February 2013

February 2013


Capitol Hill Forum – Moving to Mastery: A National Policy Forum on Competency-Based Education, Friday, March 1, 2013, 12:00-1:30 p.m.

This National Policy Forum on K-12 competency-based education, co-sponsored by CompetencyWorks and the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, will highlight important research, policy trends, and issues for advancing competency-based education. The forum will showcase experts from leading state and district efforts to transform K-12 student learning using competency-based education and will discuss federal policy issues and recommendations for the United States.

Leading countries internationally have built education systems based on a competency-based education approach, not seat-time as we do in the United States. Now, innovative states and school districts around the country are beginning to challenge the time-based educational system that has been in place for decades by moving to a competency-based education approach of their own. Thirty-six states have policies providing flexibility for competency-based education.

Competency-based education requires rethinking the time-based system of accountability and assessment in favor of robust student-centered approaches.  It provides loads of data on students meeting competencies in real-time to improve accountability, new systems of assessments, and is centered on improving student learning outcomes. This approach allows for stronger personalization and student-centered learning, including ensuring all students succeed in building college and career readiness, consistent with recently adopted Common Core standards; taking advantage of the extraordinary technological advances in online learning; allowing students to learn at their own pace, any time and everywhere; and providing greater flexibility for students that might not otherwise graduate from high school.

Speakers will include Susan Patrick, President and CEO, International Association of K-12 Online Learning; Chris Sturgis, President, MetisNet; Paul Leather, Deputy Commissioner, New Hampshire Department of Education; and Virgel Hammonds, Superintendent, RSU 2 School District, Maine.



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

Forum Brief – Capitol Hill Release of AYPF Report on Programs Serving Disconnected Youth, December 7, 2012

Over the past several months, AYPF 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.


This forum discussed the key findings from AYPF’s new report, Beyond the Numbers: Data Use for Continuous Improvement of Programs Serving Disconnected Youth, and gave audience members the opportunity to engage each included programs in a dialogue around data collection and use. Presenters included Molly Baldwin, Roca; Bob Rath, Our Piece of the Pie; and Akili Moses Israel, Diploma Plus.  The three profiled: 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.


Webinar Video Recording – Beyond the Numbers: Data Use for Continuous Improvement of Programs Serving Disconnected Youth, December 18, 2012

During the webinar, we discussed the key findings from our recent report, Beyond the Numbers: Data Use for Continuous Improvement of Programs Serving Disconnected Youth, as well as, had an opportunity to engage in dialogue with each included program. Presenters included:  Gloria Pineda with Diploma Plus, Bob Rath with Our Piece of the Pie, Inc., and Dana Betts with Roca.

 Click here to find all briefs and reports

Click here to view all AYPF publications


Check these out – recommended reading from the AYPF staff


Expanding Minds and Opportunities: Leveraging the Power of Afterschool and Summer Learning for Student Success Expanded Learning & Afterschool Project

Edited by Terry K. Peterson, Ph.D., this compendium provides a collection of studies, reports and commentaries by more than 100 thought leaders including community leaders, elected officials, educators, researchers, advocates and other prominent authors. This collection of nearly 70 articles presents bold and persuasive evidence—as well as examples of effective practices, programs and partnerships—that demonstrate how opportunities after school and during the summer are yielding positive outcomes for authentic student, community and family engagement in learning.


A Guide for Using Labor Market Data to Improve Student Success The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program recently releases a guide designed to advance the use of labor market data among community colleges.  This guide offers concrete examples of how five community colleges have used labor market data to assess educational programs, better align them with employment opportunities, and advise students. In addition, the guide describes six specific data sources that colleges can access today to understand relevant labor market demands as well as the potential employment/earning outcomes of their graduates.


Growing What Works: Lessons Learned Replicating Promising Practices for Latino Student Success Excelencia in Education

Excelencia has been collecting information about “what works” for Latino students from Latino community-based organizations, educators, policymakers, and institutional leaders throughout the country. This brief provides background on the creation of the Growing What Works initiative to expand the reach of evidence-based practices focused on Latino student success, the initial impact of SEMILLAS grants, lessons learned, and challenges.


The American Dream 2.0: How Financial Aid can Help Improve College Access, Affordability, and Completion HCM Strategists

A group of college presidents, civil rights leaders, and advocates sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is highlighting what it calls a growing higher education dropout crisis and seeks to fix it in part by linking financial aid with successful graduation. This report proposes three overarching recommendations: to make aid simpler and more transparent; to spur innovations in higher education that can lower costs and meet the needs of today’s students; and to ask institutions, states, and students to share responsibility for producing more graduates without compromising access and affordability.



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.




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