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Priority Areas - Highlights
While there are many exciting efforts underway in Cincinnati, Covington, and Newport to improve outcomes for children, here are a few examples of progress in 2011:
Early Childhood Education — Led by United Way of Greater Cincinnati and Success By 6®
• Kindergarten readiness scores have increased in all three of the urban school districts over the past four years. The number of centers and classrooms participating in Hamilton County’s Learning Circles has grown from 14 in 2008 to 51 in 2011. The centers receive targeted support and technical assistance for sites/classrooms based on identified needs and performance data. Data show that children attending a Learning Circle affiliated classroom for a full academic year are better prepared for kindergarten (20.5 on the KRA-L vs. 16.8 for a comparable group of children with no documented preschool experience).
• In Northern Kentucky, local data show that Success By 6® investments and data-driven continuous learning and improvement planning are making a difference. In Newport, a child who has two years of involvement in a high quality program scores, on average, 21 percent higher on kindergarten readiness assessments. Local data in Covington reinforces the quality kindergarten readiness link (of the 44 percent of children who did not attend a quality program, only 51 percent were prepared for kindergarten).
Linking Community Supports to Student Achievement
• The Mentoring Works collaborative completed a data-informed action plan detailing work with priority schools to provide quality mentoring services and data collection around common measures. As a result, the P&G Fund is investing $300,000 over three years in this collaborative action plan. Funded partners will work collaboratively around recruitment, training, and impact in priority schools.
• Covington Partners in Prevention (CPIP) has convened providers around college access, mentoring, youth leadership, health wellness and parent engagement. CPIP partners are in the final stages of developing a team charter and building data-informed action plans.
• The Be the Change tutoring recruitment campaign has recruited and placed hundreds of tutors since the January 2011 kick-off. A major push for school partnerships to support early grade-level reading is planned for the fall. We are also exploring ways in which we can support the One to One reading tutoring initiative of the Northern Kentucky Education Council in Covington and Newport.
Teacher and Principal Excellence
• The Ascend Performance Institute launched in June with its first cohort of 31 schools, including 21 local schools from CPS, Covington, and the Archdiocese. Ascend is a promising two-year program focused on improving school performance through leadership development, execution of 90-day improvement plans, and school-site coaching. School-level performance will be tracked as the key measure of success.
• Local partners from area institutions have developed criteria for high-impact professional development, and a group of professional development experts are now accepting and reviewing submissions from providers. The criteria require that the professional development offerings be long-term in nature (as opposed to a single workshop or speaker), involve coaching and support, and include the tracking of implementation and impact on student-level achievement and outcomes. Accepted offerings are posted on the Together We Educate website (tweducate.org), which serves to recruit, support, and retain top talent in the urban core.
Postsecondary Access and Success
• Supported by the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, and with the assistance from a General Electric Blackbelt, the College Access Alliance(CAA) has been reviewing the 2008/2009 school year data. Upon initial analysis, the same five success indicators were once again found to demonstrate statistically significance in contributing to a student’s ability to enroll into college: Specifically, students are over 80% more likely to enroll into college when they:
1. Pass all portions of the Ohio Graduation Test,
2. Graduate from high school,
3. Apply for financial aid/scholarships,
4. Submit applications to colleges, and
5. Take appropriate college entrance exams.
• Progress continues with a college access pilot project underway at Woodward High School. Recently, partners and school counselors began entering data into the Learning Partner Dashboard, which will assist in helping to better identify, target and prioritize services.
Promoting Data-Informed Decision-Making
• Through the Social Innovation Fund, the Partnership will introduce Impact U, a series of workshops and coaching designed to build the capacity of nonprofits to implement continuous improvement processes and manage organizational impact in support of key community indicators. Impact U will meet the need for the SIF to provide training and technical assistance to its sub-grantees while also setting a stage for a technical assistance model for cohorts of organizations focusing on impact along the cradle to career continuum.
• The Learning Partner Dashboard combines student-level, school data with student-level, service provider data (i.e. mentoring, afterschool, tutoring, mental health, etc.) at CPS. An implementation team has been meeting regularly to drive adoption locally and provide assistance to partners and schools. There are 144 partners currently matched to students, with the percent of students matched to partners rising from 33% to 77% since early spring.
Advocacy and Funding Alignment
• The Social Innovation Fund has 16 local funders engaged, with 9 selected grantees spanning the cradle to career continuum. Talks are underway with funders to expand this collaborative around what works, along the cradle to career continuum.
• An aligned policy agenda has been developed and meetings with state legislators and other policymakers are being held. The policy agenda focuses on three core principals of the Partnership: 1) use data more effectively to determine what works; 2) invest existing resources in what works; and 3) pursue public–private partnerships and systems alignment.
Cradle To Career Community
To learn more about the National Strive Network, visit StriveNetwork.org.
The Strive Partnership is focused on the success of our children: every child, every step, from cradle to career. The Strive Partnership unites common providers around shared issues, goals, measurements and results, and then actively supports and strengthens strategies that work.