This is a public collection of knowledge funded and/or published by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF). Views, opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these publications are those of the authors and their respective organizations. They do not necessarily reflect the views, policies or positions of WKKF.

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Exploring Models of Local Food Procurement in Farm to Early Care and Education Programs

April 21, 2022

Farm to Early Care and Education (Farm to ECE) initiatives generate similarbenefits as Farm to School programs. However, there is a lack of research aboutlocal food procurement in Farm to ECE programs. We provide a descriptiveevaluation of how 12 child care centers that participated in a Farm to ECEprogram procured local food. We found that centers purchased low volumes atthe beginning of the program, creating challenges for establishing viablerelationships with local food suppliers. Centers employed strategies such asbuilding relationships with distributors and retailers, picking up local food, andaggregating demand with other centers and families to create successfulprograms

Early Childhood Education; Food Systems

New Orleans and the Hollow Prize Problem: Structural Limits on Black Political Power

January 10, 2022

Mayors in the United States often have more influence on the day-to-day activities of residents within their unique jurisdictions thanany other elected office. While each U.S. president holds significant power as Commander-In-Chief, the primary direct interface mostcitizens have with the U.S. Government is either through its taxing function or by receiving some form of financial benefit such as SocialSecurity or Medicaid. Each governor has wide powers in determining state funding priorities for highways, healthcare, and education,but not all citizens rely on these services to the same degree. Mayors, however, have a say in the provision of the services that residents use every single day. This includes water, sewerage, electricity, sanitation, roads, and drainage, to name a few.1

Leveraging the Massachusetts perinatal quality collaborative to address the COVID-19 pandemic among diverse populations

July 5, 2021

ObjectiveWe leveraged the Massachusetts perinatal quality collaborative (PQC) to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Our goals were to: (1) implement perinatal practices thought to reduce mother-to-infant SARS-CoV-2 transmission while limiting disruption of health-promoting practices and (2) do so without inequities attributable to race/ethnicity, language status, and social vulnerability.MethodsMain outcomes were cesarean and preterm delivery, rooming-in, and breastfeeding. We examined changes over time overall and according to race/ethnicity, language status, and social vulnerability from 03/20-07/20 at 11 hospitals.ResultsOf 255 mothers with SARS-CoV-2, 67% were black or Hispanic and 47% were non-English speaking. Cesarean decreased (49% to 35%), while rooming-in (55% to 86%) and breastfeeding (53% to 72%) increased. These changes did not differ by race/ethnicity, language, or social vulnerability.ConclusionsLeveraging the Massachusetts PQC led to rapid changes in perinatal care during the COVID-19 crisis in a short time, representing a novel use of statewide PQC structures.

Health Equity; Maternal and Child Health

$600 Billion Lost: State Disinvestment in Education Following the Great Recession

January 13, 2021

In the decade following the Great Recession, students across the U.S. lost nearly $600 billion from the states' disinvestment in their public schools. Data from 2008-2018 show that, if states had simply maintained their fiscal effort in PK-12 education at pre-Recession levels, public schools would have had over half a trillion dollars more in state and local revenue to provide teachers, support staff and other resources essential for student achievement. Further, that lost revenue could have significantly improved opportunity and outcomes for students, especially in the nation's poorest districts.The states dramatically reduced their investment in public education in response to the 2007 Great Recession. Yet as economies rebounded, states failed to restore those investments. As our analysis shows, while states' economic activity — measured as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) — recovered, state and local revenues for public schools lagged far behind in many states.This "lost decade" of state disinvestment has put public schools in an extremely vulnerable position as the nation confronts the coronavirus pandemic. Once again, state budgets are strained by declining revenues. And once again, school districts across the country are bracing for state aid cuts and the potential for reduced local support.This report builds on our Making the Grade analysis of the condition of public school funding in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Instead of a one-year snapshot, this report provides a longitudinal analysis of the effort made by states from 2008 to 2018 to fund their public education systems. We measure that effort using an index that calculates elementary and secondary education revenue as a percentage of each state's economic activity or GDP.A key goal of this report is to give advocates data and information to use in their efforts to press governors and state legislatures not to make another round of devastating "pandemic cuts" to already underfunded public schools.

More Funding Needed to Fix Tennessee Staffing Shortages

October 15, 2020

Tennessee's school funding formula does not adequately support the state's schools. This report analyzes the impact of underfunding on staffing levels and the resulting inequities created between high- and low-income school districts. The state's school formula funding, even when supplemented by local funding above the required local share, results in lower staffing levels in poorer districts in nearly every staffing category. Our findings show: (1) Nearly all districts raise more local funds than required. (2) Wealthier districts supplement with funds to reduce the average state student-teacher ratio of 23:1 ratio to 19-20 students per teacher, while the poorest districts average a student-teacher ratio of 24:1. (3) The English language learner to English as a second language teacher ratio is twice as high in poor districts than in wealthier districts. (4) Many districts have extremely limited access to student support staff such as social workers, counselors, and psychologists.

