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Chattanooga's Benwood Initiative is one of the most widely touted school-reform success stories of recent years. And many credit its success to financial incentives used to lure new teachers to low-performing schools. In this report, Senior Policy Analyst Elena Silva argues that Benwood's success was not just about attracting new talent, but helping existing teachers improve the quality of their instruction.
Feeding America (formerly America's Second Harvest);
This report presents information on the clients and agencies served by The Chattanooga Area Food Bank. The information is drawn from a national study, Hunger in America 2010, conducted in 2009 for Feeding America (FA) (formerly America's Second Harvest), the nation's largest organization of emergency food providers. The national study is based on completed inperson interviews with more than 62,000 clients served by the FA national network, as well as on completed questionnaires from more than 37,000 FA agencies. The study summarized below focuses on emergency food providers and their clients who are supplied with food by food banks in the FA network.
The FA system served by The Chattanooga Area Food Bank provides emergency food for an estimated 207,200 different people annually.40% of the members of households served by The Chattanooga Area Food Bank are children under 18 years old (Table 5.3.2).31% of households include at least one employed adult (Table 5.7.1).Among households with children, 83% are food insecure and 40% are food insecure with very low food security (Table 188.8.131.52).52% of clients served by The Chattanooga Area Food Bank report having to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel (Table 6.5.1).41% had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care (Table 6.5.1).41% of households served by The Chattanooga Area Food Bank report having at least one household member in poor health (Table 8.1.1)The Chattanooga Area Food Bank included approximately 288 agencies at the administration of this survey, of which 158 have responded to the agency survey. Of the responding agencies, 98 had at least one food pantry, soup kitchen, or shelter.81% of pantries, 50% of kitchens, and 24% of shelters are run by faith-based agencies affiliated with churches, mosques, synagogues, and other religious organizations (Table 10.6.1).Among programs that existed in 2006, 72% of pantries, 87% of kitchens, and 79% of shelters of The Chattanooga Area Food Bank reported that there had been an increase since 2006 in the number of clients who come to their emergency food program sites (Table 10.8.1).Food banks are by far the single most important source of food for agencies with emergency food providers, accounting for 66% of the food distributed by pantries, 32% of the food distributed by kitchens, and 28% of the food distributed by shelters (Table 13.1.1).As many as 94% of pantries, 59% of kitchens, and 58% of shelters in The Chattanooga Area Food Bank use volunteers (Table 13.2.1).
Measures the effectiveness of employment related assistance, use of rent breaks as an incentive to work more, and activities that promote neighbor-to-neighbor support for work in Baltimore, Chattanooga, Dayton, Los Angeles, St. Paul, and Seattle.
Presents findings from the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership's community-level data analysis on services that improve physical and mental health, family stability, and neighborhood environments to foster collaboration for school readiness.
Public Education Network (PEN);
In October 1999, Public Education Network (PEN) received a three-year discretionary grant from the US Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), as part of a set of projects designed to better link research and data to policy and practice change.
PEN dedicated its project to building public knowledge and understanding of how to improve teaching through the collection, analysis, and dissemination of data on teachers and teaching. The project consisted of two phases of work, conducted in eight communities across the country -- Chattanooga; TN, Greenville, SC; Lincoln, NE; Los Angeles, CA; McKeesport, PA; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Raleigh, NC. The first phase, which included the creation of a data framework followed by data collection and analysis, was completed in June 2001. Phase two, a public engagement effort to disseminate the findings from the data to the public, was completed in October 2002.
This action guide builds on the experiences and learning from our eight sites, and is intended as a tool for community groups that want to build public knowledge and understanding and take action to support quality teaching.
The United States has made progress in recognizing that high-capacity broadband infrastructure is a critical and necessary component of a community's economic well-being and quality of life. Much still remains to be done, however, to turn this recognition into the reality of smart and connected communities across the nation.
Local governments everywhere want their communities to have affordable access to robust broadband infrastructure, just as local governments a century ago wanted their communities to have affordable access to reliable electric power. Then, with the private sector unable to electrify America everywhere at the same time, more than 3300 communities stepped forward to develop their own public power systems. Those that did generally survived and thrived, while many that waited for the private sector to get around to them did not. Now, a growing number of communities believe that history is repeating itself in the broadband area, that if their businesses and residents are to succeed in an increasingly competitive information-based global economy, they must again take their futures into their own hands. Not surprisingly, as the private power companies did a century ago, several communications companies have sought to erect a wide range of legal, political, financial, and other barriers to the ability of communities to serve their own needs. This is true even in some rural areas that do not offer enough economic incentives for private investment. So, what should guide local governments as they navigate these highly complicated waters of high-capacity broadband?
This report details the experiences of three municipalities that have gained attention around the world for successfully designing and implementing public broadband networks -- Bristol, Virginia; Lafayette, Louisiana; and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Each has faced significant challenges in its quests to bring 21st century communications technology and its benefits to its community. Each has met these challenges and is now providing its community multiple benefits that would not have been achievable any other way.
Department of Public Administration at Tennessee State University;
In order to more effectively address pressing social issues, foundations, nonprofits, and other stakeholders in the Chattanooga area must do more to increase the racial diversity of their boards and staffs, a report from Chattanooga Organized for Action argues.
The report, Chattanooga Next: Moving Beyond Good Intentions (20 pages, PDF), found that of the hundred and forty-nine board members serving high-impact organizations involved in designing, implementing, and evaluating public policy in Chattanooga, 82 percent were white, as was the overwhelming majority of staff of those organizations. The study also criticizes "Chattanooga Way" -- a public-private coalition of foundations, nonprofits, social entrepreneurs, and local government working to address community challenges -- as an insular group of powerful, mostly unelected actors with inordinate influence in deciding who gets what, when, and how.
Written by Tennessee State University assistant professor Ken Chilton, the report suggests that the lack of inclusion among the stakeholders who drive local policy has contributed to the failure of previous plans to improve the lives of Chattanooga residents living in poverty. Moreover, while Hamilton County is home to a vibrant nonprofit sector, poorer residents of the community have yet to benefit from the redevelopment of the city -- which itself has been supported by policies driven largely by foundation investments. Indeed, many residents face systemic exclusion from decision-making processes that affect them and, as a result, continue to struggle with limited economic opportunities.
Tia Capps, communications director for business accelerator Co.Lab, one of the organizations named in the report, told the Times Free Press that diversity in local decision making is imperative for innovation to occur. "You have to have people who can identify problems to solve," said Capps. "So if you are working with a set of people who come from a uniform cultural and socioeconomic background, you really aren't empowering people to tackle all the problems that are out there. Different people with different cultural upbringings can identify different problems to solve."
"COA challenges nonprofits and foundations in Chattanooga to more proactively identify and train new community leaders for civic service. Efforts to make Chattanooga's economy more inclusive are heavily dependent upon decisions made in downtown boardrooms," the report concludes. "New perspectives and lenses will contribute to better policies that are more democratic, authentic, and responsive."