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)

Uncommon Schools: Turning Urban Schools Into Springboards to College

Education and Literacy;Race and Ethnicity

Uncommon Schools: Turning Urban Schools Into Springboards to College

This report illustrates the successful college preparatory practices of Uncommon Schools, a network of 38 public charter schools in New York, New Jersey and Massachusettsthat serves nearly 10,000 low-income students and students of color. During the 2013 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools review process, a panel of national education experts chose Uncommon Schools as the best among the nation's 27 largest urban charter management organizations in closing achievement gaps, graduating its students and preparing them for college. The policies and practices highlighted in this report were drawn from a week-long site visit to Uncommon Schools conducted by RMC Research Corporation in November 2013 and a review of Uncommon's quantitative student achievement data from 2008-09 through 2011-2012.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-New York;North America-United States (Northeastern)-New Jersey;North America-United States (Northeastern)-Massachusetts

Massachusetts' Forgotten Middle Skills Jobs: Meeting the Demands of a 21st-Century Economy

Education and Literacy;Employment and Labor;Human Services

Massachusetts' Forgotten Middle Skills Jobs: Meeting the Demands of a 21st-Century Economy

Calls on the state to invest in training workers for jobs requiring more than a high school diploma but not a four-year degree by guaranteeing access to two years of postsecondary education. Highlights best practices in education and training programs.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-Massachusetts

Act Out, Get Out? Considering the Impact of School Discipline Practices in Massachusetts

Children and Youth, Education and Literacy

Act Out, Get Out? Considering the Impact of School Discipline Practices in Massachusetts

Recently, testimony from three public hearings in Massachusetts suggested that excessive disciplinary action for non-violent offenses, such as tardiness and truancy, exacerbates the dropout crisis. Testimony indicated that students already behind in school are often forced to miss additional days through suspensions, which leads to a loss of credits and an inability to catch up. Some parents, educators, education stakeholders, and coalitions, including the Massachusetts Graduation and Dropout Prevention and Recovery Commission, have called for a closer look at school discipline policies and practice. Many observers have come to believe that fully understanding the role of discipline is an essential step in tackling the problem of why some Massachusetts students are not staying in school. It is within this context that the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy embarked upon its examination of school discipline in Massachusetts.

Act Out, Get Out? Considering the Impact of School Discipline Practices in Massachusetts reviews why discipline policies are necessary, laws governing these policies, and national research on the effects of disciplinary removal. The brief then describes overall trends in the disciplinary removal (suspensions and expulsions) of Massachusetts public school students over time (school year 2005-2006 through 2008-2009) and findings from a more in-depth analysis of discipline data from the 2007-2008 school year. Key findings from data about the 2007-2008 school year include: 1. For the most serious infractions, those involving illegal substances, violence and criminal activities the most common reason for disciplinary removal is violence; 2. Out-of-school suspension is the most frequently used form of disciplinary removal; 3. The number of disciplinary removals peaks at 9th grade and declines in 10th through 12th grade; 4. Particular segments (low-income, special education, male, black, Hispanic) of the student population are removed at disproportionately high rates.

This policy brief highlights essential questions that need to be answered in order to fully understand how discipline policies are being carried out and to tease out the relationship between disciplinary removal, the achievement gap, and dropping out of public schools in Massachusetts. The final section of the brief puts forth considerations for policymakers and K-12 school and district leaders. The brief suggests there is a need for more detailed and complete record keeping of school discipline data as well as for more schools and districts to implement school-wide preventative approaches and alternative education programs for students who have been removed. The brief also questions the extent to which of out-of-school suspensions are used for non-violent, non-criminal offenses, particularly those for Pre-Kindergarten and Elementary School aged students.

The brief was the subject of discussion at a public event on May 26, 2010.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-Massachusetts

Districts Developing Leaders: Lessons on Consumer Actions and Program Approaches From Eight Urban Districts

Education and Literacy

Districts Developing Leaders: Lessons on Consumer Actions and Program Approaches From Eight Urban Districts

Profiles eight Wallace-supported approaches to preparing future principals to succeed in improving troubled city schools, including establishing clear expectations so that university preparation programs can craft training accordingly.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-Massachusetts-Suffolk County-Boston;North America-United States (Midwestern)-Illinois-Cook County-Chicago;North America-United States (Midwestern)-Indiana-Allen County-Fort Wayne;North America-United States (Southern)-Kentucky-Jefferson County;North America-United States (Northeastern)-Rhode Island-Providence County-Providence;North America-United States (Midwestern)-Illinois-Sangamon County-Springfield;North America-United States (Northeastern)-Massachusetts-Hampden County-Springfield;North America-United States (Midwestern)-Missouri-St. Louis County-St. Louis

