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Ready News: December 18, 2014

Ready News
December 18, 2014
 

Stories & Ideas: Top Picks from 2014

 

READYNEWS

News & resources from the Forum and the field about collaborative work to get young people ready by 21.
In This Issue: Stories | Resources | Viewpoints | Events

Stories & Ideas: Top Picks from 2014

Dear Friends and Partners:

As the end of the year approaches, we'd like to take a moment to recall some of the key stories, resources and ideas from 2014. By looking back, we can move forward together toward our goal of improving the odds for children and youth.

Warmly,

The Staff of the Forum for Youth Investment

Sharing Data is a Calculated Move

When it comes to cooperation between schools and afterschool programs in Nashville, what was once unthinkable has become routine. 

Throughout the year, public schools and out-of-school time (OST) providers share data about nearly 1,500 of the city's neediest youth, including grades, formative assessment performance data and participation in afterschool programs. And twice a year, dozens of school and OST staffers meet to talk about the data and how to use it to align services with student needs. This story explains the process.

Business Contributions to Schools Add Up

For years, businesses in Northern Kentucky have contributed uncounted hours to help local schools - making employees available during work hours to tutor students, raising funds to rebuild playgrounds and providing internships to promote career readiness. But no one measured or coordinated all that work. 

A new data collection tool developed by the Forum for Youth Investment has given Northern Kentucky its first glimpse of the total value of business contributions to local schools. Read this short story about the tool.

Resources resources

Data to Measure Youth Program Outcomes

Everyone who runs a youth program believes that it helps kids - but they need data to prove it. This updated guide from the Forum for Youth Investment - From Soft Skills to Hard Data: Measuring Youth Program Outcomes - will help them get it. 

The updated guide reviews 10 youth outcome measurement tools that are appropriate for use in afterschool and other settings. For each tool, it provides sample items and crucial information about usability, cost, and evidence of reliability and validity.

Stories About Collective Impact

The fall issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review includes a special supplement, Collective Insights on Collective Impact, featuring nine articles from leading practitioners, funders and thought leaders. Curated and funded by the Collective Impact Forum, the supplement focuses on such issues as evaluation, opportunity youth and the role of grantmakers. 

The Forum for Youth Investment is proud to have contributed two articles:

Collective Impact for Policymakers

Government policies must change in order to help partnerships improve the lives of young people through the power of collective impact. 

That's the message of a new report from the Forum for Youth Investment, Collective Impact for Policymakers: Working Together for Children and Youththat examines how federal, state and local policies impede collaboration in the child and youth field - and how they can enhance collaboration instead.

Viewpoints Viewpoints

Engaged Child, Disconnected Man

"I've been distracted by the most devastating news I've heard about a young person I've known personally in my 20 years in the field," writes the Forum's Alicia Wilson-Ahlstrom in her blog. How is it possible that a boy she calls "L," a boy once well-connected and on track to success, is about to stand trial for murder? 

Alicia's reflections about how youth can disconnect challenges us "to think more deeply about not merely the importance of good programs, but why deeply connected systems - those that might shore up the leaks in the pipeline of supports for youth - are critically important."

Collaboration Conundrum: Why Youth Service Leaders Embrace and Fear Collective Impact Efforts  

Community leaders and organizations want to collaborate -  so why is the work so difficult and how do we do it well? This was the overarching theme in a conversation among leaders in Milwaukee who are coming together to improve the quality and coordination of youth programs in their city. 

In this blog, Forum CEO Karen Pittman reflects on this "lunch and learn" gathering and how communities can rise up to meet the challenges of collaboration.

Needed: More Better Learning Time

What image comes to mind if you're asked you to imagine students learning? Young people in small groups focusing on projects they designed? Or kids slouching at their desks in class, looking bored?  

Sadly, the second image is more common. In her blog on the Huffington Post, Forum CEO Karen Pittman, makes the case for not just more learning time, but for more high-quality learning time, in school and out.

Learning to Succeed from Others' Failures

A competency-based school for youth who had dropped out from the traditional school system. A school with passionate staff, community support, private money and good resources. Yet within a few years, the school closed. Why? 

In this blog , Forum Senior Fellow Stephanie Krauss shares the four primary reasons that the school that she started ultimately closed. Krauss saw the difficult transition to competency-based education and believes, "We must continue learning from one another and daring to fail greatly." 

Events Events

A High-Level Talk About Readiness

What does it take to get young people ready for life? 

It's not often that you get to listen in as three high-level thinkers in the youth field gather around a table to tackle such a question. Hundreds listened in as John Gomperts, president and CEO of America's Promise Alliance; Karen Pittman, CEO and co-founder of the Forum for Youth Investment; and Sean Slade, director of Whole Child Programs at ASCD, sat down together at the Forum's Washington, D.C., headquarters to ponder that question and its spinoffs: How do we define readiness? Who's responsible for instilling it? Read the blog summary of the event or listen to the full discussion.

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