Q1 2016 Update
The Midwest CPC Expansion is focusing on sustainability and expansion during the fifth year of implementation. Last fall, three new sites began implementation of the CPC model in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. This spring, the team will be launching a program manual to strengthen implementation and expand the model to new locations. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Early Learning Challenge
One of the largest Early Learning Challenge grant tools, the Minnesota Early Childhood Longitudinal Data System (ECLDS) launched in early 2016! This is a new and evolving tool designed to help our state answer questions about Minnesota’s young children’s development and learning. Why do we need ECLDS? Our government invests a lot of money into programs that help children. Until now, we didn’t have a complete picture of all the ways that the money has helped those children. Each state agency collects its own data: the education department collects education data, the health department collects health data, and human services human services data. Decision-makers rely on comprehensive information to make decisions. By linking this data, we are able to see what’s working and what isn’t across more than one public program. ECLDS is an online data tool is intended to do just that. We were able to build this tool because of funding from the federal Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant. Check it out here!
Northside Achievement Zone
In August, NAZ was one of only two Promise Neighborhoods across the country selected to participate in an effort to increase capacity to implement results based accountability (RBA) across the collaboration through results based leadership development provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. A team of 12 NAZ and partner staff travelled to Baltimore in August for a session to design the trainings. The Casey team has come to Minneapolis twice to work with cross-partner gatherings of about 75 NAZ stakeholders, including NAZ staff, partner staff, NAZ Parent Advisory Board members, and Hennepin County staff. These trainings have included intensive sessions for a group of 21 core, cross-partner leaders in results based facilitation, so that RBA best practices can be spread across the entire NAZ ecosystem. Now, six months into that process, NAZ reports that the training is having the intended impact: through shared, cross-partner capacity building, they are solidifying the culture of using data to drive results across the NAZ Ecosystem. NAZ will continue to participate in this process for another year.
Social Innovation Fund
Our partners at the Social Innovation Fund project are learning that even when you have solid evaluation plans and strong relationships between the programs and school districts involved in the evaluation, impact evaluation can still present unforeseen challenges. As an example, SIF sub-grantee Way to Grow had a clear impact evaluation model in place to compare kindergarten readiness of their students entering kindergarten to their non-Way to Grow peers. When the Minneapolis Public Schools stopped using the Beginning Kindergarten Assessment in the fall of 2015, Way to Grow lost their impact measurement indicator for this critical analysis in their impact evaluation. Generation Next and United Way have been working together to encourage the Minneapolis district to adopt an approved kindergarten readiness assessment quickly so that Way to Grow’s evaluation will be feasible for the 2016/17 school year.