September 2016

September 2016


Capitol Hill Forum: Considerations for ESSA’s Non-Academic Indicator: Bridging Research, Practice, and Policy (Friday, September 23, 12-2PM ET)
co-sponsored with MDRC and David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality

(Please Note: We have reached the attendance limit for this forum, but please feel free to sign up for the event waitlist.  We will share an event summary in next month’s e-bulletin.)

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. This forum will explore 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 from leading researchers in these fields, our panel will explore the potential non-academic indicators that might be ready and appropriate for inclusion in state accountability systems. Panelists include Jean Grossman, Senior Fellow, K-12 Education Policy, MDRC; Stephanie Jones, Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Livia Lam, Senior Policy Advisor, Learning Policy Institute; David Osher, Vice President and Institute Fellow, AIR; and Charles Smith, Executive Director, Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality; and to be moderated by Caitlin Emma, Education Reporter, Politico.

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. Our panelists 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 moderated by Carinne Deeds, Policy Associate, AYPF.


Policy Research Assistant

AYPF seeks to hire a Policy Research Assistant to assist in the development of various AYPF learning events and products, including forums, webinars, study tours, and publications. The Policy Research Assistant will work on a range of education and youth policy issues depending on current grant projects, including topics such as middle grades and secondary school reform, postsecondary education access and success, dropout prevention and recovery, youth employment and workforce development, afterschool programs and expanded learning opportunities, youth development, student-centered learning, and competency-based education.

The Policy Research Assistant will assist professional staff in the development of events and documents by conducting research on effective national, state, and local programs and policies; providing background on speakers and key education policy leaders; identifying, reviewing, and summarizing relevant research reports and evaluations; and attending meetings and briefings and summarizing the information for staff. The Policy Research Assistant will write summaries of research and contribute to the development of various written materials, such as event materials and issue briefs. The Policy Research Assistant will also assist in the development and implementation of events, working in coordination with professional and logistical staff. The position requires limited travel. The Policy Research Assistant will be under the daily supervision of senior staff.

For More Details and To Apply, Please Visit our Employment Page.

Database and Website Administrator (Part-time Position)

AYPF is seeking to hire a part-time Database and Website Administrator to work within our Operations Team to handle database and website upkeep.

Database Responsibilities

We are looking for an individual who is familiar with database management software, customer relationship management (CRM) programs, e-mail management with list segmentation, and who can determine ways to store, organize, analyze, use, and present data. The Database and Website Administrator will be responsible for the continual updating of the database of individuals who attend AYPF events and purchase our publications, creating lists of individuals for invitations, events, reports, and other activities, and emailing invitations, event confirmations, e-bulletins, and other documents to various lists. This position will ensure the performance of the system, understand the platform on which the database runs, add new users to the system, and proactively ensure that all data is accurate. As our database is web-based, the Database and Website Administrator, in cooperation with other staff, will also plan and coordinate security measures.

Website Responsibilities
In close coordination with AYPF’s Digital Communications Associate, the Database and Website Administrator will organize and update website content to ensure timely, accurate postings of AYPF events, materials, and publications and make general improvements to the functionality of the website. Tasks include page creation, page updates for homepage sliders and other sections of the website, posting event information and supporting documents on the website, making appropriate links, and providing quality control to ensure web pages and links are accurate, active, current, and consistent in appearance. The Database and Website Administrator will edit and proofread content for style, accuracy, grammar, punctuation, spelling, and search engine friendliness and enter content and associated metadata tags.

Overall Skills and Qualifications:

We are looking for an individual with strong problem-solving, analytical, and communication skills. Because the Database and Website Administrator will deal with a number of tasks simultaneously, the ability to concentrate and pay close attention to detail is critical. The Database and Website Administrator will often work independently, but will participate in teams on the development and implementation of our events, and therefore must be able to communicate effectively with other staff who may have limited knowledge of backend systems supporting our database and website.

For More Details and To Apply, Please Visit our Employment Page.


Webinar Recording – Competency-Based Education as a Strategy to Promote College and Career Readiness for All

This webinar shared recent CCRS Center products and tools around competency-based education including State Approaches to Competency-Based Education to Support College and Career Readiness for All StudentsState Policies to Support Competency-Based Education for Overage, Under-Credited Students, and a forthcoming Facilitator’s Guide on Designing Competency-Based Articulation Agreements. To complement the discussion of the resources, participants heard from an innovative partnership at a competency-based high school serving overage, under-credited student where they can earn competency-based dually enrollment credit with a postsecondary partner.

Publication – What Can States Learn About College and Career Readiness Accountability Measures from Alternative Education?

This Ask the CCRS Center brief, cross-published with AYPF, provides states with concrete examples of accountability measures used in alternative education settings in three major categories: (1) readiness to receive education, (2) demonstration of learning, and (3) readiness for college and career.  Additionally, this brief provides considerations for states interested in adopting flexible measures that ensure all schools meet the needs of students.

Please visit our YouTube channel at for video clips of events, interviews and more.


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 Carinne Deeds highlights the ways that first-generation students can find their niche in community college.

·       There’s been an increase in federal attention to school diversity. Policy Associate Jenna Tomasello walks us through the latest developments.

·       Executive Director Betsy Brand: We’ve known how to effectively support youth for 20 years, the time for action is now.

·       Confused about Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)? Policy Associate Carinne Deeds provides points of entry to find your way around the sometimes-confusing world of SEL.

·       Young people are skeptical about institutions and the political process, but that doesn’t mean they’re politically disengaged. Digital Communications Associate George Knowles explains how young people are issue-driven and engaging locally.

Click here to view all AYPF publications

Click here to find all briefs and reports


Check these out – recommended reading from the AYPF staff:

The Wallace Foundation Learning from Summer: Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Urban Youth This study follows these students from third to seventh grade. The primary focus is on academic outcomes, but researchers also examine students’ social-emotional outcomes, behavior, and attendance. Through extensive data collected about the summer programs, the researchers plan to examine how implementation is related to program effects and to develop operational guidance for summer program leaders.

CitiesSpeak How Data is Transforming Education in Nashville

This article highlights a partnership between Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) and the city-funded afterschool program for middle school youth. The Nashville After Zone Alliance (NAZA), has significantly improved students’ reading ability in just three months using data, communication between stakeholders about student needs, and attention to individual students. 

Afterschool Alliance Afterschool in Communities of Concentrated Poverty

This report document the role that afterschool programs play in supporting families living in high-poverty areas by answering questions about what afterschool program participation looks like, what the demand for afterschool programs is, what is preventing parents from taking advantage of afterschool programs, and what the afterschool program experience is like for families in communities of concentrated poverty.

 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.