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Police Executive Research Forum;
The Denver Police Department (DPD), Denver Public Schools (DPS), and community organizations in the Denver area have built a collaborative approach to school safety and positive youth development designed to combat the school-toprison pipeline. Together, these organizations advocate a comprehensive approach to safety in which schools' disciplinary policies avoid removing students from the classroom, social service providers are substantively included in ongoing safety efforts, and students within the juvenile justice system are included in youth engagement efforts. The goals are to establish positive relationships between students, faculty, school staff members, and school resource officers; prioritize student wellbeing; and involve police only as a last resort following efforts to de-escalate conflict.
Early indicators show that Denver's approach is working: In the last five years, rates of student suspension, expulsion, and referral to law enforcement have declined despite a 6 percent increase in total student enrollment over the same period. From the 2012–2013 school year to the 2014–2015 school year, district-wide in-school suspensions declined by 35 percent, out-of-school suspensions by 15 percent, expulsions by 32 percent, and referrals to law enforcement by 30 percent. What's more, the total number of behavioral incidents reported to DPS declined by 9 percent over the same period, indicating that the number of potential safety risks to students has decreased following changes in policy and practice.
Viewing these efforts holistically, this report identifies a number of promising practices and lessons learned thatpractitioners, policymakers, and researchers may consider when engaging with students around the country
Police Executive Research Forum;
One recent development in the battle against gun violence has shown promise, however. That involves the use of technology to streamline and support police enforce-ment and investigatory efforts against criminals who carry guns. This report examines one of these promising technology-based applications: the Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC) model. CGICs are an interagency collaboration among local police departments, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and other partners such as state and local prosecutors, to identify perpetrators of gun crime for immediate inves-tigation, apprehension, and prosecution. CGICs combine state-of-the-art analytical technology, data processing systems, and good old-fashioned detective work to help police agencies more quickly analyze ballistic evidence, establish connections among seemingly unrelated crimes, and build criminal cases targeting both gun traffickers and trigger-pullers.
Jobs for the Future;
How many people work in green infrastructure? What are the jobs? What level of compensation do they offer? What are the educational requirements? How much potential is there for job creation as green infrastructure investments increase? How is the green infrastructure workforce within the six U.S. cities examined for this report similar to—or different than—that in the nation as a whole?
This issue brief attempts to answer these and other questions about current and emerging workforce trends related to the rise in green infrastructure activities. It summarizes the results of research conducted by Jobs for the Future (JFF) as part of NatureWORKS, a national initiative to understand the jobs, careers, skills, credentials, and potential of the U.S. green infrastructure workforce. The study was funded by the U.S. Forest Service's National Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program as recommended by the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council, NUCFAC.
The research focused on occupations involved in the direct installation, maintenance, and inspection (IMI) of the green infrastructure (GI) and their first-line supervisors. This report describes the GI-IMI involvement of occupations whose work includes green infrastructure activities. It also discusses the emerging movement to certify green infrastructure workers in the stormwater management field as a way to both raise the quality of GI work and promote green infrastructure implementation, thereby expanding the workforce.
This past summer, you received an Impact Report on our work in the areas of Education and Economic Opportunity which highlighted The Denver Foundation's Common Sense Discipline and Impact Investment programs. Now we're sharing an Impact Report on progress in The Denver Foundation's Basic Human Needs and Leadership & Equity objective areas. The Community Navigator and Nonpro fi t Internship programs are innovative approaches that wouldn't be happening without the support of The Denver Foundation.
Wallace Foundation, The;
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.
In May 2015, a national summit convened in Chicago to take an in-depth look at green schoolyards. At this summit, practitioners, advocates, researchers and others shared their knowledge and experiences and explored innovative approaches for advancing green schoolyards. This report shares the collective experience and knowledge of the participants and explores some of these new and emerging opportunities.
Successful green schoolyard programs in six cities across the country are examined in case studies in this report. These studies distill important factors that helped to determine project success, including diverse partnerships and funding mechanisms, carefully leveraged policy at every level and documented impact that wins support.
As charter schools continue their rapid expansion in America's cities, questions related to equitable access to these schools of choice have jumped to the forefront of the policy conversation. Indeed, the proportion of students in charters with classifications that suggest that they are difficult to educate -- such as students with disabilities, those who are not proficient in English, and those who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch -- is often substantially below their respective proportions in traditional ("district") public schools.
This paper uses longitudinal data from Denver to measure whether adoption of common enrollment increased the proportion of disadvantaged students enrolled in that city's charter elementary schools. It finds that Denver's adoption of common enrollment substantially increased the proportion of students enrolling in charter kindergartens who are minority, eligible for free/reduced-priced lunch, or speak English as a second language. Importantly, this paper considers only one specific effect of common enrollment on the charter-school sector. While policymakers should take a more expansive measure of the merits of common enrollment before adopting it, this paper suggests that an effective way to boost disadvantaged students' enrollment in charters is to make applying to them easier.
During March 2015, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) and Denver Public School District Senior Administration (Admin) engaged third party consultant Mission Spark, LLC, to engage teachers and special service providers around their perspectives on and experiences with the District's compensation system, commonly known as ProComp. Senior representatives from each organization worked collaboratively to identify critical topics to explore based on past engagement efforts, to select schools for participation, and to group teachers and special service providers (SSPs) for focus groups. In addition, the Mission Spark team conducted 11 interviews with primary stakeholders involved in the design and evaluation of the ProComp system to promote continuity between evaluative and engagement efforts.
