Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award
Healing Species Team, 2016 WhatWorksSC Award Winner
Honoring highly effective education initiatives in South Carolina
The Riley Institute at Furman and South Carolina Future Minds are pleased to present the annual Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award for Excellence to an outstanding education initiative in South Carolina. In 2011, its first year, a $10,000 prize provided by BB&T was awarded for enhancement of the winning program. Two $1000 prizes, provided by the Riley Institute, were awarded to the two finalists.
Phase One: Scanning the State
The award-winning initiative is selected from the Riley Institute’s WhatWorksSCTM clearinghouse. WhatWorksSC is a web-based resource for educators, students, the community and policy makers that ties strategies for world-class schools in South Carolina to promising in-state initiatives. Read more . . .
Programs/initiatives are identified for inclusion in the clearinghouse based on their promise and/or proven effectiveness; applications from the education community and others around the state are strongly encouraged. As nominations are received, Institute staff review the program to determine eligibility for the clearinghouse, based on minimum requirements, including being grounded in national research and the inclusion of a plan for local evaluation if one is not already underway. Each initiative is reviewed and updated by Center for Education Policy & Leadership (CEPL) staff one year after addition to the collection to determine if the evaluation plan is underway and/or if evaluation data demonstrate success and relevance.
Phase Two: Narrowing the Pool
The Riley Institute’s CEPL staff closely analyzes all clearinghouse entries and based on the following criteria selects 8-10 programs/initiatives for consideration by the larger WhatWorksSC Awards Selection Committee:
- As noted above, the development of the program/initiative must have been grounded in sound national research.
- The program/initiative must have been in existence for at least one year.
- A comprehensive evaluation must have been conducted and show convincing evidence of success and must illustrate the relevance and effectiveness of the program/initiative.
- Program/initiative staff should provide additional information, including the maximization of scarce resources, partnerships with businesses and community, the leveraging of additional resources for support, sustainability, and/or the potential to replicate statewide.
Phase Three: Identifying the Winner
A confidential, non-partisan selection committee consists of representatives from the South Carolina State Board of Education, a major South Carolina-based corporation, a South Carolina institution of higher education, and a representative from each of two highly-regarded national education foundations. This committee closely evaluates the 8-10 programs/initiatives identified and collectively decides upon a winning program/initiative. The committee’s selection process involves scoring of applications based on a rubric designed to evaluate the above criteria.
"Sometimes in early childhood we work so hard on program quality and delivery so we can “prove” through data that our programs are effective and worth the investment, that we don’t have the time (or funding) to get the information about them out to all those who may not understand the importance of reaching families and children early. Your WWSC website development is a wonderful way to get this information out and to get the necessary coverage about good solid programs that do work and can make a difference."
Mary Anne Mathews (2013 finalist)
Director of Parenting Programs
PAT State Leader, South Carolina First Steps
WhatWorksSC ties strategies for world-class schools in South Carolina to promising in-state initiatives, and includes policy papers written by state leaders, case studies and an evolving clearinghouse of initiatives that explore and exemplify key strategies for improving South Carolina’s public schools. WWSC is continually seeking information about exemplary education initiatives and welcomes ongoing nominations for consideration for succeeding year’s awards.
Creation of WWSC was driven by “In Their Own Words:
A Public Vision for Educational Excellence in South Carolina.”
This study, the largest ever done in South Carolina and unique nationally,
details key strategies for creating world-class schools in South Carolina,
derived from 3000 focus group hours with more than 800 stakeholders.
It was conducted by the Riley Institute in 2005 and 2006 with funding
from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.