State Policy

We Consider Opportunities to:

Support advocacy and research focused on:

  • Creating and sustaining a system for all children in Pennsylvania to access high-quality pre-kindergarten as part of a continuum of early childhood education.
  • Creating and sustaining a stable, equitable, and adequate funding system that provides the resources needed for student success from kindergarten through 12th grade.

What We Fund:

  • State advocacy focused on securing the resources and systems necessary for high-quality pre-school, elementary, and secondary education.
  • Research, analysis, and public education related to the importance of early childhood education and equitable and adequate school funding.
  • Grant support may be used for planning, staff time, and direct costs.

What We Do Not Fund:

  • Work with primary impact outside of Pennsylvania.
  • Work that is not grounded in relevant data and supported by a strong research base.
  • Political lobbying or legislative activities.*

Funding will not be considered to any organization that discriminates on the basis of race, ethnicity, creed, gender, or sexual orientation in policy or practice.

 

Evaluating Proposals and Grants:

How do we select grantees?

We select grantees based on:

  • Prior track record in successfully advocating for policies that increase access to high-quality educational opportunities.
  • Proven ability to reach target audiences with strategic communications.
  • Collaboration with others pursuing a similar outcome.
  • Ongoing assessment of efficacy of practices and impact.
  • Incorporation and representation of Pennsylvania’s diverse communities.
  • Financial and management capacity to ensure successful implementation.

How do we measure success?

For all Great Learning grants, our success is ultimately measured by improvements in outcomes for students. State policy seeks to advance the conditions needed to pursue those outcomes. We measure the success of such efforts by examining:

  • Faithful execution of work plans while also demonstrating ability to course-correct as needed.
  • Evidence that intended audiences are utilizing and promoting relevant research and data.
  • Quality of communications strategies, ability to frame issues for public understanding, and successful outreach to constituents.
  • Use of evaluation metrics to inform strategies and tactics.
  • Improvements in access to high-quality pre-kindergarten and progress toward an equitable and adequate school funding system.

 

Citywide Coordination

We Consider Opportunities to:

Support advocacy and research focused on:

  • Creating and sustaining a system for all children in Pennsylvania to access high-quality pre-kindergarten as part of a continuum of early childhood education.
  • Creating and sustaining a stable, equitable, and adequate funding system that provides the resources needed for student success from kindergarten through 12th grade.

What We Fund:

  • State advocacy focused on securing the resources and systems necessary for high-quality pre-school, elementary, and secondary education.
  • Research, analysis, and public education related to the importance of early childhood education and equitable and adequate school funding.
  • Grant support may be used for planning, staff time, and direct costs.

What We Do Not Fund:

  • Work with primary impact outside of Pennsylvania.
  • Work that is not grounded in relevant data and supported by a strong research base.
  • Political lobbying or legislative activities.*

Funding will not be considered to any organization that discriminates on the basis of race, ethnicity, creed, gender, or sexual orientation in policy or practice.

 

Evaluating Proposals and Grants:

How do we select grantees?

We select grantees based on:

  • Prior track record in successfully advocating for policies that increase access to high-quality educational opportunities.
  • Proven ability to reach target audiences with strategic communications.
  • Collaboration with others pursuing a similar outcome.
  • Ongoing assessment of efficacy of practices and impact.
  • Incorporation and representation of Pennsylvania’s diverse communities.
  • Financial and management capacity to ensure successful implementation.

How do we measure success?

For all Great Learning grants, our success is ultimately measured by improvements in outcomes for students. State policy seeks to advance the conditions needed to pursue those outcomes. We measure the success of such efforts by examining:

  • Faithful execution of work plans while also demonstrating ability to course-correct as needed.
  • Evidence that intended audiences are utilizing and promoting relevant research and data.
  • Quality of communications strategies, ability to frame issues for public understanding, and successful outreach to constituents.
  • Use of evaluation metrics to inform strategies and tactics.
  • Improvements in access to high-quality pre-kindergarten and progress toward an equitable and adequate school funding system.

 

Teacher/Leader Preparation

We Consider Opportunities to:

  • Develop, expand, evaluate, or improve evidence-informed programs that prepare, recruit or retain teachers, center directors and principals who are new to the profession, or new to Philadelphia, to ensure that they are ready to help our students succeed.

What We Fund:

  • Improvements to existing teacher and leader preparation programs.
  • New initiatives to train and recruit highly effective teachers and leaders.
  • Research and analysis to identify local strengths and challenges related to teacher preparation, recruitment, and retention.
  • Development of systems to identify and retain high-quality teachers and leaders.

What We Do Not Fund:

  • Work that does not have a clear and direct benefit for students in Philadelphia.
  • Work that is not grounded in relevant data and supported by a strong research base.
  • Student aid or individual scholarships.
  • Initiatives that are limited to a single child care center, elementary school, or secondary school.

Funding will not be considered to any organization that discriminates on the basis of race, ethnicity, creed, gender, or sexual orientation in policy or practice.