This final report, geared at an internal (not public) audience, provides more detailed insight into participant perspectives, implications of those insights, shares teacher-generated ideas for improving ProComp, and finishes with recommendations for both further exploration and considerations for the renegotiation of ProComp 3.0.
The Initiative leaders invested in evaluation from the start of the work together in order to learn along the way about what works and what needs adjustment, and to document the impact of the Initiative overall. Informing Change was invited to evaluate the first three years of the Initiative, beginning with facilitating the development of the Initiative's Theory of Change. We then designed a mixed-methods evaluation that includes surveys of teens and parents involved with Initiative programs; interviews with Jewish youth professionals; interviews with grantees, funders and other community stakeholders; and a review of grantee reports and other materials.
During the Initiative's first year, teen participants from the three grantee programs that were operational—JSC, Moving Traditions and BJTI—were invited to participate in a survey about their experiences in these programs and their involvement in Jewish life in their communities more broadly. JSC used a survey that it administers to all teens in its groups nationally. Informing Change designed surveys for Moving Traditions and BJTI with items from the Cross-Community Evaluation as well as those specifically for Denver-Boulder and their unique programs. These surveys were launched very close to the end of the school year, and later than originally intended, largely due to the coordination with the Cross-Community Evaluation. Due to low survey response rates, the data collected from each program is limited. Only 2 teens from BJTI, 16 teens from Moving Traditions and 44 teens from JSC programs completed surveys. Note that these counts only include respondents who completed a survey and indicated that either they are Jewish or someone in their family is Jewish.
Similarly, our parent surveys included items from the Cross-Community Evaluation and customized items for Denver-Bounder and also had low rates of completion. This is an important limitation to consider when interpreting the parent data in this report. Also, it only includes parents of teens in Moving Traditions and BJTI; 21 parents representing 22 teens from Moving Traditions and 5 parents representing 6 teens from BJTI completed surveys.
The survey data provides insight into the teens' experiences from two self-reported perspectives: teens and parents. However, due to the low response rates, these baseline survey data should be viewed as illustrative rather than as representative in nature.
Informing Change also conducted 34 interviews with a range of informants who were both directly and indirectly involved with Initiative programs. These interviews typically lasted about 45 minutes and were conducted by telephone or in person. They included 2 interviews with local and national funders of the Initiative, 7 interviews with staff of Initiative grantees' staff, 4 interviews with national staff of local grantees, 21 interviews with youth professionals in jHub, 4 interviews with local program advisors or volunteers, and 2 interviews with local stakeholders not directly involved with the Initiative. Please note that there was some overlap among these categories (i.e., grantee staff who were also jHub participants), which is why the total appears greater than the number of interviews conducted.
Informing Change also reviewed mid-term and end-of-year grant reports from each of the five Initiative grantees. Mid-year grant reports were submitted and reviewed in February 2015, and final Year 1 grant reports were submitted and reviewed in August 2015. These reports provided information on grantee progress that was outside the scope of the evaluation's interviews and helped provide a complete picture of grantees' Year 1 accomplishments and challenges.
Policy Studies Associates, Inc.;
Six urban school districts received support from The Wallace Foundation to address the critical challenge of supplying schools with effective principals. The experiences of these districts may point the way to steps other districts might take toward this same goal. Since 2011, the districts have participated in the Principal Pipeline Initiative, which set forth a comprehensive strategy for strengthening school leadership in four interrelated domains of district policy and practice:
Leader standards to which sites align job descriptions, preparation, selection, evaluation, and support.
Preservice preparation that includes selective admissions to high-quality programs.
Selective hiring, and placement based on a match between the candidate and the school.
On-the-job evaluation and support addressing the capacity to improve teaching and learning, with support focused on needs identified by evaluation.
The initiative also brought the expectation that district policies and practices related to school leaders would build the district's capacity to advance its educational priorities. The evaluation of the Principal Pipeline Initiative has a dual purpose: to analyze the processes of implementing the required components in the participating districts from 2011 through 2015; and then to assess the results achieved in schools led by principals whose experiences in standards-based preparation, hiring, evaluation, and support have been consistent with the initiative's requirements. This report addresses implementation of all components of the initiative as of 2014, viewing implementation in the context of districts' aims, constraints, and capacity.
Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE);
A growing number of cities now provide a range of public school options for families to choose from. Choosing a school can be one of the most stressful decisions parents make on behalf of their child. Getting access to the right public school will determine their child's future success. How are parents faring in cities where choice is widely available? This report answers this question by examining how parents' experiences with school choice vary across eight "high-choice" cities: Baltimore, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Our findings suggest parents are taking advantage of the chance to choose a non-neighborhood-based public school option for their child, but there's more work to be done to ensure choice works for all families.
Annie E. Casey Foundation;
This report tells how four tax-preparation programs are breaking the mold and tackling the world of health care enrollment. Readers will learn the challenges and opportunities associated with such a move, which has the potential to help millions of low-income Americans take a critical first step toward a healthier future.