Statewide Data as a Lever for Systems Change: Experiences and Lessons from Shifting Gears
Derek Price and Brandon Roberts - September 2010
As part of their work to make state education and skills development systems work better for low-skilled adults, states in the Shifting Gears initiative are using data to better understand and document low-skilled adult education and skills-development issues, and to help build awareness and support for improved public policies as well as institutional and systems change. This paper describes how each of the Shifting Gears states are using data to foster improvements in policy and practices and highlights the “lessons learned” from the work that has been done to date.
Shifting Gears: State Innovation to Advance Workers and the Economy in the Midwest
Julie Strawn, CLASP - July 2010
Our country's shift from an industrial-based economy to a knowledge-based one requires more and more workers to have at least some postsecondary education beyond high school to obtain stable employment and a family-supporting job. Currently, many Americans lack the skills and credentials to compete for these skilled jobs and know they need to pursue postsecondary education. This is especially pronounced in the Midwest, where local economies have undergone wrenching transitions that have left lower-skilled workers behind. Through Shifting Gears, The Joyce Foundation is supporting the work of five Midwest states that are developing and scaling up innovative programs in adult education, workforce development, and postsecondary education to increase the number of low-skilled workers with a postsecondary credential. In this report, read about how Shifting Gears states (Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin) are supporting innovative educational models and addressing barriers to completion for lower-skilled adults. The report also includes program details and outcomes from local Shifting Gears pilot sites in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
Using State Data to Promote Continuous Improvement of Workforce Programs: Guidance for States Preparing Applications to the U.S. DOL Workforce Data Quality Initiative
Davis Jenkins and Tim Harmon - July 2010
This new report from Shifting Gears partners, Davis Jenkins and Tim Harmon, is a guide for states that are submitting proposals to the Department of Labor Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI) grant program. It is designed to provide guidance to states preparing applications to WDQI so they can build provisions into their proposals that not only strengthen workforce longitudinal data systems, but use the data collected to improve outcomes for state residents and employers alike.
Educating Adult Workers: The Shifting Gears Approach to Systems Change
Brandon Roberts and Derek Price - December 2009
This initiative-sponsored report describes how Shifting Gears is supporting and guiding state policy systems change through the use of proactive coaching, evaluative feedback, and tools such as a structured policy agenda and action plan, and logic model.