Federal Guidelines Will Affect Expanded Learning Time
How will new federal guidelines affect expanded learning efforts and afterschool programs? Experts tackled that question in a recent webinar about Waiver 11 - a special flexibility option that was included in the U.S. Department of Education's new set of waivers for the No Child Left Behind law. The waiver gives educators more spending flexibility in exchange for clear and rigorous plans to improve educational outcomes. Some leaders wonder if quality afterschool programming will be sacrificed in the name of a slightly longer school day.
More than 200 participants - including youth service providers, advocates, and state, local and federal policy staffers - joined the webinar to get a better understanding of what the waiver means for their work. Superintendent Mary Ronan of Cincinnati Public Schools shared the story of Fifth Quarter, a successful out-of-school time program. Journalist Michele McNeil of Education Week detailed the waiver's potential pitfalls. Nicole Yohalem of the Forum for Youth Investment provided examples of quality programs that expand learning time. Bottom line: No matter what waiver option states choose, quality must be at the forefront.
Will Expanded Learning Time = Better Outcomes? was hosted by the Forum for Youth Investment in partnership with the American Association of School Administrators and United Way Worldwide. You can watch it now and access all related materials.
America's Promise Report: Jobless Youth want Opportunities
The report, Opportunity Road, shows that 73 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds who are not enrolled in school, are not employed and do not have a college degree are confident and hopeful that they will be able to achieve their goals in life. The survey sought to better understand how these youth became detached from school and work, and the challenges they face in trying to reconnect to society. The report discusses the benefits to the nation of re-engaging these young people and how to get them back on track.
The findings were unveiled as part of a White House summit where panelists made the case for summer jobs to connect low-income and disconnected youth to employment opportunities.
See more details about the summit below.
The Forum for Youth Investment, Jobs for the Future, and YouthBuild USA were part of the report's practitioner advisory committee.
Helping Young Americans Find Jobs
As young people across the country face record unemployment, President Obama last week announced a new initiative, Summer Jobs+, to provide pathways for youth employment. The initiative brings together businesses, nonprofits and government agencies to create 250,000 employment opportunities by the start of this summer.
The initiative was announced at the White House Summer Jobs Plus Summit. Corporate Voices for Working Families and America's Promise Alliance, which are Ready by 21 National Partners, participated in a panel discussion exploring the moral imperative, economic need and potential value of connecting low-income youth to employment opportunities.
Readers can see write-ups about the initiative and the summit by Corporative Voices and by the White House. America's Promise released a report at the summit; read about that above.
Seeking America's Best Intergenerational Communities
The deadline is Jan. 31. For more information, contact Leah Bradley at Generations United.