizations and artists in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Denver, Houston, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland (OR), San Diego, and San Francisco from 2002-2012.Often, studies of public funding for the arts look at appropriations made on the national and state levels and estimates of local expenditures, but this report delves more deeply using grant-level data to examine the dollars received by organizations and artists resident in each city or region.Key findings:In 2012, Chicago arts organizations received $7.3 million in public dollars via competitive grants from local, state, and national public arts agencies combined. Only three of the 13 regions studied received more total dollars in 2012.Though Chicago arts organizations receive among the greatest amounts of public funding in total, a relatively small portion comes from the city's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Of the competitive arts grants dollars received in Chicago in 2012, 59% came from the Illinois Arts Council, 24% from the National Endowment for the Arts, and 17% from the city's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. For most cities/regions in our study, excluding Chicago, the majority of public grant dollars received by not-for-profits in the area for arts programming came from their local arts agency in 2012. For example, in 2012, San Diego received 93% of its public funding from the local level, 2% from the state level, and 4% from the federal level.DCASE's funding levels have been among the lowest of the 13 cities/regions studied on both a per capita basis, and in terms of total dollars, over the past decade (2002-2012). In 2012, Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events awarded $1.2 million in grants, which is $0.44 per capita. Of the 13 local agencies analyzed, only Phoenix, Boston, and Baltimore spent less in total dollar or per capita terms in 2012.Over the past decade, DCASE annually awarded among the highest total number of grants compared with other regions' local agencies. In 2012, DCASE awarded 520 grants in total -- 305 to organizations and 215 to individuals. In 2012, it awarded competitive grants to approximately 31% of the arts and cultural organizations in the city.Aside from competitive grants, five of the 13 cities/metro regions included in this study provide support to select arts and cultural organizations through line-items, which serve as significant sources of general operating funds.

Time for Teachers: Leveraging Expanded Time to Strengthen Instruction and Empower Teachers (Executive Summary)

May 9, 2014

This report looks deeply inside 17 schools that stand at the vanguard of the current revolution in teaching. It reveals the substantive ways in which these schools are providing their teachers with more time to reflect on, develop, and hone their craft, by very explicitly leveraging an expanded-time school schedule and calendar. These schools' expanded time (on average, they are in session almost 300 hours more per year than the national norm of 1,170 hours) affords not only more hours and days focused on classroom instruction, but also a full array of professional learning opportunities.

Measuring Chicago's (Artistically) Creative Economy

May 7, 2014

This study measures the creative industries and workers of Chicago and eight peer cities. It is meant to provide an objective benchmark for Chicago as it undertakes the goals articulated in the Chicago Cultural Plan 2012 of attracting and retaining creative professionals and measuring the size and strength of the cultural sector. Quick facts:Creative workers, a group which includes professionals such as scientists and programmers as well as artists, make up almost 21% of Chicago's civilian labor force, which approximates the portion of creative workers in the US labor force.However, if one looks at artists specifically, Chicago rises above the national baseline: the portion of Chicago's labor force made up of artists is 1.6 times that of the US.An estimated 63,008 artists work in Chicago. Designers represent the largest share of the artist workforce in Chicago, at 36.3 percent.Fifty-seven percent of Chicago's artist labor force is employed in the for-profit sector. Among the cities studied, only Houston and Philadelphia employ barely larger proportions of their artist labor force in the for-profit sector.Chicago's artist workforce is less diverse than its total population in terms of race and ethnicity. Seventy-four percent of Chicago's artist workforce is White (non-Hispanic), compared with a total population that is 32 percent White (non-Hispanic).Among Chicago artists, writers/authors and architects are most highly concentrated compared to the U.S. as a whole. Chicago also has higher concentrations of designers, musicians, photographers, actors, and dancers compared to the national baseline.

Building Community Partnerships in Support of a Postsecondary Completion Agenda

January 22, 2014

This report highlights key lessons from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Community Partnerships portfolio evaluation. It assesses the communities' progress over the course of the investment, and describes their work in the areas of building public commitment, using data, building and sustaining partnerships, and aligning policies and practices. The OMG Center served as the national evaluator of this initiative and the report also discusses the steps these communities can take to sustain their programs.

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

Tools for Reform: How a Failing District Used Data to Elevate Student Learning

February 22, 2012

How can teachers use student assessment data to improve student learning and target their individual needs? At the Creighton School District in Phoenix, Arizona, educators wanted an assessment system that could guide teachers to make the best instructional decisions for each child. There was urgency for the task: In 2008, the Arizona Department of Education had designated Creighton as a failing district, slated for state takeover. Six of its nine schools had been labeled "Underperforming" and one as "Failing to Meet to Academic Standards."As a high poverty, inner city, elementary and middle school district, Creighton faced an enormous challenge. So in 2008, it launched a reform initiative that led to a remarkable turnaround: Today, eight of its schools have been relabeled "Performing Plus" and one is "Highly Performing," based on Arizona Learns achievement profiles. Creighton is no longer a failing district. How did Creighton achieve this dramatic improvement? A key ingredient for their success, say district leaders, was changing how they assessed students and, more importantly, how they analyzed results to fine-tune instruction. "This district," says Dr. Lynne Spiller, Creighton's Director of Research and Evaluation, "believes profoundly that there is no reason to assess a child if you are not going to use the data to determine the best instructional decisions for that child."Integrating assessment with instruction and curriculum was a cornerstone of the district's reform plan. Creighton wanted to build a system that gave classroom teachers immediate data—not just a test score but assessments that were diagnostic, showing student misconceptions about learning objectives and how to address them. The system was developed in partnership with WestEd, a nonprofit research and service agency, and Assessment Technology Incorporated (ATI), whose Galileo K-12 Online Instructional Improvement System (IIS) provided a powerful and innovative technological component for the reform effort. Dr. Jason Feld, Vice President of Corporate Projects at ATI, describes Galileo as a comprehensive set of assessment, reporting, instructional, and intervention tools "designed to support educator goals to elevate student learning." These tools, he adds, are research-based, reliable, and aligned to both state standards and the new Common Core State Standards.For its part, WestEd provided district site and school site staff with a full menu of ongoing professional development and technical assistance focused on improving instruction, curriculum, and assessment systems in Creighton. The multi-year reform initiative is funded by the Ellis Center for Educational Excellence, a Phoenix-based philanthropy focused on improving inner city, high poverty districts such as Creighton. WestEd and ATI drew on their shared expertise and experience as partners, working with other districts and schools on successful reform efforts.  The marriage of intensive, high-level professional development and sophisticated but user-friendly assessment tools has helped Creighton sustain their reform effort.

Three-Way Partnership Transforms Arizona District

January 1, 2011

In 2008, the struggling Creighton Elementary School District in Phoenix was offered a unique opportunity for comprehensive improvement. Now, two years later, student achievement exceeds expectations, and the district itself has transformed the way it operates.

The Economic Recession: Early Impacts on Health Care Safety Net Providers

January 27, 2010

Examines how the recession and state and local budget cuts affected safety-net clinics' capacity to meet demand in five communities, the extent to which federal stimulus funds mitigated the impact, strategies for sustainability, and implications.

Layoffs, Furloughs and Union Concessions: The Prolonged and Painful Process of Balancing City Budgets

September 22, 2009

Summarizes the budget actions Philadelphia and twelve other large cities took between May and September 2009 in order to balance their fiscal year 2010 budgets, including tax increases and political brinksmanship in negotiating with unions.