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Think Of Us;
In September 2020, Think Of Us led a team of seven researchers who conducted a study to understand the perspectives, attitudes, and experiences of young people with recent histories in institutional placements, and to understand their beliefs around reforming or ending institutional placements. The goal of this report is to share the stories and insights of youth with lived experience that surfaced during the study.This study used two qualitative social research methods: interviews and cultural probes. The individual, semi-structured, in-depth interviews sought to get a full picture of young people's experiences before, during, and after institutional placements. These interviews also sought to elicit participants' perspectives on and attitudes towards institutional placements and their opinions about reform. Cultural probes are a research technique with open-ended activities given to participants to uncover the emotional and evocative thoughts young people associate with institutional placements.Responses to cultural probes include poems, photographs, and visual art. In total, the study engaged 78 different participants who were between 18 and 25 years old: 22 young people in interviews alone, 41 in cultural probes alone, and 15 in both. The team ensured a wide representation of experiences in foster care among participants, including diversity among youth's perceived experience with their institutional placements.
This report is the culmination of a two-year long project centering the voices of young people(YP) and the staff who work directly with young people to better understand the experiences ofhousing (in)stability that young people face after they have transitioned out of the child welfaresystem (DCFS) and the juvenile justice system (DJJ). Specifically, we wanted to explorethe transition planning processes from the DCFS Countdown to 21 program and theDJJ Aftercare program and the ways in which these programs succeed or struggle toprovide young people with the necessary skills, knowledge, and supports as they emergeinto adulthood. This report accompanies a website, Day2Day, which provides linkages andresources to a myriad of information and tools that young people might need as they emerge intoadulthood. All of the interviews, surveys and the journey mapping we facilitated informed both theDay2Day website as well as this report.
Launched in 2009, BPS Arts Expansion, the public-private partnership led by the Boston Public Schools Visual and Performing Arts Department and EdVestors, brings together local foundations, the school district, arts organizations, higher education institutions, and the Mayor's Office to focus on a coherent, sustainable approach to quality arts education for all BPS students. This collaboration of local leaders along with students, families, and school staff, has enabled Boston to emerge as a national leader among urban districts working to expand arts education.The purpose of this study is to examine how access to arts education in BPS influences education outcomes pertaining to student social emotional and academic outcomes as well as parent and teacher perspectives regarding school climate. This research strengthens the case for quality arts education for every student, finding significant evidence increases in arts education lead to improvements on a range of indicators of student and parent school engagement.
Launched in 2009, BPS Arts Expansion, the public-private partnership led by the Boston Public Schools Visual and Performing Arts Department and EdVestors, brings together local foundations, the school district, arts organizations, higher education institutions, and the Mayor's Office to focus on a coherent, sustainable approach to quality arts education for all BPS students. This collaboration of local leaders along with students, families, and school staff, has enabled Boston to emerge as a national leader among urban districts working to expand arts education.The purpose of this study is to examine how access to arts education in BPS influences education outcomes pertaining to student social-emotional and academic outcomes as well as parent and teacher perspectives regarding school climate. This research strengthens the case for quality arts education for every student, finding significant evidence increases in arts education lead to improvements on a range of indicators of student and parent school engagement.
Convergence Design Lab;
YOUTH WHO TAKE PART IN SPY HOP'S CORE AFTER-SCHOOL CLASSES LEARN DEEPLY. Students push themselves creatively and learn increasingly sophisticated skills in video, audio and music production. In the process, they gain confidence in their abilities and develop identities as creative artists. Spy Hop participants also learn in ways that go well beyond their mastery of a craft. They learn to work as part of a team to solve problems. They learn to think critically and assess their creative choices. They discover that they have a strong voice in their community.These additional skills and insights prepare students for success in whatever career field they choose. What's more, their Spy Hop experience empowers students to become more effective citizens. Youth who complete Spy Hop programming are well positioned to navigate a world of "fake news" and are more civically engaged than their peers.
