WCER Clinical Program Wins Baldwin Award for Youth Leadership Proposal

Researchers to help Wisconsin students better lead improvements in their schools, neighborhoods

July 5, 2022   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

Shahanna McKinney-Baldon, left, and Annalee Good

Shahanna McKinney-Baldon, left, and Annalee Good

Congratulations to Shahanna McKinney-Baldon, left, and Annalee Good of WCER’s Wisconsin Evaluation Collaborative (WEC) for receiving a $115,000 Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Project Grant for their proposal to help youth better lead improvements in their schools and neighborhoods.

“Our K–12 schools require change driven by those closest to the inequities and inadequacies of our current system,” their project abstract reads. “Yet, educational reform rarely engages the expertise and power of young people. This project seeks to engage youth with the capacity and resources to lead change in their communities and schools.”

The grant will allow WEC to improve upon the training in research and evaluation skills it already provides for youth in schools and community organizations throughout Wisconsin. It seeks to better operate, organize and expand those efforts through creation of an over-arching Youth Research and Evaluation (R&E) Team.

“Our objective is to establish a coordinated operational infrastructure that fosters youth-driven research and evaluation,” McKinney-Baldon says. “It is a wonderful boost to the incredible foundation that’s been laid, and it is going to be exciting to move into this next phase.”

Partners will include the state Department of Public Instruction, the Milwaukee and Madison school districts, and community organizations such as Centro Hispano of Dane County, Goodman Community Center, Urban Underground, and Warner Park Community Center.

The work will be organized through WEC’s WCER Clinical Program, which provides students at UW–Madison with opportunities to do smaller evaluation projects under supervision for community organizations that need help. McKinney-Baldon is co-director of the WCER Clinical Program. Good is a co-director for WEC and director of the WCER Clinical Program.

Their proposal, titled “Youth-Driven Research and Evaluation for Systemic Change in K–12 Schooling” was one of eight awarded project grants up to $120,000 from the Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment Fund for 2022. Another 10 proposals were awarded smaller Seed Grants from the fund. You can read about all of them and see abstracts here.