Ideas 42 Report: Nudging for Student Success

FavoriteBreaking Barriers to Postsecondary Education:  Ideas 42 issued a report in June 2016, sponsored in part by The Kresge Foundation, that presented 16 case studies based on behavioral science that shows how subtle, sometimes hidden barriers can, over time, result in a student not completing a postsecondary degree.

Using Civic Engagement and Collaboration to Create Community Change: Lessons From Charlotte, N.C.

FavoriteThis article examines one community’s effort to use a large-scale civic engagement process to improve the health, safety, and education of children. The findings from this study illustrate important lessons for foundations that are funding and leading cross-sector collaborative efforts – lessons related to the importance of communication and transparency, the need for shared leadership, the limits to voluntary collaboration, and the need for a sustainable structure to maintain the commitment and effort over time.

Developing a Master Data Sharing Agreement: Seeking Student-Level Evidence to Support a Collaborative Community Effort in Education

FavoriteThis article discusses how a private foundation, a public school system, and a state university joined forces to address a difficult, long-standing challenge: closing the academic achievement gap between urban and suburban students. The parties worked through multiple challenges and forged a Master Data Sharing Agreement (MDSA) that will facilitate both daily intelligence for program staff and powerful post-hoc research capacity. This MDSA text has been released online under a Creative Commons license (Community Research Institute, 2011a).

Creating and Scaling Innovative School Models Through Strategic Partnerships

FavoriteThis article focuses on the pivotal role of philanthropy within the Texas High School Project, a public-private alliance to support education reform across the state and to maximize the resources of aligned organizations. Two examples show how foundations successfully engaged in the project, recruited other foundations, shared and increased expertise, maximized resources within the alliance, and increased impact to address a complex issue and solution. Also discussed are lessons learned about the foundations engaged with the alliance.

Developing Foundation-University-Grantee Collaboratives as a Model for High-Impact Philanthropy

FavoriteThe Weingart Foundation’s Urban School Districts Reform Initiative sought to improve urban education, and ultimately raise student achievement, by supporting sustainable reforms in school districts educating high numbers of low-income students. Based on research by an intermediary, six selected school districts were invited to propose projects that were a fit for their own strategic plans; four were funded. Based on this experience, three key design elements were identified: 1) Confine the initiative to a content area or target population, 2) Pay attention to geography, and 3) Encourage boundary-spanning.

Finding the Fix: Embracing Philanthropy’s Role in Transforming an Urban Education Landscape

FavoriteA new approach to urban education reform requires that funders pool resources under a common agenda to successfully build the conditions to change the landscape for children. This article describes and analyzes this shift in thinking and the change in strategy of education reformers in the city of Detroit.