Trends from the Field: Lessons Learned about Alternative Education

The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) has worked closely with stakeholders at the national, state, local, and institutional level to develop a deeper understanding of what alternative education settings do well, areas for improvement, opportunities for innovation, and issues requiring further inquiry. Collaboration with these stakeholders, as well as additional research, has provided immense insight into the issues faced in developing accountability systems for these settings. This brief summarizes the lessons AYPF has learned from work with key stakeholders, including:

1) One Size Doesn’t Fit All
2) Opportunities Exist for Innovative Academic and Career Preparation and Credentials
3) It Is Possible to Balance Rigor and Flexibility
4) Accountability Exists at Multiple Levels
5) Nuances Matter
6) More Research on Accountability for Alternative Education is Needed
7) Lessons from Alternative Education Can be Applied to All Settings

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