January 2014

January 2014

AYPF Wishes You a Safe and Happy New Year!


AYPF is hiring!
We’re 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:




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 falls 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.

Webinar – Early College, Early Success: Program Overview, Research Findings, and Implications for Practice, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

Capitol Hill Forum – “Using Student Surveys: Implications for Leadership and School Improvement Initiatives, Friday, January 31, 12:00-1:30 p.m.
AYPF will host a series of forums examining the use of student surveys to inform continuous improvement of teaching and learning.  The second forum will take place on Friday, January 31, 2014, and is entitled “Using Student Surveys: Implications for Leadership and School Improvement Initiatives.”  This forum will focus on the use of student surveys at the school level. Discussion will be centered on how the surveys are implemented and how the data from student surveys can be utilized to improve professional development and to track progress over time. Rob Ramsdell, The Tripod Project, will discuss the opportunities and challenges inherent in survey implementation, as well as policy implications for professional development of teachers.  Susan Martin, Chief Academic Officer, Lewiston School Department, will talk about district-level use of the Tripod survey in Lewiston, ME, and Karen Paquette, Lewiston Middle School, will discuss the use of student feedback to improve teaching and learning at the school level.


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 a contribution to the Ready for Success Blog, Building Pathways to Postsecondary Education for Youth Involved in the Justice System by Program Associate Erin Russ.

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Check these out – recommended reading from the AYPF staff

Progress of Education Reform English Language Learners: A Growing — yet Underserved — Student Population
The latest issue of the Progress of Education Reform explores the research and data underscoring the urgency of better serving the growing English language learner (ELL) population, and highlights research and approaches that may inform state responses.

Community College Research Center Why Students Do Not Prepare for Math Placement Exams: Student Perspectives
This research brief from the Community College Research Center illuminates community college student experiences with and perspectives on the math assessment and placement process. Findings suggest that many students who go on to enroll in developmental math are unlikely to prepare for the math placement exam, although most students know ahead of time that they are required to take the exam and many colleges make test preparation materials available. This study identifies 4 main reasons why students tend to not prepare for the exam.

MDRC Beyond the GED
This report from MDRC examines interventions that make adult education and GED standards more rigorous, that combine academic preparation with supports for transitioning to college, or that allow students to enroll in college while earning their GED. The most promising reforms integrate basic skills and GED instruction within specific career fields and support students’ entry into college.

MDRC More Graduates
This MDRC policy brief presents results from an evaluation of a program designed to increase the graduation rates of low-income community college students. The initiative requires full-time attendance and offers comprehensive supports and financial incentives for three full years. The program boosted two-year graduation rates substantially — by 66 percent.

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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