 

Evaluating Proposals and Grants:

How do we select grantees?

We select grantees based on:

  • Demonstrated success or promising approaches in training highly effective teachers and leaders for success and persistence in under-resourced educational settings.
  • Programmatic training and focus on service for children from low-income families.
  • A clear plan for implementation and for sustaining improvement.
  • Collaboration with others pursuing a similar outcome.
  • Ongoing assessment of efficacy of practices and organizational impact.
  • Financial and management capacity to ensure successful implementation.

How do we measure success?

Teacher/ leader preparation grants should accomplish at least one of the following outcomes:

  • Enhance the effectiveness of new teachers as measured by the performance of their students on standardized measures of academic, social, and behavioral competencies.
  • Improve the leadership abilities of new center directors or principals as measured by teacher performance and overall instructional quality of the school or center.
  • Improve the retention of highly effective teachers and leaders.
  • Expand and improve the teacher and leader applicant pool for centers and schools serving children from low-income families.

 

 

Instructional Interventions

We Consider Opportunities to:

  • Provide resources and training to educators working in schools and child care centers in order to improve instruction and student outcomes. Resources or training may be related to instructional strategies, interventions, or curriculum. This strategy focuses exclusively on supporting improvements to the school or program day.

What We Fund:

  • Professional development and learning opportunities that are focused on improving the quality or consistency of instruction and:
    • are conducted over an extended period of time
    • involve cohorts of teachers from participating schools or child care centers for shared learning, application, and refinement
    • include active learning opportunities for participating educators
    • are aligned with in-class supports for participating educators
    • provide strong and specific examples of practices that can be employed in classroom practice
    • have been prioritized and include clear commitment by school or child care center leadership
  • Opportunities and support for teachers, principals, and center directors to develop, lead, or sustain instructional improvements
  • Collaborative efforts between schools/child care centers and external support organizations.
  • Development of curricula and resources that are designed to meet the needs of students in Philadelphia and meet targeted school, network, or district goals.

What We Do Not Fund:

  • Work that does not have a clear and direct benefit for students in Philadelphia.
  • Work that is not grounded in relevant data and supported by a strong research base.
  • Initiatives focused on out-of-school time.
  • Initiatives at a single child care center, elementary school, or secondary school.
  • Individual scholarships.
  • Initiatives lacking specific outcome measures.

Funding will not be considered to any organization that discriminates on the basis of race, ethnicity, creed, gender, or sexual orientation in policy or practice.

 

Evaluating Proposals and Grants:

How do we select grantees?

We select grantees based on:

  • Demonstrated success or promising approaches in improving student outcomes through instructional improvements.
  • Experience working collaboratively with centers, schools, teachers, and school leaders in urban settings.
  • A clear plan for implementation.
  • A strategy for sustaining the instructional strategies and structures beyond the grant period.
  • A strong plan for assessing program impact in the short and long term.
  • Ongoing assessment of efficacy of practices and organizational impact.
  • Financial and management capacity to ensure successful implementation.
  • Commitment to and success with improving outcomes for children from low-income families.

How do we measure success?

Instructional improvement grants should accomplish at least one of the following:

  • Improve one or more of the following outcomes:
    • Academic performance
    • Social and emotional skills
    • School climate
  • Improve teacher practice as measured by a validated standardized instrument

 

 

Model Schools and Centers

We Consider Opportunities to:

  • Create and expand exemplary sites and systems that demonstrate strong outcomes for children and from which other educators, schools, and child care centers in Philadelphia can learn.

What We Fund:

  • Expansion of high-quality and high achieving schools and centers to enable them to serve more children from low-income families (currently this work is funded through the Fund for Quality at The Reinvestment Fund and Public House Management Corporation and the Great Schools Fund at the Philadelphia School Partnership).
  • Initiatives to enable high performing schools and centers to serve as demonstration sites from which others across the city can learn and adopt effective systems and practices.
  • Networks of schools or centers that include high performing sites and facilitate sharing of strong systems and practices.
  • Whole school/center transformation efforts that will serve as local, regional, and national models of high performance for children from low-income families.

What We Do Not Fund:

  • Work outside of Philadelphia.
  • Work that is not grounded in relevant data and supported by a strong research base.

Funding will not be considered to any organization that discriminates on the basis of race, ethnicity, creed, gender, or sexual orientation in policy or practice.

 

Evaluating Proposals and Grants:

How do we select grantees?

We select grantees based on:

  • Commitment to and success with improving outcomes for children from low-income families.
  • A clear plan for sustaining new level of service provision.
  • Willingness and ability to share practices and materials effectively and freely, and to collaborate with others pursuing a similar outcome.
  • Ongoing assessment of efficacy of practices and organizational impact.
  • Financial and management capacity to ensure successful implementation.

How do we measure success?

Model schools and centers grants should:

  • Increase the number of children from low-income families served in high-quality schools and centers.
  • Demonstrate strong student performance in one or more of the following areas:
    • Academic performance
    • Social and emotional skills
    • School climate

 

 

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