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Grantmakers for Education New Mexico Study Tour: Building the Future for Students in College and Career

August 14, 2023

This past spring, a group of education grantmakers met in New Mexico to tour the the postsecondary pathways programs in the rural Four Corners area. The study tour was arranged by EdFunders' Postsecondary Access and Attainment Impact Group. This report provides information on college and career pathways and highlights the experiences and learnings from the study tour.

Centering Proximity: Why giving platforms should center the organizations on the frontlines of social change

July 1, 2023

Social change happens in communities. And proximate organizations make that change happen.Proximate organizations are those closest to the causes and the communities they're directly serving.They are these communities.Proximate organizations are often (not always) small in size. Though nonprofits with less than $1M in budget represent 92% of nonprofits, they only receive around 20% of individual donations.More and more giving is happening online-- increasing by over 42% in the past three years alone. Online giving platforms are also growing, playing an increasingly important role in facilitating those donations.Imagine a world where online giving platforms channeled more of the power and promise of generosity to these proximate organizations.This publication focuses on that possibility.It is the output of listening to 25 leaders of proximate organizations - just a microcosm of the thousands of leaders working in communities around the country.

Race, Elite College Admissions, and the Courts: The Pursuit of Racial Equality in Education Retreats to K–12 Schools

June 12, 2023

If the Supreme Court bans race-conscious affirmative action, as expected, selective higher education institutions almost certainly will become less diverse, reducing the rates of degree attainment among students from historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. This report explores the legal history of racial equity in education, evaluates alternatives to using race/ethnicity in college admissions, and considers changes to the K–12 education system that would improve educational opportunity. In the long term, the only way to ensure diversity at selective higher education institutions is to confront the segregation and inequity in K–12 education and society at large.

Race-Conscious Affirmative Action: What's Next

March 27, 2023

An expected national ban on the consideration of race in college admissions will threaten the racial and ethnic diversity of students at selective colleges unless these colleges fundamentally alter their admissions practices. Race-Conscious Affirmative Action: What's Next finds that selective colleges barred from considering race and ethnicity in their admissions decisions may be able to partially claw back some racial/ethnic diversity using class-conscious admissions practices, but they will be extremely unlikely to enroll student bodies that come close to mirroring the demographic diversity of the high school class.

Moving Money and Shifting Power for Social Justice: Voices of Wealthy Next-Gen Donors

March 1, 2023

This report highlights the insights of a small group of high-net-worth Millennial and Gen Z donors who are committed to equity and wealth redistribution, as well as how they define and practice social justice philanthropy. While giving by younger generations is of great interest to the field, few studies have focused on this subset of wealthy, predominantly female donors, many who identify as queer or part of the LGBTQ+ community. For those who wish to grow social justice giving, the full report shares details on these donors' motivations, behaviors, and challenges.

Walking on Eggshells—Teachers' Responses to Classroom Limitations on Race- or Gender-Related Topics: Findings from the 2022 American Instructional Resources

January 25, 2023

In this report, drawing on the spring 2022 American Instructional Resources Survey, the authors examine teachers' awareness of and responses to limitations on how they can address race- or gender-related topics in their instruction. Teachers experienced limitations that infringed on their instructional autonomy, which included their choice of curriculum materials and topics for classroom discussion. These limitations originated from a variety of sources, including state, school, and district leaders and family and community members, and encompassed a wide span of topics, including, but not limited to race- or gender-related topics. The multifaceted nature of these limitations highlights how teachers exist in an increasingly complex policy environment in which they must consider and weigh not only their own perspectives but also the perspectives of multiple stakeholders, along with numerous messages and directives from a variety of sources about what and how to teach. In this complex environment, the authors found that teachers' responses to restrictions on their classroom instruction ranged broadly from compliance with to resistance against these restrictions; teachers also engaged in numerous strategies to navigate the existence of these restrictions. Moreover, limitations placed on how teachers can address contentious topics may be leading to consequences for teachers' working conditions and for student learning. Teachers perceived that teaching students under these limitations has become more difficult and that these limitations make it more difficult to engage students in learning, support students' critical thinking skills, and develop students' ability to engage in perspective taking and empathy building.

Financing Digital Public Infrastructure Approaches to Sustain Digital Transformation

December 8, 2022

Digital public infrastructure (DPI) can support better people-centered outcomes, but for the emerging field to live up to its promise, there must be a clear path to sustainable financing. Mounting evidence shows that DPI systems can transform the delivery of services across the public and private sectors by enabling identity verification, digital payments, data sharing, and other essential, society-wide functions. Global leaders across many sectors are assessing how to pursue DPI collaboratively, safely, and effectively, given the long-term implications for the health and vibrancy of societies. This report maps existing DPI funding models and examines the challenges underlying sustainable financing approaches. It concludes with recommendations for improved collaboration across the ecosystem to develop and scale open DPI. Most importantly, financing architecture that aligns the resources and incentives of key governmental, private-sector, philanthropic, and multilateral organizations can be a driving force for inclusive digital transformation.

