Take 5! Here are five social innovation links we are clicking on today:

  1. The Washington Post: A $2.6 Million Initiative Aims to Close the Achievement Gap in D.C. Schools
    "The venture, called Excellence through Equity, sent a total of $2.6 million from the District to the city’s 115 public schools, according to D.C. Public Schools. The largest sums went to schools with the greatest concentration of students receiving low scores on college and career readiness tests. 'We are doubling down on our efforts to build a system that is focused on both excellence and equity — a system that meets the needs of all families and sets every student, in every school, up for success,' Mayor Muriel E. Boswer (D) said in a statement."
  2. New Profit: Empower Parents to Close the Achievement Gap: RSS Fund
    "As education reformers, we have to invest our time and effort to earn that trust if we want transformational change for communities. That means asking and listening to understand the needs and priorities of the communities we serve. It requires us proving our value and credibility to them before engaging in a dialogue about our agenda. And where we forge an agreement around a common agenda, we then have to possess the fortitude to stick with parents through the difficult long-term struggle for systems change, which will have its wins and setbacks."
  3. The New York Times: One in 10 New York City Public School Students are Homeless
    "More than 111,500 students in New York City schools were homeless during the last academic year, a six percent increase over the year before and enough people to populate a small city. Of the overall figure, 104,000 students attended regular district public schools, while the rest were in charter schools. Statewide, 148,000 students were homeless, or about five percent of the state’s public school population."
  4. Commonwealth Magazine: Trading Gangs and Guns for a Future
    "A wiry 20-year-old with an affable bearing, Jackson is sitting at the Boston offices of Roca Inc., a nonprofit that works with young people who have been in and out of jail and run the streets with gangs. He was put on probation two years ago for selling marijuana on the condition that he enroll in school or find a job. A youth worker from Roca reached out and Jackson has been part of the organization’s program to help gang members and other young people at the margins turn their lives around. He’s now part of a work crew at the agency that does landscaping and other projects and is working on getting his high school equivalency diploma—he dropped out of South Boston High School in 10th grade." New Profit is a proud funder and partner of Roca.
  5. Hechinger Report: With No Silver Bullet, Innovation Abounds at This Bilingual High School
    "The Muñiz Academy opened in 2012 as one of Massachusetts’ first 'innovation schools,' free from many district policies and granted flexibility with its curriculum, budget, school schedule and annual calendar, among other things. Besides offering all classes in both English and Spanish and embracing the language and culture of its a predominantly Latino student body, administrators prioritized a host of highly regarded improvement strategies in the school’s design. The dual language model is considered key to the school’s success in boosting graduation rates, especially for native Spanish-speakers, but no one at the school considers it a silver bullet. Teachers and administrators, instead, take a holistic approach to educating teenagers."