Bridging Richmond chosen for StriveTogether fellowship to look at, understand and use data effectively
A colorful line graph displays third-grade reading results throughout the county. With a couple of clicks, a parent, community leaders or district administrator can break down the data by racial or cultural segments; by hovering over each line, a pop-up box reports historical data and progress.
With data, schools and districts, local-based nonprofit and other education stakeholders would be able to easily view and analyze local education data and create interactive presentations. That’s exactly what Bridging Richmond will learn through a StriveTogether and Tableau Foundation data fellowship program. “Bridging Richmond partners will use Tableau as one tool in the continuous improvement toolbox. With this tool, the partners will have access to the community-level data they to make informed decisions and take shared action. This fellowship will accelerate our use of Tableau, which has already made educational data more accessible to improvement teams and community members.” – Jason Smith, Partnership Executive Director
Bridging Richmond is one of 15 partnerships from the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network that will participate in a fellowship with StriveTogether and Tableau Foundation, which will last until June 2016. Throughout the year, Bridging Richmond will learn how to effectively use and visualize local education data to advance its collective impact work to help more students succeed.
With Tableau, Bridging Richmond will be able to easily create interactive data visualizations to share with partners or publish to their website with a few clicks. The software can also be used to make data accessible in real time for all education partners throughout Richmond.
Through the Tableau fellowship the partners will learn better ways to communicate and visualize regional indicators. Currently our Tableau Public dashboard allows partners to disaggregate data by district, school, ethnicity, income, disability status, and gender. These data are not easily accessible on state and national websites. It can also be difficult to compare outcomes at the school or district level.
We are excited that this Tableau fellowship will accelerate our ability to provide data and analysis that can inform collective action for collective impact.
“With Tableau, Bridging Richmond will be better equipped, not only to effectively analyze and use data, but also to help local schools and partners in understanding data,” StriveTogether Associate Director of Data Utilization Geoff Zimmerman said. “Through more powerful visual analytics, Richmond will be better informed and therefore more able to improve outcomes for students.”
For more information about Bridging Richmond’s participation in the fellowship, please contact Candace Simon at (804) 827-4204. For further details about StriveTogether and the fellowship program, please contact Mary Kenkel at 513-929-1310 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT Bridging Richmond
Bridging Richmond is a regional partnership to improve and enhance education and workforce preparation outcomes. We believe that education is the best investment for individual prosperity and regional competitiveness.
The work of the Bridging Richmond partnership is to make sure that every person in the region has a chance to thrive in school, work, and life. It is a growing partnership of regional institutions from education, business, nonprofit, government, and philanthropic sectors. They engage their organizations in improvement projects in areas where they have the potential for high influence and high impact. By focusing on measuring what matters, identifying best practices, and spreading what works, the community can maximize its investment in educational outcomes.
Genworth Foundation granted Bridging Richmond $20,000 to support the advancement of partnership action (May 2015). Bridging Richmond’s primary customers are the regional public school districts. They, along with partners in business, higher education, non-profits and the funding community, receive value from participating in networked improvement communities. Bridging Richmond serves as a convener, neutral facilitator, and continuous improvement coach to help partners work on projects that they can address more effectively and efficiently than by working in isolation.
One important project for 2015-2016 is the Financial Aid and Enrollment improvement project. Teams of school and community partners will make small tests of change, study the data to understand what is working, and make real time adjustments. Learning from local improvement teams will then be shared across the network. These funds from Genworth Foundation allow Bridging Richmond to support the priorities of our partners through the use of results facilitation and continuous improvement techniques.
About the Genworth Foundation
Established in 2005, the Genworth Foundation is the charitable giving arm of Genworth Financial. The Foundation is committed to helping build strong communities around the world. Each year, the Foundation makes direct investments in the community through charitable contributions and matching gifts. For more about Genworth in the community, visit genworth.com/community.
In January 2015, Bridging Richmond accepted an invitation from StriveTogether (subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks Foundation) to participate in Project FAFSA and a National Evaluation of cradle-to-career partnerships.
