Community Leadership: Maximizing Returns- Investing in Nontraditional Leaders

Children and Youth;Community and Economic Development;Education and Literacy

Community Leadership: Maximizing Returns- Investing in Nontraditional Leaders

This report is a part of Kids matter Here: An Analytic Review of the 10-year Good Neighborhoods Initiative. The Skillman Foundation's Good Neighborhoods Initiative was a $100-million commitment to six Detroit neighborhoods, spanning from 2006-2016. To best understand the outcomes of the long-term neighborhood-based work, the Foundation worked with a variety of evaluators, residetns, stakeholders, grant partners, staff, Trustees and community allies to form a series of analyses and dialogues.

The goals of the Analytic Review are to synthesize what the decade of work has accomplished, inform decisions about the Foundation's work going forward, and build and share knowledge locally and nationally.

June 2016

Geographic Focus: North America / United States

Chock Full of Data: How School Districts are Building Leader Tracking Systems to Support Pipelines

Education and Literacy

Chock Full of Data: How School Districts are Building Leader Tracking Systems to Support Pipelines

At one time, finding an assistant principal for a public school in Denver entailed a search through “a gajillion résumés,” in the words of one local school district administrator. Even then, some ideal candidates likely fell through the cracks. Those days are over, owing to the development by Denver Public Schools of a “leader tracking system,” a database of information about the training, qualifications and performance of principals and aspiring principals.
This Story From the Field examines how Denver and five other school districts have constructed and are using these systems as they seek to better train, hire and support school principals. All six districts are taking part in the Principal Pipeline Initiative, a Wallace Foundation-funded effort to help the school systems develop a large corps of strong school principals and generate lessons for the field.
In addition to aiding district officials in identifying strong principal and assistant principal candidates and matching them to the right schools, the leader tracking systems are helping in efforts to forecast job vacancies, pinpoint principal training topics and spot potential principal mentors. The districts are also beginning to use the systems to share aggregate information about the performance of principals with the preparation programs from which the principals graduated.
The publication makes clear that developing a leader tracking system takes time and effort. It describes, for example, how determining what information to collect, and then finding it, proved to be a key but time-consuming task, not least because essential data could be housed in different niches of the school bureaucracies.

July 2016

Geographic Focus: North America / United States (Southern) / Florida / Hillsborough County / Tampa;North America / United States (Southern) / North Carolina / Mecklenburg County / Charlotte;North America / United States (Northeastern) / New York / New York County / New York City;North America / United States (Western) / Colorado / Denver County / Denver;North America / United States (Southern) / Georgia / Gwinnett County;North America / United States (Southern) / Maryland / Prince George\'s County

Madison Community Foundation, 2012 Annual Report

Community and Economic Development;Education and Literacy;Nonprofits and Philanthropy

Madison Community Foundation, 2012 Annual Report

Madison Community Foundation uses its local knowledge and assets to inspire giving, support meaningful initiatives and connect people for the common good.

December 2012

Geographic Focus: North America / United States (Midwestern) / Illinois / Madison County

Madison Community Foundation, 2013 Annual Report

Community and Economic Development;Education and Literacy;Nonprofits and Philanthropy

Madison Community Foundation, 2013 Annual Report

Madison Community Foundation uses its local knowledge and assets to inspire giving, support meaningful initiatives and connect people for the common good.

December 2013

Geographic Focus: North America / United States (Midwestern) / Illinois / Madison County

Madison Community Foundation, 2014 Annual Report

Community and Economic Development;Education and Literacy;Nonprofits and Philanthropy

Madison Community Foundation, 2014 Annual Report

Madison Community Foundation uses its local knowledge and assets to inspire giving, support meaningful initiatives and connect people for the common good.

December 2014

Geographic Focus: North America / United States (Midwestern) / Illinois / Madison County

Madison Community Foundation, 2010 Annual Report

Community and Economic Development;Education and Literacy;Nonprofits and Philanthropy

Madison Community Foundation, 2010 Annual Report

Madison Community Foundation uses its local knowledge and assets to inspire giving, support meaningful initiatives and connect people for the common good.

December 2010

Geographic Focus: North America / United States (Midwestern) / Illinois / Madison County

Schools as Organizations: Examining School Climate, Teacher Turnover, and Student Achievement in NYC

Children and Youth;Education and Literacy;Employment and Labor

Schools as Organizations: Examining School Climate, Teacher Turnover, and Student Achievement in NYC

During the last decade, education research and policy have generated considerable momentum behind efforts to remake teacher evaluation systems and place an effective teacher in every classroom. But schools are not simply collections of individual teachers; they are also organizations, with structures, practices, and norms that may impede or support good teaching. Could strengthening schools -- as organizations -- lead to better outcomes for teachers and students?

This study begins to address that question by examining how changes in school climate were related to changes in teacher turnover and student achievement in 278 NYC middle schools between 2008 and 2012. Drawing on teacher responses to NYC's annual School Survey, as well as student test scores, human resources data, and school administrative records, we identified four distinct and potentially malleable dimensions of middle schools' organizational environments:

  1. Leadership and professional development;
  2. High academic expectations for students;
  3. Teacher relationships and collaboration; and
  4. School safety and order.

We then examined how changes in these four dimensions over time were linked to corresponding changes in teacher turnover and student achievement. We found robust relationships between increases in all four dimensions of school climate and decreases in teacher turnover, suggesting that improving the environment in which teachers work could play an important role in reducing turnover. (The annual turnover in NYC middle schools is about 15 percent.)

We also discovered that improvements in two dimensions of school climate -- safety and academic expectations -- predicted small, but meaningful gains in students' performance on standardized math tests.

Taken together with other emerging evidence, these findings suggest that closing achievement gaps and turning around struggling schools will demand a focus on not only individual teacher effectiveness, but also the organizational effectiveness of schools. The policy brief outlines several potential areas of focus for districts that want to help schools in building healthy well-functioning organizations.

March 2016

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (New York Metropolitan Area)

Mirage: Confronting the Hard Truth About Our Quest for Teacher Development, The

Education and Literacy

Mirage: Confronting the Hard Truth About Our Quest for Teacher Development, The

Two years ago, we embarked on an ambitious effort to identify what works in fostering widespread teacher improvement. Our research spanned three large public school districts and one midsize charter school network. We surveyed more than 10,000 teachers and 500 school leaders and interviewed more than 100 staff members involved in teacher development.

Rather than test specific strategies to see if they produced results, we used multiple measures of performance to identify teachers who improved substantially, then looked for any experiences or attributes they had in common -- from the kind and amount of development activities in which they participated to the qualities of their schools and their mindset about growth -- that might distinguish them from teachers who did not improve. We used a broad definition of "professional development" to include efforts carried out by districts, schools and teachers themselves.

In the three districts we studied, which we believe are representative of large public school systems nationwide, we expected to find concentrations of schools where teachers were improving at every stage of their careers, or evidence that particular supports were especially helpful in boosting teachers' growth. After an exhaustive search, we were disappointed not to find what we hoped we would. Instead, what we found challenged our assumptions.

July 2015

Geographic Focus: North America-United States

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