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Collaborative Outcomes from the Youth Justice and Employment Community of Practice

October 18, 2022

Established in mid-2021, the Youth Justice and Employment Community of Practice (CoP) is a partnership of the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF), the National Youth Employment Coalition (NYEC), and Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) formed to improve outcomes for youth with justice involvement by increasing collaboration among local workforce and juvenile justice systems. The CoP began during the middle of COVID-19 at a time when counterparts in each jurisdiction were seeking to reestablish pandemic-disrupted communication and collaboration. CoP participants met monthly to share knowledge and expertise on topics of importance to both systems. Based on work from the CoP, participating cities and counties produced notable improvements in building relationships, expanding partnerships, and promoting investments that benefit justice-involved young people in their communities. This report documents successes and offers recommendations for others seeking to improve outcomes for these young people.

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.

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. 

Supporting Community in a Time of Crisis: Rapid Response Fund 2021 Report

May 1, 2021

Since COVID-19 began spreading, the world has faced its darkest hour in a century. In the US, and here in the Bay Area, we have had to contend with not just a deadly virus and economic catastrophe, but also deadly forms of institutional racism—and its devastating effects even before the pandemic. The San Francisco Foundation is focused on reimagining and rebuilding our systems so that everyone in the Bay Area, regardless of their skin color or zip code, can thrive. And the Rapid Response Fund is a key part of our strategy.We launched this fund in November 2016, in the wake of a new political era. That winter, new policies were being introduced that were brazenly designed to attack people of color and communities with low incomes. Grassroots organizations needed immediate funding to protect and empower communities under siege. Since then, the fund has provided $2.4 million in funding to nearly 200 organizations for urgent Know-Your-Rights trainings, direct actions, workshops to educate community members on changing policies, and more.When COVID hit, we replicated the Rapid Response Fund model—a barebones application and grants issued within days—to launch our COVID Emergency Response Fund two days after the Bay Area issued Shelter-in-Place orders. With residents suddenly unable to pay their rent nor afford groceries, we knew we couldn't afford to wait.While our COVID fund provided emergency grants to help with basic needs, the Rapid Response Fund continued to support much-needed community organizing during a pandemic and a nationwide call for racial justice. Grants supported work centered on racial solidarity, combating anti-Asian hate, organizing essential workers during the pandemic, and mobilizing voters during a critical election year. We invite you to learn more about this fund's vital work in 2020 and 2021, and to read about the lives this fund touched during a terrifying time that helped us strengthen our resilience.

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.

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 TeenFunderCollaborative.com. 

Disparate Debts: How Student Loans Drive Racial Inequality Across American Cities

June 29, 2020

This report examines alarming racial disparities in student debt burdens and borrower distress across American cities. The report highlights trends and offers new analysis of recent research by economists and city officials in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, and San Francisco. The report finds student borrower distress is heavily concentrated in majority-Black and majority-Latinx neighborhoods, and offers stark new evidence of the role of student debt in exacerbating the nation's vicious cycle of inequality and racial wealth gap.

Math in Common: Reflections after Five Years

April 13, 2020

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.

Building Capacity for Improving California Mathematics Teaching and Learning: How the Math in Common Districts Leveraged Three Types of Expertise

January 1, 2020

Imagine a school district administrator in the fictional California district of "Rosewood," who is concerned about her 5th grade students' proficiency in math. Fifth grade math achievement scores have been static in the district and teachers say that many 5th graders are struggling with multiplication, even though it was supposed to be introduced in 3rd grade through the California Common Core State Standards: Mathematics (CCSS-M). Rosewood's district math team has tried to address principals' and teachers' concerns with multiplication, but those efforts don't seem to be moving the needle for students. The Rosewood administrator is ready to dedicate more resources toward improving 5th grade student math learning, and wants to be efficient in seeking technical assistance (TA) to help solve this district challenge. How might this administrator go about identifying and obtaining relevant and appropriate technical assistance?Under California's funding structures, districts have autonomy to purchase technical assistance in prioritized need areas.1 That freedom can be both a blessing and curse, as there are thousands of consultants, nonprofits, and resources available in the multimillion-dollar technical assistance marketplace -- almost all of which promise to help districts solve their problems, but very few of which have been vetted by any authority.The 10 districts in the Math in Common (MiC) community of practice regularly faced the kind of scenario unfolding in Rosewood. That is, they often needed to seek out TA to help them address issues related to implementing the CCSS-M -- ranging from improving the alignment of their textbooks' lessons, to supporting better standards-aligned instruction for English learners, to reconfiguring teacher professional learning communities (PLCs) to help teachers effectively implement the standards. But unlike most California school districts, MiC participants received significant support on making TA decisions through MiC's community of practice. Their experience highlights a major issue in standards implementation across the state: Districts need to be thoughtful, and well supported, in identifying and accessing TA that will help them bring standards to life in their local contexts and ultimately improve student achievement.As MiC's evaluator, WestEd examined districts' experiences with standards implementation in a comprehensive series of formative and summative evaluation reports spanning 2013-2019. This brief summarizes our learning from these reports on the successes and challenges that districts encountered.

San Francisco Foundation 2019 Annual Report

October 28, 2019

Read our 2019 annual report.

Supporting Vulnerable Communities: Strengthening Nonprofits Before and Immediately after a Catastrophic Disaster

September 23, 2019

The Foundation recognizes that nonprofits play a key role in disaster relief and recovery for vulnerable communities and that many of these organizations will serve as "first responders" because they are already trusted resources in these communities through their daily provision of safety net services. To enable the Foundation to help meet the immediate relief needs of vulnerable communities in the aftermath of a disaster, it developed agreements with key social service grantees for rapid, almost automatic, grantmaking during the initial post-disaster period when communication systems are compromised and needs assessments have not yet been conducted. Additionally, to increase the likelihood that these organizations would be in a position to deliver services and utilize these funds, the Foundation sought their commitment to disaster planning and offered technical assistance to support them in their efforts.