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Leveraging Nuanced Data to Inform Research and Policy for Immigrant Students and Families

June 9, 2022

More than a quarter of US children have at least one immigrant parent, but researchers and policymakers often do not have adequate data on these children's experiences in school. Information on the languages students speak at home can provide perspective on students' experiences and takes communities' unique strengths and challenges into account. States must report data on languages spoken at home to the federal government each year, yet district-level data are rarely published.Home language data have untapped value, with far-reaching implications for instruction, student support services, and policy. Better and more public data on student background can enhance our understanding of students' experiences and provide nuanced information to educators, researchers, and policymakers to better serve distinct student subgroups. Publishing district-level home language data could inform education policy decisions, providing much-needed nuance to public education data systems.

Educating English Learners During the Pandemic: Insights from Experts, Advocates, and Practitioners

April 13, 2022

There is a growing body of evidence about the disproportionate impact the pandemic had on English learners (ELs). We sought to capture the complexity of learning conditions for this student population during the COVID-19 pandemic by interviewing 20 EL education leaders. These experts' experiences revealed that while remote learning posed significant challenges to EL education and services, educators improvised, collaborated, and continued to innovate throughout the pandemic. To help EL students moving forward, education leaders on all levels must acknowledge both the struggle and perseverance that shaped their educational experiences during the pandemic.

Parents 2021: Going Beyond the Headlines

December 8, 2021

Learning Heroes, in partnership with National PTA, National Urban League, UnidosUS, and Univision, released Parents 2021, our annual nationwide research conducted with K-12 parents, teachers, and, for the first time, principals. This timely research examines the commonalities and differences between mindsets of parents, teachers, and school leaders, and looks at their perceptions of family engagement.

Northwest Arkansas Housing Policy Landscape Assessment Phase One Report

September 9, 2021

In 2020, a team led by Smart Growth America assessed policies that affect the supply and price of housing in Northwest Arkansas and analyzed current capacity and market conditions for a wider range of housing types and price points. Two subsequent reports detail these findings and include recommended changes in policy and practice that could help the region successfully address these challenges. The reports build on Our Housing Future, a call to action published by the Walton Family Foundation in 2019, which found that "housing is becoming increasingly inaccessible to the region's workers, families and seniors." Over the course of the assessment, the research team conducted interviews, analyzed zoning codes and development processes, tested current and future growth projections and developed an understanding of the financial impacts of public and private investments as they relate to housing affordability.

Northwest Arkansas Housing Policy Landscape Assessment Phase Two Report

September 9, 2021

In 2020, a team led by Smart Growth America assessed policies that affect the supply and price of housing in Northwest Arkansas and analyzed current capacity and market conditions for a wider range of housing types and price points. Two subsequent reports detail these findings and include recommended changes in policy and practice that could help the region successfully address these challenges. The reports build on Our Housing Future, a call to action published by the Walton Family Foundation in 2019, which found that "housing is becoming increasingly inaccessible to the region's workers, families and seniors." Over the course of the assessment, the research team conducted interviews, analyzed zoning codes and development processes, tested current and future growth projections and developed an understanding of the financial impacts of public and private investments as they relate to housing affordability.

The Big Vision for the Next Stage of Education Philanthropy

December 9, 2020

Grantmakers for Education (GFE) surveyed our members and others supporting education philanthropy to understand where they as individuals see the greatest opportunities for leveraging action in this quickly evolving reality. Our focus on capturing individual perspectives reflects our view that individual voice is a leading indicator of how institutional priorities and strategies may evolve. Reflecting back the outlook of individuals is especially critical during a time of rapid societal transformation.Benefiting from the insights of a set of member advisors, we identified issues highly relevant to the current moment to home in on five interlocking themes we believe are central to the future of education: Pre-K-12 Educational ImprovementRacial Justice in EducationCivic Education and StudentsPostsecondary and Workforce SuccessPhilanthropy in an Inequitable System

Recommendations to improve data sharing agreements for U.S. fisheries in the Pacific region

November 11, 2020

Based on interviews with participants in U.S. Pacific fisheries mangement, this report presents guidelines for building relationships in support of data sharing. It includes a glossary of key terms around data management to help create a shared understanding across technical, program, and industry, as well as a model template for data sharing agreements.

