Amplify Blog

Insights and ideas directly from New Profit

April 11, 2014

Here's a wrap-up of just some of the news New Profit and its portfolio organizations made this week:

NEW PROFIT:

FORTUNE: Trust the private sector, not Washington, to get job training right With Washington's job training being recognized as an "expensive, bureaucratic, ineffective mess", the private sector is taking the lead on workforce development. America Forward's Senior Policy Advisor, Shirley Sagawa, is quoted in the 3/17 edition of the article: "The picture is even worse when you consider that the core job-training law dates to 1998. 'We havent revamped the Workforce Investment Act [tasked with coordinating these programs] since the year Google was incorporated and hired its first employee.'”

CURRENT PORTFOLIO ORGANIZATIONS:

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Huffington Post: Rawls in the Real World CEO of Single Stop USA, Elizabeth Mason, blogs about the recent figures on poverty and explains that John Rawls was right: "More than 40 years after he published his seminal work A Theory of Justice, the debate continues about the logic and desirability of subscribing to his worldview. We need debate no longer: we should all be Rawlsians now...The shocking and sober conclusion from new statistics is that poverty is not just on the rise: it is actually the norm."

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CBS: ‘College Possible’ Makes Prom A Possibility For 250 Teens College Possible, an organization whose main mission is to help students from low-income families earn a college degree made prom possible for hundreds of students in Minnesota. "The non-profit organized a dress giveaway at its headquarters in St. Paul, where 250 young ladies signed up to pick out a dress, along with accessories and shoes."

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The Hechinger Report: Schools can overcome the challenges of poverty — with the right interventions Pamela Cantor of Turnaround for Children, imagines what could happen if every school had the knowledge, skills, and tools to create fortified environments. She explains why initiatives like the president’s "My Brothers Keeper" are so important: "They help bring together all of the stakeholders we need to scale this effort — the private and nonprofit sectors, philanthropy, faith communities, educators and government. With their continued collaboration and perseverance, we have a real chance to change the trajectory for millions of young men, and women too."

KIPP Schools
Education Week: Bill Aims to Boost Growth of High-Quality Charter Schools; Cross-Aisle Support Seen Under a bipartisan bill introduced Tuesday, states and districts would be encouraged to help grow high-quality charter schools. The bill "closely mirrors legislation, also supported by Kline and Miller, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives by broad, bipartisan margins back in 2011, as well as the charter portion of a broader bill to renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which only garnered GOP support. Neither bill ever made it to the floor of the U.S. Senate. The big difference in this new piece of legislation: The bill would create a grant program to help Charter Management Organizations (think KIPP or Aspire) open new charter schools. That's something U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan supports."

St. Louis Public Radio: KIPP Concentrates On New Schools, Not Turnarounds "KIPP Victory, which expects to open with 220 students in kindergarten and first grade, will be the second location for the highly regarded nationwide charter school operator, following the opening of KIPP Inspire, a middle school, in 2009 in south St. Louis. KIPP plans three elementary and three middle schools in the next several years. A high school could come later; all of the schools will be sponsored by Washington University."

The Oklahoman: Jeb Bush joins Gov. Mary Fallin at high-achieving OKC charter school "Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush accompanied Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on a tour at KIPP Reach College Preparatory in northeast Oklahoma City to discuss successful teaching and learning strategies with students and teachers. Bush listens to ideas from seventh grade reading teacher Betsy Blanks. KIPP, part of a highly successful chain of national charter schools, received an A grade on the recent state report cards and is an example of a successful urban school that has overcome high poverty rates."

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White House "Champions of Change" Blog: Inspired by Change. Transformed Through Service. Germain Castellanos, YCC YouthBuild Waukegan Graduate and Program Chair and Member of the Board of Directors, has been selected as a Cesar Chavez Champion of Change. On the White House blog, he tells his story: "I understood that, along with the bad choices that I had made as a youth, poverty was the common denominator in my case and those of other youth with my background across the U.S...I created my own program to assist at-risk youth. I designed the program curriculum, applied for and received grants, and established the SHINE Educational Leadership Program at Waukegan High School—the same school that I had been kicked out of when I was a teenager."

