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Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky;
Creating a Culture of Health in Appalachia: Disparities and Bright Spots is an innovative research initiative sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and administered by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. This multi-part health research project will, in successive reports: measure population health and document disparities in health outcomes in the Appalachian Region compared to the United States as a whole, as well as disparities within the Appalachian Region; identify "Bright Spots," or communities that exhibit better-than-expected health outcomes given their resources; and explore a sample of the Bright Spot communities through in-depth, field-based case studies. Taken together, these reports will provide a basis for understanding and addressing health issues in the Appalachian Region. This research initiative aims to identify factors that support a Culture of Health in Appalachian communities and explore replicable activities, programs, or policies that encourage better-than-expected health outcomes that could translate into actions that other communities can replicate.
This first report, Health Disparities in Appalachia, measures population health in Appalachia and documents disparities between the Region and the nation as a whole, as well as disparities within the Appalachian Region.
Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED);
The Assets & Opportunity Scorecard is a comprehensive look at Americans' financial security today and their opportunities to create a more prosperous future. It assesses the 50 states and the District of Columbia on 130 outcome and policy measures, which describe how well residents are faring and what states are doing to help them build and protect assets. The Scorecard enables states to benchmark their outcomes and policies against other states in five issue areas: Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Housing & Homeownership, Health Care, and Education.
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.;
Mathematica Policy Research examined the implementation of Enroll America's field outreach campaign during the second open enrollment period, to understand whether and how it adapted the campaign compared to its first year activities, to assess second-year performance, and to document Enroll America's expectations for their work in 2015 and beyond. The findings in this report are based on two rounds of interviews with Enroll America staff and outside stake holders conducted in October and November 2014 and again between May and July 2015.
In 2008, Lumina asked SPEC Associates (SPEC) to evaluate the foundation's grant making aimed at improving the productivity of higher education through statewide policy and program change. The initiative was initially known as Making Opportunity Affordable and later became known more broadly as Lumina's higher education productivity initiative. Eleven states received planning grants in 2008 and a year later seven of these states received multi-year grants to implement their productivity plans. In 2009, Lumina published Four Steps to Finishing First in Higher Education to frame the content of its productivity work. In 2010, the foundation, working with HCM Strategists, launched the Strategy Labs Network to deliver just-in-time technical assistance, engagement, informationsharing and convenings to states. Lumina engaged SPEC to evaluate these productivity investments in the seven states through exploring this over-arching question: What public will building, advocacy, public policy changes, and system or statewide practices are likely to impact higher education productivity for whom and in what circumstances, and which of these are likely to be sustainable, transferable, and/or scalable?
American Journal of Public Health;
A new 20-year study shows a link between children's social skills in kindergarten and their well-being in early adulthood.
Researchers from Pennsylvania State and Duke Universities analyzed what happened to nearly 800 kindergarteners from four locations after their teachers measured their social competency skills in 1991. The children were evaluated on a range of social behaviors, such as whether they resolve peer problems, listen to others, share materials, cooperate, and are helpful. Each student then received a composite score representing his or her overall level of positive social skills/behavior, on a scale from ("not at all") to 4 ("very well"). The research team monitored these students and the positive and negative milestones each obtained until they turned 25.
Using a variety of data sources, including official records; reports from parents; and self-reporting by the participants, researchers recorded whether the students obtained high school diplomas, college degrees, and full-time jobs. They also kept track of whether students developed a criminal record or substance abuse problems, among other negative outcomes.
The Youth Villages Transitional Living Evaluation is testing whether the Transitional Living program, operated by the social service organization Youth Villages, makes a difference in the lives of young people with histories of foster care or juvenile justice custody. The program, which was renamed "YVLifeSet" in April 2015, is intended to help these young people make a successful transition to adulthood by providing intensive, individualized, and clinically focused case management, support, and counseling. The evaluation uses a rigorous random assignment design and is set in Tennessee, where Youth Villages operates its largest Transitional Living program. From October 2010 to October 2012, more than 1,300 young people were assigned, at random, to either a program group, which was offered the Transitional Living program's services, or to a control group, which was not offered those services. Using survey and administrative data, the evaluation team is measuring outcomes for both groups over time to assess whether Transitional Living services led to better outcomes for program group youth compared with the control group's outcomes.
