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.
Every now and then, you run across an individual or organization that not only understands what you are trying to do, but articulates your theory and validates your actions with elegance and simplicity. Everyone involved with Ready by 21 just received that gift, through the powerful words of John Kania and Mark Kramer, managing directors of Boston-based FSG (Foundation Strategy Group).