Staying Relevant In A Changing Neighborhood: How Fleisher Art Memorial Is Adapting To Shifting Community Demographics

Arts and Culture;Education and Literacy

Staying Relevant In A Changing Neighborhood: How Fleisher Art Memorial Is Adapting To Shifting Community Demographics

This case study describes Fleisher Art Memorial's initiative to bring residents of the surrounding ethnically diverse neighborhood to its on-site programs. The report is part of a larger set of 10 case studies commissioned by The Wallace Foundation to explore arts organizations' efforts to reach new audiences and deepen relationships with their existing audiences. These in-depth reports lay out how the efforts were created and run, describe the results in detail, identify what helped them become successful, and show what got in the way of success. They add to a growing body of field-based research, providing specific examples of individual organizations' responses to unique circumstances. At the same time, each aspires to capture more broadly applicable lessons about what works and what does not -- and why -- in building arts audiences.

August 2015

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-Pennsylvania-Philadelphia County-Philadelphia

Effective Organizational Practices for Middle and High School Grades

Education and Literacy

Effective Organizational Practices for Middle and High School Grades

At the request of the Accountability Review Council, Research for Action identified effective organizational practices used by better performing schools serving substantial numbers of low income middle and high school students in the School District of Philadelphia. These practices are organized into three spheres: Conditions for Teaching, Student-Centered School Community, and Instructional Program. For each sphere, the report offers broad strategies and specific practices to enact the strategies. Nuanced school case studies show how the practices can work synergistically and coherently in schools to help students succeed.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-Pennsylvania-Philadelphia County-Philadelphia

Shuttered Public Schools: The Struggle to Bring Old Buildings New Life

Community and Economic Development, Education and Literacy

Shuttered Public Schools: The Struggle to Bring Old Buildings New Life

Large-scale public school closures have become a fact of life in many American cities, and that trend is not likely to stop now. This report

looks at what happens to the buildings themselves, studying the experiences of Philadelphia and 11 other cities that have decommissioned large numbers of schools in recent years: Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Mo., Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tulsa and Washington.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Midwestern)-Missouri-St. Louis County-St. Louis, North America-United States (Midwestern)-Missouri-Jackson County-Kansas City, North America-United States (Midwestern)-Michigan-Wayne County-Detroit, North America-United States (Midwestern)-Illinois-Cook County-Chicago, North America-United States (Midwestern)-Ohio-Cuyahoga County-Cleveland, North America-United States (Midwestern)-Ohio-Hamilton County-Cincinnati, North America-United States (Midwestern)-Wisconsin-Milwaukee County-Milwaukee, North America-United States (Northeastern)-Pennsylvania-Allegheny County-Pittsburgh, North America-United States (Southern)-District of Columbia-Washington, North America-United States (Southern)-Georgia-Fulton County-Atlanta, North America-United States (Southern)-Oklahoma-Tulsa County-Tulsa

Charter School Vulnerabilities to Waste. Fraud and Abuse

Education and Literacy

Charter School Vulnerabilities to Waste. Fraud and Abuse

This report echoes a warning from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of the Inspector General. The report draws upon news reports, criminal complaints and more to detail how, in just 15 of the 42 states that have charter schools, charter operators have used school funds illegally to buy personal luxuries for themselves, support their other businesses, and more. The report also includes recommendations for policymakers on how they can address the problem of rampant fraud, waste and abuse in the charter school industry. Both organizations recommend pausing charter expansion until these problems are addressed.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Southwestern)-Arizona, North America-United States (Southern)-Louisiana, North America-United States (Southern)-Florida, North America-United States (Southern)-District of Columbia-Washington, North America-United States (Northeastern)-Pennsylvania, North America-United States (Northeastern)-New York, North America-United States (Western)-Hawaii, North America-United States (Western)-Colorado, North America-United States (Western)-California, North America-United States (Northeastern)-New Jersey, North America-United States (Midwestern)-Wisconsin, North America-United States (Midwestern)-Ohio, North America-United States (Midwestern)-Minnesota, North America-United States (Midwestern)-Illinois, North America-United States (Southwestern)-Texas

