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The Federal Data Strategy: The Forum’s Comments on the Year-One Action Plan

More than a year has passed since the federal government announced its goal of developing a comprehensive strategy for using and managing data to deliver on mission, serve customers, and steward resources while respecting privacy and confidentiality. Now the government has released a draft year-one action plan and is seeking public input on its scope and content. This blog includes our organization's submitted comments on the Federal Data Strategy.

The 2019 Landscape: What Do New Governors and Legislation Mean for State Children’s Cabinets So Far?

In January 2019, on the heels of gubernatorial elections, twenty new governors assumed office in states across the country, bringing with them new policies, priorities, and people. One critical and under-recognized area of impact? State-level children’s coordinating bodies--often known as children’s cabinets--which bring together state and sometimes private agencies whose work promotes the wellbeing of children and youth. Moreover, some state legislatures have recently taken action on children’s cabinets. Half a year into these new administrations, where do states stand?

The Federal Data Strategy Year-One Action Plan: What It Is, Why You Should Care, and How to Weigh In

More than a year has passed since the federal government announced its goal of developing a comprehensive strategy for using and managing data to deliver on mission, serve customers, and steward resources while respecting privacy and confidentiality. Now the government has released a draft year-one action plan and is seeking public input on its scope and content. This blog summarizes the draft year-one action plan and explains how members of the public, researchers, interest groups, and state and local policymakers can offer feedback.

Event Recap: Using Evidence for Improvement in the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act

In April, the Forum for Youth Investment and the Urban Institute brought together policymakers and practitioners from across levels of government and the non-profit sector to discuss Using Evidence for Improvement in the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act. The event featured a panel of speakers from federal, state and local agencies to share how they have used evidence to improve programs, with closing remarks from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on what agencies should consider as they begin to implement the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (Evidence Act).

The Evidence Chapter: What is it? And, what does the FY2020 version mean?

The FY 2020 AP chapter “Building and Using Evidence to Improve Government Effectiveness” can help policymakers, researchers, and service providers understand the federal government approach and priorities for using evidence in policymaking. It focuses on four key areas: (1) evidence-building strategies to learn and improve, (2) evaluation as a tool to learn and improve, (3) harnessing data for learning and improvement, and (4) promoting transparency and accountability in federal evidence-building. These four areas demonstrate how the federal government is moving forward on a number of key ideas found in the Forum’s recent work.

How Out-of-School Time Systems Help with Saturation

January 15, 2019

There is no question that I am a fan of out-of-school time (OST) systems — data-driven, coordinated community-level efforts to improve access to quality before and after school and summer learning experiences. Just check my track record to know I have helped incubate dozens of them across the country, both as part of The Wallace Foundation team as well as a Big Picture Approach consultant with the Forum for Youth Investment.

Connecting the Dots: Reflections on Data Use in Afterschool Settings

October 19, 2018

Using data to improve performance is essential for bettering outcomes for children and youth. When a new data system is created or implemented, it's important to address critical questions first about the processes and people involved, not just the technology. In this recent blog, the Forum's Larry Pasti reflects on his own experiences as well as the Chapin Hall report, commissioned by the Wallace Foundation, titled "Connecting the Dots: Data Use in Afterschool Systems."

How Can Schools Effectively Implement SEL Programs?

October 2, 2018

School leaders have recently been asked to consider how to support the social and emotional learning (SEL) of their students. How this can be done effectively is the subject of a recent brief, "Preparing for Effective SEL Implementation," by the EASEL (Ecological Approaches to Social Emotional Learning) Lab at Harvard University.

Several studies have shown that school-based programming in SEL is linked to a number of positive outcomes such as academic achievement and emotional well-being. But sometimes these programs don't make as much of a difference as prior evidence would suggest. The brief by Stephanie Jones and her team at EASEL, commissioned by the Wallace Foundation, posits that problems in the implementation phase can lead to less powerful results.

Whole Child = SEL in Action

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August 3, 2018

Readiness. Quality. Equity.

These heady words are shorthand for big, complex ideas that, when activated, can change the odds that children, especially our most vulnerable children, will get the opportunities they need to succeed in life.

Changing the odds for young people has never been more important