Redefining Student Academic Success During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic led to dramatic shifts in the way that most, if not all, educational institutions in the nation operate. The shift to distance learning sent a shock wave through the field of education, making even more visible how our current system is failing many of our students, particularly students of color, and their families. It led educational institutions to pause conventional activities built on long-held (and often harmful) assumptions, such as equating “seat time” with learning and an over-reliance on the results of Continue reading →

What does evaluation mean in times of COVID-19?

By: Juan Carlos Piña In response to the rising worldwide spread of COVID-19, on March 11, 2021 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic. WHO’s announcement of the imminent threat that COVID-19 presented for the nation’s public health led to the abrupt closures of offices, workplaces, and schools, among other locations. The range of site closures where people conduct business, work, learn, and play changed life and human interaction as we know it. There has been a slew of hardships experienced by families, Continue reading →

SPR Year in Review 2020

As we turn the corner on 2020, we would like to express deep gratitude to all of our partners, including the public agencies, community-based organizations, and foundations that have worked tirelessly to respond to the complexities of this year. So many of us have had to quickly pivot and learn new ways of working and being of service. The pandemic and the shelter-in-place order only deepened persistent inequities in health, employment, and education, issues that we have collectively been working on for decades. The ongoing Continue reading →

Addressing the Eviction & Displacement Crisis through Photovoice

by Laura Pryor and Savannah Rae  As the evaluators for an anti-eviction and displacement initiative in Oakland, Social Policy Research Associates (SPR) and program partners recognized the importance of community participation in the evaluation process. The program’s anti-eviction and displacement services include legal representation, emergency financial assistance, and supportive services for community members experiencing a housing crisis. Program clients therefore have unique expertise into the effectiveness of services for themselves and their communities. Too often, evaluators and decision makers do not share the same frame Continue reading →

Harnessing the Power of Zoom to Conduct Virtual Simultaneous Interpretation for Cross-Lingual Focus Groups

by Juan Carlos Piña SPR’s Philanthropy, Equity, and Youth (PEY) division is excited to announce that our project team will demonstrate at this year’s AEA’s 2020 conference on October 28 at 9:00AM on how to harness the power of online video conferencing platforms like Zoom to facilitate virtual focus groups among cross-lingual participants using simultaneous interpretation. Make sure to check out our toolkit that includes guiding principles of language justice as well as best practices for simultaneous interpretation. Centering equity in our work: Over the Continue reading →

2018: Year in Review

This year SPR staff logged thousands of hours partnering with our clients to, amongst other things, lead a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Audit; conduct a regional scan to explore individualized learning across three Midwest states; and participate in conversations around the possibility of bringing apprenticeship to a larger scale within California and the U.S. Below we share a subset of our work in this Year-in-Review. For the new year, we look forward to continuing to be thought partners with our clients and engaging with the Continue reading →

Come Join SPR at APPAM!

Come join SPR as we share our insights at the Association for Public Policy and Management (APPAM) 2018 Fall Research Conference, Evidence for Action: Encouraging Innovation and Improvement, from November 8-10, 2018 in Washington DC. Follow @social_policy and #2018APPAM on Twitter for updates and reflections. Please join us for the following sessions: Thursday, November 8, 2018: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM Panel: Providing Public Workforce Services to Job Seekers: The WIA Adult and Dislocated Worker Program Gold Standard Evaluation Madison A – Mezz Level (Mariott Wardman Park) Continue reading →

See you at AEA 2018!

SPR is excited to share our insights at the annual meeting of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) 2018 Annual Conference,  Evaluation 2018: Speaking Truth to Power, from October 29th – November 3rd 2018, in Cleveland, OH. Follow @social_policy on Twitter for updates and reflections from #Eval18. Please join us for the following sessions: Wednesday, October 31, 2018: 4:30 PM-5:30 PM Fostering Early Field Building: Evaluating Seeds of an Emerging Field Veterans Meeting Room C (Hilton Cleveland) SPR Staff: Traci Endo Inouye, Rachel Estrella Thursday, November Continue reading →

Skills for Success: Apprenticeship and the Future of Work

SPR is thrilled to help coordinate Skills for Success: Apprenticeship and the Future of Work, an afternoon event that is part of a weeklong festival called Zurich Meets San Francisco. When:       Wednesday, October 24, 2018, 2:30 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. Where:      Hotel Kabuki 1625 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94511 [Map] Skills for Success will focus on how dual education and training systems can help engage untapped talent in California and help prepare us all for the future of work. With tight labor markets Continue reading →

SPR at the 2018 iNACOL Symposium!

Join SPR at the 2018 iNACOL Symposium in Nashville, TN! SPR will be joined by Allison Barmann, Vice President of Strategy and Learning at the Bush Foundation, to share results from our regional scan of individualized learning, and lead a rich discussion on culturally relevant teaching and learning in action. Culture in the Classroom: Embedding Cultural Relevance in Teaching and Learning Authentic learner-centered education is individualized to each student and grounded in their unique learning styles, aspirations, and cultural identities. In 2016 and 2017, SPR Continue reading →