You wouldn't expect an organization of retired generals to publicly take on the issue of how well third graders read. But the group called Misson: Readiness has done just that, and all of us who carry out Ready by 21 strategies or simply care about youth should take heed.
The annual and valuable KIDS COUNT Data Book was released this week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and it got me thinking about a challenge that confronts those who are working to help the nation's youth.
As an African-American woman, I take a deep breath every time a mainstream organization issues a report focused on a specific population group. Why? Because the reports run the risk of inadvertently blaming the victim.
That's why I'm so excited about a new report from the College Board.
Actually, it's more than a report: It's a whole new set of resources that bring urgency and realism to the educational roadblocks faced by young men of color.
What do think of when you hear "youth engagement"?
I think of a critical strategy that has been successful in many places - but underused in many others.
I'm not one for big conferences. But in less than four weeks I've attended two national convenings aimed at accelerating movements to improve education and to better prepare our young people for healthy, productive lives. I left both events full of energy, hope - and a nagging question.