December 2012

December 2012


We hope that you will participate in a short survey about how you utilize our resources. Please take a few minutes to complete our online survey to provide us with feedback on our events, services, reports and other resources. Your feedback is important to us as we strive to continually improve how our work informs youth policy and practice.

The online survey should take you approximately 5 minutes to complete. To take the survey, please visit: Thank you!


Webinar – Beyond the Numbers: Data Use for Continuous Improvement of Programs Serving Disconnected Youth, Tuesday December 18, 2012, 1:00-2:00 p.m. 

Over the past several months, AYPF has conducted in-depth studies to examine how three high-achieving youth-serving programs utilize data as a tool for continuous program improvement and ongoing accountability. Key research questions included: how has the organization’s use of data evolved over time; how is a comprehensive data management system serving the dual purposes of program improvement and compliance with reporting obligations; and what information is most useful to drive program improvements.


During the webinar, we will discuss the key findings from our report, Beyond the Numbers: Data Use for Continuous Improvement of Programs Serving Disconnected Youth, as well as have an opportunity to engage in dialogue with leaders from each included program.  The three profiled programs, Diploma Plus Network, Our Piece of the Pie, and Roca, were selected because of their proven track record of success in serving the needs of disconnected youth.


Presenters will include:  Gloria Pineda, Diploma Plus; Bob Rath, Our Piece of the Pie; and Dana Betts, Roca.




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

AYPF REPORT RELEASE: Beyond the Numbers: Data Use for Continuous Improvement of Programs Serving Disconnected Youth

This newly-released publication contains a series of in-depth case studies to examine how three programs which serve a disconnected youth population are utilizing data as a tool for continuous program improvement and ongoing accountability. The report features the following programs:

  •  Roca, an organization in Massachusetts which engages the highest-risk youth in Chelsea, East Boston, Revere, and Springfield through transformational relationships (intensive relationship building) and moves them into educational, employment, and life skills programming.
  • Our Piece of the Pie, a youth development agency operating in Hartford, Connecticut which offers a relationship-centered approach to help young people access and attain a mix of the educational, employment, and personal skills that contribute to their success.
  • Diploma Plus, a national network of public schools which engages students through a performance-based system that includes competency-based assessment, supportive school culture, and a future focus on postsecondary/career education.


Beyond the Numbers catalogues the elements of success from the three programs collecting and using data to effectively engage an at-risk population.  The report distills the key lessons learned for practitioners and policymakers aiming to improve outcomes for the disconnected youth population and raises important policy questions concerning financing, data sharing, and the standardization of outcomes.


Webinar Recording – Leveraging Local Resources: Promising Practices for Dropout Prevention and Recovery in Rural Districts

Graduation rates have hit a plateau, with high schools across the country graduating just 71.7 percent of students in 2012. In recent years, many efforts to address the dropout crisis have focused on large, urban schools and districts. Yet, a national effort to reduce the number of students dropping out requires policymakers to consider strategies for all communities, including rural schools and districts. Particularly for rural communities, policies and programs to prevent and recover high school dropouts should build upon resources and capacities which already exist within the community. This webinar explored the use of state data systems for the development and implementation of an early warning system in Sussex County, Virginia, and described the Communities In Schools model that has been implemented in the Greater Central Texas region.


Speakers for this webinar included Charlie Harris, Superintendent, Sussex County Public Schools, Richelle Hines, Data Specialist, Sussex County Public Schools, and Mary Erwin Barr, Executive Director, Communities In Schools of Greater Central Texas.


Click here to find all briefs and reports

Click here to view all AYPF publications



Check these out – recommended reading from the AYPF staff

Data for Action 2012: Focus on People to Change Data Culture Data Quality Campaign


This 2012 state analysis is DQC’s eighth annual survey of states. This report finds that although states collect quality data and have enacted policy changes, they have not yet focused on meeting people’s needs for using data effectively. The report suggests that to change the culture of education data, states need to not only create enabling state conditions—such as P–20W leadership that spans early childhood through postsecondary and the workforce; policies that support data systems and use; and resources including time, money, and staff that are conducive to effective data use — but also determine their role in creating enabling local conditions. Additional analysis through thematic lenses of teacher effectiveness, parents, college choice, early warning systems, and high school feedback may be found here.


High Standards Help Struggling Students: New Evidence Education Sector


The Common Core State Standards, adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia, promise to raise achievement in English and mathematics through rigorous standards that promote deeper learning. But while most policymakers, researchers, and educators have embraced these higher standards, some question the fairness of raising the academic bar on students who are already struggling. In this issue brief, Education Sector use state-by-state NAEP data to examine the effect of high standards on student achievement. They find there is no evidence that high standards have hurt low-achieving students. In fact, they found that higher standards have probably helped.


Inseparable Imperatives: Equity in Education and the Future of the American Economy Alliance for Excellent Education


In their recent report, the Alliance for Excellent Education says the nation’s failure to provide all children with an equal education has “dire economic consequences” that will only worsen as the population of students of color grows. The report finds that while achievement gaps are closing, wide disparities remain between subgroups. About 25% of all students do not graduate from high school, but the numbers are closer to 40% for students of color.


Rethinking Remedial Education: The Role of MSIs in Serving Underprepared Students in the 21st Century Institute for Higher Education Policy


With so many students not being properly prepared for the demands of college and requiring some form of remedial intervention, many postsecondary institutions are seeking new strategies for enhancing remedial education. This new policy brief illustrates how Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) from the Lumina MSI-Models of Success program are identifying new ways to better structure their remedial education programs and build stronger cross-system collaborations. The brief highlights institutions that have taken a more comprehensive and holistic approach to remedial education, and finds that faculty engagement and institutional collaboration have been central to the work of improving instruction and delivery for students needing remediation.


Getting Students on Track to College and Career Readiness: How Many Catch Up from Far Behind? ACT

How many “far off track” 4th- and 8th-graders catch up to college and career readiness before they graduate? In its latest report, ACT examines the difficulty of catching up students who are far behind in school, and whether addressing the issue in the earlier grades is more effective than waiting until high school. Using state and ACT assessment data, the report compares students who are “far off track” in Grades 4 and 8 to determine if closing these academic gaps earlier is likely, if it makes a difference, and in which subjects doing so appears to have the most impact. A shorter policy brief of the report may be found here.


 AYPF events and publications are made possible by a consortium of philanthropic foundations: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, William T. Grant Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, and others.

American Youth Policy Forum
1836 Jefferson Place, NW; Washington, DC  20036
202-775-9731 (phone) 202-775-9733 (fax)



AYPF Special Announcement

AYPF Upcoming Events

AYPF Publications and Resources

Recommended Readings and Resources