The Right Match: A Strong Principal in Every Public School

Education and Literacy

The Right Match: A Strong Principal in Every Public School

This report has one central premise: Keeping great principals starts with hiring the right principal. Even as Chicago fights to retain principals long enough to make student learning and school culture gains more permanent, we must recognize some principal attrition is inevitable.

More than 70,000 students started the 2016-17 school year with a new principal, and at least 60 schools will need a new principal each year for the foreseeable future. The stakes are high: No great public school exists without great leadership. In fact, variation in principal quality accounts for about 25 percent of a school’s total impact on student learning. Yet, more than four out of every 10 public school principals in Chicago leave before they begin their fifth year. To keep great principals, we have to make the right match from the start.

November 2016

Geographic Focus: North America / United States (Midwestern) / Illinois / Cook County / Chicago / Lakeview

Growing Together, Learning Together: What Cities Have Discovered About Building Afterschool Systems

Education and Literacy

Growing Together, Learning Together: What Cities Have Discovered About Building Afterschool Systems

In 2003, The Wallace Foundation began an initiative that eventually included five cities -- Boston, Chicago, New York City, Providence and Washington, D.C. -- to help them develop afterschool systems. At the time, a few cities and organizations were pioneering this approach (L.A.'s Best in Los Angeles, The After-School Corporation in New York, After School Matters in Chicago), but it was still a novelty. Five years later, Wallace examines lessons learned from this initiative, which posited two central premises:

  1. Children and teens can gain learning and developmental benefits by frequent participation in high-quality afterschool programs.
  2. A coordinated approach can increase access to, and improve the quality of, afterschool programs.

July 2015

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-Rhode Island-Providence County-Providence;North America-United States (Northeastern)-New York-New York County-New York City;North America-United States (Northeastern)-Massachusetts-Suffolk County-Boston;North America-United States (Midwestern)-Illinois-Chicago Metropolitan Area;North America-United States (DC Metropolitan Area)

State of the Arts in Chicago Public Schools: Baseline Report 2012-2013

Arts and Culture;Education and Literacy

State of the Arts in Chicago Public Schools: Baseline Report 2012-2013

Over the past three decades, countless educational, cultural, and philanthropic leaders have worked tirelessly to improve access to the arts for all students in Chicago Public Schools. Since its inception in 2011, Ingenuity has been working in partnership with these same leaders toward the goal of an arts education for every student in every CPS school. Ingenuity underpins its work by gathering a deep set of data that provides a clear understanding of the specific arts needs of each school and the district as a whole. This report presents findings from the first year of comprehensive data collection, the 2012 -- 13 school year, and sets the baseline against which Ingenuity will annually measure district-wide efforts to expand arts instruction.

Nearly four hundred schools participated in this data collection, which makes this report the most current, comprehensive view of arts education in Chicago. This report also offers an analysis of progress on the CPS Arts Education Plan and shows data related to its implementation in schools. The key to looking at the state of arts in the city's schools is taking a closer look at some of the Plan's high-level goals, which stand out as central to its overall progress.

  • Make the arts a core subject by dedicating 120 minutes of arts instruction per week in elementary schools. (1a)
  • Create a system to track the quantity of elementary-level arts instruction. (5a)
  • Set minimum staffing requirements in the arts at one certified full-time employee per school or an improved ratio. (1d)
  • Require each school to maintain a budget for the arts. (6a)
  • Match at least one community arts partner to every school in collaboration with an arts, or other instructor. (4b)
  • Launch the Creative Schools Certification to establish school and network-level supports to help principals plan for and implement the arts. (3c)
  • Integrate the arts into the school progress report card. (5d)

July 2014

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Midwestern)-Illinois-Chicago Metropolitan Area

Trapped by Credit: Racial Disparities in Financial Well-Being and Opportunity in Illinois

Community and Economic Development;Education and Literacy;Housing and Homelessness

Trapped by Credit: Racial Disparities in Financial Well-Being and Opportunity in Illinois

This report examines an important aspect of economic racial disparity -- disparity in credit scores. The relationship between credit scores and minority presence illustrates a clear racial disparity in credit in Illinois. Though many related factors help to explain some variability in credit scores, even when controlling for them, racial differences in credit persist.

