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Research Center for Leadership in Action;
Salvador Reza, a longtime organizer for indigenous Mexican rights, helped lead a successful campaign to organize taco vendors in Phoenix. Faced with a local ordinance that would restrict the operation of mobile food stands, effectively banning them, Reza and his colleagues at Tonatierra mobilized the vendors to fight back. Their ultimate success recaptured the spirit of a community traumatized by 500 years of colonization and cultural destruction. Tonatierra's strategies included the following:Involve Vendors: Once vendors understood that the ordinance targeted them and threatened their livelihoods, they were able to establish a working group, representative of the community. They fashioned a way of regulating vendors that would ensure safe food and safe neighborhoods.Create a Team and a United Voice: The vendors negotiated among themselves until they could present their recommendations as a team.Rekindle Culture: According to Reza, "We are fighting back, but not with weapons of guns. Our weapons are culture and understanding and communication."
Assessment Technology Incorporated;
How can teachers use student assessment data to improve student learning and target their individual needs? At the Creighton School District in Phoenix, Arizona, educators wanted an assessment system that could guide teachers to make the best instructional decisions for each child. There was urgency for the task: In 2008, the Arizona Department of Education had designated Creighton as a failing district, slated for state takeover. Six of its nine schools had been labeled "Underperforming" and one as "Failing to Meet to Academic Standards."As a high poverty, inner city, elementary and middle school district, Creighton faced an enormous challenge. So in 2008, it launched a reform initiative that led to a remarkable turnaround: Today, eight of its schools have been relabeled "Performing Plus" and one is "Highly Performing," based on Arizona Learns achievement profiles. Creighton is no longer a failing district. How did Creighton achieve this dramatic improvement? A key ingredient for their success, say district leaders, was changing how they assessed students and, more importantly, how they analyzed results to fine-tune instruction. "This district," says Dr. Lynne Spiller, Creighton's Director of Research and Evaluation, "believes profoundly that there is no reason to assess a child if you are not going to use the data to determine the best instructional decisions for that child."Integrating assessment with instruction and curriculum was a cornerstone of the district's reform plan. Creighton wanted to build a system that gave classroom teachers immediate data—not just a test score but assessments that were diagnostic, showing student misconceptions about learning objectives and how to address them. The system was developed in partnership with WestEd, a nonprofit research and service agency, and Assessment Technology Incorporated (ATI), whose Galileo K-12 Online Instructional Improvement System (IIS) provided a powerful and innovative technological component for the reform effort. Dr. Jason Feld, Vice President of Corporate Projects at ATI, describes Galileo as a comprehensive set of assessment, reporting, instructional, and intervention tools "designed to support educator goals to elevate student learning." These tools, he adds, are research-based, reliable, and aligned to both state standards and the new Common Core State Standards.For its part, WestEd provided district site and school site staff with a full menu of ongoing professional development and technical assistance focused on improving instruction, curriculum, and assessment systems in Creighton. The multi-year reform initiative is funded by the Ellis Center for Educational Excellence, a Phoenix-based philanthropy focused on improving inner city, high poverty districts such as Creighton. WestEd and ATI drew on their shared expertise and experience as partners, working with other districts and schools on successful reform efforts. The marriage of intensive, high-level professional development and sophisticated but user-friendly assessment tools has helped Creighton sustain their reform effort.
In 2008, the struggling Creighton Elementary School District in Phoenix was offered a unique opportunity for comprehensive improvement. Now, two years later, student achievement exceeds expectations, and the district itself has transformed the way it operates.
Shared Hope International;
Proactive, inter-agency, multidisciplinary collaboration has proven helpful in effectively addressing human trafficking surrounding large events, such as the Super Bowl, as multiple municipal entities, neighboring law enforcement agencies, various service providers, local and visiting volunteers, and heightened media focus are generally involved.
Center for Studying Health System Change;
Examines whether specialty hospitals draw well-insured patients away from general and safety-net hospitals, reducing their ability to cross-subsidize less profitable services and uncompensated care, in three cities. Notes challenges and implications.
