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Cities and counties from across the nation are pioneering new clean energy solutions that could help end our nation’s oil addiction and create good jobs, according to the most recent report from the Apollo Alliance. Four Ohio municipalities: Bowling Green, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, are highlighted in the national report. Policy Matters Ohio, Apollo’s Ohio partner, is thrilled that New Energy for Cities highlights dozens of representative municipal programs that promote renewable power, reduce oil consumption, make buildings more efficient and promote smart growth. The mission of Ohio Apollo is to work with Ohio’s cities to adopt these policies and create jobs through environmentally sound and energy efficient solutions.
By implementing a demand-driven model in mid-2010, Employment Connection, the workforce-training agency for Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, has greatly improved the services it provides to local firms and workers.
Mayor Julian Castro convened a blue ribbon taskforce of Chief Executive Officers, Superintendents, and education professionals to identify the most effective method for improving the quality of education in San Antonio. The Brainpower Taskforce recommended the development of a program focused on high-quality prekindergarten services for four-year-old children. Research shows high-quality prekindergarten has the most impact in improving overall education outcomes for a community and helps children to learn and read on grade-level, making them less likely to fall behind their classmates and more likely to graduate and attend college.
Early child development and education programming have proven to be effective investments in both young children and the communities in which they live. An international body of research points to strong evidence that high-quality early child development and early education policies, with appropriate standards and accountability, yield many more benefits than costs through the use of finite community resource dollars. Not only do young children acquire important social-emotional skills that yield long term benefits to both society and individual families, but the early years are the greatest opportunity to develop cognitive skills for optimal brain development, healthy habits, and lay a foundation for years of future academic success. Employers also capture short and long-term benefits for their local firms when early care and education is supported. Yet many communities, including Nashville-Davidson County have not made concentrated, comprehensive efforts to support robust and aligned early care and education efforts to ensure the sustained healthy development and success of their youngest citizens.
Those seeking to reduce deficits and strengthen the economy should make significant investments in early childhood education. Professor Heckman's ground-breaking work with a consortium of economists, psychologists, statisticians and neuroscientists shows that early childhood development directly influences economic, health and social outcomes for individuals and society. Adverse early environments create deficits in skills and abilities that drive down productivity and increase social costs - thereby adding to financial deficits borne by the public.
Designed to promote savings and economic mobility, Children's Savings Accounts (CSAs) are universal, longterm, asset-building accounts established for children with public seed money and that grow over time with additional deposits and earnings. San Francisco's Kindergarten to College (K2C) initiative opens a CSA for all children entering kindergarten in the City's public schools, putting San Francisco at the forefront of efforts to model how a national CSA policy could be implemented in the United States.
From a modest beginning with 25 city and school district leaders from 6 cities and 5 school districts brainstorming over breakfast, lessons from PLUS are now reaching across the state and the nation, informing policy making and practice at all levels of government. CC&S has developed a framework for understanding city-school collaboration that aims to merge systemic and localized measures of systems change. Originally conceived as the "Ten Mechanics of City-School Initiatives" in 2010, further research and refinement has led to the "Seven Steps to Align High-Quality Education with Innovations in City and Metropolitan Planning and Development." This seven-step framework draws heavily from the lessons of the Bay Area PLUS teams, and provides the skeleton for the indicators presented at the end of this report.
This City's 2020 Vision plan is to provide all Berkeley children with equitable education outcomes regardless of race, ethnicity, or income by 2020. This report summerizes highlights of the program for the 2011-2012 school year.
For the past eight years, UC Berkeley's Center for Cities & Schools (CC&S) has engaged in action-oriented research focused on the challenges and promise of integrated and inclusive planning practices and policies. The Center has learned by doing that overcoming a century of siloed institutional practices is no small task. However, the benefits of bringing together city and regional planning agencies, on the one hand, and school districts/local educational agencies (LEAs), on the other, far outweigh the costs of maintaining the status quo. In any given case the challenges are multiple: high concentrations of poverty and racial segregation in schools as well as neighborhoods; a growing achievement gap as reflected in test scores and high school graduation rates between more affluent, mostly white and Asian students and African American and Latino students; years or even generations of systemic neglect in infrastructure investments in school facilities and neighborhoods; and well-intended educational and planning policies that in many cases did more harm than good.
As part of the strategic planning process engaged in during 2008-2009, the Collaboration adopted benchmarks for the Oak Park Early Childhood System. The benchmarks were chosen because they are relevant, measurable and provide data that can be used and acted upon to further system development and better prepare children for success in school and in life. The benchmarks allow for targets and dates to be specified. The Collaboration will define these measures in increasing increments, based on funding levels.