Convergence Design Lab;
During COVID-19, Spy Hop, a Utah-based youth media organization, effectively engaged several hundred young people in media arts education locally and nationally by swiftly pivoting to a bold experimental virtual approach. This ethnography conducted by Convergence Design Lab reports that while many youth-service organizations furloughed staff and paused operations during COVID-19, Spy Hop adapted to quickly deliver virtual programs to a geographically and age diverse population of youth.The report is a 16 page chronicle that vividly describes the challenges and decision-making process that occurred at Spy Hop between late March and early June 2020. The report finds that Spy Hop succeeded as a direct result of its facility with three particular organizational behaviors and that these behaviors shed light on what collective resilience looks like in action. Specifically, Convergence Design Lab observed Spy Hop:
Center on Poverty & Social Policy (CPSP);
This report leverages data from the Early Childhood Poverty Tracker (see text box for a more detailed description), a Columbia University and Robin Hood study of more than 1,500 parents of young children in New York City, to provide a window into how families – especially low-income parents – managed their child care needs before the onset of the pandemic and what happens when families experience disruptions in their child care.PART I of this report focuses on accessibility and affordability of child care in New York City before the pandemic, specifically discussing what types of child care families used, including center-based, home-based, and informal care, and how they afforded that care.PART II explores both the extent and the economic cost of child care disruptions for New Yorkers, including an analysis of disruptions during the pandemic. To analyze the costs and impacts of disruptions, both to families and to the economy overall, the report replicates similar studies conducted in Maryland and Louisiana, which found that both states lost over $1 billion in a given year from parental absence and turnover due to child care disruptions. While the data we use for this analysis were collected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we can only expect that the impacts documented here were exacerbated due to the disruptions of daily life brought about by COVID-19.Together, these findings highlight the difficult trade-offs between access, quality, and affordability for families of young children, as well as the economic implications of disruptions to child care. This report can inform policymakers and practitioners as they lay the groundwork for reopening the city's centers and reimagine a better, more inclusive, and more accessible system.
Every Hour Counts;
Systems that coordinate afterschool, summer and other out-of-school-time programming communitywide have emerged in a number of U.S. cities and counties over the last 15 years or so. The organizations that oversee these systems increasingly recognize the need for periodic pulse checks to evaluate their efforts and inform improvements. But what, exactly, should these organizations assess and how?In 2014, a framework to help answer that was developed by Every Hour Counts, a national coalition of citywide organizations that seeks to increase access to high-quality learning opportunities, particularly for students from underserved communities. This framework is a research-informed update of the tool.The heart of the framework is 11 desired outcomes of system work, some or all of which system leaders might want to measure progress toward, depending on local needs and circumstances. Five are directly related to overall system work and include whether a common goal for afterschool has been established. Three regard the efforts of programs, stressing, for instance, that they use management practices that enhance program quality. And three are related to young people—the rate of youth participation in programs, among them.For each of the 11 items, the tool describes indicators signaling progress toward the outcome; the type of data that can be collected for the indicators; ideas for working with the data; and ways to interpret and use the findings. A feature of the update from the 2014 version of the framework is a set of racial equity questions for each outcome, exploring matters ranging from whether system decision-making is inclusive to whether programs distribute high-quality offerings equitably.
Harvard Graduate School of Education;
This guide provides detailed and transparent information about commonly used, evidence-based SEL programs. By breaking down each program in detail, this report enables schools, preschool and early childhood education (ECE) providers, and out-of-school time (OST) organizations to see whether and how well individual programs might: address their intended SEL goals or needs (e.g., bullying prevention, character education, behavior management, school readiness, etc.);align with a specific mission (e.g., promoting physical fitness, community service, the arts, etc.);meet the specific social and emotional and behavioral needs of their students (e.g., behavior regulation, conflict resolution, academic motivation, executive function and early learning skills, etc.);fit within their schedule or programmatic structure;integrate into existing school climate and culture initiatives, positive behavioral supports, and/or trauma-informed systems;complement other educational or programmatic goals outside of SEL (e.g., a school looking to boost student literacy scores or make up for the absence of a regular art or music class might consider selecting a program that frequently incorporates reading and writing activities, drawing and creative projects, or music and songs);ensure that SEL programming is equitable (i.e., relevant, beneficial, and culturally-appropriate for all students); andbridge OST settings and the regular school day.This type of information can be used by schools, ECE providers, and OST organizations to: (1) select specific programs or strategies that best meet their individual needs; (2) guide planning and goal-setting conversations with school and district leaders, ECE administrators, OST partners, and other stakeholders; and/or (3) re-evaluate the fit and effectiveness of SEL programs and structures already in use.
