April 2012

April 2012

AYPF has a new and improved website! Please visit us at www.aypf.org to see what’s new!




Webinar – Creating State Accountability Systems that Measure College and Career Readiness for All Students, Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

This webinar will examine how states’ education accountability systems can be refined to more accurately measure progress toward high school graduation and college and career readiness for all students, including those pursuing alternative pathways to graduation. We will feature Colorado’s performance frameworks that hold schools and districts accountable for factors such as academic growth and postsecondary and workforce readiness. Colorado has also implemented an accountability system for its Alternative Education Campuses that holds students to the same high standards as in the traditional system, but also gives schools credit for student engagement and other factors important to moving non-traditional students to graduation. We will also consider recommendations for ensuring all state accountability systems support college and career readiness and discuss the effects of the federal No Child Left Behind waiver opportunity. The featured presenters for this webinar are Ryan Reyna, Program Director, Center for Best Practices, National Governors Association; Somoh Supharukchinda, Principal Consultant, Accountability and Data Analysis Unit, Colorado Department of Education; and Kim Knous-Dolan, Associate Director, Donnell-Kay Foundation.

Forum – Building a Comprehensive System to Support All Students Getting to High School Graduation and Beyond, Friday, April 27th, 2012, 12:00-1:30 p.m.

AYPF will host a lunchtime discussion focused on providing multiple pathways to high school graduation that prepare all youth for postsecondary education and careers. Panelists will address how federal, state and local policies can support efforts to prepare all learners for success. We will highlight New York City’s portfolio of options for students, including those off-track to graduation as well as statewide efforts in Massachusetts to support young people graduating high school ready for college and careers. Presenters will include: Kathryn Young, Director of National Education Policy, Jobs for the Future; Marissa Cole, Deputy Chief of Staff, Massachusetts Executive Office of Education (invited); and Vanda Belusic-Vollor, Executive Director, New York City Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Readiness. This event is at capacity; please e-mail us to be placed on the waiting list.


Forum – Weighing Evidence: Conversation w/ Comm. College Presidents on Using Research towards Student Success Outcomes, Friday, May 18th. 2012, 12:00-1:30 p.m.

This forum will highlight a portfolio of new research on several promising strategies to help these underprepared students transition to college and ultimately advance to a degree. Broadly speaking, the experimental research suggests that short-term interventions can hasten students’ progress through developmental education and into college-level work, but the positive effects are often not large or long-term. These findings are to be released this summer in several reports by the National Center for Postsecondary Research (NCPR), a partnership between the Community College Research Center, MDRC, the University of Virginia, and faculty at Harvard University.  Following an overview of the research, community college leaders on our panel will describe how they are applying the research to design more comprehensive programs and structured pathways which better support the students at their colleges. Presenters will include Thomas Bailey, Director, National Center for Postsecondary Research; Evan Weissman, Operations Associate, MDRC; Regina S. Peruggi, President, Kingsborough Community College; and Richard Rhodes, President/CEO, Austin Community College. Please e-mail us to RSVP.


Forum – Increasing College & Career Readiness through Dual Enrollment: Research, Policies, & Effective Practices, Monday, June 8th, 2012, 12:00-1:30p.m.

Policymakers and practitioners continue to seek ways to help more students graduate from high school ready to successfully transition into and complete postsecondary education prepared for careers. Acceleration mechanisms, such as dual enrollment and Early College High Schools, are one strategy that can address these challenges simultaneously and that are demonstrating positive impacts on youth, particularly at-risk student populations. This forum will provide information on different types of dual enrollment programs, what the research says about their effectiveness, and showcase a unique public-private sector Early College High School model, supported by DeVry University, that allows students to earn a high school diploma and an associate’s degree in four years in a field that leads directly into a career and employment. Presenters will include Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, State of Georgia; Irene Munn, Policy Director, Office of Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle; Melinda Mechur Karp, Senior Research Associate, Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University; and Scarlett Howery, President, Columbus Metro, DeVry University. Please e-mail us to RSVP.



Please visit our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/amyouthpolicyforum for video clips of events, interviews, webinars and more!

Video –
Building an Effective Teacher Pipeline:  A Discussion of the Key Issues, Efforts, and the Role of Federal Policy, Friday, March 26, 2012


Research has demonstrated that teacher quality and teacher preparedness are key factors to improving student achievement. In our continuous efforts to provide top quality education to all our nation’s students, we must also consider related efforts to improve our teacher pipeline, such as strengthening pathways into teaching (traditional and alternative); providing meaningful professional development, and focusing on measuring and improving educator effectiveness.  This Congressional briefing covered current efforts to support the development of a strong teacher pipeline, and included presentations from Ed Crowe, former director Title II Teacher Quality Enhancement Program, as well as Arthur McKee, National Council on Teacher Quality.



