June 2013

June 2013


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Capitol Hill Forum – The AVID College Readiness System (ACRS): A Discussion of Comprehensive Strategies for Student Success and School Transformation, Friday, June 21, 2013, 12:00-1:30 p.m.

Numerous studies have indicated that while most students aspire to attend college, less than half are academically qualified for postsecondary success and the rates for minority populations who are not academically qualified are significantly higher than their white peers.  In order to address this knowledge and skill gap, AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) has developed the AVID College Readiness System (ACRS) which aims to accelerate student learning using research-based methods of effective instruction.

This forum will provide a close look at the AVID College Readiness System and its implication across K-12 and higher education institutions.  Through an examination of this system, the panel will offer thoughts on the role of federal policy in supporting and improving transitions through K-12 and into postsecondary education for all students.

Presenters include Rob Gira, Executive Vice President, Quality, Research and Communication, AVID National Center; Dr. Michael Grego, Superintendent, Pinellas County School Board; Dr. Peter Noonan, Superintendent, Fairfax City Public Schools; Derek Steele, AVID Program District Director, College Success Program, Fairfax County Public Schools; and Cindy Zavala, AVID Alumni, Junior, American University.

Webinar – The Competency-Based Education: Exploring Implications for State Policy, Monday, June 24, 2013, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

Internationally, leading countries have built education systems based on a competency-based education approach as opposed to seat-time requirements that we have in the United States. Currently, innovative states and 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 approach. A host of policies, structures, and systems must be shifted and aligned in order to implement personalized pathways and systems that call for student demonstration of mastery.

This webinar, co-hosted by The American Youth Policy Forum and the College and Career Readiness and Success Center at the American Institutes for Research, will highlight current efforts across the country, identify promising practices in states, and share resources available for states. Kate Nielson, Policy Analyst, National Governors Association, will highlight national trends and identify major questions when considering competency-based pathways and systems. Diane Smith, Director, Teaching and Learning Initiative, Oregon Business Education Compact, and Sandra Dop, Consultant for 21st Century Skills, Iowa Department of Education, will discuss how their states have conceptualized, developed, and implemented such systems. Carissa Miller, Deputy Executive Director, Council of Chief State School Officers, will address how the ILN is supporting communities of practice across ILN states to implement competency-based education within their broader framework of college and career readiness and personalized learning.

Capitol Hill Forum – Transforming Remedial Education to Improve Postsecondary Attainment, Friday, July 12, 2013, 12:00-1:30 p.m.

With recent estimates suggesting that over 50% of all college students require remedial education and research indicating that remedial education students rarely earn a postsecondary credential – it is critical that the transformation of remedial education become part of every state strategy to dramatically increase college attainment rates.  Fortunately, new research and innovative practice are demonstrating that dramatic improvements in student success can be achieved.  However, without state and federal action, this transformation will be slow and inevitably fall short of its potential.  Co-hosted with Complete College America, this event will explore how state and federal policy can accelerate proven reforms that will be central to meeting state and national goals to increase college attainment rates in the U.S.  Panelists include Stan Jones, President, Complete College America; Thomas Bailey, Director, Community College Research Center & Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment, Teachers College, Columbia University; and Tristan Denley, Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, Austin Peay State University.

Webinar – Promising Practices and Considerations for Districts in Competency-Based Education, Tuesday, July 16, 2013, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

High performing education systems across the globe have based their work on a competency-based approach as opposed to the time-based system that we have in the United States. Currently, innovative states and districts around the country are beginning to challenge this outdated system and pursue an approach that calls for student demonstration of mastery. While many are currently interested in making such a shift, it is important to recognize that a host of policies, structures, and systems must be aligned. This two-part webinar series, co-hosted by the American Youth Policy Forum and the College and Career Readiness Center at the American Institutes for Research, will address major policy issues states and districts should be considering as they think about implementing competency-based education.

This second webinar will look at two districts that have pioneered the development of competency-based approaches and will examine how policies can support or hinder district level systems-change. Thomas Rooney, Superintendent, Lindsay Unified School District, California will discuss the district’s motivation and approach to pursuing a district-wide competency-based system. Linda Laughlin, Superintendent, RSU 18, Maine and Co-Chair of the Maine Cohort for Customized Learning (MCCL) will share her district’s progress and how collaborations such as MCCL can support the work happening in individual districts. This webinar will also identify key policy questions that districts should consider as they pursue competency-based education pathways and systems. Additional speakers will be announced shortly.


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

Webinar Video Recording – The Use of Individualized Learning Plans to Help Students to be College and Career Ready

Preparing for college and careers requires far more than simply mastering rigorous academic content. College and career exploration and planning play a critical role in engaging students through creating personalized learning opportunities and preparing them for life beyond school.  Individualized Learning Plans (ILP) are one tool that middle school and high school students can use to define their personal interests, goals, and course choices through postsecondary education and careers. Many states have adopted or are exploring policies that require the use of ILPs.