English as a Second Language at California’s Community Colleges: An Early Examination of AB 705 Reforms

November 28, 2022

California's community colleges began implementing Assembly Bill 705 (AB 705) reforms for credit English as a Second Language (ESL) in fall 2021, two years after implementing similar reforms in English and math. With a broad goal of improving success and equity for students pursuing degrees and transfers to four-year colleges, AB 705 reforms are already making notable transformations to ESL placement policies and the ESL courses into which English Learners (ELs) are placed. Building on our previous research, this study reports on the progress colleges have made in implementing AB 705 in ESL across the community college system.

Boosting Upward Mobility: A Planning Guide for Local Action

November 16, 2022

Are you a member of local government who wants to increase upward mobility in your community? If so, this guide can help you better understand impediments to upward mobility and build a cross-sector team that can plan, advocate for, and implement a set of systems changes focused on bringing all members of your community out of poverty and creating more equitable results.We developed this guide with you—the user—in mind. It provides practical advice for people driven to boost mobility from poverty and asking, "Where do I start?" More specifically, this guide is intended for city and county government leaders who can plan, advocate for, and implement a set of policy and program changes—informed by the Mobility Metrics (explained in the next section)—that are focused on boosting mobility from poverty.

COVID-19 Emergency Funding and California’s Higher Education Systems

November 16, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted higher education in California, forcing students and institutions to adapt rapidly to the public health and economic crisis. Institutions' revenue streams were predicted to decline just as new and increased costs for health, safety, and online education burdened budgets. The federal government provided over $10 billion directly to help campuses and their students weather the crisis. We analyzed these pandemic-related allocation and expenditure patterns across California's higher education landscape.

Advancing Racial Equity through Federally Funded Public Transit, Bicycle, and Pedestrian Projects: A Data Guide for Local Applicants

September 22, 2022

Improving the quality and reliability of public transit and expanding access to nonmotorized modes of transportation, such as walking and cycling, are key to making progress on the Biden administration's goals of advancing racial equity and tackling the climate crisis, both of which are outlined in executive orders issued by President Biden in his first month in office.Federal agencies have since incorporated these priorities into many grant programs, including those funded by the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act, which provides funding for a range of projects across transportation, energy, water, broadband, and more. Many competitive federal grant programs are now incorporating selection criteria requiring applicants to address the equity implications of their proposed projects and to demonstrate how proposed projects will benefit "disadvantaged" communities.Yet many applicants struggle to quantify racial equity and environmental justice and face obstacles in accessing and analyzing the data necessary to do so. In response to this need, Urban researchers have assembled nearly 100 data sources and tools that can help applicants for federal funding make equity-driven decisions about which projects to pursue and help them develop successful, evidence-informed grant applications. Our transportation data guide categorizes these data sources and tools into six relevant categories and demonstrates how these data can be used to address key funding priorities across several competitive IIJA transportation grant programs. The data sources and tools are displayed in the embedded table below. For each entry, we collected key attributes including available indicators, geographic coverage, time span, periodicity, and accessibility. Definitions of these attributes can be viewed by hovering over the column headers in the table.This guide is intended for local governments or organizations interested in advancing racial equity through the pursuit of federally funded public transit, bicycle, and pedestrian projects. It aims to give local leaders the tools to assess the equity motivations and impacts, both positive and negative, of potential projects. We hope it will empower localities to make evidence-informed decisions that simultaneously advance racial equity and climate action.

The HBCU Effect: An Exploration of HBCU Alumni's Peer Networks and Workforce Outcomes

August 17, 2022

The HBCU Effect™ research series seeks to understand, validate and promote the success of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to develop a counter-narrative that fully illustrates the value and competitiveness of our institutions. By uncovering HBCU truth through data and research, the HBCU Effect™ will illuminate how HBCUs yield a high return on investment by equipping their students, in particular first-generation students, with resources to close education and wealth gaps—transforming generations.HBCUs are top producers of Black STEM graduates, Black medical doctors, veterinarians, and graduate low-income students at higher rates than PWIs (Lee & Keys, 2013; Richards & Awokoya, 2012), while their students also report greater academic and social gains. Yet, limited data exist regarding workforce outcomes for Black HBCU alumni. This mixed-methods study adds to UNCF's ongoing effort to create a counter-narrative through our HBCU Effect™ research agenda. This brief, consisting of our early quantitative findings, and the collective study adds to our knowledge of the HBCU Effect™ by addressing gaps in knowledge about workforce outcomes at HBCUs, and how social experiences and networks affect the academic and workforce experiences of Black HBCU alumni.