August 2016

August 2016


Webinar: Competency-Based Education as a Strategy for College and Career Readiness for All (Thursday, September 15th from 3-4:15pm ET)
co-sponsored with the College & Career Readiness & Success Center at AIR

Within K-12 education, competency-based education is gaining momentum as a promising strategy to prepare all students for success in college and careers.  Although states are at various stages of implementing competency-based education, there are a number of issues to consider at the intersection of policy and practice. This webinar will share recent CCRS Center products and tools around competency-based education including State Approaches to Competency-Based Education to Support College and Career Readiness for All StudentsState Policies to Support Competency-Based Education for Overage, Under-Credited Students, and a forthcoming Facilitator’s Guide on Designing Competency-Based Articulation Agreements.  To complement the discussion of the resources, participants will hear from an innovative partnership at a competency-based high school serving overage, under-credited students where they can earn competency-based dual enrollment credit with a postsecondary partner. Presenters include Steve Brown, Director of Community Partnerships, College for America at Southern New Hampshire University; David Blumenthal, Content Expert, College and Career Readiness and Success Center at AIR; Rodney Powell, Principal, OPPortunity High School (Hartford, CT); Chanda Robinson, Director of Workforce Initiatives, Our Piece of the Pie (Hartford, CT); and Jenna Tomasello, Policy Associate, American Youth Policy Forum.

Capitol Hill Forum: Considerations for ESSA’s Non-Academic Indicator: Bridging Research, Practice, and Policy (Friday, September 23rd from 12-2pm ET)
co-sponsored with MDRC and David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality

With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and its requirement to include a fifth, non-academic measure in state accountability systems, states have an unprecedented opportunity to consider the various elements that contribute to student success.  As we consider potential non-academic indicators, policymakers and thought leaders should draw upon the research around positive youth development which states that positive experiences, relationships, and environments contribute to many desired youth outcomes. This forum will explore what we know about developing these experiences both inside and outside of school through social and emotional learning practices, youth engagement, and school climate. Following presentations from leading researchers in these fields, our panel will explore the potential non-academic indicators that might be ready and appropriate for inclusion in state accountability systems. Panelists include Jean Grossman, Senior Fellow, K-12 Education Policy, MDRC; Stephanie Jones, Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Charmaine Mercer,Director of DC Office & Senior Researcher, Learning Policy Institute; David Osher, Vice President and Institute Fellow, AIR; and Charles Smith, Executive Director, Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality; and to be moderated by Caitlin Emma, Education Reporter, Politico.



AYPF is currently hiring for our Fall 2016 internship position. Duties include:

  • Working with program staff to collect data for briefing papers, fact sheets, and publications.
  • Researching promising practices to help identify potential programs to highlight in publications, forums, and study tours.
  • Tracking and analyzing effective youth policies and practices in states and districts.
  • Assisting with communications to key contacts on Capitol Hill.

Internships at AYPF are substantive, structured, and interns are integral members of the AYPF team. For more details about the position and how to apply, please visit our employment page.

Please visit our YouTube channel at for video clips of events, interviews and more.


Forum For Thought Blog The Forum for Thought blog is operated by the American Youth Policy Forum, and highlights diverse points of view and information from the intersection of policy, practice and research.


  • As a teacher, Policy Intern Andrew Shachat is worried social and emotional learning within ESSA’s fifth indicator; read more.
  • So what is ESSA’s fifth indicator? Deputy Director Jennifer Brown Lerner asks some hard questions.
  • Policy Intern Louis Lainé explains the value of Youth Courts as mechanism to empower young people

Click here to view all AYPF publications

Click here to find all briefs and reports


Check these out – recommended reading from the AYPF staff:

Education Commission of the States Quick Guides on ESSA’s Top Issues

This report provides insight into key areas of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that have prompted questions and concerns from education leaders and policymakers as they prepare to implement this new law.


Data Quality Campaign Turning Data into Information: The Vital Role of Research in Improving Education
This report outlines the value of research students, parents, educators, and other community partners.  In addition, the report defines the variety of research that can be conducted to improved educational outcomes for all students.


TNTP (The New Teacher Project) Accountability Under ESSA: How States Can Design Systems That Advance Equity and Opportunity
This white paper offers guiding principles to states on both the process and substance of the accountability systems they are required to design under ESSA.


National Center for Education Statistics, Institute for Education Sciences Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups 2016
This report shows that over time, students in the racial/ethnic groups have completed high school and continued their education in college in increasing numbers. Despite these gains, the rate of progress has varied among these racial/ethnic groups and differences by race/ethnicity persist in terms of increases in attainment and progress on key indicators of educational performance.


The Center for Public Education The Path Least Taken III: Rigor and Focus Pays Dividends
The final installment in this series focused on non-college goers outcomes in the labor market.  Overall, non-college goers did much better in the labor market if they had completed high-level math and science courses; earned average to above average grades; completed multiple vocational courses focusing on a specific labor market area (occupational concentration); and obtained a professional certification or license.

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: Andrus Family Fund, Bill & Melinda Gates FoundationWilliam T. Grant Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and others.