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Giffords Law Center;
This year, America's young people are demanding change and building a movement for gun safety reform. We have watched in awe as young students emerged from bullet-ridden classrooms in Parkland, Florida, and exclaimed Never again. We have witnessed their courage and eloquence as they stood up on national television to US Senators and NRA celebrities, demanding action, answers, and accountability. This generation—the future leaders of our country—understands that gun violence is not inevitable. And they know that the Second Amendment is not under threat. We are.Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence presents this report as a tool for this new generation of activists. It provides data about the scope of the gun violence problem facing America's youth and offers concrete recommendations for evidence-based policies that save lives. Our goal is to support the Parkland students and the thousands of young people they have inspired, as well as the lawmakers who hear their call for action and want to work together to make a change. Despite the brutal pain that follows each tragic shooting in our country, the courage of our nation's youth shines a brighter light on our future.
Foundation Review, The;
This article examines two philanthropic responses to the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12, 2016, a tragedy that particularly impacted the region's growing Latinx LGBT community.
The Central Florida Foundation's Better Together Fund and the Our Fund Foundation's Contigo Fund, while organized and operating in different ways, looked to best practices in crisis philanthropy and, in the wake of the massacre, provided the region with resources to address both short- and longer-term needs.
Better Together practiced strategic philanthropy focused on addressing systemic issues. Contigo lifted up new and diverse leadership from the grassroots. Each learned from the other while responding to the Pulse tragedy in ways that adhered to their distinct missions and values. In doing so, they made important contributions to their community and, in planning and implementation, to the field of crisis philanthropy.
Although several studies have documented the effects of statewide private school choice programs on student test scores, this report is the first to examine the effects of one of these programs on college enrollment and graduation. Using data from the Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Scholarship program, we find that low-income Florida students who attended private schools using an FTC scholarship enrolled in and graduated from Florida colleges at a higher rate than their public school counterparts.
Americans bear a large and growing share of their health care costs in the form of high deductibles and insurance premiums, as well as copayments and, sometimes, coinsurance for physician office visits and hospitalizations. Historically, the health care system has not made it easy for people to find out how much their care will cost them out of pocket. But, in recent years, insurers, state governments, employers and other entities have been trying to make price information more easily available to individuals and families. Are Americans trying to find out about health care prices today? Do they want more information? What sources would they trust to deliver it?
This nationally representative research finds 50 percent of Americans have tried to find health care price information before getting care, including 20 percent who have tried to compare prices across multiple providers. Representative surveys in four states— New York, Texas, Florida and New Hampshire—show higher percentages of residents in Texas, Florida and New Hampshire have tried to find price information and have compared prices than New York residents and Americans overall. This variation suggests factors at the state level might be influencing how many people try to find out about health care costs. Nationally and in those four states, more than half of people who compared prices report saving money. Most Americans overall think it is important for their state governments to provide comparative price information. But we found limited awareness that doctors' prices vary and limited awareness that hospitals' prices vary.
Public Agenda conducted this research with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the New York State Health Foundation. The findings are based on a nationally representative survey of 2,062 adults, ages 18 and older, and a set of representative surveys in four states: one survey of 802 adults in New York, one of 808 adults in Texas, one of 819 adults in Florida and one of 826 adults in New Hampshire. The surveys were conducted from July through September 2016 by telephone, including cell phones, and online.
Center for Health Policy at Brookings;
The health insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were intended to broaden health insurance coverage by making it relatively easy for the uninsured, armed with income-related federal subsidies, to choose health plans that met their needs from an array of competing options. The further hope was that competition among health plans on the exchanges would lead to lower costs and higher value for consumers, because inefficient, low-value plans would lose out in the competitive market place. This study sought to understand the diverse experience in five states under the ACA in order to gain insights for improving competition in the private health insurance industry and the implementation of the ACA.
In spring 2016, the insurance marketplaces had been operating for nearly three full years. There were numerous press stories of plans' decisions to enter or leave selected states or market areas within states and to narrow provider networks by including fewer choices among hospitals, medical specialists, and other providers. There were also beginning to be stories of insurer requests for significant premium increases. However, there was no clear understanding of how common these practices were, nor how and why practices differed across carriers, markets, and state regulatory settings.
This project used the ACA Implementation Research Network to conduct field research in California, Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, and Texas. In each state, expert field researchers engaged directly with marketplace stakeholders, including insurance carriers, provider groups, state regulators, and consumer engagement organizations, to identify and understand their various decisions. This focus included an effort to understand why carriers choose to enter or exit markets and the barriers they faced, how provider networks were built, and how state regulatory decisions affected decision-making. Ultimately, it sought to find where and why certain markets are successful and competitive and how less competitive markets might be improved.