Pew Research Center for the People & the Press;
Examines public opinions of legal and illegal immigrants, immigration along the Mexican border, populations from Asia and Latin America, and proposed policy solutions. Includes a survey of five metropolitan areas with recent immigration increase.
Center for Studying Health System Change;
Examines six communities' efforts to build surge healthcare capacities to respond to terrorist attacks, epidemics, and natural and manmade disasters; the needed components and funding; and the effects of the restrictions and decline in federal funds.
Center for Studying Health System Change;
Examines how the recession and state and local budget cuts affected safety-net clinics' capacity to meet demand in five communities, the extent to which federal stimulus funds mitigated the impact, strategies for sustainability, and implications.
Cultural Policy Center at The University of Chicago;
This study measures the creative industries and workers of Chicago and eight peer cities. It is meant to provide an objective benchmark for Chicago as it undertakes the goals articulated in the Chicago Cultural Plan 2012 of attracting and retaining creative professionals and measuring the size and strength of the cultural sector. Quick facts:Creative workers, a group which includes professionals such as scientists and programmers as well as artists, make up almost 21% of Chicago's civilian labor force, which approximates the portion of creative workers in the US labor force.However, if one looks at artists specifically, Chicago rises above the national baseline: the portion of Chicago's labor force made up of artists is 1.6 times that of the US.An estimated 63,008 artists work in Chicago. Designers represent the largest share of the artist workforce in Chicago, at 36.3 percent.Fifty-seven percent of Chicago's artist labor force is employed in the for-profit sector. Among the cities studied, only Houston and Philadelphia employ barely larger proportions of their artist labor force in the for-profit sector.Chicago's artist workforce is less diverse than its total population in terms of race and ethnicity. Seventy-four percent of Chicago's artist workforce is White (non-Hispanic), compared with a total population that is 32 percent White (non-Hispanic).Among Chicago artists, writers/authors and architects are most highly concentrated compared to the U.S. as a whole. Chicago also has higher concentrations of designers, musicians, photographers, actors, and dancers compared to the national baseline.
Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance;
This report examines the heart of the nonprofit cultural sector across 11 of the country's major metropolitan regions. Using Cultural Data Project (CDP) information, we examined 5,502 organizations, which collectively have 906,000 paid and volunteer positions and spend $13 billion annually. The communities examined had a collective population of over 75 million residents, 23.7% of the total population of the country. Our goal was to understand the distinctive and shared attributes of the cultural communities across every metro region and 11 distinct disciplines. What are the underlying trends running across all metro regions and disciplines?Are communities recovering from the Great Recession? Where are the pressure points for the sector? What are the challenges and opportunities for specific disciplines? What trends are impacting the long-term health of all cultural nonprofits? Keeping in mind that all data has limitations and that our snapshot represents only a portion of the full scope of creative activity across the country, our analysis nonetheless revealed both expected and surprising findings.
The Pew Charitable Trusts;
Examines the financial difficulties Philadelphia's pension and healthcare benefits system faces due the stock market decline and rising healthcare costs in comparison with those of nine other cities' systems. Analyzes proposed restructuring plans.
James Irvine Foundation;
This report explores art programming in unusual spaces for new audiences in an effort to understand the impetus behind the work and what lessons can be learned from leading examples of it. It builds on other recent efforts that discuss participation and location by placing the trend in its historical context, and it challenges the assertion that the trend is a recent one. Unusual locations are as much a part of the history of art as are the venues that are today considered more usual. Likewise, the venue that is unusual to some is often quite usual to many others including, importantly, new audiences that the arts seek to reach. A typology of this activity follows the historical survey, with some suggestions as to the vocabulary that might be used to describe what is happening. A series of case studies are then presented, indicating the range of outcomes possible when arts programming is pursued in unusual places. Lessons from these case studies, as well as from the broader survey, lead to some conclusions about the future of the work and its significance. The hope is that this report is inspiring to practitioners who have begun experimenting with work in unusual places as well as those who are eager to join in.