Having a credit score is important for gaining access to things like education, better jobs, homeownership -- the very things that feed financial and social opportunity. While credit disparities exist in large measure due to the same historic policies that have limited access to broader financial opportunities for minorities, credit scores are particularly important to consider because they also impact individuals' future financial opportunities.

In effect, credit scores can create a trap, one that minorities are more likely to fall into, thereby feeding the continued growth of income and wealth disparities.

February 2014

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Midwestern)-Illinois

Teaching Artists Research Project

Arts and Culture;Education and Literacy

Teaching Artists Research Project

There have been remarkable advances in arts education, both in and out of schools, over the last fifteen years, despite a difficult policy environment. Teaching artists, the hybrid professionals that link the arts to education and community life, are the creative resource behind much of this innovation. Their best efforts are redefining the roles the arts play in public education. Their work is central to arts organizations' strategies for civic engagement and diverse audiences. Excellent research has shown that arts education is instrumental to the social, emotional, and cognitive development of thousands of young people. But little is known about teaching artists. The Teaching Artists Research Project (TARP) deepens our understanding of world of teaching artists through studies in twelve communities, and it will inform policy designed to make their work sustainable, more effective, and more meaningful.

A dozen study sites were selected where funding was available to support exploration of the local conditions and dynamics in arts education: Boston, Seattle, Providence, and eight California communities (San Francisco/Alameda County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Bakersfield, San Bernardino, Santa Cruz, Salinas, and Humboldt County). A thorough literature review was conducted, and NORC conducted stakeholder meetings and focus groups, identified key issues and began designing a multi-methods study that would include surveys for both artists and program managers as well as in-depth interviews of stakeholders -- teaching artists, program managers, school officials, classroom teachers and arts specialists, principals, funders, and arts educators in a wide variety of venues.

There are no professional associations and no accreditation for teaching artists, so a great deal of time was spent building a sample of teaching artists and program managers in every study site. The survey instrument was developed and tested, and then fielded on-line in the study sites sequentially, beginning in Chicago, and ending with the southern California sites. To assure a reliable response rate, online surveys were supplemented by a telephone survey. Lists of potential key informants were accumulated for each site, and interviewers were recruited, hired, and trained in each site. Most of the interviewers were teaching artists themselves, and many had significant field knowledge and familiarity with the landscape of arts education in their community. The surveys collected data on some fundamental questions:

  • Who are teaching artists?
  • Where do they work? Under what terms and conditions?
  • What sort of education have they had?
  • How are they hired and what qualifications do employers look for?
  • How much do they make?
  • How much experience do they have?
  • What drew them to the field? What pushes them out?
  • What are their goals?

Qualitative interviews with a subsample of survey respondents and key informants delved deeply into the dynamics and policies that drive arts education, the curricula and pedagogy teaching artists bring to the work, and personal histories of some artists. The interviews gathered more detailed information on the local character of teaching artist communities, in-depth descriptions and narratives of teaching artists' experiences, and followed up on items or issues that arose in preliminary analysis of the quantitative survey data. These conversations illuminated the work teaching artists believe is their best and identified the kinds of structural and organizational supports that enable work at the highest level. The interview process explored key areas with the artists, such as how to best develop their capacities, understand the dynamics between their artistic and educational practice, and how to keep them engaged in the field. Another critical topic explored during these conversations was how higher education can make a more meaningful and strategic contribution toward preparing young artists to work in the field.

The TARP report includes serious reflection on the conditions and policies that have affected arts education in schools, particularly over the last thirty years, a period of intense school reform efforts and consistent erosion of arts education for students. The report includes new and important qualitative data about teaching artists, documenting their educational background, economic status, the conditions in which they work, and their goals as artists and educators. It also includes new insights about how learning in the arts is associated with learning in general, illuminating findings from other studies that have suggested a powerful connection between arts education and positive outcomes for students in a wide range of domains.

