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

  1. NPR: Getting the Most Out of Pre-K, 'The Most Important' Year in School
    "Pre-K is a really important part of the puzzle, but it's not enough on its own, for a couple of reasons. Children need a solid foundation for learning long before they get to preschool, [but] we also need elementary and secondary school programs that are of high quality. If a child has been in a supportive and nurturing classroom, then goes into a classroom that's strict and focused on punishing children, that's a rude awakening. The big take-way here is: Any gains a child makes in a quality preschool program will fade away in a classroom that's not supportive and nurturing. We all know what quality programs do for children, and yes, they're expensive. But not as expensive as all the remedial programs we fund these days to 'fix' kids who missed out. So the choice should be simple."
  2. Forbes: It's Not A Skills Gap, It's A Communication Gap
    "At Match Beyond, a college-jobs program in Boston created in partnership with Southern New Hampshire University, my job is to help our students and recent graduates navigate the job attainment process. We are a relatively new program – only about two years old – but have had success building relationships with employer partners that help our students and graduates (almost all with Associates’ degrees) earn jobs that suit their skills and interests, whether that’s as a program coordinator with a local boys & girls club or as an entry-level associate at a financial firm. More often than not, securing a position requires us to translate a job description from jargon to real-world language."
  3. WNYC: When Crime Data Becomes Politicized
    "This week, the FBI released new crime statistics showing 17,250 homicides in the US last year, an increase of over 8.5% from the year prior. The right-wing media quickly sprang into action: Breitbart’s headline read: 'FBI Data: Post-Ferguson Murder Spike Reaches 3761 Dead,' while the Daily Caller declared, 'The FBI Just Confirmed What Sessions Has Been Saying About Violent Crime.' The left-wing response, meanwhile, came with its own politicized interpretation, downplaying the spike and shifting the focus to the apparent root causes of crime. Bob speaks with Thomas Abt, a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Law School and a former deputy secretary for public safety for New York State, about how politicking gets in the way of implementing workable solutions." New Profit is a proud funder and partner of Roca.
  4. The Atlantic: The Purpose of Education According to Students
    "Nuanced answers to that core question abound, shaping public policy and inciting PTA debates. But rarely do students get asked what they expect out of school. What does the promise of education mean to public-school students? Magdalena Slapik, a photojournalist working on an oral-history book project, has been interviewing public-school K-12 students across the country over the past several years to see what they have to say."
  5. Chalkbeat: One in Five Indianapolis Public Schools Students Now Attend an Innovation School
    "Less than three years after the IPS board approved the first innovation school, only about 75 percent of IPS students attend district-managed schools. Innovation schools now educate 20 percent of the students, and another 5 percent attend schools under state takeover — a dramatic shift that may require the district’s central office to reshape itself in the years ahead. Innovation schools are a hybrid between traditional district schools and charter schools. They are run by charter networks and nonprofits, which have almost complete control of daily management. The operators hire and fire teachers, who are not part of the district union. And they control school hours, curriculum and spending."