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

  1. America Forward: Evidence in Action: Using Evidence as a Tool, Not an Axe – Creating a Culture for Learning from Evidence - "Until recently, the focus has been on simply increasing the amount of available evidence, since evidence-based policymaking was hamstrung by the dearth of evidence in many policy areas. There simply was not enough evidence available for decision makers to use. But that’s changing. For example, federal agencies are investing substantial tax-payer dollars in innovation programs aimed at leveraging the creativity and energy of those working on the ground to refine, implement, and evaluate approaches to tackling persistent problems in areas like education (the Investing in Innovation Fund and now the Education, Innovation and Research program), workforce development (Workforce Innovation Fund), and community solutions (Social Innovation Fund), to name a few. These investments are broadening the evidence base available to decision makers."

  2. Chalkbeat: New York City Inches Towards a Diversity Plan for Middle Schools in a Segregated Brooklyn District - "After sustained pressure from advocates and elected officials, the New York City education department is taking steps towards a plan to promote diversity in middle schools across an entire district — which would make it one of the most far-reaching integration efforts under Mayor Bill de Blasio to date. In the coming months, the department will launch a community-input process to gather ideas about how to create such a system in Brooklyn’s District 15, where the middle schools are sharply segregated by race and class. But in a show of how difficult the work could be, at least one well-connected community organizer has already declined to join the city’s efforts, saying communities of color haven’t been included in a meaningful way before now."

  3. New Classrooms: Going From Neighbors to Roomies: Establishing a Positive Culture in a Shared Space - "When transitioning to personalized learning models such as Teach to One, one of the biggest shifts for teachers is going from being neighbors to roommates. In traditional classroom models, teachers typically teach their own students in their own classrooms. Now, we’re asking them to knock down their walls–literally and figuratively–and teach in collaboration with colleagues to a larger group of students in a large, common space. What are the implications for this kind of sharing? At New Classrooms, I’m part of a team of instructional coaches who work with teachers as think partners to help them navigate the challenges and opportunities of collaborative teaching as they make the shift to our learning model." New Profit is a proud funder and partner of New Classrooms.

  4. Chicago Tribune: A Workshop and Open Mic Series Hopes to Cultivate ‘Fresh’ Latinx Voices From Chicago - "The goal of the program, which was inaugurated on October 13 at La Catrina Cafe, 1011 W. 18th St., is to build an artistic community that supports and encourages young Latinx writers, by coming to their neighborhoods and hosting free writing workshops every Friday from 6-8 p.m. for 8 weeks. Every other Friday, there will be an open mic to showcase the pieces crafted during the workshops. . . Another goal of the program, Olivares said, is to find more artistic mentors for young Latinx writers and poets. Three young Louder Than a Bomb participants, Ken Muñoz, Luis Carranza, and Vicky Peralta, will help lead the On the Block workshops, as they expand to Little Village, Cicero and Back Of The Yards."

  5. The New York Times: The ‘Problem Child’ Is a Child, Not a Problem - "Early childhood education can be an invaluable opportunity for learning social and emotional skills. But when teachers repeatedly punish young children, their efforts can cause lifelong harm. Unfortunately, Matt’s story is not exceptional. Nearly 1 in 10 preschoolers is suspended or expelled for behavior problems. Their infractions — generally hitting, throwing things or swearing — need to be addressed, but educators are recognizing that removing 3- and 4-year-olds from classrooms is not the answer. It doesn’t teach children how to behave differently, and it often makes matters worse. Young children who are suspended are often the ones who need the most social and academic support — and they end up missing opportunities to get it. Early suspension predicts disengagement from school and dropping-out. And the fact that African-American preschoolers are far more likely than white children to be suspended raises serious issues of equity and access to educational opportunity."