Violence Policy Center;
The devastation homicide inflicts on black teens and adults is a national crisis, yet it is all too often ignored outside of affected communities.
This study examines the problem of black homicide victimization at the state level by analyzing unpublished Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data for black homicide victimization submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The information used for this report is for the year 2012 and is the most recent data available. This is the first analysis of the 2012 data on black homicide victims to offer breakdowns of cases in the 10 states with the highest black homicide victimization rates and the first to rank the states by the rate of black homicide victims.
It is important to note that the SHR data used in this report comes from law enforcement reporting at the local level. While there are coding guidelines followed by the law enforcement agencies, the amount of information submitted to the SHR system, and the interpretation that results in the information submitted (for example, gang involvement) will vary from agency to agency. While this study utilizes the best and most recent data available, it is limited by the quantity and
degree of detail in the information submitted.
Consortium for Policy Research in Education;
This is the first in a series of reports based on a multi-year research project on the Tennessee Achievement School District (ASD). The purpose of these reports is to present independent analyses based on evidence, as well as the experience and judgment of the research team. The current discussion examines the ASD's theory of action, and considers how its system of accountability and guidance could influence the nature of students' educational experiences. Particular attention is given to the diversity of approaches among the organizations operating schools in the ASD, and the extent to which this could lead to meaningful comparisons, discussion, and ultimately organizational learning. Our focus on organizational learning is motivated by the belief that the capacity of ASD providers to learn and improve is critical to the success of the overall enterprise.
National Center on Time and Learning;
Time for Teachers looks deeply inside 17 schools that stand at the vanguard of the current revolution in teaching. This new National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL) report 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.
The aim of this report is simple: to present these featured expanded-time schools—or, more precisely, the systems andpractices they have implemented—as models that educators at any school can adopt and adapt to achieve similar success with their own students. Through analysis of the six time-use strategies, Time for Teachers offers a road map for other educators who are looking to adjust and improve how they are using both the time they currently have in their school schedules and any time they may plan to add. Individually and collectively, the accounts of these practices offer all educators insights into why this professional learning time is so valuable and also why an expanded-school schedule facilitates the implementation, and helps to elevate the quality, of these opportunities
The Youth Villages Transitional Living program is intended to help youth who were formerly in foster care or juvenile justice custody, or who are otherwise unprepared for adult life, to make the transition to independent living. Youth Villages, which serves emotionally and behaviorally troubled young people, operates a number of programs in addition to Transitional Living.
All of its programs are based on a set of core principles that emphasize treatment planning, systematic assessment of participating youth, and delivery of only evidence-informed practices within a highly structured supervisory system. Transitional Living clients receive intensive, individualized, and clinically focused and communnity-based case management, support, and counseling from staff who carry caseloads of about eight clients each. Youth eligibility is determined through an extensive recruitment and assessment process. Once youth are enrolled, Transitional Living staff continue to assess them to identify needs and work with them to develop goals, which become the basis of required weekly meetings. Over nine months, on average, program participants get support for education, housing, mental or physical health, employment, and life skills. This support is provided in a variety of forms, including action-oriented activities that involve completing a specific task during a weekly session or through more traditional counseling techniques.
The Transitional Living Evaluation is focused exclusively on the program in Tennessee, although Youth Villages also has Transitional Living programs in six other states.
American Mental Health Counselors Association;
This comprehensive study shows that 6.7 million uninsured people with a mental illness are currently eligible for coverage under the Medicaid Expansion that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. But the majority of these individuals with mental health conditions will be left out in the coverage cold due to their state's antagonism toward the Medicaid Expansion health insurance initiative.
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching;
According to this issue brief, to improve the feedback new teachers receive districts must rethink feedback as a complex system of many parts, rather than simply a series of isolated conversations between principals and teachers. This paper is designed to guide districts through this process, helping them recognize the interconnected factors at the district, school, and classroom level that shape the nature of feedback.