Check these out – recommended reading from the AYPF staff


Cycle of Assessments and Improvements Boosts Afterschool Quality Center for Youth Program Quality

This study, funded by the W.T. Grant Foundation, evaluates the Youth Program Quality Intervention (YPQI), a data-driven continuous improvement model for afterschool systems. The study finds that a cycle of assessing staff practices, planning based on the assessment and targeted training improves the quality of services delivered to young people. Additionally, it says that the YPQI model increases program quality among a wide range of afterschool systems, is sustainable and cost-effective, and might boost staff retention.


Tinkering Toward Transformation: A Look at Federal School Improvement Grant Implementation Center on Reinventing Public Education

In 2009, the federal government committed over $3 billion nationwide to help states and districts turn around their worst-performing schools. The U.S. Department of Education intended for the School Improvement Grants (SIGs) to spur dramatic change. This report looks at the results of a field study of the first-year implementation of those grants in Washington State, which will receive $50 million in SIG funding over three years. CRPE researchers wanted to see what kinds of school-level changes are underway, how they compare to the intent of the grants, and the role that district play in SIG implementation.


Off the Clock: What More Time Can (and Can’t) Do for School Turnarounds Education Sector

Extended learning time is one of the key elements of the federal government’s SIG program. More than 90 percent of the schools in the program have selected one of two options—”turnaround” and “transformation”—that mandate more time. Education Sector reviewed data on how these schools are actually using “increased learning time” mandated by the federal government. The variations are wide—from adding minutes to the school day to providing after-school programs to shortening recess and lunch. Some approaches show clear potential, while others face considerable limits to implementation.


Learn Anytime, Anywhere: Rethinking How Students Earn Credit Beyond School Hours The After-School Corporation

In this brief, TASC explores how states are providing the kind of flexibility that helps students see education as the path to the future they want for themselves. They offer policy recommendations to bring down bureaucratic barriers and encourage schools to collaborate on off-campus learning with community partners such as art and science institutions.


Building a Grad Nation Report: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic Civic Enterprises, Everyone Graduates Center, America’s Promise Alliance, Alliance for Excellent Education

With one in four U.S. public school students dropping out of high school before graduation, America continues to face a dropout epidemic. Dropping out makes it harder for these young people to succeed in life, our economy loses hundreds of billions of dollars in productivity and our communities suffer enormous social costs. This report shows that the nation continues to make progress, with more than half of states increasing graduation rates. The report also reveals that the number of “dropout factory” high schools—those graduating 60 percent or fewer students on time—decreased by 457 between 2002 and 2010, with the rate of decline accelerating since 2008.


Afterschool Programs That Follow Evidence-Based Practices to Promote Social and Emotional Development Are Effective Joseph Durlak & Roger Weissberg

This research summary by Joseph Durlak (Loyola University Chicago) and Roger Weissberg (University of Illinois at Chicago) underscores the link between high quality programs and student achievement. Their analysis of more than 60 studies of afterschool programs showed that certain high quality afterschool programs are associated with increased academic performance; increased attendance; and significant improvements in behavior.


Make Me a Match: Helping Low-Income and First-Generation Students Make Good College Choices MDRC

Educators, researchers, and policymakers across the political spectrum agree that America must send more of its young people to college and must find ways to help them graduate. Despite this broad consensus, it has been difficult to design and implement effective strategies for dramatically increasing college enrollment and graduation. In Chicago, an intervention now under way — the College Match Program — takes an innovative approach to solving the problem of low college graduation rates. Developed by MDRC in partnership with the Chicago Public Schools, College Match targets a population that has been overlooked by many other college success initiatives: moderately to high-achieving students who are prepared for college but need advice and support to choose college wisely. This policy brief describes the intervention and offers encouraging early findings from a pilot in three Chicago high schools. It concludes with a discussion of issues related to further expansion, modification, and testing of the model.



The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional development organization based in Washington, DC, provides learning opportunities for policymakers, practitioners, and researchers working on youth and education issues at the national, state, and local levels.

AYPF events and publications are made possible by a consortium of philanthropic foundations: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, William T. Grant Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott FoundationThe Eli and Edythe Broad FoundationCarnegie Corporation of New York , State Farm Insurance, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and others.

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