MIRRORS FOR LATINX STUDENTS: Attracting and Retaining Latinx Teachers in Massachusetts

January 30, 2020

From national test scores to graduation rates, we have reason to be proud of the progress we have made over the past decade.1 During that same time, it has become clear that Latinos have played, and will continue to play, a larger role in the Commonwealth's future. Latinos are expected to comprise 15 percent of the population of Massachusetts by 2035 – growth fueled primarily by in-state births rather than immigration.2 It is critical, then, that Massachusetts' workforce, at every level, reflect our population. This work begins now, in the classroom. Investing in a strong education system that meets the needs of Latinos and other students of color, as well as students from low-income backgrounds, is an investment in the workforce of the future.

Towards greater transparency and coherence in funding for sustainable marine fisheries and healthy oceans

May 16, 2019

This final manuscript in the special issue on "Funding for ocean conservation and sustainable fisheries" is the result of a dialogue aimed at connecting lead authors of the special issue manuscripts with relevant policymakers and practitioners. The dialogue took place over the course of a two-day workshop in December 2018, and this "coda" manuscript seeks to distil thinking around a series of key recurring topics raised throughout the workshop. These topics are collected into three broad categories, or "needs": 1) a need for transparency, 2) a need for coherence, and 3) a need for improved monitoring of project impacts. While the special issue sought to collect new research into the latest trends and developments in the rapidly evolving world of funding for ocean conservation and sustainable fisheries, the insights collected during the workshop have helped to highlight remaining knowledge gaps. Therefore, each of the three "needs" identified within this manuscript is followed by a series of questions that the workshop participants identified as warranting further attention as part of a future research agenda. The crosscutting nature of many of the issues raised as well as the rapid pace of change that characterizes this funding landscape both pointed to a broader need for continued dialogue and study that reaches across the communities of research, policy and practice.

Engaging Boards and Trustees in Strategic Learning: A Toolkit

January 17, 2019

Effecting social change in a rapidly changing political environment and an increasingly interconnected world requires foundations to adopt a learning orientation. Without continuous learning, grantmakers—and thus boards and trustees—are unaware about what is working where, with whom, and why, as well as what changes or refinements are needed in order to achieve the grantmakers' desired results.This toolkit provides a fresh set of resources for grantmaker CEOs, evaluation staff, and senior leaders to use to engage their boards and trustees in conversations about the importance of strategic learning in their decision-making and deliberation processes.

Scaling participation in payments for ecosystem services programs

March 9, 2018

Payments for ecosystem services programs have become common tools but most have failed to achieve wide-ranging conservation outcomes. The capacity for scale and impact increases when PES programs are designed through the lens of the potential participants, yet this has received little attention in research or practice. Our work with small-scale marine fisheries integrates the social science of PES programs and provides a framework for designing programs that focus a priori on scaling. In addition to payments, desirable non-monetary program attributes and ecological feedbacks attract a wider range of potential participants into PES programs, including those who have more negative attitudes and lower trust. Designing programs that draw individuals into participating in PES programs is likely the most strategic path to reaching scale. Research should engage in new models of participatory research to understand these dynamics and to design programs that explicitly integrate a broad range of needs, values, and modes of implementation.

Education Choice for Indian Country: Supporting Tribal Decision Making for Schools and Students

January 1, 2018

The state of education for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth is evolving. In order to create solutions, we must first define the problem. Compared to their peers at a national level, AI/AN students are not seeing the same growth in educational attainment, regardless of where they attend school. Despite a perception that all AI/AN students attend Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools, only about 8 percent attend BIE schools, and over 90 percent of AI/AN students attend public schools.The purpose of this toolkit is to provide tribal nations the information and tools they need to assume more responsibility and oversight of the education of youth in their communities