October 2016

October 2016


Webinar – Bringing Social and Emotional Learning to the Forefront: What Happens When Districts Prioritize SEL? (Wednesday, November 30, 2016, 3:00 – 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. Presenters will include Jennifer Brown Lerner, Deputy Director, AYPF; Trish Shaffer, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Coordinator, Washoe County (Nevada) School District; Melissa Schlinger, Vice President of Programs and Practice, CASEL; Nick Yoder, Senior Consultant and Researcher, AIR; and the event will be moderated by Carinne Deeds, Policy Associate, AYPF. 


Forum Brief – Considerations for ESSA’s Non-Academic Indicator: Bridging Research, Practice, and Policy

With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and its requirement to include a fifth, non-academic measure in state accountability systems, states have an unprecedented opportunity to consider the various elements that contribute to student success. As we consider potential non-academic indicators, policymakers and thought leaders should draw upon the research around positive youth development which states that positive experiences, relationships, and environments contribute to many desired youth outcomes. Through conversation with leading researchers from these fields, this forum explored what we know about developing these experiences both inside and outside of school through social and emotional learning practices, youth engagement, and school climate. Following presentations, the panel explored the potential non-academic indicators that might be ready and appropriate for inclusion in state accountability systems. To access the brief, please visit the event resource page.

Discussion Group Brief – Building Pathways to Postsecondary Success for Vulnerable Populations

For youth aging out of foster care and/or involved in the juvenile justice systems, it is critical that we create accessible and supportive pathways to postsecondary success. Youth involved in the juvenile justice system face many barriers that impede their access to education upon reentry. In fact, 66 percent do not return to school after being released from secure custody. Upon aging out of care, often the biggest obstacle youth face is finding a way to support themselves. Nearly 47 percent of youth who have aged out of foster care are not currently employed. Accessing opportunities both in education and the workforce is necessary for these young people to ensure they are equipped with credentials, skills, and abilities to be successful. Through sharing the latest research and promising practices, including education and workforce development strategies for serving these vulnerable populations, AYPF facilitated a conversation about the role of policy to grow, scale, and sustain these strategies. To access the brief, please visit the event resource page.

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 examines teacher shortages. Is there more to the issue than simple attrition?

·       How can we make evidence great again? Policy Associate Carinne Deeds explores the ways that evidence can be used to inform decision-making.

·       One of the most effective sources of support for first-generation college students are their peers. Digital Communications Associate George Knowles explains why.

·       Competency-Based Education (CBE) is a promising strategy for preparing youth for college and career, but with any new learning model, there are considerations to keep in mind. Jenna Tomasello highlights five challenges that face CBE.

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Check these out – recommended reading from the AYPF staff:

College and Career Readiness Center (CCRS Center) Webinar- How ESSA Can Help States Improve College and Career Readiness (Monday, October 31, 2016, 1:00–2:15pm ET)

ESSA provides states an opportunity to better integrate their college and career readiness priorities, including employability skills and multiple pathways to postsecondary success, into their accountability systems. During this webinar, participants will learn and discuss strategies for including more meaningful, actionable, and college and career ready focused measures as the “additional indicator of school quality or student success” in their accountability systems. The discussion will highlight relevant state practices, measurement issues, research, and other measure-level considerations. Presenters include Susan Bowles Therriault, Director, College and Career Readiness and Success Center; Nicholas Yoder, Senior Consultant, Center on Great Teachers and Leaders; and Ryan Reyna, Senior Associate, Education Strategy Group. Register here.

Chiefs for Change ESSA Indicators of School Quality and Student Success

Under ESSA, states have significant flexibility in determining the indicators they will use to evaluate schools and determining appropriate supports and interventions. Many school already have measures and systems around school quality, and this policy paper analyzes the available research on existing measures to better inform schools when creating their own school performance metrics.

iNACOL Reaching the Tipping Point: Insights on Advancing Competency Education in New England

This paper explores the core concepts of competency education, the limitations of the traditional system, and how competency education is designed explicitly for equity and student success. Author Chris Sturgis then dives into why and how the New England region embraces competency education. She provides insights into policy strategies being used across states and analyzes the impact of competency education on quality, equity, scaling and sustainability.

Buck Institute for Education (BIE)/PBL Blog PBL: We’re Not Flying by the Seat of Our Pants Anymore!

When it came to Project-based Learning (PBL), many educators and school leaders used to be in the dark and not sure where to start. However, we’ve come a long way since then, and innovative PBL programs are becoming more and more widespread. AYPF’s Senior Director Loretta Goodwin’s guest blog highlights examples of innovative schools and programs who are doing PBL right.

Advance CTE Connecting the Classroom to Careers: Measuring Work-based Learning for Continuous Improvement

The brief from Advance CTE is the latest installment in the “Connecting the Classroom to Careers” series, which examines the state’s role in expanding work-based learning opportunities for K-12 students. This issue highlights examples from West Virginia, Tennessee and Massachusetts that demonstrate either a systems-level or student-level approach to measuring work-based learning activities.

Transforming Education Expanding the Definition of Student Success: A Case Study of the CORE Districts

In this case study, TransformEd describes how California’s CORE Districts created a data system that sees students as whole people, not just test scores. The case study provides an in-depth discussion of how social-emotional competencies—a key component of the CORE Districts—were prioritized and assessed. It concludes with lessons learned about the CORE Districts’ innovative system that can inform other next-generation assessment and continuous improvement efforts, including those catalyzed by ESSA.

Wallace Foundation Learning from Summer: Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Urban Youth

This study offers guidance to practitioners on how to increase the benefits of summer learning programs, and three of these lessons highlight the importance of maximizing the amount of instruction students receive over the summer.























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, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and others.