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Red Hook Initiative;
In the summer of 2017, the Real Rites Researchers - a group of Red Hook young adults - came together after being tired of witnessing violence, feeling ignored and harassed, and being ready to make a change. The Researchers grew up in Red Hook witnessing violence, disinvestment, and over-policing.
After taking matters into their own hands, the Researchers launched a participatory study about violence and community-building for young adults in Red Hook. The research was conducted by, with, and for their community. This report details their findings and reveals young peoples' desire to be at the forefront of change in their own community.
Citizen's Committee for Children of New York;
Historically, much of the data used to describe the status of children and families has focused on needs and risk factors, and these indicators are commonly collected through a variety of state, local, and federal government sources. For example, CCC's Community Risk Ranking examines data related to child poverty, family homelessness, infant mortality, educational test scores, teen idleness, and violent felony rates among others. Yet we know that children's outcomes are defined by a complex interplay of both risk factors and the assets or resources that exist to help children and their families overcome barriers to well-being. We also know that in order to effectively improve outcomes for children and families, we must target our solution-seeking at the most local level and engage community stakeholders in our efforts to unearth the opportunities that are present. For these reasons, CCC has undertaken a comprehensive effort to establish a method through which to identify assets or resources in New York City communities, starting with the neighborhood of Brownsville in Brooklyn. We began by leveraging our Keeping Track database to provide a foundation for our understanding of the needs of Brownsville's children and families. We then met with colleagues in government, nonprofit, and academic organizations to identify data on key assets or resources that should be present at the community level. Asset data were then collected from a wide range of local government agencies to illustrate the services, supports, and infrastructure that exist in Brownsville. To ensure we presented a complete picture of the challenges, strengths, and opportunities present in Brownsville, we engaged residents and organizations working in the community throughout our process. These conversations helped to identify issues that were revealed through the data that required closer examination, raised additional areas of concern for which data needed to be explored, and provided a deeper understanding of the story the data was telling from the perspective of those living and working in the community. This was instrumental in gaining insights on issues such as a lack of sufficient resources, conditions within the community that limit access to services, and concerns about quality that may drive residents away from available resources.
In 2011, The McKnight Foundation partnered with a set of districts and schools in the Twin Cities area, all serving high-needs students, on a PreK–3 literacy initiative. The Pathway Schools Initiative aims to dramatically increase the number of students who reach the critical milestone of third-grade reading proficiency, an indicator predictive of later academic outcomes and high school graduation. This report focuses on findings from Phase I of the Pathway Schools Initiative (2011–2015).
James Irvine Foundation;
This report explores art programming in unusual spaces for new audiences in an effort to understand the impetus behind the work and what lessons can be learned from leading examples of it. It builds on other recent efforts that discuss participation and location by placing the trend in its historical context, and it challenges the assertion that the trend is a recent one. Unusual locations are as much a part of the history of art as are the venues that are today considered more usual. Likewise, the venue that is unusual to some is often quite usual to many others including, importantly, new audiences that the arts seek to reach. A typology of this activity follows the historical survey, with some suggestions as to the vocabulary that might be used to describe what is happening. A series of case studies are then presented, indicating the range of outcomes possible when arts programming is pursued in unusual places. Lessons from these case studies, as well as from the broader survey, lead to some conclusions about the future of the work and its significance. The hope is that this report is inspiring to practitioners who have begun experimenting with work in unusual places as well as those who are eager to join in.
Brooklyn Community Foundation;
This report documents the findings from conversations with nearly 1,000 residents, advocates, and leaders to discuss Brooklyn's future, and to put their voices and ideas at the forefront of our work.
From the bustling sidewalks of Sunset Park, to the lush gardens and farms of East New York, to the vibrant neighborhood blocks beyond the boardwalk in Coney Island, the Brooklyn Community Foundation learned about the intense challenges facing residents, and the opportunities they see for bettering their lives. Over six months, we discovered more than we ever imagined, and repeatedly heard about five major themes that thread through all of our communities.
National Center on Time and Learning;
This report looks deeply inside 17 schools that stand at the vanguard of the current revolution in teaching. It reveals the substantive ways in which these schools are providing their teachers with more time to reflect on, develop, and hone their craft, by very explicitly leveraging an expanded-time school schedule and calendar. These schools' expanded time (on average, they are in session almost 300 hours more per year than the national norm of 1,170 hours) affords not only more hours and days focused on classroom instruction, but also a full array of professional learning opportunities.
Wallace Foundation, The;
These "Stories From the Field" describe five Wallace-funded programs working to expand learning and enrichment for disadvantaged children, so they can benefit from the types of opportunities their wealthier counterparts have access to, from homework help to swimming classes. The report details each program's approach, successes and challenges, offering a well-rounded picture of the effort nationally to expand learning opportunities for low-income children -- and the work that remains.
Make the Road New York;
In 2007, the City Council passed the Safe Housing Act, groundbreaking legislation that took a targeted approach to improving the worst living conditions for New Yorkers and authorized the creation of the Alternate Enforcement Program (AEP). Each year, through the AEP, the City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) selects 200 of the city's most poorly-maintained residential buildings and notifies their landlords that the buildings require wide-scale repairs. If a landlord then fails to make those repairs, HPD may intervene to have the repairs made and recoup the cost of the repairs from the landlord.
Nevertheless New York City continues to face a housing crisis, with much of its affordable housing stock falling into disrepair and many low-income tenants living in appalling conditions.
