November 2016

November 2016


Webinar – Bringing Social and Emotional Learning to the Forefront: What Happens When Districts Prioritize SEL? (Wednesday, November 30, 3-4:15PM ET)

It is hard to ignore the buzz around social and emotional learning (SEL) and the research findings documenting the value of SEL programs for student behavior and academic gains. However, what does SEL look like in practice? Specifically, what can district and school leaders do to promote SEL? With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states and districts can consider measures of SEL within their accountability systems. However, measurement of SEL alone is not sufficient to support student development. Leaders can do more to embed SEL within current district and school priorities. In this 75-minute webinar, cohosted by American Institutes for Research (AIR), American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), and the Washoe County School District, we will hear from a panel of researchers and practitioners on ways in which districts and school leaders have implemented a coordinated and purposeful SEL effort.

Webinar – Leveraging Youth Voice to Support Pathways for Vulnerable Youth (Wednesday, December 7, 3:30-4:45PM ET)

Young people are often their own best advocates and their voices can be leveraged to promote pathways to long-term success. Youth advocacy and civic engagement is especially powerful for vulnerable populations, such as youth who are homeless, in foster care, or justice-involved, who can draw upon their own experiences to impact change. This kind of youth organizing can lead to positive policy and practice changes “by youth, for youth” and helps young people develop important knowledge, skills, abilities, and dispositions for success in adulthood. This webinar will feature the voices of young people and highlight programs that are effectively leveraging youth voice and advocacy to promote policy change and support youth development, putting youth on pathways to success in education, work, and civic life.


AYPF interns are an integral part of the team, and engage in a variety of activities, including researching and analyzing data, writing fact sheets and summaries, and planning and helping to run forums and briefings on Capitol Hill.

The application process is rolling. For more details, please visit our Employment Page.


Webinar Recording – Accountability for Alternative Education: Lessons Learned from States and Districts

Last year, the nation’s high school graduation rate reached a record high of 82.3 percent. Despite this progress, however, data show that there is still work to be done to ensure that students with the highest risk of dropping out have access to high-quality alternative educational opportunities that adequately prepare them for college, careers, and life. As states and districts across the country aim to create a robust set of educational options including alternative settings, they must be able to effectively collect and use the most relevant and reliable data to develop accountability systems. These systems should be responsive to the needs of students educated in alternative settings. In this webinar, presenters explored the challenges and opportunities of accountability for alternative education, along with promising practices from states and districts who have developed accountability measures and systems that are inclusive of all students in all types of educational settings.

Discussion Group Resources – Use of Research Evidence Under ESSA


As state education agencies (SEAs) begin to think about the implications of this new law, it is imperative that all parties fully understand the requirements and opportunities under ESSA, as well as the barriers and challenges that may be encountered in carrying out these new requirements. Additionally, various other stakeholders can help ensure that states are well-equipped and supported to take full advantage of this opportunity. This meeting convened national organizations, research institutions, assistance providers, funders investing in research capacity, and representatives from SEAs to converse, build relationships, and identify concrete, actionable steps moving forward under ESSA. This resource also includes a guide from the Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University for state education agencies to conduct self-directed studies to find opportunities for school interventions and improvement.

Forum For Thought Blog The Forum for Thought blog is operated by the American Youth Policy Forum, and highlights diverse points of view and information from the intersection of policy, practice and research.


·       Policy Associate Jenna Tomasello highlights five challenges facing the competency-based education (CBE) movement.

·       Deep, meaningful student learning often takes place behind the scenes. Senior Director Loretta Goodwin explains.

·       Just in time for Halloween, what are the “tricks” and the “treats” of competency-based learning under ESSA?

·       How can youth best leverage their voices to affect education policy change? Find out what some states are doing to ensure youth voices are part of the conversation.

·       The 2016 election is over, and now it’s time to find common ground. Policy Associate Carinne Deeds highlights shared education goals for 2017 and beyond.

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Check these out – recommended reading from the AYPF staff:

Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University An SEA Guide for Identifying Evidence-Based Interventions for School Improvement 

This guide is designed to help state education agencies (SEAs) conduct self-studies to identify interventions that are most relevant and appropriate based on need, with the strongest evidence-base possible, for potential implementation in schools needing improvement. In addition, the SEA Quick-Start Guide for Identifying Evidence-Based Interventions for School Improvement provides an abbreviated version of the full guide to give state agencies the opportunity to begin the process right away.

Advance CTE In Their Words: Why Business Leaders Support CTE, Career Pathways and Career Academies

This brief offers a look at the work of employers who are deeply involved in Career/Technical Education (CTE) efforts. Nashville, TN and Pinellas County, FL were highlighted as part of a roundtable discussion, and were selected because of their commitment to career/tech education. The report also includes successful strategies and recommendations for other communities as they consider their own employer engagement and recruitment strategies.

iNACOL Meeting The Every Student Succeeds Act’s Promise: State Policy to Support Personalized Learning

This report provides recommendations for state policymakers to support local and statewide efforts to transform student learning in K-12 education through personalized, competency-based learning. Taken as a whole, the recommendations in this report present a comprehensive state policy approach to support student-centered learning. 

The Annie E. Casey Foundation The Future of Youth Justice

This report delivers a clear and compelling call to close these youth prisons. It also introduces readers to an alternate model — rooted in a continuum of community-based programs — that aims to set all children on a pathway to success.

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: Andrus Family Fund, Bill & Melinda Gates FoundationWilliam T. Grant Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and others.