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Big Gifts for Little Learners: Making the Case for Philanthropic Investment From Pregnancy Through Preschool

March 21, 2022

The San Francisco Bay Area is home to some of the wealthiest counties and most generous donors in the country. But how do those individuals choose where to spend their philanthropic dollars?In our 2021 survey of Bay Area donors, which included both affluent individuals and foundations, 40% of respondents said that when considering causes or groups to give to, demonstrated impact would lead them to choose one cause or group over others.In some ways it is surprising, then, that only 15% of donors said they give to early care and learning -- an area with robust research demonstrating positive impact on the children supported (including permanent increases in children's IQ and better health outcomes) as well as on their families and the broader community (e.g., gains in maternal workforce participation).

Pandemic Relief & Recovery: Emergency Funding & The Bay Area Arts Community

October 1, 2021

An analysis of the COVID-19 relief support grantmakers provided to Bay Area artists and cultural organizations, how it helped mitigate the crisis, and what the regional arts community needs now to recover.

Speaking Up: Findings from 2019 Focus Groups and Interviews with Californians with Low Incomes

June 22, 2021

In 2019 CHCF commissioned NORC at the University of Chicago to embark on an extensive research project to better understand the health care needs, wants, and values of California adults (18–64) with low incomes. In April and May of 2019 NORC began by holding multiple focus groups and in-depth interviews with Californians with low incomes who represented various racial/ethnic and language groups as well as regions. All participants were screened for having at least one health care encounter in the previous six months.

Asian Immigrant Experiences with Racism, Immigration-Related Fears, and the COVID-19 Pandemic

June 18, 2021

Asian immigrants have faced multiple challenges in the past year. There has been a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, driven, in part, by inflammatory rhetoric related to the coronavirus pandemic, which has spurred the federal government to make a recent statement condemning and denouncing acts of racism, xenophobia, and intolerance against Asian American communities and to enact the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. At the same time, immigrants living in the U.S. have experienced a range of increased health and financial risks associated with COVID-19. These risks and barriers may have been compounded by immigration policy changes made by the Trump administration that increased fears among immigrant families and made some more reluctant to access programs and services, including health coverage and health care. Although the Biden administration has since reversed many of these policies, they may continue to have lingering effects among families.Limited data are available to understand how immigrants have been affected by the pandemic, and there are particularly little data available to understand the experiences of Asian immigrants even though they are one of the fastest growing immigrant groups in the U.S. and are projected to become the nation's largest immigrant group over the next 35 years. To help fill these gaps in information, this analysis provides insight into recent experiences with racism and discrimination, immigration-related fears, and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic among Asian immigrant patients at four community health centers.The findings are based on a KFF survey with a convenience sample of 1,086 Asian American patients at four community health centers. Respondents were largely low-income and 80% were born outside the United States. The survey was conducted between February 15 and April 12, 2021. 

Centering Racial Equity in Homeless System Design

April 27, 2021

Between 2017 and 2019, homelessness sharply increased by 43% in Alameda County, California. Housing market failures, homeless system challenges, and long-standing discrimination have produced a crisis in affordable housing and homelessness, which has significantly impacted low-income people and communities of color. The surge in homelessness and its disproportionate racial impacts, especially on African Americans and Native Americans, became the impetus for a revamp of the homeless system modeling process to ensure that it is restructured to employ a racial equity lens. With the goal of producing a homeless system that works better for all to end homelessness in Alameda County, this system modeling process seeks to: 1) Identify and address factors leading to the over-representation of people of color in the population of people experiencing homelessness. 2) Understand how facets of the homeless system benefit or burden people of color and pinpoint opportunities to advance racial equity within the system. 3) Formulate key elements of a model homeless system, including optimal types and quantities of housing units and service programs; and 4) Develop recommendations to more effectively and equitably allocate resources, prioritize investments, and advance proactive, targeted strategies to end and prevent homelessness.