The study of five states was not intended to provide statistically meaningful generalizations about the functioning of the marketplace exchanges. Rather, it was intended to accomplish two other objectives. First, the study was designed to generate hypotheses about the development and evolution of the exchanges that might be tested with "harder" data from all the exchanges. Second, it sought to describe the potentially idiosyncratic nature of the marketplaces in each of the five states. Political and economic circumstances may differ substantially across markets. Policymakers and market participants need to appreciate the nuances of different local settings if programs are to be successful. What works in Michigan may not work in Texas and vice versa. Field research of this sort can give researchers and policymakers insight into how idiosyncratic local factors matter in practice.
In brief, our five states had four years of experience in the open enrollment periods from 2014 through 2017. The states array themselves in a continuum of apparent success in enhancing and maintaining competition among insurers. California and Michigan appear to have had success in nurturing insurer competition, in at least the urban areas of their states. Florida, North Carolina, and Texas were less successful. This divergence is recent, however. As recently as the 2015 and 2016 open enrollment periods, all of the states had what appeared to be promising, if not always robust, insurance competition. Large changes occurred in the run-up to the 2017 open enrollment period.
National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild;
Just days after winning election, President-elect Donald Trump announced that he intends to round up and deport up to 3 million immigrants.
Such a plan, if carried out immediately, would require a massive – and costly – expansion of America's prison and detention infrastructure at a time when politicians and policymakers across the ideological spectrum are working to reduce the nation's prison population, the world's largest.
And it would likely be a major boost to the fortunes of private prison companies that profit from incarceration – even though most studies show that privately operated prisons are generally more dangerous, less effective and no less expensive than government-run facilities.
Recently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decided to add 10,000 beds to its immigrant detention system, increasing the capacity to 45,000 immigrants per day. But, as a result of Trump's proposed deportation plan, the DHS could need many thousands more. Unsurprisingly, private prison stocks have soared since Trump's election.
An expansion of the immigrant detention system threatens to greatly exacerbate the mass incarceration crisis in America. And it would violate our nation's basic values and cement our reputation as a country intolerant of immigrants.
The findings of this study demonstrate that the immigrant detention system is already rife with civil rights violations and poor conditions that call into question the DHS's commitment to the due process rights and safety of detainees. Many of these detainees have lived here for years; others recently fled violence in their home countries to seek refuge in the United States.
This report is the result of a seven-month investigation of six detention centers in the South, a region where tens of thousands of people are locked up for months, sometimes even years, as they await hearings or deportation.
The South is a leader in immigration detention, holding one out of every six detainees in the United States. A closer look makes it clear why it holds this distinction.
Detained immigrants in the South are frequently denied the opportunity of a bond hearing that would free them until their cases are adjudicated.
The region's immigration courts, which are often inaccessible to the public, are hostile to immigrants not fortunate enough to have an attorney. And so they wait behind bars in remote Southern facilities virtually indistinguishable from prisons. Many of the facilities are former jails or prisons that were shut down after civil rights investigations and lawsuits revealed poor conditions and abuse.
Now, it's the detainees who face abusive and dangerous conditions at these facilities, which fail to meet basic legal and regulatory standards. And it's the detainees who often find there is little hope for release as their due process rights are denied.
The investigation by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and the Adelante Alabama Worker Center focuses on detention centers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Louisiana. Three are operated by private companies and three by county sheriffs. All are paid by the DHS on a per diem basis.
The report is based on tours of each facility and more than 300 in-person interviews with detainees. They represent more than 5 percent of the average daily population of the detention centers studied. From facility to facility, their stories are remarkably similar accounts of abuse, neglect and rights denied – symptoms of an immigrant detention system where the failures of the nation's immigration system intersect with the failures of its prison system.
In response to research showing the critical role that teachers play in student learning and the inadequate job that districts have historically done judging teachers' effectiveness, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching initiative. The initiative involves three school districts (Hillsborough County Public Schools [HCPS] in Florida, Memphis City Schools [MCS] in Tennessee,1 and Pittsburgh Public Schools [PPS] in Pennsylvania) and four charter management organizations (CMOs) based in California (Aspire Public Schools, Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, Green Dot Public Schools, and Partnerships to Uplift Communities Schools). These sites have worked over a multiyear period to align teacher evaluation, staffing, professional development, compensation, and careerladder policies to boost teaching effectiveness and increase low-income minority (LIM) students' access to effective teaching.2 The initiative's goal is dramatic gains in student achievement, graduation rates, and collegegoing, especially for LIM students. At the core of these changes is each site's adoption of a definition of effective teaching and development of a rigorous measure of effectiveness that combined classroom observation, gains in student achievement, and other factors to rate every teacher. Each site used its vision of effective teaching and the new evaluation metrics to improve its management of its teacher workforce, including hiring, placement, professional development and support, compensation, retention, and career advancement.