After hearing reports of landlords taking advantage of the AEP to force low-income tenants out, renovate the apartments and then rent to young professionals willing to pay a significantly higher rent, MRNY conducted a survey of tenants in AEP buildings. MRNY surveyed 85 tenants in AEP buildings in the area surrounding MRNY's Brooklyn office, surveying tenants from a range of building sizes and covering buildings from all five years of the AEP. Here, we report the results of those surveys. After five years of the AEP, they provide significant insight into the functioning of the AEP from the perspective of AEP building tenants -- both in terms of those aspects of the AEP that function well and should be expanded upon, and those aspects of the AEP that may require improvement. They also point the way towards other enforcement mechanisms that might better preserve New York City's housing stock and ensure that all tenants live in conditions that are safe, sanitary and comfortable.
New York Industrial Retention Network;
joThe Brooklyn Navy Yard's (BNY) annual economic output, that is, its "gross domestic product" for New York City, is nearly $2 billion. It is responsible for 10,350 direct and indirect jobs and $390 million in earnings. That economic activity in turn induces another $2 billion in earnings in the local economy and another 15,500 jobs. By 2015, these impacts are expected to increase to $2.35 billion in recurring annual output; over 30,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs; and $2.37 billion in induced additional earnings.
The formidable economic impact the BNY has achieved despite its high-cost environment provides insight into the future of manufacturing in cities in which high costs or other conditions pose simliar challenges. In this report, the Pratt Center team identifies and evaluates the factors that have driven the BNY's success and discusses how these factors might be applied in other cities. We describe the particular cases of Philadelphia, Chicago, and Detroit to illustrate how city leaders can assess the possiblity of replicating the Yard's key features, identify relevant local assets and opportunities, and consider what resources they would need to similarly catalyze urban manufacturing efforts.
Brooklyn Community Foundation;
Brooklyn's Community School District 16 (CSD16) is a chronically low-performing district that encompasses the eastern half of Bedford-Stuyvesant, a section of northeastern Crown Heights, and a small portion of Brownsville. CSD16 consists of 26 traditional public schools with a total enrollment of 9,900 students. Eighty percent of CSD16 students are eligible for free and reduced lunch. CSD16 serves 11 public housing complexes.
In CSD16, 45% of girls and 34% percent of boys in grade three tested at or above grade level for English Language Arts in 2010-2011, as compared to 56% and 55% respectively for New York State overall. Similarly, 52% of girls and 49% of boys in CSD16 tested at or above grade level for math in grade three, as compared to 60% and 59% respectively for New York State overall. Of the CSD16 students who were in grade nine in 2006-2007, 50% received Regents diplomas in 2010-2011. CSD16 had a 44% graduation rate in a city where 59% is the average.
The metric used to determine college and career readiness, however, is even more troubling. Students are considered college ready in New York when they score 75% or higher on their English Regents and 80% or higher on their Math Regents. Of the four high schools located in CSD16 with 2011-2012 graduating classes, two had a 5% college readiness rate among graduates over a four year period, one had a 3% rate, and the remaining had a college readiness rate of 0.0%.
In citing these statistics, this report makes the case that CSD16 has significant challenges that severely undermine the efforts of Black and Brown families to provide opportunities for their children to thrive educationally. At the same time, CSD16 has strengths. For example, there are strong nonprofit institutions and a civically engaged working-and middle-class, which offer opportunities for individual community-based donors, established foundations, and public sector agencies to team up with local stakeholders to improve the educational outcomes of students in CSD16.
Center for Social Policy at the University of Massachusetts-Boston;
Organizations that aim to improve the experiences and employment chances of job seekers who face barriers to employment have, over the years, had to contend directly with potential employers and their requirements. This is particularly true for community-based job brokers that use a temporary staffing model, offering job access and immediate work to their service population.
Alternative staffing organizations (ASOs) are worker-centered, social purpose businesses that place job seekers in temporary and "temp-to-perm" assignments with customer businesses, and charge their customers a markup on the wage of the position. These fee-for-service organizations can help job seekers who face labor market barriers gain work experience and access potential employers. Created by community-based organizations and national nonprofits, ASOs are often embedded within larger organizations that provide other employment, training, and human services to their community. The parent organizations may also be operating other social enterprise ventures.
Businesses that contract ASOs for staffing services are customers that expect a service, but also represent an opportunity for employment and work experience for job seekers. Thus ASOs must operate with a dual agenda to serve both sides of the equation. In related publications, we have explored how ASOs operate as social enterprises and how the model fits within the goals of the parent organization. With detailed information from five well-established ASOs, and as part of two waves of a demonstration initiated by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, we have documented the employment experiences of workers placed in assignments and their employment status after leaving the ASO.
In this paper, we address engagement with businesses and their perspectives on ASO services. This is a major issue for ASOs as well as for other workforce development organizations.
ASOs engage with businesses while selling staffing services and monitoring worker performance. By the very nature of temporary staffing, they receive rapid feedback on worker performance and their services from customer businesses. As such, ASOs provide a window into how to connect to potential employers in order to access opportunities. Also, activities of ASOs shed light on how hiring takes place for entry-level jobs, and how customer businesses use ASOs to solve their entry-level hiring problems.
This paper demonstrates what can be learned from customers of established ASOs about their reasons for using these services. Specifically, it explores how customer businesses use temporary staffing by ASOs, and for what purposes. What business needs do they meet with ASO services? What are their reasons for using an ASO over conventional staffing agencies? And finally, what causes customer businesses to use an ASO and retain the service over time?
These concerns are salient for those organizations considering the creation of an ASO. They also are important for workforce development programs that need to become more active in engaging potential employers and that seek solutions for job seekers who need to connect to employment and need immediate income.