Healthy Corner Store Project Evaluation

April 15, 2021

Beginning in 2013, HOPE Collaborative (HOPE) designed, launched, and implemented the Healthy Corner Store Project (HCSP). The HCSP focuses on the flatland neighborhoods of East Oakland with the broad goals of connecting small stores with financing opportunities, technical assistance, and communitysupport to increase the amount of fresh or prepared healthy foods offered. With the help of community recommendations and referrals in 2014, HOPE initially identified six stores in which to implement the project. Due to multiple factors including external economic pressures faced by stores, as of 2021, two of the original stores, One Stop and Three Amigos, remain active with the HCSP. This document briefly summarizes HCSP's initial and current program models and findings from previous evaluation activities,sales data and customer surveys, conducted at the two participating stores

Oakland is Reimagining Public Safety Version 2.0

March 1, 2021

On Friday, February 12th, 2021, Oakland's Reimagining Public Safety Task Forceissued their first round of draft recommendations that will forge a new path towardholistic and community driven public safety practices and policies in Oakland. Following a discussion and revision process, the Task Force's Advisory Boardsreleased their second — and final — round of recommendations on March 1, 2021. This report breaks down all the recommendations we support, the ones we don't, and why. We also look atpotential revenue streams to pay for these shifts in practice and new community safety programs, analyze OPD calls for service data in a brand new APTP report, and highlight work already happening at the grassroots level that needs more investment. 

What Education Leaders Can Learn About NGSS Implementation: Highlights From the Early Implementers Initiative

November 1, 2020

From 2014 through 2020, eight diverse school districts and two charter management organizations ran a substantial experiment with ways of implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in elementary and middle grades, called the California K - 8 NGSS Early Implementers Initiative. The Initiative certainly illustrated that a big financial investment can produce powerful change. However, even districts facing resource challenges may benefit from the lessons that were learned and the strategies that were developed by the Initiative.An external evaluation team has previously released a series of reports on what can be learned from the efforts of the Initiative districts. All reports are intended to be helpful to administrators at the school and district levels, education policymakers, and people charged with designing and/or delivering science professional learning. After briefly describing how the NGSS call for big shifts in science teaching and learning, this highlights report shares high-level, major learnings from the evaluation, distilled into only a couple dozen pages of main narrative. The report describes NGSS instruction as a powerful lever for equitable learning, explains how the Initiative made this kind of instruction happen, and describes the importance of the Initiative's ambitious professional learning for administrators.

Reimagining Youth Justice

October 1, 2020

The report begins with an overview of changes in the youth justice landscape, both in California as a whole and Alameda County, and then dives into examining how existing responses to violence and serious harm have failed us, leading into what alternative responses can and should be. The next section addresses the question of capacity and presents measures to increase capacity through greater low-risk diversion. In understanding the importance of providing prosocial opportunities for youth for delinquency prevention, the following section outlines examples of the existing youth-serving infrastructure present in the County to highlight the robust network of community support already present and eager to serve our young people. Finally, the report concludes with recommendations regarding ways to improve oversight over youth justice and coordination among the many youth services in communities.

Building Leadership Capacity to Improve Math Teaching and Learning: Lessons from the Math in Common Initiative

September 1, 2020

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.

NGSS in the Classroom: What Early Implementer Science Instruction Looks Like

September 1, 2020

This 13th report in WestEd's evaluation of the K-8 Early Implementers Initiative for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) provides an extensive response to the following question: What does NGSS teaching look like in the classroom? The report also briefly describes specific ways that teachers have advanced in their NGSS teaching over the years of the Initiative and how the Initiative prepared them for such teaching.The report draws most strongly from more than 50 classroom observations of, and interviews with, 24 teachers across six districts. It is also informed by multiple interviews with each district Project Director as well as results of an annual survey with high response rates from more than 500 K-8 science teachers.

Six Years of Scaling Up: Districtwide Implementations of the Next Generation Science Standards

August 1, 2020

Many educational initiatives are funded for only a couple of years. The California NGSS Early Implementers Initiative spanned an extraordinary six years, during which eight school districts worked toward districtwide implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which call for teachers to transform their instructional practice. This 12th report in our evaluation series for policymakers, school and district administrators, and professional learning specialists describes the Initiative's scale-up in its later years to reach all K-8 science teachers. Specifically, the report addresses the following questions:In contrast to focusing in Years 1-4 on developing Teacher Leaders, what strategies did districts use in Years 5-6 to reach all other K-8 teachers of science (called "expansion teachers" in this report)?What impacts has the Initiative had on expansion teachers?Which professional learning strategies have been most and least effective for influencing the practice of expansion teachers?What special attention was paid to providing administrators with professional learning to prompt their support of NGSS implementation?