In school year 2009–2010, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching initiative, a $290 million project aimed at improving student achievement through more-effective management and support of the teacher workforce. The foundation identified seven Intensive Partnership sites—three school districts and four CMOs—to implement, over a six-year period, reforms covering teacher evaluation, staffing, professional development, and compensation and career ladders.
Sites began planning and implementing the reforms during the 2009–2010 school year, and most elements were in place in some form by 2012–2013. However, the sites continued to add new components and fine-tune their strategies after 2012–2013, and foundation support continues through the 2015–2016 school year.
This report describes results through 2013–2014. Because implementation unfolded over time, it is not clear when to expect to see initial effects on student outcomes. Initial effects might be expected by 2012–2013, when many components were in place, but effects might be expected to grow as the components are implemented more completely and transform practice more deeply.
This interim report presents estimates of the overall effect that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching initiative has had on student outcomes through the 2013– 2014 school year. The aim of the initiative is to encourage and support strategic human-capital reforms that are intended to improve the ways in which "teachers are recruited, evaluated, supported, retained, and rewarded" (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2011). The cornerstone of the reform is the development and implementation of teacherevaluation systems that are based on student achievement growth; structured classroom observations by principals or trained peers; and other inputs, such as student or parent surveys. These evaluations are used to guide personnel practices in three broad areas—staffing, professional development, and compensation and career-ladder decisions—with the goal of giving every student access to highly effective teachers. Staffing practices include such activities as expedited recruiting and incentivizing effective teachers to work in high-need schools; professionaldevelopment practices include feedback, coaching, and mentoring related to teachers' identified strengths and weaknesses; and compensation practices include monetary rewards for effective teachers and incentives for teaching in high-need positions.
This initiative is being implemented in sites that the foundation chose, including three large urban districts and four charter management organizations (CMOs) that are a part of the College-Ready Promise. The districts are Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) in Florida, Memphis City Schools (MCS) in Tennessee,2 and Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) in Pennsylvania. The CMOs are the Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, Aspire Public Schools, Green Dot Public Schools, and Partnerships to Uplift Communities Schools. All sites have implemented most of the elements of the initiative to some degree, although there is variation by site. Enough change has occurred that it is reasonable to test whether there is evidence of improved students' outcomes. This report does not include results for any of the CMOs because student achievement data for the 2013–2014 school year are not available in California, where most of these schools are located.
In school year 2009–2010, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching initiative, a $290 million project aimed at improving student achievement through more-effective management and support of the teacher workforce. The foundation identified seven Intensive Partnership sites— three school districts and four charter management organizations (CMOs)—to implement reforms covering teacher evaluation, staffing, professional development, and compensation and career ladders over a six-year period.1 These reforms are intended, among other things, to improve teachers' overall effectiveness and to ensure that low-income minority (LIM) students have access to highly effective teachers. A detailed description of the initiative is available in a RAND report, Implementation: The Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching Through 2013–2014.2 As part of an evaluation of the Intensive Partnerships initiative, RAND Corporation researchers investigated the relationship between teachers' effectiveness in raising student achievement in mathematics and reading (the teachers' value added) and the demographic characteristics of the students the teachers serve. We measured whether, on average, LIM students were taught by more or less effective teachers than non-LIM students were. We examined the issue among teachers and students in grades 4 through 8 in four sites (Hillsborough County Public Schools in Florida; Pittsburgh Public Schools in Pennsylvania; Memphis City Schools in Tennessee; and Aspire Public Schools, a California CMO) and investigated whether site policies designed to improve LIM students' access to effective teachers have worked. We also explored differences in student access to effective teachers between schools and differences in access between classes within schools. We focused the analyses on the three years prior to the initiative's implementation and the four years following implementation.
This report attends to the distribution of effective teachers within and across schools in the sites, collectively known as the Intensive Partnership sites. We examine the trends in the distribution of effective teachers between LIM students and other students. We also examine whether any of a variety of mechanisms can explain changes in LIM students' access to effective teaching. These mechanisms include increasing the percentage of LIM students whom effective teachers teach, increasing the effectiveness of teachers with large percentages of LIM students, and replacing less effective teachers of LIM students with more-effective teachers.
Health Care Cost Institute;
Children's Health Spending: 2010-2014 examines spending on health care for children covered by employer-sponsored insurance from 2010 to 2014. For the first time, HCCI analyzed children's health care spending trends at the state level, reporting on Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin, as well as the District of Columbia.
Per capita spending on health care for children grew an annual average of 5.1% per year between 2010 and 2014, reaching $2,660 in 2014.
Rising prices were the chief driver of growth in spending for children's health care in 2014.
At the same time, there was a general decline in the use of health care services between 2012 and 2014.
Among the states studied, Arizona had the lowest per capita spending ($2,151 per child in 2014), while Wisconsin had higher per capita and out-of-pocket spending than the national average in every year studied – reaching $3,017 per capita in 2014.