Cost of Quality Out-of-School-Time Programs, The

Children and Youth, Education and Literacy, Nonprofits and Philanthropy

Cost of Quality Out-of-School-Time Programs, The

Funders and program planners want to know: What does it cost to operate a high-quality after-school or summer program? This study answers that question, discovering that there is no "right" number. Cost varies substantially, depending on the characteristics of the participants, the goals of the program, who operates it and where it is located. Based on detailed cost data collected from 111 out-of-school-time programs in six cities, this report, along with an online calculator (www.wallacefoundation.org/cost-of-quality), provides cost averages and ranges for many common types of programs.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-Massachusetts-Suffolk County-Boston, North America-United States (Southern)-North Carolina-Mecklenburg County-Charlotte, North America-United States (Midwestern)-Illinois-Cook County-Chicago, North America-United States (Western)-Colorado, North America-United States (Western)-Colorado-Denver County-Denver, North America-United States (Midwestern)-Illinois, North America-United States (Northeastern)-Massachusetts, North America-United States (Northeastern)-New York, North America-United States (Northeastern)-New York-New York County-New York City, North America-United States (Southern)-North Carolina, North America-United States (Western)-Washington-King County-Seattle, North America-United States (Western)-Washington

Informing the Debate: Comparing Boston's Charter, Pilot and Traditional Schools

Education and Literacy

Informing the Debate: Comparing Boston's Charter, Pilot and Traditional Schools

Assesses the impact of charter and pilot schools on achievement by tracking students who showed similar academic traits in earlier grades across school types. Also compares applicants who won the lottery to attend charters or pilots and those who did not.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-Massachusetts-Suffolk County-Boston;North America-United States (Northeastern)-Massachusetts

Executive Summary: Act Out, Get Out? Considering the Impact of School Discipline Practices in Massachusetts

Children and Youth, Education and Literacy

Executive Summary: Act Out, Get Out? Considering the Impact of School Discipline Practices in Massachusetts

Recently, testimony from three public hearings in Massachusetts suggested that excessive disciplinary action for non-violent offenses, such as tardiness and truancy, exacerbates the dropout crisis. Testimony indicated that students already behind in school are often forced to miss additional days through suspensions, which leads to a loss of credits and an inability to catch up. Some parents, educators, education stakeholders, and coalitions, including the Massachusetts Graduation and Dropout Prevention and Recovery Commission, have called for a closer look at school discipline policies and practice. Many observers have come to believe that fully understanding the role of discipline is an essential step in tackling the problem of why some Massachusetts students are not staying in school. It is within this context that the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy embarked upon its examination of school discipline in Massachusetts.

Act Out, Get Out? Considering the Impact of School Discipline Practices in Massachusetts reviews why discipline policies are necessary, laws governing these policies, and national research on the effects of disciplinary removal. The brief then describes overall trends in the disciplinary removal (suspensions and expulsions) of Massachusetts public school students over time (school year 2005-2006 through 2008-2009) and findings from a more in-depth analysis of discipline data from the 2007-2008 school year. Key findings from data about the 2007-2008 school year include: 1. For the most serious infractions, those involving illegal substances, violence and criminal activities the most common reason for disciplinary removal is violence; 2. Out-of-school suspension is the most frequently used form of disciplinary removal; 3. The number of disciplinary removals peaks at 9th grade and declines in 10th through 12th grade; 4. Particular segments (low-income, special education, male, black, Hispanic) of the student population are removed at disproportionately high rates.

This policy brief highlights essential questions that need to be answered in order to fully understand how discipline policies are being carried out and to tease out the relationship between disciplinary removal, the achievement gap, and dropping out of public schools in Massachusetts. The final section of the brief puts forth considerations for policymakers and K-12 school and district leaders. The brief suggests there is a need for more detailed and complete record keeping of school discipline data as well as for more schools and districts to implement school-wide preventative approaches and alternative education programs for students who have been removed. The brief also questions the extent to which of out-of-school suspensions are used for non-violent, non-criminal offenses, particularly those for Pre-Kindergarten and Elementary School aged students.

The brief was the subject of discussion at a public event on May 26, 2010.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-Massachusetts

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