Learning Policy Institute;
Education aims to give every student opportunities to learn and thrive, but our current education system has not been designed to promote the equitable opportunities or outcomes that today's children and families deserve and that our democracy and society need. Our system was designed for a different world—to support mass education preparing students for their presumed places in life. That world believed that talent and skills were scarce, it trusted averages as a measure of individuals, and it was a world in which racist beliefs and stereotypes shaped the system so that only some children were deemed worthy of opportunity.To achieve the transformation we need today, education systems must be willing to embrace what we know about how children learn and develop. This knowledge has been well established through the science of learning and development, which shows that the range of students' academic skills and knowledge—and, ultimately, students' potential—can be significantly influenced through exposure to learning environments that use whole child design. To facilitate this transformation, this playbook translates and highlights the science, structures, and practices that can become the foundation for a new approach to learning when integrated and implemented. These design principles do not suggest a single design or model but suggest an approach to systemic change that supports equity for all students and the development of the full set of skills, competencies, and mindsets that young people need to live and thrive in their diverse communities.
America's Promise Alliance;
Where Do We Go Next? presents findings from a national survey focused on understanding the experiences, assets, and conditions that have shaped young people's high school experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Where Do We Go Next? aims to characterize young people's school-based experiences (in-person or remote) over the past year to inform youth-centered policy, practice, and recovery efforts moving forward.America's Promise Alliance partnered with Research for Action (RFA) to conduct a national survey (n=2,439) of young people as part of its GradNation campaign. The survey was designed to assess young people's experiences during an unprecedented school year that was shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic and a swelling movement for racial justice. Specifically, the present study sought to take a holistic approach to better understanding young people's high school experiences over the past year, all amidst an uncertain economic, social, and educational landscape. This study, thus, serves two related purposes. First, it adds to a growing knowledge base on high schoolers' learning experiences over the past year. And second, it explores a diverse set of young people's schoolbased and out-of-school experiences in an effort to better understand how the past year has impacted learning and development, specifically students' overall wellbeing, access to opportunities to learn about — and act upon — social issues like race and racism, and postsecondary readiness for life after high school.Survey respondents included young people ages 13-19 years who were enrolled in high school in the United States during the 2020-2021 school year. The survey was administered over a six-week period in March and April 2021 using a multi-pronged sampling strategy that included an online panel, targeted recruitment through supporting organizations, and youth-oriented social media advertisements. A non-probability quota sampling strategy was used to approximate the U.S. population distributions of high school students along dimensions of education level, gender, ethnicity, and race. Parameter estimates were referenced according to the most recently available national education statistics published by the National Center for Educational Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights. The resulting 2,439 survey responses were weighted by grade-level, race, ethnicity, and gender to account for differences between the study sample and the overall national population.
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry;
ObjectiveThe behavioral and emotional profiles underlying adolescent self-harm, and its developmental risk factors, are relatively unknown. We aimed to identify subgroups of young people who self-harm (YPSH) and longitudinal risk factors leading to self-harm.MethodParticipants were from the Millennium Cohort Study (n = 10,827). A clustering algorithm was used to identify subgroups who self-harmed with different behavioral and emotional profiles at age 14 years. We then traced the profiles back in time (ages 5−14 years) and used feature selection analyses to identify concurrent correlates and longitudinal risk factors of self-harming behavior.ResultsThere were 2 distinct subgroups at age 14 years: a smaller group (n = 379) who reported a long history of psychopathology, and a second, much larger group (n = 905) without. Notably, both groups could be predicted almost a decade before the reported self-harm. They were similarly characterized by sleep problems and low self-esteem, but there was developmental differentiation. From an early age, the first group had poorer emotion regulation, were bullied, and their caregivers faced emotional challenges. The second group showed less consistency in early childhood, but later reported more willingness to take risks and less security with peers/family.ConclusionOur results uncover 2 distinct pathways to self-harm: a "psychopathology" pathway, associated with early and persistent emotional difficulties and bullying; and an "adolescent risky behavior" pathway, whereby risk taking and external challenges emerge later into adolescence and are associated with self-harm. At least 1 of these pathways has a long developmental history, providing an extended window for interventions as well as potential improvements in the identification of children at risk, biopsychosocial causes, and treatment or prevention of self-harm.