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Ready News: May 18, 2012

Ready News
May 18, 2012

State Coordinating Bodies and Higher Ed, Aligning Policies for More Impact


Higher Ed's Key Role in State Coordinating Bodies
As more and more states use coordinating bodies to align their child and youth policies, one growing question is: How does higher education fit in? The latest installment of the Ready by 21 State Policy Survey provides the answer.

The report, Higher Education Involvement with Child and Youth Coordinating Bodies, assesses how higher education stakeholders in six states contribute to the operation and success of state coordinating bodies, and identifies challenges and strategies for effectively engaging higher education stakeholders. An estimated 34 states are working to improve child and youth outcomes through the use of children's cabinets, commissions or councils.

Related Reading: The first comprehensive survey of state child and youth policy coordinating bodies reports on the breadth of their partnerships and goals, how well they use data, and their effectiveness in using innovative strategies.

Ready by 21 Webinar
Aligning Policies, Increasing Impact

May 29, 2012, 3 p.m. ET 

Do you ever feel like well-intentioned people around you are working hard but it looks like the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing? Sometimes, the left hand even holds the right hand down. That's because policies, practices and funding streams that have been instituted over many years by many different people aren't aligned - and young people suffer. This webinar highlights concrete examples of successful policy alignment and specific policy language at the local, state and federal levels. Learn how you can improve policies and align resources to maximize their positive impact on youth.


Featured Speakers: Thaddeus Ferber, Vice President for Policy, the Forum for Youth Investment; Michael Gamel-McCormick, Education and Disability Policy Advisor; Chairman Tom Harkin, Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions


Register for this webinar >>    

Creating "Good" Schools: Observation and Discussion Tool   


This tool was created in order to help young people and adults develop a common language for talking about how to improve schools. The tool provides educators, young people, administrators, policymakers, parents, community members and other stakeholders with a common lens for reflecting on their schools and for planning change. It can also be useful in assessing the range of reform models and change strategies underway in a district or school at any given time.   



How to Strengthen Public Education
How can the federal government improve public education? In this 10-point list, Dan Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators, calls for funding to address non-school barriers to student achievement, giving localities flexibility in how to achieve goals and providing funds based on poverty data.

Filling the GAP for Young Workers
Corporate Voices for Working Families has published a set of case studies that shows how career training for low-income young adults can pay off for businesses. One example: Gap Inc.'s This Way Ahead initiative, which provides low-income young people with opportunities for skill development and career exploration. Read the two-page case study. Corporate Voices is a Ready by 21 National Partner.

Related Reading: When Working Works: Employment & Postsecondary Success summarizes research about employment and postsecondary success, and features examples of employers and institutions that have found creative ways to both support student persistence and advance their bottom lines by creating "college-friendly" jobs. (Leader Network Registration Required)

Building Meaningful Business-School Partnerships
Leaders looking for constructive ways to get local businesses more involved in schools can learn from School Board Case Studies, a new report from the Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW) and the National Chamber Foundation. This 13-city case study highlights both rural and urban districts with diverse school boards and the extent to which the business community has played a role in school governance. Go here for a summary and a link to the report.

Related reading: In Common Goals, Unique Strengths: Education and Business Partnerships, the American Association of School Administrators and Corporate Voices for Working Families highlight the benefits of school-business partnerships, offer tips for engaging educators and business leaders and provide a case study illustrating partnerships in action. (Leader Network Registration Required)

Strengthening State Grants for College
A new Brookings Institution report says states can make the most of their investments in college affordability by integrating need- and merit-based approaches, and targeting aid dollars to students with the most limited resources. Brookings says states should also consolidate programs to make the system simpler for prospective students and their families. Read a summary and find links to state-by-state profiles of grant programs and needs.

The World's Most Powerful and Influential Young People
To see the best in youth engagement and activism, check out this new report from Youth Service America. It highlights 25 young people from the United States and around the world who are leading major conservation efforts, raising awareness about health crises, addressing childhood hunger, speaking out on LGBT issues, inventing cutting-edge technology, and more.

The Bridge From School to Afterschool and Back
The 10th annual Bridge conference brings together afterschool and youth development professionals, school leaders, funders, researchers, policymakers, trainers/coaches and business leaders from across the country. The conference focuses on research, cutting-edge resources and strategies for strengthening services. This year's theme is Empower Youth Voices. 


Host: School's Out Washington 

When: Oct. 8-9, Seattle 

Registration: Early bird rates apply through July 16. Find details here.  

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