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Part of our Patterns of Disparity series, this report examines bank lending to businesses in Buffalo, BY and New Brunswick, NJ. The purpose is to determine the extent to which banks are meeting the credit needs of businesses throughout those two regions. The focus of the report is on the smaller value loans under $100,000 that are most likely to support smaller, local businesses that provide employment and wealth-building opportunities for local residents.
The western region of New York State encompassing Buffalo and surrounding counties ranks in the top quartile among 306 U.S. regions evaluated by The Commonwealth Fund's Scorecard on Local Health System Performance, 2012, performing especially well on measures of access, prevention, and treatment. Its relatively strong performance may reflect the collective impact of partnerships of local nonprofit health plans and physicians to improve quality; the development of a regional health information exchange that enables the sharing of clinical and administrative health care data among hospitals, physicians, and insurers; and the cooperation of community foundations and nonprofit organizations in conceiving a strategic vision for addressing unmet health care needs. An exemplar of the region's approach is the P2 Collaborative of Western New York, a "coalition of coalitions" that convenes community stakeholders to advance population health programs and efforts to transform clinical practice.
Alliance for Quality Education;
An effective In-School Suspension program for non-violent offences will provide students with tools to succeed academically and socially. However, there are significant educational consequences to high out-of-school suspension rate. Academic research shows that being suspended from school significantly increases the likelihood of subsequent suspension or expulsion.
In fact, we see this in our schools where in 2008-09 17,126 suspensions were given to 8,042 students, a fact that indicates that some students were suspended multiple times.
Public Education Network (PEN);
Since 1994, Public Education Network (PEN) has been working with local education funds (LEFs) to engage communities in developing comprehensive school health programs in public schools. The effort follows a research-supported eight-component model developed by CDC, the federal agency funding the initiative.
According to CDC, a comprehensive school health program must have the following elements:
Health Promotion for Staff
Counseling and Psychological Services
Healthy School Environment
Using these criteria, PEN asked eight LEFs to survey and assess the level of school health programs in their communities and to create plans to either establish or enhance comprehensive school health programs. In 1995, six of these sites received three-year implementation grants.
In the 1999-2000 school year, five of the six sites received funds for assessing the capacity of their communities to address and sustain commitments to their comprehensive school health initiatives beyond the life of the PEN grants. These LEFs are located in Buffalo, NY; Lancaster, PA; McKeesport (MonValley), PA; Paterson, NJ; and Atlanta, GA. This edition of Lessons from the Field summarizes the work of four of these LEFs so that others might learn from their experiences.
Public Education Network (PEN);
As the Public Education Network (PEN) and its member local education funds (LEFs) are committed to creating systems of public education that result in high achievement for every child, we believe that equal opportunity, access to quality public schools, and an informed citizenry are all critical components of a democratic society. Part of making available a high-quality public education is ensuring that students and teachers spend their days in safe schools, which are free from violence, free from fear of harassment and threatening situations, and conducive to teaching and learning.
Five local education funds have helped their communities broach these difficult issues with conversations on national and local issues of safety and violence in schools. During the last part of 2000, more than 250 people participated in conversations in Buffalo, NY; Lancaster, PA; McKeesport, PA; and Paterson, NJ. In February 2001, the local education fund in Atlanta, GA hosted a conversation that included students, teachers, principals, law enforcement officials, parents, and other community leaders.
These local education funds conducted their community dialogues on school safety and violence as part of an assessment of their community's readiness and capacity to address the health and well being of children in their public schools. This assessment included looking into issues of health insurance coverage, coordination of health and social services for children and their families, maintaining safe learning environments, and the level of resources devoted to children's health and social services. Participants, therefore, understood that these community dialogues are not just "one-shot" efforts at addressing school safety and violence but as a part of a more comprehensive approach to address the systemic issues affecting children in their public schools.
The local education funds used The 1999 Metropolitan Life Survey of the American Teacher, Violence in America's Public Schools: Five Years Later, as a starting place for their conversations, to ground their local experiences in a national context. This Lessons from the Field provides a summary of the MetLife survey and highlights findings from the conversations in four local education fund communities. (Law enforcement officials are referred to in this publication as "officers." All teachers and students referred to here are from public schools, and all "schools" referred to are public schools.)
"Quality Now! Results of National Conversations on Education and Race" chronicles the experiences of eight communities that convened conversations about education and race involving nearly 1000 participants in more than 60 public forums across the country.
"Quality Now!" is a set of strategies and hands-on tools intended to encourage and assist communities interested in holding their own conversations on education and race. By sharing the challenges, lessons learned, and outcomes from the eight initial sites, PEN and Public Agenda hope to amplify and sustain an important dialogue on the critical -- but often hidden -- intersection of education and race. The eight local education funds that sponsored events and forums included:
Fund for Educational Excellence - Baltimore, MD
Forward in the Fifth - Berea, KY
Education Fund for Greater Buffalo - Buffalo, NY
Public Education and Business Coalition - Denver, CO
Partners in Public Education - Grand Rapids, MI
Hattiesburg Area Education Foundation - Hattiesburg, MS
Marcus A. Foster Educational Institute - Oakland, CA
Paterson Education Foundation - Paterson, NJ
The efforts in these eight communities generated serious discussion among residents about what kind of communities they would like to inhabit, what kind of education they feel their children need, and what changes in the status quo they will support.