The American Youth Policy Forum, the College and Career Readiness and Success Center at the American Institutes for Research, and the Center for Workforce Development at the Institute for Educational Leadership co-hosted this webinar on the use of ILPs across the country. The Center for Workforce Development has conducted longitudinal research, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, to assess the effectiveness of ILPs, and it implemented a demonstration project to better understand their impact on post-school outcomes. Presenters summarized the research findings and discussed experiences implementing and scaling up the use of ILPs. They included Dr. Joe Harris, Director, College and Career Readiness and Success Center; Dr. Scott Solberg, Associate Dean for Research, Boston University; Mindy Larson, Senior Program Associate, Center for Workforce Development at the Institute for Educational Leadership; Misti Ruthven, Postsecondary Education and Success Manager, Colorado Department of Education; and Dr. Sabrina Moore, Director, Student Intervention Services, South Carolina Department of Education.

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Check these out – recommended reading from the AYPF staff

Promoting Postsecondary Success of Court-Involved Youth: Lessons from the NYEC Postsecondary Success Pilot National Youth Employment Coalition

In 2009, the NYEC launched the postsecondary success Initiative (PSI) pilot to strengthen the ability of a network of CBOs to engage disconnected youth onto a path leading to postsecondary attainment and employment at a living wage. As part of the NYEC PSI pilot, ten community-based organizations working at the intersection of education, workforce development, and youth development established partnerships with postsecondary institutions and served approximately 675 youth and young adults ages 16-24. This report is based on in-depth interviews with seven PSI sites that work with court-involved youth. Specific topics covered include: an overview of relevant research; barriers to educational success faced by court-involved PSI students; specific practices that were implemented by the PSI sites to support court-involved students; and recommendations for practice and policy and systems change.

Reshaping the College Transition: States That Offer Early College Readiness Assessments and Transition Curricula Community College Research Center

Early college readiness assessments as well as “transition” curricula designed to help high school students avoid remedial coursework upon arrival to college represent promising approaches to decrease the numbers of entering college students who are academically underprepared. Yet little is known about the availability of these interventions across the country. The authors of this short paper conducted a scan to ascertain in which states these approaches have been undertaken and to find out whether they are developed through statewide initiatives or by individual colleges and schools. Some form of early college readiness assessment is offered in 38 states, and in 25 of these states there is a state initiative for implementation. Transition curricula are offered in 29 states, and in 8 of these states there is a statewide initiative. Findings also suggest that the number of state and local initiatives is growing.

Using Early Warning Data to Keep Students on Track toward College and Careers Data Quality Campaign

This report examines the role early warning systems (EWS) play in providing educators, administrators, and policymakers with actionable information that they can use to prepare all students to succeed in college and careers. The report explains that EWS combine multiple data points, translate them into predictive indicators that are based on research, and proactively communicate them to stakeholders, so they can examine which students are or are not on track for postsecondary success and intervene accordingly.

Time for Deeper Learning: Lessons from Five High Schools National Center on Time and Learning

Through a series of case studies, this report explores how schools invest one of their most fundamental resources – time with students – to meet their goals for student learning. The report describes five deeper learning priorities that drive and shape learning time across the featured schools, including: building a positive learning environment that fosters self-initiated learning; using an interdisciplinary, project-based approach; engaging in “authentic” assessments of learning and skill development, included self-reflection and peer critiques; connecting students to the “real world;” and encouraging teachers to work collaboratively and as deep learners themselves in pursuit of excellence. These five priorities then work in concert to generate a high-quality and highly-relevant educational experience for students.

A Stronger Nation through Higher Education Lumina Foundation

As the demand for skilled workers continues to grow, the rate of college attainment is steadily improving across America. Unfortunately, the pace of progress is far too modest to meet future workforce needs. This report offers detailed data arrays that describe degree attainment at the national, state and county levels. The report also provides degree-attainment data for each of the nation’s 100 most populous metropolitan regions.

The New State Achievement Gap: How Federal Waivers Could Make it Worse—Or Better Education Sector

With the adoption of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2002, the federal government signaled its intention to close achievement gaps in K-12 education, particularly for minority students. This report examines how states have performed since NCLB, and finds that the achievement gap among states is growing—it now approaches the already significant national racial achievement gap of 2.5 years in achievement.

2012 Condition of College and Career Readiness ACT

Since 1959, ACT has collected and reported data on students’ academic readiness for college. Using the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks and ACT test scores, this report provides both national and state snapshots of college readiness of the graduating seniors of the class of 2012 who took the ACT in 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 William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundationand others.


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