Bridging Richmond staff and partners participated in StriveTogether’s Project FAFSA, a learning community of partnerships focused on increasing FAFSA (federal student aid) completion as a way of improving postsecondary enrollment for students in the Richmond area. In addition to participating as a partnership, Dr. Jason Smith, Executive Director of Bridging Richmond, provided coaching to the group on continuous improvement techniques and data use. For participation and coaching, KnowledgeWorks contributed $8000 to support Bridging Richmond’s local Project FAFSA strategy.
KnowlegeWorks also granted Bridging Richmond $2,500 for participation in StriveTogether’s National Evaluation, a three-year evaluation to determine how communities across the country build civic infrastructure towards improving educational outcomes for students. The first year of the evaluation, which includes surveying local partners and the development of a community report is valued at around $70,000. Bridging Richmond received a significant in-kind benefit for the valuable data from the surveying of our partners. Partners shared input and StriveTogether analyzed data related to key community outcomes and leading indicators which Bridging Richmond is focused on impacting. These funds have contributed to Bridging Richmond’s capacity to support our partners in their work.
About KnowledgeWorks Foundation & StriveTogether
KnowledgeWorks is a social enterprise focused on ensuring that every student experiences meaningful personalized learning that allows him or her to thrive in college, career and civic life. By offering a portfolio of innovative education approaches and advancing aligned policies, KnowledgeWorks seeks to activate and develop the capacity of communities and educators to build and sustain vibrant learning ecosystems that allow each student to thrive. Their portfolio includes EDWorks and StriveTogether. www.knowledgeworks.org
StriveTogether, a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks, works with communities nationwide to help them create a civic infrastructure that unites stakeholders around shared goals, measures and results in education, supporting the success of every child, cradle to career. Communities implementing the StriveTogether framework have seen dramatic improvements in kindergarten readiness, standardized test results and college retention. For more information about StriveTogether, visit www.strivetogether.org.
Genworth Foundation contributed $25,000 (June 2014), Altria $15,000 (December 2014), and Capital One $15,000 (September 2014) to support the development of recommendations on how to better align IT curriculum with the industry demands of our region so that students are gaining the education they need to be workforce ready. To that end, Bridging Richmond is applying these funds to study two high-demand IT occupations, and develop recommendations on how to better align K-12 and higher education curriculum with industry demand.
Virginia Advanced Study Strategies, Inc. (VASS), a contracted partner, conducted two modified DACUM analyses of knowledge, skills, and abilities for two science/technology-related occupations: software developer and network engineer. The findings – a report and job charts – will inform curriculum recommendations and awareness efforts. The curriculum workgroup, which includes faculty or administrators from higher education, K-12, and nonprofits, is currently working on recommendations for curriculum and awareness alignment.
The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia awarded Bridging Richmond with a $50,000 capacity building grant to support the movement into action through the use of results facilitation and continuous improvement techniques (December 2014). Bridging Richmond and their partners are committed to increasing the post-secondary education attainment of our students in the greater Richmond region.
These funds support the Financial Aid & Enrollment Improvement Process and the creation of a Career Readiness Network. Financial Aid & Enrollment Improvement Process is a peer learning community of teams within our local high schools, facilitated by Bridging Richmond in partnership GRASP and The Axis Partners, Inc. to increase the number of students completing financial aid & post-secondary applications. The Career Readiness Network will bring together K-12, higher education, business, non-profits, and funders to align the response to post-secondary transition priorities.
About The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia
The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia (TCF) provides stewardship to a growing number of charitable funds created by individuals, families and corporations. The Foundation connects the generosity of donors with community needs by awarding nearly $50 million annually to primarily support nonprofit organizations working to improve metro Richmond. From providing scholarship assistance for students to assisting local art programs, and from expanding affordable housing options to offering support for those affected by violence, TCF continues to enhance our region. To learn more, please visit TCF online at www.tcfrichmond.org.