Putting Economic Inclusion Data to Work in Grand Rapids

October 8, 2020

This past spring, the Johnson Center released a new report, underwritten by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, examining data on economic inclusion in particular neighborhoods of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Economic Inclusion in Grand Rapids Data Update looks at changes in economic inclusion between 2014 and 2018 in the city's Neighborhoods of Focus — an area stretching across the west and southeast portions of the city, roughly John Ball Park on the city's west side to Eastown and neighborhoods to the south of Wealthy Street.Disaggregated data — data that can be broken down and examined based on different characteristics like racial and ethnic identity, gender identity, age, employment status, and so on — can be an incredibly powerful tool for community understanding and decision-making. Individual organizations and entire networks can use the same data to target their work, track progress, and ultimately create better outcomes for all.We are always grateful to hear how people and organizations use data to further their missions — and we hope their ideas and efforts can inspire others, as well. Research manager Melyssa Tsai O'Brien recently spoke to Stacy Stout, director of equity and engagement with the City of Grand Rapids, to learn more about how the City is using the Economic Inclusion in Grand Rapids Data Update.

Racial Equity and Healing

Racial equity in financial services

September 10, 2020

This article outlines findings about racial equity issues present in both representation and employee experience in the financial services sector. It was collaboratively produced by McKinsey & Company and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. First, the article explores issues of representation across attrition, promotion, and directive versus supportive roles. Second, it examines the experiences of people of color in the workplace, highlighting the impact of relationships with colleagues and bosses, being an only, and enduring microaggressions. Ultimately, it uncovers that real transformation in this sector requires addressing both representation and experience and calls industry leader to advance racial equity to drive better business performance and create more equitable opportunity across society.

Can Foundations Radically Transform How They Learn?

August 1, 2020

In the face of COVID-19 and the systemic racism highlighted by the police murder of George Floyd, philanthropy is looking for ways to help nonprofits respond effectively to a complex and ever-changing context. For many nonprofits, long-planned strategies and projects have gone by the wayside. Priorities have shifted, new needs have emerged, and old assumptions no longer hold true. Foundations and nonprofits, and even the consultants who support them, are wondering where they should stay the course and where they need to radically transform their work in both how they distribute resources and how they share power. Foundations and nonprofits need to learn as fast as they can how to pivot.  Famously process-heavy and slow, foundations on the whole appear to be experimenting more, adapting and moving faster, and giving nonprofits more leeway to adjust their spending and strategies than they ever have.Many foundations have revamped onerous bureaucratic processes into rapid-response grantmaking with few application and reporting requirements. Others have loosened spending restrictions on existing grants, offering the flexibility needed to weather the economic crisis. Internal deliberation and multi-layered approval processes have been dramatically shortened or bypassed altogether (e.g., see how Canadian philanthropy is responding). 

Starting from the Bottom: First Steps to Improve School Funding in Arizona

January 27, 2020

The Arizona school funding system is in urgent need of reform, ranking at the bottom of the states for every measure of adequacy and equity. To remedy the current situation, two short-term actions can be implemented immediately: (1) increase school funding for all students, and (2) target additional funding to districts serving students in poverty. These short-term improvements can set the stage for an overhaul of the entire funding formula. For demonstration purposes, we calculate the cost and district impact of applying: a 10% increase to the base per pupil amount, and an opportunity weight of 0.5 to the current formula. These modest increases would boost Arizona's equalization formula allocations by $1.1 billion, from $4.86 to $5.96 billion, with $550 million targeted to increased funding for students in poverty through an opportunity weight, and $541 million from an increase to the base per pupil funding amount. Every district across the state would benefit from these reforms.

Invest in Georgia Teachers: The Need to Attract and Retain a High-Quality Workforce

December 18, 2019

Teachers in Georgia's public schools are unhappy about low pay and poor working conditions impacting their ability to provide a quality education to all students. A qualified teaching staff is an essential resource needed to give students a meaningful opportunity to succeed in school. Despite recent funding increases, Georgia districts are hiring new teachers without standard certification at higher rates, and more inexperienced teachers are in classrooms now than six years ago. Teachers are leaving the Georgia public schools altogether or switching to different districts in the state. Georgia's majority Black and low-income school districts are struggling much more than other districts to hire and retain experienced teachers with standard certifications. Lawmakers must make a stable workforce of qualified teachers across the state a top priority on their public education legislative agenda. Increased funding can be targeted to teacher salaries and better benefits, teacher hiring and development, and improved school climate and school resource allocation to attract and retain quality teachers.

What Will it Take for Philanthropy to Learn?

October 6, 2019

In collaboration with evaluation and learning leaders in fourteen foundations, we experimented with how to integrate learning into the way philanthropy works. Our "Lab for Learning" revealed several ideas about what it takes.

Research to Move Toward Evidence-Based Recommendations for Lead Service Line Disclosure Policies in Home Buying and Home Renting Scenarios

March 18, 2019

Lead service lines (LSLs)—lead pipes connecting the water main under the street to a building's plumbing—contribute an estimated 50% to 75% of lead in tap water when they are present. Although Congress banned lead in plumbing materials in 1986, over 6 million LSLs remain in homes across the United States today. This paper summarizes three different home buying or renting scenario-based experimental studies used to evaluate disclosure styles, to assess if these influenced respondents' perceived risk of the LSL in a home, and their willingness to act. In renting scenarios, having landlords disclose the presence of an LSL, but also provide water test results showing lead levels below the EPA's lead action level resulted in lower levels of perceived risk, and of willingness to act. In seller-disclosure home buying scenarios, levels of perceived risk and willingness to act were consistently high, and three different disclosure styles did not differentially influence those outcomes. In home inspector-disclosure home buying scenarios, levels of perceived risk and willingness to act were high, but having explicit recommendations to replace LSLs and/or information about risk did not further influence those outcomes. In some cases, including the specific recommendations backfired. Implications for policy and regulation are discussed.

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