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The Wallace Foundation;
Principals have a difficult job. It requires them to be instructional leaders, managers and mentors, all with the goal of helping every student succeed.How can school districts provide principals the support they need to excel in this challenging position? Two knowledge products—A Story From the Field and a WNET-produced video, School Leadership in Action: Principal Supervisors—explore how some school districts are responding to that question by remaking the job of the principal's supervisor.The idea—to shape a job focused squarely on helping principals improve instruction—represents a dramatic break with the conventional notion of the principal supervisor as a bureaucratic enforcer of principal compliance with regulations.The article and video profile efforts in two districts, Tulsa and Washington, D.C., that have rethought the supervisor's job, in part by giving supervisors fewer schools to oversee. The result is that supervisors now are fixtures in Tulsa and D.C. schools, doing things like classroom walkthroughs to observe what's working and what isn't—then sitting down with principals to discuss solutions. "I can't imagine doing this job without her," one novice D.C. principal says of her supervisor, who is helping her face such challenges as closing an achievement gap between African-American and white students.Changing the supervisor's job is no easy task. In addition to finding funding for the work—assigning each supervisor fewer schools means increasing the number of supervisors—district leaders face initial wariness from both principals and central office staff members. Supervisors, for their part, don't necessarily step into the job fully prepared to tackle it; so each district provides the supervisors with a considerable amount of professional development. Even with that, supervisors need to figure out how to reconcile two seemingly contradictory roles: developing a trusting relationship with principals while also being their judges in job performance evaluations.Both Tulsa and Washington, D.C., school districts receive Wallace support as part of the foundation's Principal Supervisor Initiative, which seeks to help participating districts and generate lessons for the broader field.
School-based mentoring is one of the most promising of several new mentoring approaches. This study explores some of the strengths, challenges and potential contributions of this approach by describing two well-run school-based programs. It describes characteristics of the mentors and youth involved, program practices and potential benefits to youth, and discusses implications for practitioners and directions for future research. Findings suggest that well-run school-based mentoring programs are likely to be a powerful intervention for many disadvantaged youth.
National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy;
In light of the national uprising sparked by the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (and building on other recent tragic movement moments going back to the 2014 murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri), NCRP is analyzing grantmaking by community foundations across the country to find out exactly how much they are – or are not – investing in Black communities.We started by looking at the latest available grantmaking data (2016-2018) of 25 community foundations (CFs) – from Los Angeles to New Orleans to New York City to St. Paul. These foundations represent a cross section of some of the country's largest community foundations as well as foundations in communities where NCRP has Black-led nonprofit allies.
Pew Charitable Trusts Philadelphia Research Initiative;
Large-scale public school closures have become a fact of life in many American cities, and that trend is not likely to stop now. This report looks at what happens to the buildings themselves, studying the experiences of Philadelphia and 11 other cities that have decommissioned large numbers of schools in recent years: Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Mo., Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tulsa and Washington.