July 2012

July 2012


We are happy to announce the launch of our new and improved website at www.aypf.org. You have come to rely on the American Youth Policy Forum as an unbiased source of information on policy, practice, and research that can improve the lives of young people. We hope that you’ll find our new website an even more powerful tool for accessing information to help you do your work.

Our new web interface will enable you to:

  • Perform a dynamic search of all of our resources for materials that fit your needs
  • Create a user log-in and password to update your profile and register for AYPF events ONLINE
  • Learn more about featured program areas, searchable by popularity and date of resource
  • Stream videos and recordings of past AYPF forums and webinars
  • Learn about our upcoming events
  • Read our latest e-bulletin and peruse our e-bulletin archives

We value your feedback on our new design, and encourage you to let us know how we can continue to improve on our new website. If you have suggestions, please contact us at aypf@aypf.org.

Please also help spread the word! We hope that you inform others about our new website via Facebook, Twitter, and relevant listservs. We’ll see you online!



Forum – Research on Best Practice in Referring Youth in Juvenile Justice Settings to Mentoring Programs, Friday, September 21, 2012, 10:00-11:30 a.m.

A new study supported by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), U.S. Department of Justice, identifies effective practices and strategies to improve the mentoring experience for at-risk and high-risk youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system. Researching the Referral Stage of Youth Mentoring in Six Juvenile Justice Settings: An Exploratory Analysis examines best practices for referring youth to mentoring when they are in certain juvenile justice system settings, including Juvenile Detention, Juvenile Corrections, Juvenile Probation, Delinquency Court, Youth/Teen Court, and Dependency Court. As a low-cost delinquency prevention and intervention option that capitalizes on the resources of local communities and caring individuals, mentoring has emerged as a promising delinquency reduction strategy for at-risk or high-risk youth. This quantitative and qualitative research study provides a deeper understanding of how youth are referred to mentoring, challenges faced during the referral process, examples of effective strategies to face the challenges, and action steps.

The research was conducted by a team that included Global Youth Justice, National Partnership for Juvenile Services, and MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership. Presenters at the forum will include a representative of OJJDP who will provide an overview of the federal role in mentoring, a researcher who will describe the statistical survey findings, and a researcher/practitioner who will summarize findings from the 30 site visits on the process of referring youth in the six juvenile justice settings to a mentoring program.  Register here.



Please visit our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/amyouthpolicyforum for video clips of events, interviews and more!
.Congressional Briefing 3 PowerPoint, Glossary of Terms, and Resource List: School Turnaround, with Warren Simmons, Executive Director, Annenberg Institute for School Reform 

This forum examined the definition and history of school turnaround, reviewed the range of stakeholders involved, discussed the successes and challenges inherent in turning around chronically underperforming schools, and examined the federal initiatives currently being undertaken to address this crisis. Included on this forum page are Warren Simmons’s powerpoint, a glossary of terms related to school turnaround, and a resource list of important research on school turnaround


Congressional Briefing 4 PowerPoint, Glossary of Terms, and Resource List: Dropout Prevention, with Chris Swanson, Vice President, Editorial Projects in Education

This briefing discussed the basics regarding high school graduation and dropout rates, examined relevant research, and explored current and potential avenues for improving dropout prevention and recovery initiatives. It provided the basics around the calculation of high school graduation rates and dropout rates; reviewed the research on effective dropout prevention and recovery strategies and policies; examined the federal initiatives currently being undertaken to address the dropout crisis; and explored possible avenues for the federal government to address the dropout crisis including accountability systems that incentivize schools to focus on dropout prevention and recovery. Included are Chris Swanson’s Powerpoint and a Glossary of Terms and Resource List related to dropout prevention.



Check these out – recommended reading from the AYPF staff

Education for Life and Work:  Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century The National Research Council

This report defines and describes the important set of key skills that increase deeper learning, college and career readiness, student-centered learning, and higher order thinking. These labels include both cognitive and non-cognitive skills- such as critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, effective communication, motivation, persistence, and learning to learn. 21st century skills also include creativity, innovation, and ethics that are important to later success and may be developed in formal or informal learning environments. This report also describes how these skills relate to each other and to more traditional academic skills and content in the key disciplines of reading, mathematics, and science.