Going Small: Progress and Challenges of Philadelphia's Small High Schools

Education and Literacy

Going Small: Progress and Challenges of Philadelphia's Small High Schools

Examines the start-up and implementation of Philadelphia's small neighborhood high school creation in 2003-08. Discusses student demographics, engagement and achievement, school climate, educators' visions, the role of partners, and remaining challenges.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-Pennsylvania;North America-United States (Northeastern)-Pennsylvania-Philadelphia County-Philadelphia

Fighting the Drop-Out Crisis

Education and Literacy

Fighting the Drop-Out Crisis

Describes data-driven efforts to raise high school graduation rates in New York, Philadelphia, and Portland, Oregon by replacing low-performing schools with smaller schools or offering alternative schools and programs, as well as their outcomes to date.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-New York;North America-United States (Northeastern)-New York-New York County-New York City;North America-United States (Northwestern)-Oregon;North America-United States (Northeastern)-Pennsylvania;North America-United States (Northeastern)-Pennsylvania-Philadelphia County-Philadelphia;North America-United States (Northwestern)-Oregon-Multnomah County-Portland

Transition to High School: School 'Choice' and Freshman Year in Philadelphia

Education and Literacy

Transition to High School: School 'Choice' and Freshman Year in Philadelphia

The School District of Philadelphia's tiered system of selective, nonselective, and charter high schools, and the process for high school choice, has created real variation in the degree to which high schools can successfully meet the needs of ninth graders. Research has shown that the ninth grade year is critical in determining a student's likelihood of graduating from high school. This mixed-methods study examines the transition to high school in Philadelphia, which we define as including the eighth grade high school selection process and students' experience in their ninth grade year. In our analysis of eighth grade applications to district-managed high schools for the 2007-08 school year, we found that most District eighth graders participated in the high school selection process, but fewer than half of them were admitted and enrolled in any of their chosen schools. Further, comparing across types of high schools, we found first, that the choice process contributes to system stratification, with low-income students, Black and Latino students, students who need special supports, and boys concentrated in nonselective neighborhood high schools and Whites, Asians, and girls concentrated in special admission high schools. Second, we learned that the choice process creates distinct challenges to the neighborhood schools' ability to support ninth graders. Enrollment at neighborhood high schools does not settle until the school selection process settles in late summer, and then continues to shift through the fall due to geographic mobility and returns from the juvenile justice system or other schools. Late enrollments undercut the ability of the neighborhood high schools to prepare for incoming classes, and contribute to changes in course schedules and teacher assignments after the school year begins, which cost important instructional time. Finally, we found that despite widespread acknowledgement of the importance of the freshman year, competing district agendas often mean it is not a priority in district and school planning. Freshman year interventions are often implemented piecemeal, without the professional support teachers need to adopt new practices, and without the assessments needed to know if they are effective. We argue that if low-performing neighborhood high schools are going to "turn around" or improve, it will require not only building school capacity but also implementing changes to the broader systems of district policy and practice in which these schools function, including the high school selection process.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-Pennsylvania-Philadelphia County-Philadelphia (Northwestern)

Cultural Responsiveness, Racial Identity and Academic Success: A Review of Literature

Education and Literacy;Race and Ethnicity

Cultural Responsiveness, Racial Identity and Academic Success: A Review of Literature

Commissioned by the Heinz Endowments, this paper reviews the literature on "culturally responsive pedagogy" and the arts. Academic success among African Americans is correlated with education that incorporates racial identity and socialization and a focus on resiliency and culturally relevant concepts. The arts are an ideal venue for such educational programs.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States;North America-United States (Northeastern)-Pennsylvania;North America-United States (Northeastern)-Pennsylvania-Allegheny County-Pittsburgh

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