Narrowing the gaps to meet goals of safety

Three reasons why the gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians aren't closing

narrowing the gaps to meet goals of safety

The new UNICEF report Narrowing the Gaps: The power of investing in the continue their work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which. A special report on a new study by UNICEF shows that an equity-focused approach to child survival and development is the most practical and cost- effective way. – GOAL 2: ACHIEVE UNIVERSAL PRIMARY EDUCATION from 83 per cent to 91 per cent between and The gap between women and men has narrowed. . in the percentage of stocks within safe biological limits.

Most of the case study districts have used creative strategies and funding mechanisms to enhance state programs or fill in holes in pre-K access. Where state programs already provide quality early education for all children from low-income families, as in Kentucky, the whole child initiative can leverage freed-up local resources to fund early childhood specialists who provide coaching, professional development, and support for pre-K and Head Start teachers, as well as in-home tutoring for students over the summer.

Where state pre-K programs are weak or patchwork, local initiatives can fill in those holes. Pea Ridge, for example, sought a foundation grant to establish its program; seats for low-income students are funded through a combination of grant money and paid seats for preschoolers from higher-income families. And because more and earlier supports are critical to meaningful school readiness, almost all of the 12 districts have gone beyond these pre-K investments to enhance early childhood care and education experiences long before entry into kindergarten and to engage parents in activities that ensure their children are ready for school.

Several also use full-day kindergarten to sustain early gains and to smooth the transition into elementary school. In Joplin and Vancouver, kits for new parents are delivered to hospitals with information on child development, activities to try at home, and links to community resources.

How are districts investing in K—12 strategies to sustain and amplify early childhood investments? Providing students and parents with health care through partnerships with local doctors and hospitals and in-school health clinics, expanding school meals programs, and connecting families with food and clothing pantries complement these K—12 strategies. Indeed, engaging parents, perhaps the greatest challenge in most high-poverty schools and districts, is a hallmark of strength in these communities.

In Vancouver and New York City, the whole-child education experience is delivered by full-service community schools community schools are public schools that serve as hubs for the provision of academic, health, and social services to students and families.

Closing the Achievement Gap - Educational Leadership

Community schools in Vancouver and New York City specialize in outreach and engagement, drawing on parental input to shape school policies and practices and providing parents with opportunities to collaborate. Policy and financial incentives established in recent years have prompted most other schools, in contrast, to focus heavily on a narrow set of academic factors and associated assessments. How can we tell that the investments are paying off? Providing children and their families with a broad range of supports from birth through 12th grade and, in some cases, beyond has helped these districts make progress toward a range of goals.

In addition to tracking student progress toward the broader set of goals, the data they collect on these measures enable them to continually improve their work and better target student supports. Students in these whole-child districts tend to be better prepared for kindergarten, as measured by their development across a range of academic, social, and behavioral domains.

They also tend to score higher on standardized tests and to graduate at higher rates than their peers in comparable districts.

Closing the Achievement Gap

Finally, these districts are narrowing race- and income-based achievement gaps, in stark contrast to rapidly growing K—12 achievement gaps at the national level between wealthy and poor students. Examples from case study districts Kindergarten readiness: And in the eastern Kentucky region served by Partners for Education, parents have translated their leadership training experiences into joining school counsels and successfully running for school boards. A similar pattern was seen for extended five-year graduation rates: These data suggest that high-level course placements translate into longer-term dividends.

Parallel gains in Kalamazoo are translating into promising futures for African American girls in that city: These achievements are drawing the attention of other districts and even state leaders, who have adapted the comprehensive approaches laid out above to improve other high-needs schools.

The successes also stand out in two other important respects. First, in contrast to some other initiatives mostly at the individual school level that report major gains for vulnerable groups of students, these schools did not cherry-pick higher-performing students to get their results.

narrowing the gaps to meet goals of safety

Second, these initiatives share little in common with so-called turnaround initiatives that were highly touted in the past decade. The less disruptive nature of the whole-child approach makes the large gains in these districts particularly striking when compared with the evident lack of progress by districts undergoing federal turnaround strategies.

Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gaps

Despite steadily increasing income inequality over our assessment period, compounded by the worst economic crisis in nearly a century, most skills gaps between kindergartners of low and high social classes have not grown.

