December 2013

December 2013
AYPF Wishes You a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!



AYPF is looking for a Policy Research Assistant to assist in the development of various AYPF learning events and products, including forums, webinars, study tours, and publications. The Policy Research Assistant will work on a range of education and youth policy issues depending on current grant projects, including topics such as middle grades and secondary school reform, postsecondary education access and success, dropout prevention and recovery, youth employment and workforce development, afterschool programs and expanded learning opportunities, youth development, student-centered learning, and competency-based education. To apply, please visit:


Webinar – Social, Emotional and Physical Well-Being for Youth in Transition from the Foster Care System, Wednesday, December 18th, 1:00-2:00 p.m.

Youth in the foster care system face multiple and unique challenges on the path to educational and lifelong success. In addition to physical health risks and academic difficulties, these youth are more likely to suffer from social-emotional challenges that affect their long-term well-being. In order to support youth in foster care as they transition out of the system and into healthy, successful lives, many programs are relying on social-emotional approaches. These approaches include trauma-based interventions, counseling services, and long-term relationships with youth even after they have left the foster care system. The American Youth Policy Forum will host a webinar on December 18th entitled “Social, Emotional and Physical Well-Being for Youth in Transition from the Foster Care System,” which will focus on program and policy supports that reinforce the social-emotional health of youth in the foster care system as they transition into college, careers, and beyond.

Highlighting the report “Connected by 25,” this webinar will feature Barbara Langford of the Youth Transition Funders Group – Foster Care Workgroup; Wayne Sims, President and Chief Executive Officer, KVC Health Systems, Inc.; and Mary Lee, National Transitional Living Coordinator, Youth Villages.

Capitol Hill Forum – Beyond the GED: Preparing for College and a Career in the 21st Century, Friday, January 24, 2014, 12:00-1:30 p.m.

While the GED strives to provide a pathway for many students to transition to postsecondary education and the workforce, studies have shown that in practice many GED prep programs fall short of this goal. According to a 2009 report published by the GED Testing Service, only about one-in-three GED holders enrolled in at least one postsecondary institution five years after attaining their GED; 77 percent of those individuals dropped out after one semester; and only 17 percent of individuals earned a postsecondary credential. In order for the GED to live up to its potential to provide a viable alternative for youth to progress to and through postsecondary education, GED programs must re-evaluate the supports and services they provide to their students.

This Capitol Hill forum, co-sponsored by MDRC, will explore the history of the GED and highlight best practices at LaGuardia Community College’s GED Bridge Program. Richard J. Murnane, Professor of Education and Society at Harvard Graduate School of Education will provide an overview of the historic trends and value of GED attainment to participating youth. Gail O. Mellow, President of LaGuardia Community College, will then discuss the development and implementation of the GED Bridge Program at LaGuardia. Vanessa Martin, Senior Associate at MDRC will present the results of MDRC’s GED Bridge Program evaluation and highlight opportunities for future research. Finally, Elizabeth Zachry Rutschow, Research Associate at MDRC, will discuss policy implications and highlight future opportunities within federal policy to support successful programming.


Ready for Success Blog

The Ready for Success Blog, operated by College and Career Readiness and Success Center at the American Institutes of Research, provides practitioners and policymakers with many posts related to college and career readiness. Topics span the field of strategies which help prepare students for postsecondary education and beyond, including accelerated learning; dropout prevention and recovery; increased learning time; and federal, state, and local policy initiatives to name a few.

Recently AYPF has provided several contributions to the Ready for Success Blog, including, Building Postsecondary Bridges to Court-involved Youth and Supporting States Employability Standards in CTE and Adult Education.

Click here to find all briefs and reports

Click here to view all AYPF publications


Check these out – recommended reading from the AYPF staff

Halve The Gap By 2030: Youth Disconnection in America’s Cities Measure of America

At the core of America is a shared belief that no matter how humble your origins, with hard work and perseverance, you can improve your prospects in life and give your children a shot at a secure and productive future. But today, the American Dream is at risk, and too often it’s your zip code that predetermines your destiny. The Opportunity Index focuses on the conditions present in different communities and is designed to connect economic, academic, civic and other factors together to help identify concrete solutions to lagging conditions for opportunity and economic mobility.  From preschool enrollment to income inequality, from volunteerism to access to healthy food, expanding opportunity depends on the intersection of multiple factors. The Index measures 16 indicators, and scores all 50 states plus Washington, DC on a scale of 0-100 each year. In addition, more than 3,000 counties are graded A-F, giving policymakers and leaders a useful tool to identify areas for improvement and to gauge progress over time.

Reshaping the College Transition Community College Research Center

Based largely on interviews with stakeholders in California, New York, Tennessee, and West Virginia, this report describes how these states have established initiatives related to early college readiness assessments and transition curricula. It then compares the development of these interventions across states and identifies factors that have facilitated or hindered their implementation.

Findings suggest that strong collaboration between the K-12 and higher education sectors in developing such initiatives is essential for ensuring that the skills and knowledge taught and assessed in high school are well-aligned with those needed for success in college. What is more, program designers need to carefully consider competing priorities concerning initiative goals, populations served, and course content. The study also suggests that state-level commitment to improving college readiness in the form of legislation may be helpful in building support and momentum.

Closing the Expectations Gap Report  Achieve

With all 50 states and the District of Columbia having adopted college- and career-ready standards, Achieve’s eighth annual “Closing the Expectations Gap” report shows how all states are aligning those standards with policies and practice to better ensure that all students are academically prepared for life after high school.



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 FoundationWilliam T. Grant Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and others.


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