Memphis Data Partners

Improving Family & Community Outcomes It is tempting to focus on population risks and program outputs. Instead, we focus on outcome metrics tied to child well-being, and high quality interventions carefully linked to positive outcomes for children, families and communities.

Our focus begins with an effort to apply the strongest possible evaluation methods, and leads to results that can help drive programmatic and policy choices. The foundation of this work is a commitment to data collection and measurement tied to key metrics of child well-being and quality of life.

March 2019 Action Strategy Newsletter March 2019 Action Strategy Newsletter Kerrie UrosevichMarch 28, 2019 Facebook0 Twitter LinkedIn0 StumbleUpon Reddit Tumblr Pinterest0 0 Likes

DC Action for Children

Mind the gap! Check out and share our infographic on uneven 3rd grade reading proficiency rates in the District because all #DCKidsCount! #GLReading

How does the 'toxic stress' of poverty hurt the developing brain?

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) recently released a brief video on toxic stress and poverty. Here are a few key take-ways from the video:

• Stress causes a physical response in the body. Chronic exposure to these stressors (toxic stress) affects young children by weakening brain circuitry needed for learning and problem solving.
• Toxic stress has been found to be more prevalent in children growing up in poverty.
• However, not all children growing up in poverty will experience toxic stress. This is mainly because the adults in their lives have created buffers to shield them and to help them cope and build resilience.
• The impact of parental depression is devastating for children.
• Depression interferes with the development of a nurturing parent/child relationship, which is the foundation for optimal child development and life long success.
• Child First, a non-profit in Connecticut, has been identified as an organization in the spotlight for helping young children and families heal and move past adversity and trauma. A growing body of research shows that the stress of growing up in poverty can have long-term effects on children's brains and cognitive development. How can so-called “toxic stress” be prevented? NewsHour’s Megan Thompson reports in our latest story from the continuing public media series "Chasing t…

MDP - Improving Outcomes.
Research, Strategy, Evaluation, Policy

More than half of this nation’s governors mentioned early care and education in their State of the State addresses this year. Many of these addresses included specific proposals to improve early education access and quality for families with young children. It should be no surprise that of the 27 governors who referenced early care and education, 14 were Democrats and 13 were Republicans: Supporting early care and education is simply a matter of good policy. High quality early care and education strengthens positive early brain development, kindergarten readiness, later academic success, and economic and social prosperity in our communities. Put simply, improving access to high quality early care and education is a smart investment in our future.

You can read the full report, written by the National Women’s Law Center here:

High quality early interventions lower the impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and show a return on investment of 6:1.

Can a Harlem ‘cradle to career’ program succeed in rural Mississippi?

The Indianola Promise Community (IPC) is a federally-funded, community-based effort with the aim to offer a continuum of “cradle to career” services to lift low-income children out of poverty and improve outcomes for families.
(…) Researchers, rural education reformers and Promise Neighborhood advocates are watching IPC closely. (…)
Doug Imig, a Resident Fellow at the Urban Child Institute in Memphis, is part of an evaluation team for the IPC. He said creating a conduit of opportunity is key to keeping kids on track. (...)
The Delta Health Alliance is rigorous about collecting data on IPC. It’s required for the federal grant, but staff also want to see what’s working, what isn’t, and make changes fast. The IPC end-of-year report, for example, identified nearly 100 needed improvements across 21 programs for the 2014-15 school year. Workers from the Delta Health Alliance conduct door-to-door surveys in fall 2014. Photo by Jackie MaderThis story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a n

Why Math Might Be The Secret To School Success

A recent news story from NPR highlighted how early math skills are a vital, but sometimes overlooked, component of children’s school readiness. In fact, national research indicates that children’s early math skills are a stronger predictor of later academic achievement, graduating from high school, and attending college than many other skills – even early reading skills.

Two local studies affirm these findings: In Memphis, research has demonstrated that early math skills measured at the beginning of kindergarten were the strongest predictor of second graders’ reading and math performance on the SAT-10 standardized test.

Moreover, Memphis students’ math performance at the end of 9th grade was the second-strongest predictor of high school graduation, after attendance.

Does all of this mean that we should teach our toddlers algebra? Are early reading skills unimportant? Of course not: When children demonstrate a firm grasp of early math skills, it’s likely a product of an early childhood enriched with positive developmental experiences. A report from the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth released late last year outlines several ways that Tennessee can support stronger development among our youngest children, including the expansion of high-quality pre-kindergarten programs.

