Tauck Family Foundation makes the following investments in a select number of organizations and initiatives:
More Immediate Results. Investees strengthen their organizational outcomes in the following domains:
Immediate Results. Improved child outcomes through the development of social and emotional skills:
Ultimate Results. Bridgeport students thrive academically and in life.
The Tauck Family Foundation has adopted the following Logic Framework that guides our approach:
Children from low-income families generally are less likely to succeed academically than more affluent children 1, and children of ethnic and racial minorities are achieving well below those with white parents. 2, 3
1 Strong research shows that there are certain social and emotional skills that help children succeed in school and life, including self-control, persistence, mastery orientation to learning, academic self-efficacy, and social competence. 7, 8
2 If children from low-income families are given the opportunity to strengthen these social and emotional skills, they will have a better chance of benefitting from school in the short term. 4
3 Short term academic achievement—by third grade—is highly predictive of long-term academic achievement and attainment. 5
4 The social and emotional skills that help children succeed in elementary school are malleable, that is, can be improved by intentional activities and practice. 7, 8
5 Once children have the necessary skills to succeed in elementary school, it follows that they will be more likely to succeed academically in middle school. Since the habits developed in middle school are strong indicators of whether students graduate from high school prepared for college, middle school academic performance is a key to higher academic attainment. 7, 8
6 In the United States, high academic attainment is the one reliable ladder for children from low-income families to navigate poverty.
7 If the Tauck Family Foundation invests in organizations working with children in Bridgeport, Connecticut—the largest city in the state with the widest achievement gap—and specifically select non-profit investees that are dedicated to learning how to strengthen children’s social and emotional skills, then the Tauck Family Foundation can be confident that its investments will be contributing to the kinds of short-term outcomes that will give these children a much better chance of succeeding in middle school and beyond. 6
8 However, to succeed in this investment approach, the Tauck Family Foundation will ensure its investees have or develop robust theories of change regarding these matters, are delivering the specific outcome-driven activities reliably, at high levels of quality, and doing so sustainably. Further, the Foundation will support its investees in collecting and monitoring the right data for each child so that the investees know that the children are benefiting from these activities as intended.Thus, the Tauck Family Foundation will expect to see the strengthening of organizational capacities and competencies related to managing program performance at its investee organizations as the first set of investment outcomes. These outcomes will then become inputs into the child-level, social and emotional outcomes that the Foundation has selected as its focus.
1 Studies have found consistently large associations between poverty during early childhood and poor academic performance, including a significantly higher probability of dropping out of high school (Kristin Anderson Moore, Zakia Redd, Mary Burkhauser, Kassim Mbwana, and Aschleigh Collins, “Children in Poverty: Trends, Consequences, and Policy Options,” Child Trends Research Brief, Publication #2009-11, April, 2009). See also Daniel J. Hernandez, “Double Jeopardy: How third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation,” Baltimore, MD, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, April, 2011.
2 Actually, there is an extraordinarily concentrated pattern to the national dropout pattern. Of the 11,000 school districts with high school, just 25 account for 20% of high school dropouts for the country as a whole. In Connecticut, data from 2007 show the following high school graduation rates for student subgroups: White – 84.2%; African American – 62.0%; Latino – 52 .6% (Rebecca Wittenstein, “Progress on Graduation Rate Stalls; 1.3 Million Students Fail to Earn Diplomas,” Education Week, June 10, 2010).
3 More specifically, Connecticut’s achievement gap is the worst in the country and Bridgeport’s gap is one of the worst in Connecticut.
4 See for example, Mara Welsch, Ross D. Parke, Keith Widaman, and Robin O’Neil, “Linkages Between Children’s Social and academic Competence: A longitudinal Analysis,” Journal of School Psychology, vol. 39, no. 6, pp. 463-481, 2001: “Findings indicated that academic competence consistently led to social competence over time with a bidirectional pattern of influence emerging….In addition, there was a significant path from social competence in the second grade to third-grade academic competence.” pp. 477-478. See also Angela L. Duckworth and Martin E.P. Seligman, “Self-Discipline Outdoes IQ in Predicting Academic Performance of Adolescents,” Psychological Science, vol. 16, no. 2, 939-944: 2005 showing that learnable skills trump inherited capacities (within the normal range).
5 See Hernandez, 2011.
6 Higher socioeconomic status is positively correlated with lower death rates and better health (See Angus Deaton, “Health, Income, and Inequality,” NBER Reporter: Research Summary, Washington, DC, The National Bureau of Economic Research, Spring, 2003.)
8 Child Trends, Measuring Elementary School Students’ Social and Emotional Skills: Providing Educators with Tools to Measure and Monitor Social and Emotional Skills that Lead to Academic Success (August 1, 2014)