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Keeping Our Promise: A Guide to Evaluation in Sacramento's Promise Zone

In April 2015, Sacramento received the federal Promise Zone designation awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which created a 10-year partnership between federal, state, and local agencies to address the needs of distressed communities. This places the City of Sacramento among 22 jurisdictions nationwide awarded the federal Promise Zone designation. In support of these efforts, the Center for Regional Change partnered with the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA) and Converge Consulting, Research & Training to develop an evaluation guide for the work being conducted within the Promise Zone.

Taking into consideration the varying levels of capacity and resources among Promise Zone partners, this guidebook provides evaluation options, tools and resources, and guidance on “next steps” to track progress over the life of the initiative. With a focus on continuous learning and improvement, evaluation can strengthen the effectiveness of Promise Zone activities and understand how to create positive change for residents living in Sacramento.




Sac PZ executive summary

Executive Summary_v2_5.1.17.pdf — PDF document, 281 kB (287980 bytes)

Complete Toolkit

Complete Toolkit_5.8.17_fillable forms.pdf — PDF document, 222 kB (227984 bytes)

Sac Basemap v1.pdf — PDF document, 1774 kB (1817011 bytes)

SacPZ Guidebook FINAL_5.18.17 (reduced).pdf — PDF document, 7212 kB (7386039 bytes)

Complete Toolkit_5.18.17_fillable forms.pdf — PDF document, 251 kB (257737 bytes)

London et al_Weaving Comm Univ Partnerships.pdf — PDF document, 169 kB (173831 bytes)

Weaving Community-University Research and Action Partnerships for Environmental Justice

This article is a case study of one Community-University Research and Action Partnership (CURAP) focused on soil lead, urban gardening, and environmental justice in Sacramento, California.  We argue that creating and sustaining CURAPs requires a process of weaving together diverse strands of knowledge, resources, and lines of accountability that connect all parties involved.  Like the physical process of weaving fabric, weaving CURAPs involve creative and collaborative uses and responses to tension between all elements of a partnership.  This is especially true in long-term partnerships intended to address systemic environmental injustices.  This case highlights the power relationships and challenges associated with such partnerships and presents several lessons to enrich the scholarship and practices of action research.


Building Equitable Student Transit (BEST)

BESTAffordable, convenient, and reliable transportation is fundamentally important to school success. Although prior generations of students relied on the iconic yellow bus for school travel, ongoing budget cuts have led to service being curtailed or eliminated across California school districts. Public transit systems are likely to play an increasingly important role in school access in this environment, but little is known about how well existing systems work to get students to school and the types of student populations that are well-served.

In work generously funded by The California Endowment, CRC-affiliated faculty members Nancy Erbstein and Alex Karner have been filling this research gap and expanding Dr. Erbstein’s prior investigation of chronic absence in the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD). The first phase of research was conducted in collaboration with the SCUSD, the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), and community advocates in both locations.

The studies identify how well public transit systems in the two districts function to link students to neighborhood schools, examined disparities in access to high-quality transit, and identified neighborhoods with particularly high needs for public transit service. They employ publicly available data on transit routes and schedules and confidential student-level record data including student residence and school locations, demographics, and performance.

Questions identified by stakeholders in each district also shaped specific research directions. In SCUSD, the research team investigated the effects of elementary school closures on travel distance to school, and in the SDUSD they examined the relationship between student performance and attendance at non-neighborhood schools. Future work will involve detailed surveys to determine the factors affecting how students choose to get to school and the barriers they face in making that journey.

Three research briefs for each district summarize findings. Please click the links below to view each brief.



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