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This document provides a framework, including a set of definitions for each of the components of the seven indicators of school quality in practice. The framework, which is a living document, is intended to help guide educators who are designing and operating school models that will achieve a community's shared vision of student success. Positive youth development and educational equity—which should underpin all systems,structures, and practices in a school—are named across all seven indicators because these must exist holistically in order to create learning environments where all students thrive.
Significant growth in clean energy jobs is expected from the energy transition, especially given recent climate-centered federal policies. Meeting this job demand will require a strong, strategic, well-resourced workforce development ecosystem and a focus on creating equitable, high-road job opportunities that people of color and women can plentifully access. To better understand these needs, Barr's Climate Program commissioned an analysis from Emerald City Collaborative—with partners Browning the Green Space, nomada Consulting, and Ponder Analytics—and BW Research.Through this research, Barr seeks to provide data to inform a field-wide conversation and to engage other foundations on this topic. We hope that the resulting report helps foster constructive dialogue between clean energy and workforce leaders, and that it inspires additional philanthropy in our region. For additional supporting materials from the research project, please visit: barrfoundation.org/ceworkforcedev
Transforming High Schools to Serve Students Who Are Off track to Graduate: Lessons Learned from the Engage New England InitiativeDecember 1, 2022
The Barr Foundation's Engage New England (ENE) initiative was an effort to catalyze high school innovation by developing exemplary schools that support the success of students who are off track to graduate. Grounded in the tenets of positive youth development, the ENE initiative provided grants and technical assistance to support new or redesigned schools in creating rigorous and purposeful educational programs for students who have not experienced success in traditional high schools. Through ENE, the foundation sought to demonstrate how student-centered schools can meet the varied needs of students, especially historically underserved students, and ensure their postsecondary success.This brief presents lessons learned about school transformation from the foundation's experience supporting three cohorts of grantees. The insights gained from the ENE initiative can inform reform efforts in all high schools.
This report presents results from the Strengthening Capacity and Equity in New England Evaluation (SCENE) study. The SCENE study was conducted between August 2020 and August 2021 by a research group at Boston College with funding from the Barr Foundation.The purpose was three-fold: (1) to characterize evaluation providers, evaluation practices, and evaluators working in the New England area; (2) to explore whether and how evaluators address inequities and advance equity; and (3) to identify ways to strengthen capacity and equity among evaluators within the region. By providing an initial assessment to inform future capacity building and learning initiatives, we aim to inform regional evaluation practitioners and commissioners interested in advancing equity in evaluation. Findings are particularly relevant to local affiliates of the American Evaluation Association, including: Greater Boston Evaluators Network, Vermont Evaluation Network, Connecticut Area Evaluators' Network, Maine Evaluation Society. We also sought to address gaps in the evaluation literature regarding what equity and equity-focused evaluation mean and look like in practice. We plan to submit study results for publication/dissemination in academic journals.
In fall 2020, the Barr Foundation offered high schools the opportunity to hear firsthand from their stakeholders about the teaching and learning experience within the unprecedented educational environment brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ten schools across New England opted to take advantage of this opportunity, partnering with YouthTruth to administer surveys to students (and in some cases, to staff and families), to gather information and insights about how they were faring nearly a semester into the 2020-21 school year.
Study of the Engage New England Initiative Cross-Site Learning Brief 3: Improving Instructional SystemsDecember 1, 2020
SRI Education, the research partner for the Barr Engage New England (ENE) initiative, captured the ENE school and program grantees' learnings about improving instructional systems through interviews of school leaders, school staff members, and external partners; student focus groups; and staff surveys during the 2019-20 school year. This brief describes common facilitators and challenges experienced by grantees as they worked to further their instructional systems. It also provides some promising practices that grantees used to support these efforts or to address challenges.
For more than a decade, states and cities across the country have served a leadership role in advancing science-informed climate policy through city, state and multi-state efforts. The rapid pace by which state climate policy is emerging is evidenced by the number of new laws, directives and policies adopted in 2018 and the first half of 2019 alone. Currently, there is an active ongoing dialogue across the U.S. regarding the intersection of climate and equity objectives with efforts targeted at addressing needs of disadvantaged communities and consumers. This climate/equity intersection is due to several factors, including recognition by many cities and states that climate change is and will continue to have a disproportionate impact on certain populations and will exacerbate existing stressors faced by disadvantaged communities and consumers. Research indicates that a greater proportion of environmental burden exists in geographic areas with majority populations of people of color, low-income residents, and/or indigenous people. It is well known that certain households (including some that are low-income, African American, Latino, multi-family and rural) spend a larger portion on their income on home energy costs. States and stakeholders are realizing that a transition to a low-carbon future by mid-century will require significantly increased participation of disadvantaged communities and households in the benefits of climate and clean energy programs.
This survey of 2,500+ New England parents, students, teachers, and principals reflects their perspectives on high school education: the purpose of high school, what skills and knowledge high school graduates need to have, and what high school might need to look like to meet those needs.
Into Thin Air: How Leaking Natural Gas Infrastructure is Harming our Environment and Wasting a Valuable ResourceNovember 1, 2012
Though natural gas has been promoted as a more climate-friendly alternative, current analyses often fail to account for the gas that is lost, either intentionally or unintentionally. These losses, known as fugitive emissions, amount to a significant source of greenhouse gases.
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