October 2011

October 2011


Forum – The Impact of Higher Achievement’s Year-Round Out-of-School-Time Program on Academic Outcomes – October 14, 2011 »

Providing youth from historically disadvantaged backgrounds with the resources they need to succeed is challenging.  One of the particularly daunting transition points is from elementary to middle school, where even strong students might fall behind.  Educators and policymakers are increasingly paying attention to out-of-school time programs as a way of providing academic supports to help close achievement gaps.  Higher Achievement, a Washington, DC-based program, is one of these programs, which not only targets youth as they transition to middle school, but also serves them throughout the middle school years.  The program integrates school, afterschool, and summer learning opportunities, and explicitly helps students apply to competitive high schools.  Students in fifth through eighth grades engage in daily sessions that include homework help, dinner, an arts or recreation elective, a “community gathering,” and 75 minutes of small-group academic instruction using a structured curriculum.  In addition, students participate in monthly field trips, career shadowing days, community service projects, and college visits.

Higher Achievement recently conducted a 24-month evaluation (the whole study will last 48 months) with positive findings. The report to be highlighted at this forum summarizes the encouraging interim results, including improved standardized test scores and increased participation in academic programs. Panelists will provide an overview of Higher Achievement, examine the research findings, showcase one of the program sites, and address implications for policy and practice.  Forum presenters will include Richard Tagle, Executive Director, Higher Achievement (DC); Leigh Linden, Professor in the Department of Economics, University of Texas at Austin (TX); and Lynsey Wood Jeffries, Executive Director, Higher Achievement DC Metro (DC). More information will soon be available on our website.

Forum – Career Pathways to Employment:  Aligning Career and Technical Education to Labor Market Projections – November 14, 2011 »

In 2010, the Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW), Georgetown University published a report called Help Wanted: Projecting Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018.  That report indicated that that there will be a growing disconnect between the types of jobs employers need to fill and the numbers of Americans who have the education and training to fill those jobs. The Help Wanted report indicated that employers will need 22 million new workers with postsecondary degrees or certificates and that without dramatic changes in education and training, we will fall short by three million workers.   Following up on the Help Wanted report, researchers at CEW, the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE), and the National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEC) have collaborated on a new report titled Career Clusters: Forecasting for High School through College Jobs 2008-2018. The report uses the labor market needs and employment demand from the original Help Wanted report but presents data on job opportunities and skill requirements by different career pathways. The main thrust of the new report is to focus and discuss the implications for career and technical education.

Forum presenters will include: Anthony Carnevale, author of Help Wanted and Director of the Center on Education and the Workforce, Georgetown University (DC), who will discuss the implications of labor market needs for career pathways, particularly those that will experience the greatest shortfalls; Katharine Oliver, Assistant State Superintendent, Division of Career and College Readiness, Maryland State Department of Education (MD), who will share initiatives in Maryland to ensure a well prepared supply of skilled workers to meet labor market demands in certain career pathways; and Bryan Albrecht, President of Gateway Technical College, Milwaukee (WI), who will discuss their strategies for meeting labor market demands.


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

Webinar – How Rural High Schools are Preparing Students for College and Careers through Dual Enrollment and Career and Technical Education »

This webinar described how rural schools are preparing students with the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in college and in jobs by creating learning opportunities through dual enrollment and career and technical education.  Highlights included the challenges and successes of two small, rural high schools that are improving college and career readiness for all students by collaborating with partners such as community colleges and local businesses. Also addressed was how the U.S. Department of Education is supporting the college and career readiness efforts of rural schools.

Speakers included Larry McClenny, Superintendent, Patton Springs ISD, Afton, TX; Kristina Baca, Superintendent, Loving Municipal Schools, Loving, NM; and John White, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Rural Outreach, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC.


AYPF is now accepting applications for Fall 2011 internships. Learn More »


Check these out – recommended reading from the AYPF staff

2011 KIDS COUNT Data Book, Annie E. Casey Foundation

Each year, the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Data Book provides information and data trends on the conditions of children and families in the United States. This year’s Data Book explores how children and families are faring in the wake of the recession and why it matters to help kids reach their full potential and become part of a robust economy and society. The overall improvements in child well-being that began in the late 1990s stalled in the years just before the current economic downturn. Five areas have improved: the infant mortality rate, child death rate, teen death rate, and teen birth rate; and the percent of teens not in school and not high school graduates. Three areas have worsened: the percent of babies born low-birthweight, the child poverty rate, and the percent of children living in single-parent families.

State Capacity for School Improvement: A First Look at Agency Resources Center on Reinventing Public Education, University of Washington

Despite diminishing resources caused by a slow economy and cuts in funding, adding flexibility to how federal dollars are used by states could free up monies to assist districts working to elevate school performance. This is the conclusion drawn by researchers who examined eight state education agencies (SEAs) to determine how they could respond to federal pressures for states to play a larger role in school turnarounds. Concluding that federal strictures dictate how monies are used for SEA staffing for certain programs. With increased flexibility, SEAs likely could provide additional support for typically underfunded school improvement initiatives.

Upcoming AYPF Events

AYPF Publications and Resources

AYPF Fall Internship Opportunities

Recommended Reading and Resources

About AYPF