May 2012

May 2012



We are happy to announce the launch of our new and improved website at 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


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 – Weighing Evidence: Conversation w/ Community College Presidents on Using Research Towards Student Success Outcomes, Friday, May 18th. 2012, 12:00-1:30 p.m.

This forum will highlight a portfolio of new research on several promising strategies to help underprepared students transition to college and ultimately advance to a degree. Broadly speaking, the experimental research suggests that short-term interventions can hasten students’ progress through developmental education and into college-level work, but the positive effects are often not large or long-term. These findings are to be released this summer in several reports by the National Center for Postsecondary Research (NCPR), a partnership between the Community College Research Center, MDRC, the University of Virginia, and faculty at Harvard University.  Following an overview of the research, community college leaders will describe how they are applying the research to design more comprehensive programs and structured pathways which better support students at their colleges. Presenters will include Thomas Bailey, Director, National Center for Postsecondary Research; Evan Weissman, Operations Associate, MDRC; Regina S. Peruggi, President, Kingsborough Community College; and Richard Rhodes, President/CEO, Austin Community College. This forum will be held in Washington, DC.  Location TBD. To register please click <link>


Forum – Increasing College & Career Readiness through Dual Enrollment: Research, Policies, & Effective Practices, Friday, June 8th, 2012, 12:00-1:30p.m.

Policymakers and practitioners continue to seek ways to help more students graduate from high school ready to successfully transition into and complete postsecondary education prepared for careers. Acceleration mechanisms, such as Dual Enrollment and Early College High Schools, are one strategy that can address these challenges simultaneously and that are demonstrating positive impacts on youth, particularly at-risk student populations. This forum will provide information on different types of Dual Enrollment programs, what the research says about their effectiveness, and showcase a unique public-private sector Early College High School model, supported by DeVry University, that allows students to earn a high school diploma and an associate’s degree in four years in a field that leads directly into a career and employment. Presenters will also discuss the necessary policy supports at the state and local level to create programs that operate at the intersection of K-12 and higher education. Presenters will include Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, State of Georgia; Irene Munn, Policy Director, Office of Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle; Melinda Mechur Karp, Senior Research Associate, Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University; and Scarlett Howery, President, Columbus Metro, DeVry University. This forum will be held in Washington, DC.  Location TBD. To register please click here

Webinar – Dual Enrollment: Latest Research and Policy Development, Tuesday, June 12, 2012, 1:00-2:00p.m.

A Conversation with National Experts co-sponsored with the National Center on Postsecondary Research (NCPR)

Join AYPF and NCPR for an online conversation on the latest research and policy development on dual enrollment featuring Katherine Hughes, Community College Research Center and National Center for Postsecondary Research, Jennifer Dounay Zinth, Education Commission of the States, and Joel Vargas, Jobs for the Future. Presenters will discuss the growing body of research on dual enrollment, examine recent policy trends, and answer questions from the audience.


Please visit our YouTube channel at for video clips of events, interviews and more!


Forum Brief – Building a Comprehensive System to Support All Students Getting to High School Graduation and Beyond

A brief is now available that summarizes AYPF’s April 27th forum focused on providing multiple pathways to high school graduation that prepare all youth for postsecondary education and careers. The event addressed how federal, state, and local policies can support efforts to prepare all learners for success. The forum highlighted New York City’s portfolio of options for students off-track to graduation as well as statewide efforts in Massachusetts to support young people graduating high school ready for college and careers. Presenters were: Kathryn Young, Director of National Education Policy, Jobs for the Future; Marissa Cole, Deputy Chief of Staff, Massachusetts Executive Office of Education; and Vanda Belusic-Vollor, Executive Director, New York City Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Readiness.


Webinar Recording – Creating State Accountability Systems That Measure College and Career Readiness for All Students

A recording is now available from our April 25th webinar focused on how states’ education accountability systems can be refined to more accurately measure progress toward high school graduation and college and career readiness for all students, including those pursuing alternative pathways to graduation. We featured Colorado’s performance framework that holds schools and districts accountable for factors such as academic growth and postsecondary and workforce readiness. Colorado has also implemented an accountability system for its Alternative Education Campuses that holds students to the same high standards as in the traditional system, but also gives schools credit for student engagement and other factors important to moving non-traditional students to graduation. Recommendations for all states were also discussed. Presenters included Ryan Reyna, Program Director, National Governors Association Center for Best Practices; Somoh Supharukchinda, Principal Consultant, Accountability and Data Analysis Unit, Colorado Department of Education; and Kim Knous-Dolan, Associate Director, Donnell-Kay Foundation.



