September 2013

September 2013




Capitol Hill Forum – State Perspectives in Expanded Learning: the Role of Statewide Afterschool Networks, Friday, September 27, 2013, 12:00-1:30 p.m.

With demand for afterschool and summer programs reaching new heights, educators and policymakers are recognizing the benefit of a coordinated approach to expanded learning opportunities in which program providers, schools, intermediaries, nonprofits, faith based groups and other stakeholders work together to provide high quality programming.  Over the last ten years, statewide afterschool networks (SANs) have played a critical role in promoting such coordination and demonstrating how expanded learning can complement and reinforce school day lessons. Prior to the formation of the networks, hundreds of organizations involved in this space were disconnected from each other and frequently not linked to schools or broader youth development efforts. Currently, these networks operate in 41 states (and are emerging in the other states) and provide a range of coordinated supports in the form of research, resources, professional development and technical assistance to state and local level stakeholders. SANs have developed valuable expertise in both policy and practice issues and are helping more kids succeed by working to ensure they have access to high-quality expanded learning opportunities.

This forum will provide an overview of how the SANs support the work of afterschool providers and how they work alongside multiple stakeholders, including state agencies, community-based intermediaries and program providers. Terry Peterson, Director, After School National Resource Network, and Chairman of the Board, Afterschool Alliance, will share an overview of the work of SANs and discuss their role in supporting effective statewide policy and practice decisions in afterschool. Laveta Wills-Hale, Director of the Arkansas Out of School Network, and Michelle Doucette Cunningham, Executive Director of the Connecticut After School Network, will share their perspectives on the qualities of a highly functioning afterschool network, the supports SANs provide, and how federal policy can support or hinder such work.


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Ready for Success Blog
The Ready for Success Blog, operated by College and Career Readiness and Success Center at the American Institutes of Research, provides practitioners and policymakers with many posts related to college and career readiness. Topics span the field of strategies which help prepare students for postsecondary education and beyond, including accelerated learning; dropout prevention and recovery; increased learning time; and federal, state, and local policy initiatives to name a few.

Recently AYPF has provided several contributions to the Ready for Success Blog, including several posts related topostsecondary remediation reform efforts to increase completion, as well as trends in the use of seat-time vs. competency-based education.

Webinar Recording – Transforming Remediation: Understanding the Research, Policy, and Practice

According to a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, approximately half of all undergraduates and 70 percent of community college students take at least one remedial course.  Unfortunately, many of these students never move beyond their placement in remediation. Only about a quarter of community college students who take a remedial course graduate within eight years according to a 2006 sample from NELS.  Thus in order to ensure more students successfully complete postsecondary education, there is a need to significantly transform remedial education.

This webinar presented some key principles for this transformation along with the growing research base of best practices.  In addition, the webinar highlighted promising institution-level practices. Presenters included Joe Harris, Ph.D., Managing Research Analyst, American Institutes for Research; Katie Hern, Ed.D., Chabot College and Director, California Acceleration Project;Michelle Hodara, Ph.D., Senior Researcher, Education Northwest; Cynthia D. Liston, Associate VP, Policy Research & Special Projects, NC Community College System Office; and Bruce Vandal, Ph.D., Vice President, Complete College America.

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Check these out – recommended reading from the AYPF staff

Are Personalized Learning Environments the Next Wave of K–12 Education Reform? American Institutes for Research

This issue paper examines 16 successful applications from the first round of Race to the Top District (RTT-D) awards. The analysis is structured around four main activities that emerged as central components of the 16 RTT-D grant applications: creating and implementing blended learning environments; developing and using individualized college and career readiness learning plans; implementing competency-based models to support and accelerate students’ progress through their learning plans; and engaging and empowering key stakeholder groups, including teachers, parents, and the broader community in the process of ensuring student success. The issue paper also identifies trends and lessons learned from these pioneering grantees’ efforts to implement and scale teaching and learning innovations.

Is Citywide Afterschool Coordination Going Nationwide? An Exploratory Study in Large Cities The Wallace Foundation and FHI 360

This study provides the results of a series of surveys conducted in 129 U.S. cities with populations of 100,000 or more. The results show that the majority of cities surveyed are coordinating afterschool programs to expand and improve services for young people. However, of surveyed cities implementing at least some coordination strategies, less than a quarter have adopted all three of the key strategies identified by experts: a data system, citywide quality-improvement standards and a “coordinating entity” to help the many players in the afterschool arena work together.

Solving the High School Graduation Crisis: Identifying and Using School Feeder Patterns In Your Community United Way Worldwide

The path to dropout starts early. So the earlier a struggling student is identified, ideally before they enter high school, the better the chances in shifting the odds for success in school, work and life. But that identification must be based on the right data. One effective starting point is identifying the middle and elementary schools that “feed” into the lowest-performing high schools. This guide is designed to help identify school feeder patterns and help communities begin the critical discussion on using that data to boost graduation rates.

What We Know About Nonacademic Student Supports Community College Research Center

This practitioner packet summarizes CCRC and other research on nonacademic student supports, defined as activities and programs that are designed to encourage academic success but that do not deal directly with academic content. Part one, What We Know About Nonacademic Student Supports, describes the mechanisms by which student supports improve student outcomes, reviews research on popular nonacademic student support programs, and lays out an approach to improving student supports termed SSIP: Sustained, Strategic, Intrusive and Integrated, and Personalized.

Getting to Work on Summer Learning: Recommended Practices for Success RAND Corporation

During summer breaks, most students forget some of what they learned during the school year. Losses are cumulative and greater for low-income students. This report is the second in a series providing the most comprehensive research on summer learning to date and is part of a five-year demonstration project funded by The Wallace Foundation to examine whether and how summer learning programs can stop summer learning loss and create achievement gains. The report makes recommendations for creating and operating effective programs, including: start planning early, with the decision to hold the summer program agreed on by January; run the program for five to six weeks, and devote three to four hours daily to academics; and develop a rigorous hiring procedure to ensure the selection of motivated teachers.

Sustained Progress: New Findings About the Effectiveness and Operation of Small Public High Schools of Choice in New York City MDRC

New data from a rigorous study confirm that New York City’s small public high schools, which have nonselective admissions and serve many disadvantaged students, have substantially improved rates of graduation with Regents diplomas. This report also describes what principals and teachers at these schools believe accounts for their success, as reported in interviews and focus groups held at the schools with the strongest evidence of effectiveness.

Performance-Based Scholarships: What Have We Learned? MDRC

This report provides the interim results studying the Performance-Based Scholarship (PBS) Demonstration. This includes two years of follow-up for the sites that launched their programs in 2008 or 2009 (California, New Mexico, New York, and Ohio), and three years of follow-up for the first of the sites to complete study recruitment (Ohio). The results suggest that performance-based scholarships improve students’ academic performance and increase the number of credits they earn. In some sites, the scholarships also appear to reduce student debt. In the one location for which data are available so far, the program increased the proportion of students earning a degree.

Identifying Gaps and Opportunities in Financial Aid Services: Insights from a Survey of America’s Promise Alliance Partners America’s Promise Alliance

Though often overlooked in discussions about making college or postsecondary training affordable, many youth-serving organizations are currently providing some type of financial aid services. The survey includes the responses of 43 national organizations, all of whom are America’s Promise partners, providing services, programs or information to young people and/or parents, or to the adults who serve youth. The report offers a set of recommendations to these types of organizations in an effort to strengthen financial aid service delivery, since research suggests that students and parents continue to cite “lack of clear information” as their primary barrier for understanding the system.

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 FoundationWilliam T. Grant FoundationThe Wallace FoundationCharles Stewart Mott Foundationand others.

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