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Riverdale Press: A path forward for Common Core Educators 4 Excellence teacher, Nina Barraclough shares the value of Common Core and offers suggestions for improving implementation. "The problems around the Common Core have little to do with their quality. In fact, polls show most educators support these rigorous standards. Personally, I love the way in which this new approach is encouraging curiosity and deep thinking from my students. Like scientists, they are deconstructing problems and exploring solutions in math and reading instead of just memorizing facts and formulas."

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Switchboard: Through Solar Jobs, Veterans Find a Continuation in Mission to Serve Nation and Environment A look at how veterans find a new mission by bringing solar energy to low income homes. Geoff Hario, an army veteran that now works as a Mission Continues fellow at GRID Alternatives, is one of the veterans highlighted in the article who views climate change as a threat to national security, and finds that working in solar is a way to continue his service as a defender of our nation: “Anything we can do to curtail global warming is absolutely in the interest of every person in the United States and every person in the world.”

PRWeb: Leading Veterans Organizations Team Red, White and Blue, The Mission Continues and Team Rubicon, Partner to Highlight Innovative Transition Approaches "Team Red, White and Blue, The Mission Continues, and Team Rubicon,—three of the nation’s most innovative veteran services organizations—will partner to lead the 3rd annual “Run as One” on April 12, 2014. All across the country, thousands of veterans, military families and supporters will join together to show their support and to raise awareness of positive solutions to veteran transition. The event will serve as the celebration of a continued partnership, and will be a symbol of leadership, action, and collaboration across the veterans’ support landscape."

Year Up
Boston Magazine: Gerald Chertavian Is Bridging the Opportunity Gap with Year Up “Nearly 7 million young Americans lack the skills or education to get a job that will pull them out of poverty. But with the formation of the nonprofit Year Up, Gerald Chertavian has created a solution that’s steering thousands of low-income young adults into Fortune 500 companies. What comes next may change your ideas about higher education.”

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The NonProfit Times: NPT’s Best Nonprofits To Work For 2014 Three of New Profit's current portfolio organizations were voted by the NonProfit times as some of the best nonprofits to work for: Year Up, Mission Continues, and iMentor! Click here to see the complete list of the 2014 Best Nonprofits to Work For. The NonProfit Times also conducted exclusive audio interviews with some of the winners, including Year Up's Sara Holt, which you can listen to by clicking here.

PAST PORTFOLIO ORGANIZATIONS:

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The Times and Democrat: 'Teach for America' program helping close inequity gap between poorer, more affluent schools A look into a class taught by Nicholas Boatwright, a fifth grade math and science teacher at Sheridan Elementary School, who is in his second year with the Teach for America program. "Fifth-graders at Sheridan Elementary School don’t get bored in Nicholas Boatwright’s math class. He holds their attention through continual interplay with them and careful organization of class time. And in spite of the fact that students work with partners, the class remains under control and focused on work."

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Forbes: Why Playful Learning Is The Key To Prosperity A look at the importance of bringing back the right for children to play as a way to rethink the process of learning, inspire children and allow for "constructive and productive disobedience. (Mistakes, too)." Johann Olav Koss is highlighted in the future as one of the high-impact innovators dedicated to "use sport and play to educate and empower children and youngsters in disadvantaged communities so they overcome the damaging effects of poverty, conflict, and disease. Koss, a Norwegian speed skater who broke ten world records during his career, serves as president and CEO of the international NGO Right to Play." The article also highlights the work of Jill Vialet and her terrific program at Playworks.

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FORTUNE: Freelancer pay jumps, in search for quality work A growing number of managers have come to the conclusion that paying more pays off, especially for larger and more complex projects. The executive director of the Freelancers Union, Sara Horowitz, is quoted in the article: "'People who employ freelancers are starting to realize cheaper's not always better...You could do it cheap or you could do it well,' and a growing number of companies facing complicated changes to their financial or technology systems are vying for the latter."

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