September 2011

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Western)-Washington-King County-Seattle;North America-United States (Western)-California;North America-United States (Northeastern)-Rhode Island-Providence County-Providence;North America-United States (Northeastern)-Massachusetts-Suffolk County-Boston;North America-United States (Midwestern)-Illinois-Cook County-Chicago

The Retention of Chicago's Arts Students in Comparative Perspective

Arts and Culture, Education and Literacy

The Retention of Chicago's Arts Students in Comparative Perspective

Highlights:

* 58 percent of Chicago arts-school alumni took up residence in the city within 5 years of the date of their last attendance. Of the regions compared in this report, only New York City has a greater portion of its arts-school alumni taking up residence in the city within 5 years, at 66 percent.

* 51 percent of Chicago arts-school alumni were out-of-state applicants who came to Chicago and were still living in the city within five years of their last date of attendance. This is the second highest portion of out-of-state applicants taking up residence in the city of their alma mater. New York City's rate was highest at 54 percent.

* Of arts-school alumni who searched for work, 38 percent of those attending school in Chicago obtained work prior to leaving their institution; 85 percent obtained work within a year. Alumni from other regions had similar experiences.

*50 percent of Chicago's alumni reported that their first job or work experience was "closely related" to their arts-school training. However, alumni from institutions in Los Angeles County, Cleveland/Columbus and New York City reported higher rates of their first work experience being closely related to their arts training.

May 2014

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Midwestern)-Illinois-Chicago Metropolitan Area, North America-United States (Midwestern)-Ohio-Cuyahoga County-Cleveland, North America-United States (Midwestern)-Ohio-Franklin County-Columbus, North America-United States (Northeastern)-Massachusetts-Middlesex County-Cambridge, North America-United States (Northeastern)-Massachusetts-Suffolk County-Boston, North America-United States (Northeastern)-New York-New York County-New York City, North America-United States (Western)-California (San Francisco Bay Area), North America-United States (Western)-California-Los Angeles County

Differences a Day Can Make: Exploring the Effects of Abbreviated Intervention on Improving Financial Management for Youth-serving Organizations

Children and Youth, Education and Literacy, Nonprofits and Philanthropy

Differences a Day Can Make: Exploring the Effects of Abbreviated Intervention on Improving Financial Management for Youth-serving Organizations

This report by the management consulting firm CFAR examines the effectiveness of a one-day workshop and series of webinars offered to nonprofits by the consulting firm FMA as part of a Wallace Foundation initiative to strengthen the financial management of afterschool nonprofits. CFAR provides suggestions for the development of future training events to help nonprofits improve their financial stability and planning.

October 2014

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Midwestern)-Illinois-Cook County-Chicago

Death By A Thousand Cuts: Racism, School Closures, and Public School Sabotage

Children and Youth, Education and Literacy

Death By A Thousand Cuts: Racism, School Closures, and Public School Sabotage

The members of Journey for Justice, are comprised of thousands of youth, parents, and other concerned citizens from com­munities of color across the United States. They wrote this report because they need the American people to know that the public education systems in our communities are dying. More accurately, they are being killed by an alliance of misguided, paternalistic "reformers," education profiteers, and those who seek to dismantle the institution of public education. Some are being killed quickly; others are still in the early stages. But it is, at this point, quite clear that there will soon be little to nothing left of our public school systems -- and many more like ours -- unless current trends are disrupted.

May 2014

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Midwestern)-Illinois-Cook County-Chicago, North America-United States (Midwestern)-Michigan-Wayne County-Detroit, North America-United States (Midwestern)-Minnesota-Ramsey County-St. Paul, North America-United States (Northeastern)-Massachusetts-Suffolk County-Boston, North America-United States (Northeastern)-New Jersey-Essex County-Newark, North America-United States (Northeastern)-New Jersey-Hudson County-Jersey City, North America-United States (Northeastern)-New Jersey-Passaic County-Paterson, North America-United States (Northeastern)-New York-New York County-New York City, North America-United States (Northeastern)-Pennsylvania-Allegheny County-Pittsburgh, North America-United States (Northeastern)-Pennsylvania-Philadelphia County-Philadelphia, North America-United States (Southern)-District of Columbia-Washington, North America-United States (Southern)-Louisiana-Orleans Parish-New Orleans, North America-United States-Puerto Rico-Caguas

See More Reports

Go to IssueLab