When children reach school from nurturing, developmentally stimulating environments, they are set upon a pathway for future academic success. We, as a community, must ensure that young children have access to enriching early experiences and must prevent their exposure to toxic stressors like extreme poverty and abuse. In doing so, we will support the development of math and other skills that are vitally important to children’s school and later life success. A new study is focusing on what works best to prepare kids for school. Math may be what really counts, say researchers; one of them describes it as "a lever to improve outcomes for kids longer term."

Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs)

Long-acting reversible contraceptives reduce teen pregnancy and teen parenthood. Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) | Piktochart Infographic Editor

Oakland Unity Wins the Numbers Game - Oakland Magazine - November 2014 - Oakland, California

Schools are increasingly implementing technology to improve student performance. The use of laptops, tablets, mobile learning centers, and other technological innovations is more common today than it was a decade ago.

Reactions and attitudes about the increased use of technology in the classroom are mixed: some welcome the opportunity to weave technology into the classroom while others prefer the traditional teaching methods used in the past.

Research is unclear on the effectiveness of technology in the classroom. However, one Oakland charter school, Oakland Unity, used the popular online teaching website Khan Academy to enhance student math proficiency from 20 percent to 99 percent over a three year period.

Oakland Unity students used Khan Academy’s digital curriculum by learning via instructional videos and then testing their knowledge through Khan Academy’s computer-generated practice problems.

Like other learning technologies, Khan Academy uses an algorithm to tailor curriculum individually to each student. This allows students who are ready for more advanced concepts to proceed while providing struggling students the remediation they may need before moving forward. Moreover, teachers can harness this data to have a better understanding of where exactly their students may be.

While teachers at Oakland Unity stress that technology is not a magic bullet for boosting student proficiency, they do think that technology like Khan Academy can teach students to become responsible for their own learning and take more pride in their own learning gains.

As a result, lessons from Oakland Unity’s success with Khan Academy suggest that students need to be motivated and interested in their work while also taking personal responsibility in their own learning. While technology in the classroom may be a new iteration of educational tools, it emboldens the core tenets of learning: self-discipline, personal motivation, and individual responsibility. Math scores go from 20th to 99th percentile, thanks to a teacher’s experiment with Khan Academy.

The Downside of Resilience

Children are not equally affected by stress and deprivation; some children are very sensitive to stress and deprivation, while others are resilient to the negative effects of adversity.

Similarly, some children enrolled in developmental programs, like preschool education, come out of these experiences with enhanced capabilities and fewer behavioral problems, while some children are not significantly affected by having these experiences.

Differences in susceptibility to positive developmental interventions may be due to genetic factors; children with genes linked to depression and ADHD have higher sensitivity to environmental conditions, and thus may benefit more from developmental interventions than their more resilient peers.

The implications of these results suggest that we should first identify those children most affected by environmental stress and deprivation and, thus, more likely to benefit from developmental interventions, and aim interventions and tax dollars toward supporting these children.

Children who are not as susceptible to environmental stressors should not fall by the wayside; money saved by targeting interventions at environmentally sensitive children can be used to create other types of interventions for more resilient children. Children who suffer the least may also benefit the least from extra care.

The famous ‘word gap’ doesn’t hurt only the young. It affects many educators, too.

It will come as a surprise to Americans to learn that as many as 1 million state-licensed and nationally credentialed early childhood educators are at-risk for functional illiteracy; their reading and writing skills are inadequate to manage daily living and employment tasks that require reading skills beyond a basic level. It isn't enough to target only children for assistance with this problem, a researcher says.

Research tells us which key-markers across the life-span impact developmental outcomes, life trajectories and quality of life. Many critical markers are rooted in several domains.

A child’s environment of relationships is the foundation for their pathway to success.

Accountability for student performance goes well beyond teachers and schools | Memphis Data Partners Ensuring that our community’s children have high-quality teachers and schools is absolutely critical to student success. However, children are not just products of their schools, but also of their families and communities.

Books from Birth participation in Shelby County is linked to stronger reading performance in...

Books from Birth participation in Shelby County is linked to stronger reading performance in second grade. Children who participated in the Books from Birth program prior to kindergarten entry had statistically higher kindergarten readiness scores in language and mathematics than children not enrolled in the program.

Memphis Data Partners

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