While low-SES parents in were no more likely to enroll their children in center-based pre-K than their counterparts, they were more likely to have read regularly to their infants, toddlers, and preschoolers and to have sung to them and played games with them. All of these factors are associated with higher achievement for children.

In turn, this increased awareness indicates that information about early brain development is more widely and effectively disseminated than it was for the — cohort. Also, as the case studies indicate, some communities are embracing systems of comprehensive enrichment and supports to close skills gaps based on social class and to provide children with a more authentic equality of opportunity.

By setting more expansive goals and implementing ways to track progress toward these goals, these districts are creating a body of knowledge about strategies that work. As such, many of these whole-child approaches now serve as role models for other districts or for entire regions, and a few are beginning to influence state policy as well. Despite the positive trends outlined above—the growing awareness of the importance of the first years of life in child development, increased understanding of the serious impact of child poverty on that development, and the expansion of pre-K programs nationwide—gaps between the school readiness of low-SES children and their more advantaged peers have not shrunk.

The persistence of these large gaps indicates that policy responses at all levels of government are not commensurate to the scale of the problem.

Pre-K programs have expanded over the past decade but have done so slowly and unevenly: Conclusion All these interventions—at both the school and community levels—are critically needed, given significant and persistent early education gaps by social class. These community-level whole-child approaches would alleviate many disparities in opportunity and thus narrow achievement gaps. Generating higher average incomes would be the most direct, and effective, way to eliminate the negative effects of low resources and inequality.

Her areas of research include analysis of the production of education, returns to education, program evaluation, international comparative education, human development, and cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis in education. She holds a Ph. Schools and students reached: CASEL worked in five high schools, and in the seven middle schools and 43 elementary schools that feed into these high schools, to embed social and emotional learning in school policies and practices.

General makeup of the student body: In the district overall, 60 percent of students qualify for subsidized meals, i. In schools targeted for whole-child supports, relative to the general student body, students are poorer, more heavily minority and immigrant, and more likely to be living in single-parent households.

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Parent-organizing with teachers in Alliance Schools enables parents to partner with teachers to advocate for comprehensive supports for their children. Also, social and emotional learning SEL is embedded in all aspects of school efforts in the high schools and the feeder elementary and middle schools that worked with CASEL. Finally, health and other wraparound supports in high-needs middle and high schools, along with other community schools features, are expanding to additional district schools.

The 20 urban schools serve neighborhoods that are poor and racially and ethnically diverse, with a heavy concentration of Hispanic English language learners. Over 80 percent of the students in these schools are FRPL-eligible and roughly half do not speak English at home.

School site coordinators in each school connect students with a tailored set of services and enrichment opportunities provided by a variety of public and private agencies.

In addition to school district budget revenue, federal Race to the Top funds allocated to City Connects help defray costs.

narrowing the gaps to meet goals of safety

EDCI is now a fully staffed nonprofit that runs the initiative. The block area targeted by EDCI serves students in two neighborhood elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, and two charter schools.

This can lead to confusion and a sense that data is being constructed or interpreted to fit prior assumptions.

Narrowing the Gaps - UNICEF DATA

For early childhood education, the number of Indigenous children attending preschool and the total number of eligible children come from different data sources. As those sources are revised for example with new population estimatesit can look like rates are higher or lower than they actually are.

Care needs to be taken in interpreting progress, and ascribing this to actual policy change. There are at least three important reasons why this is so. First, laudable policy ambition was not matched with a radical change in how business is done in Indigenous affairs. It has been clear since there would be little prospect of closing gaps in health and employment within a generation if business-as-usual policymaking continued.

That same analysis showed closing the gap in educational attainment was more realistic if trends predating Closing the Gap continued. The latest report has vindicated this forecast. However, without significant changes to how Indigenous policy was made, funded, and implemented, it seems the Closing the Gap policy was always destined to fail.

An example of the mismatch between words and deeds can be found in employment policy. The abolition of a key job creation program — the Community Development Employment Projects scheme — has led to declining employment rates in remote parts of Australia.

This reform has stalled progress toward closing employment gaps, not assisted it. Radical rethink of Closing the Gap required, despite some progress Closing the Gap has also been hampered by competing policy priorities, such as the attempts to eliminate the federal budget deficit.