Check these out – recommended reading from the AYPF staff


CompetencyWorks: Learning from the Cutting Edge International Association for K-12 Online Learning, American Youth Policy Forum, Jobs for the Future, the National Governor’s Association, and MetisNet

CompetencyWorks, a new website highlighting innovations, promising practices, and solutions for tough issues that educators, administrators, and policymakers face when shifting from a time-based system towards competency-based education, launched today at Combining research, an active blog, an expanding wiki, and the voices of practitioners from across the country, CompetencyWorks is the online extension of a collaboration of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), the American Youth Policy Forum, Jobs for the Future, the National Governor’s Association, and MetisNet to support states, districts, and schools as they innovate beyond the traditionally time-based structure of the K-12 system. CompetencyWorks will showcase the best practices of bold policymakers and practitioners who have worked to explore and implement new ways to expand and enrich support to students, challenging the assumption that learning takes place within the classroom. Regardless of whether a student is more comfortable learning online, developing skills through an internship or in community service, requires a more personalized learning plan, or falls into the oft-neglected category of over-age, under-credited, competency-based approaches will allow them the flexibility to succeed where strictly defined, time-based policies have not. For more information about CompetencyWorks or to learn more about competency-based approaches to learning, please visit


The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies National Endowment for the Arts

This report examines arts-related variables from four large datasets — three maintained by the U.S. Department of Education and one by the U.S. Department of Labor — to understand the relationship between arts engagement and positive academic and social outcomes in children and young adults of low socioeconomic status (SES). Conducted by James Catterall, University of California Los Angeles, et al., the analyses show that achievement gaps between high- and low-SES groups appear to be mitigated for children and young adults who have arts-rich backgrounds.

Education Reform for the Digital Era Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Will the digital-learning movement repeat the mistakes of the charter-school movement? How much more successful might today’s charter universe look if yesterday’s proponents had focused on the policies and practices needed to ensure its quality, freedom, and resources over the long term? Can we be smarter about taking high-quality online and blended schools to scale—and to educational success? Yes, says this volume, as it addresses such thorny policy issues as quality control, staffing, funding, and governance for the digital sector. In this book, the authors show how current arrangements need to change—often radically—if instructional technology is to realize its potential.


Replenishing Opportunity in America: The 2012 Midterm Report of Public Higher Education Systems in the Access to Success Initiative The Education Trust

To protect our democratic traditions, regain economic strength, and meet the demands of our nation’s employers, we must improve outcomes for low-income students and students of color, according to The Education Trust. This midterm report on the Education Trust’s Access to Success Initiative, “Replenishing Opportunity in America,” shows how 22 state public higher education systems leaders are stepping up to this challenge.


Common Core Math Standards Implementation Can Lead to Improved Student Achievement Achieve, Chiefs for Change, and the Foundation for Excellence in Education

In this event co-sponsored by Achieve, Chiefs for Change, and the Foundation for Excellence in Education, Dr. William Schmidt presented a briefing on his work: Common Core State Standards Math: The Relationship Between High Standards, Systemic Implementation and Student Achievement. Schmidt’s research reviewed all 50 states’ previous math standards and compared them to the focus and coherence found in the CCSS for mathematics. Unlike previous research, Schmidt analyzed the link between states with standards that were similar to the CCSS and their NAEP math scores. He used cut scores aligned to NAEP as a proxy to determine if states were serious about high expectations and implementation of standards. The preliminary results showed states with standards in line with CCSS combined with higher cut scores also had higher NAEP scores.

How School Districts Can Stretch the School Dollar Thomas B. Fordham Institute

This policy brief provides a tool for navigating the financial challenges of the current school-funding climate, complete with clear dos and don’ts for anyone involved in or concerned with local education budgets. Author Michael J. Petrilli argues that quick fixes won’t solve the problem, nor will slashing teacher salaries. Instead, creative, thoughtful, and fundamental changes are needed to address our budget crisis without hurting children.



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 Foundation,

 Carnegie Corporation of New York , State Farm Insurance, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and others.

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