Helping OverAge, UnderCredited Youth Succeed: Making the Case for Innovative Education Strategies Our Piece of the Pie

This policy brief highlights the challenges of over-age, under-credited (OU) youth – that is, those students who have fallen behind in school and do not have the appropriate number of credits for their age and intended grade. Many of these students disengage from school entirely, becoming high school dropouts, or at best, earning a high school equivalency degree.  When this happens, they place a significant burden on the state and individual taxpayers, as they are less likely to be employed and more likely to rely on government support systems.  This brief discusses these issues, as well as innovative education strategies and policy measures that can improve outcomes for these young people.

Broadening the Benefits of Dual Enrollment: Reaching Underachieving and Underrepresented Students with Career-Focused Programs Community College Research Center

This three-year study, funded by The James Irvine Foundation, involved sites across the state that targeted students who are low-income, minority, English language learners, or otherwise disadvantaged. The study indicates that career-focused dual enrollment courses — in which high school students take college courses for credit — can benefit underachieving students and those underrepresented in higher education. It also shows that California students who participated in dual enrollment were more likely than other students in their districts to graduate from high school, enroll in four-year colleges, and persist in college.

Student Achievement as Stock and Flow: Reimagining Early Warning Systems for At-Risk Students New Visions for Public Schools

Identifying at-risk students and designing academic interventions is a perennial challenge for principals. To better help them, New Visions for Public Schools created an early warning system that charts student achievement against strict performance benchmarks to indicate where a student is on his or her path toward high school graduation. This report finds that late remediation of vulnerable students is insufficient and effectively shifts the burden to colleges where many of these same students fail; the New Visions early-warning data systems, designed to illuminate student performance at a point in time, in fact obscures risk by not visualizing all dimensions of a student’s trajectory; and that not all New York State Regents diplomas are equal. A student who performs at high levels throughout high school and who earns a Regents diploma is different from a student who vacillates between on and off track and earns the same.  Yet district accountability structures make no distinction between these two.


Fall Internships Available at AYPF:

AYPF is now accepting applications for two internship positions for the Fall (September- December) 2012 period:  a Research/Policy Intern and a Graduate Communications Intern.


Research/Policy Intern:

Primary responsibilities include:

  • Work with program staff to collect data for briefing papers, fact sheets, and publications.
  • Research promising practices to help identify potential programs to highlight in publications, forums, and study tours.
  • Track and analyze effective youth policies and practices in states and districts.
  • Assist with communications to key contacts on Capitol Hill.


  • Position requires an extremely organized, highly self-motivated, detail-oriented, and self-confident individual who can work effectively and independently. Candidates should have strong writing, research, and communication skills.
  • Experience using MS Office and online database searching is a plus.
  • AYPF seeks undergraduate and graduate student interns with an interest in and commitment to improving the lives of youth.
  • An understanding of the nonprofit sector and a commitment to the mission and goals of AYPF
  • Ability to work at least 15-20 hours per week.


Graduate Communications Intern:

Primary Responsibilities include:

  • Help develop and implement communications strategies that increase the visibility of AYPF and its activities.
  • Write and disseminate press releases for AYPF events and publications.
  • Assist in the exploration and implementation of social media opportunities (e.g. blogging, Twitter) with AYPF staff.


  • Position requires an independent, mature individual who is extremely organized, highly self-motivated, detail-oriented, and self-confident.
  • Professional experience in the field of communications is desired.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Graduate student or recent graduate student in a field related to communications and marketing.
  • An understanding of the nonprofit sector and a commitment to the mission and goals of AYPF.

To be considered for a Fall 2012 internship, please send a resume, writing sample and cover letter to Andrea Browning, abrowning@aypf.org, Senior Program Associate.



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 Foundation, William T. Grant Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott FoundationThe Eli and Edythe Broad FoundationCarnegie Corporation of New York , State Farm Insurance, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and others.

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Recommended Readings