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2014 Impact Report

Changes in the leadership of the Dedman School of Law and the directorship of the Caruth Clinic and Institute have impacted current clinic and institute programs. The Caruth Clinic is reviewing the concept of a Pro Se Kinship outreach program. The goal is to secure safe, stable, permanent placements for children who are already in the physical custody of a relative but remain in the legal custody of a parent. As part of the program, law students who participate would teach these relatives how to represent themselves in court in order to gain legal custody and to assist them in the process. SMU has informed the Caruth Foundation that it will propose additional goals for the Caruth Clinic program once the new clinic director has had an opportunity to explore and develop possible replacement goals. Commit2Dallas (COMMIT!). Dallas County has more than 800,000 students. When these students graduate from public high schools, what happens to them? At the moment, only 13 percent of them graduate from high school ready to succeed in postsecondary education. This percentage drops to 4 percent for African-American and Hispanic students, who together represent more than 80 percent of the region’s first-graders. This grant supports the work of COMMIT! to transform the way the Dallas community thinks about and approaches education. COMMIT! focuses on a data-driven “whole pipeline” approach that looks at education, cradle to career, in pursuit of its goal to become a critical driver in substantially improving the eventual levels of post-secondary readiness and completion by Dallas County students. COMMIT!’s collective impact strategy is based on successfully establishing the following: (1) a common agenda for all stakeholders, (2) shared measurement systems, (3) backbone support from an impartial entity, (4) mutually reinforcing activities across the COMMIT! Partnership, and (5) continuous communication with all stakeholders about progress and remaining challenges. To measure COMMIT!’s impact, 11 community Cradle to Career Academic Indicators (“Key Performance Indicators”) are measured:

• Kindergarten Readiness • Third-grade Commended Reading • Fourth-grade Commended Math • Eighth-grade Commended Math • Eighth-grade Commended Science • Percent with College-Ready Pre SAT/ACT Scores • Number and Percent of Eleventh- or Twelfth-Graders with College-Ready SAT/ACT Scores • High School Graduation Rate • Post-secondary Enrollment • First-Year Post-secondary Retention Rate • Post-secondary Graduation Within 150 Percent of Expected Timing

COMMIT! believes that substantial progress can be made in reaching these outcome metrics by the end of 2018 while also driving greater awareness and engagement from across the community, state, and nation to understand the educational challenges, importance, and opportunities for the Dallas community. Ultimately, COMMIT! will work to elevate and help spread effective practices that will close the educational achievement gap; increase collaboration, investment, and innovation through greater data transparency; and


Communities Foundation of Texas Impact Report 2014  
Communities Foundation of Texas Impact Report 2014