Emerson Collective

Shaking up the status quo, one entrepreneur at a time

What we're thinking

Scale Smart

By Anne Marie Burgoyne of Emerson Collective

Oftentimes in philanthropy the moonshot question will elevate the notion of how to scale a great idea. Critics sometimes point out that philanthropy is brilliant at seeding pilot programs, but has an uneven track record when it comes to enabling transformative change, or what most of us will refer to as scaling a solution well.

Scale always make for interesting conversation, because it is easy to confuse size of organization with size of impact, easy to value volume of service over quality/sufficiency of service, and tempting to scale models long before they are ready for growth.

Read More

Emerson Ideas: Diversifying Pay for Success Providers

By Anne Marie Burgoyne of Emerson Collective (originally posted at the National Council on Crime & Delinquency)

Pay For Success (PFS) is predicated on capturing future cost savings created by interventions and providing those savings back to service providers—a refreshing and bold idea that rewards execution and good effort. By including impact assessment in the funding model, PFS focuses on concrete and measureable social outcomes after they are achieved and verified.

I like that the PFS approach brings new energy and focus to historically unembraced topics: homelessness, recidivism, workforce development, and foster care, as well as programs that can always benefit from more investment, such as healthcare and education.

But here is the hard part

Read More

What we're reading

For the first time in American history, the courts have stepped in and determined that the constitution will mandate a seat at the table for children, even in the face of the most powerful special interests in the nation. But courts can only do so much. Americans are still waiting 60 years later for Brown vs. Board of Education to be implemented with “all deliberate speed.”

Ben Austin

Amanda Ripley: To improve our schools, we need to make it harder to become a teacher.

Amanda Ripley, on a Finnish teacher:

“Without realizing it, she’d grown accustomed to people finding her studies impressive in Finland. There, studying to be a teacher was equivalent to studying to be a lawyer or a doctor. Even though teachers still earned less than those professionals, prestige served as its own kind of compensation—one that changed the way she thought of her work and herself.

Why did the Finns respect teachers more? Well, one reason was straightforward: Education college was hard in Finland, and it wasn’t usually very hard in America.

Read More

Children of Immigrants are the Fastest-Growing Segment of the Latino Electorate

via the Center for American Progress:

Second-generation immigrants—the children of immigrants—are the fastest-growing segment of the Latino electorate. This means that the vast majority of the nearly 2,000 Latinos who turn age 18 and become eligible to vote each day come from an immigrant household. These young voters have witnessed firsthand the negative consequences of our broken immigration system and are acutely aware of the immigration reform  debate occurring in our country. Thus, the House Republicans’ continued rejection of immigration reform alienates the fastest-growing segment of the Latino population. While House Republicans have a chance to redeem themselves with the Latino electorate before the 2014 and 2016 elections, it is clear that if they do not take up immigration reform soon, they will cement their future political demise.

Read more at CAP

Sec. Arne Duncan on Vergara vs California

“This decision presents an opportunity for a progressive state with a tradition of innovation to build a new framework for the teaching profession that protects students’ rights to equal educational opportunities while providing teachers the support, respect and rewarding careers they deserve. My hope is that today’s decision moves from the courtroom toward a collaborative process in California that is fair, thoughtful, practical and swift. Every state, every school district needs to have that kind of conversation.”

Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education

Read More

Who's Talking