The New York Foundation looks to connect its grantees and other nonprofit organizations in New York City with resources useful in achieving our common goals. With our Knowledge Center we collect reports, case studies, policy briefs, and other knowledge assets produced by New York Foundation grantees and affiliated organizations. While some of these works were funded by the Foundation, our goal in providing this collection is to put a spotlight on the contributions that Foundation grantees have made to social issue analysis and problem solving.
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Public Action Public Value

November 1, 2019

The Gowanus neighborhood in Brooklyn, known for its unique mix of industrial, artistic, and commercial activity is poised for significant changes driven by public actions and planned neighborhood investment. The polluted Gowanus Canal, designated as a Superfund site1in 2010 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is in the process of being cleaned up. The responsible parties, which include the City of New York and National Grid, are required to contribute to remediation costs currently estimated at $1.257 billion.Despite this public housing crisis, the City has not meaningfully linked its Housing New York and NYCHA Next Generation strategies to preserve public housing as part of the Gowanus rezoning. By excluding Gowanus NYCHA developments from the rezoning boundary, the City prevents NYCHA from directly benefiting from the land use action and therefore risks exacerbating the existing inequalities between residents of public housing and the community's wealthier and white neighbors.The City is missing an opportunity to address the public housing crisis that deserves its full attention, especially given NYCHA's extensive capital needs and the amount of property value being created through the City's land use actions. In New York, when regulatory actions such as zoning changes increase land values, landowners or speculative investors disproportionately reap the benefits. Property values increase, rewarding landowners while soaring rents often displace longstanding businesses and existing residents.

The $746 Million A Year School-to-Prison Pipeline: The Ineffective, Discriminatory, and Costly Process of Criminalizing New York City Students

April 20, 2017

This report, released by the Center for Popular Democracy and Urban Youth Collaborative, reveals the staggering yearly economic impact of the school-to-prison pipeline in New York City, $746.8 million. In addition, it presents a bold "Young People's School Justice Agenda," which calls on the City to divest from over-policing young people, and invest in supportive programs and opportunities for students to thrive. New evidence of the astronomical fiscal and social costs of New York's school-to-prison pipeline demand urgent action by policymakers. The young people who are most at risk of harm due to harsh policing and disciplinary policies are uniquely situated to lead the dialogue about developing truly safe and equitable learning environments. This report highlights the vision for safe, supportive, and inclusive schools developed by these youth leaders.

We're Not Even Allowed to Ask for Help Debunking the Myth of the Model Minority

February 1, 2012

Asian Pacific Americans are the fastest growing population in New York City. Over one million constitute 13% of the population and nearly 14% of the city's public school students. Education experts concur that the public school system faces significant challenges in effectively serving the growing Asian Pacific American community in New York City. The Model Minority Myth homogenizes the diversity of cultures, languages, economics, and unique histories of Asian Pacific American communities. This stereotype trivializes the academic and developmental needs of Asian Pacific American children. While mainstream media focuses on the Asian Pacific American students who attend New York City's specialized high schools, "We're Not Even Allowed to Ask for Help": Debunking the Myth of the Model Minority focuses on the other 95% of Asian Pacific American students. "We're Not Even Allowed to Ask for Help" addresses the issues faced by Asian Pacific American students striving and struggling to get an education in New York City public schools. This report provides data about the challenges in school climate that Asian Pacific American students are facing as well as the effects of poverty on Asian Pacific American students' education.

Stimulating Smart Investments and Job Creation in Low-Income Communities

January 26, 2012

In this report, some of the organizational partners in the New York Stimulus Alliance (NYSA), in partnership with the Advancement Project, take a critical look at a few of HUD's community development programs, including the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, Section 108 Loans, and Section 3. Recognizing that these programs have the potential to channel significant amounts of funding into low-income communities and communities of color, the report guides grassroots organizations and local policy makers through the CDBG and related programs' decision making processes, with a particular eye to opportunities for community input and engagement. Case studies developed by NYSA partner organizations provide real-life examples of victories and setbacks experienced by grassroots organizations seeking to influence CDBG, Section 108, Section 3, and community development more broadly. Finally, the report concludes with recommendations for residents, community based organizations and policy makers seeking to ensure that these government programs result in real benefits to low income communities.

Empty Promises: A Case Study of Restructuring and the Exclusion of English Language Learners in Two Brooklyn High Schools

June 1, 2009

Since 2002, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) has attempted to reverse the city's severe drop-out crisis through a large scale restructuring of high schools, focused mainly on closing large, comprehensive high schools and replacing them with small high schools that offer a more personalized learning environment. Unfortunately, this reform effort initially included a policy that allowed new small schools to exclude English Language Learners (ELLs), and many small schools still do not provide the programs that ELLs need. Lack of access to new and promising programs is reflected in ELL performance data. While the City's overall graduation rate climbed to 52.2% in 2007 from 46.5% in 2005, the rate for ELLs dropped from 28.5% to 23.5% over the same period.To understand how the small schools movement has affected ELL students in New York City, we studied the restructuring of two large Brooklyn high schools -- Lafayette High School in Bensonhurst and Tilden High School in East Flatbush.

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