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Registration Deadline: December 5, 2016

The Quest for Readiness: A Thought Leader Conversation

July 16, 2014 - 2:00 pm to July 16, 2014 - 3:00 pm

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? How do we measure it?

Read the blog summary of the event here.  A selection of questions and responses is also available.

The discussion focused on three overarching questions:

  • What does it mean to be “ready”?  If it takes more than academic competence, what are the other competencies and how do we name, build and measure them?
  • What supports must communities provide to get young people ready?  Who builds these competencies?  Are schools responsible for the “academic” ones and the community responsible for the rest? 
  • What must national, state and local leaders do to create those supports? 

The call recording is available if you want to listen again.

Further resources mentioned during the conference call:

Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award is designed to recognize schools that have gone beyond a vision for educating the whole child to actions that result in learners who are knowledgeable, emotionally and physically healthy, civically active, artistically engaged, prepared for economic self-sufficiency, and ready for the world beyond formal schooling. This award acknowledges those schools that have changed the conversation about education from a focus on narrowly defined academic achievement to one that promotes the development of the whole child: a child who is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

America’s Promise Alliance is working with community partners to convene 100 GradNation Community Summits across the country through 2016. The GradNation Community Summits will hasten the United States’ progress towards reaching the GradNation campaign goals. America’s Promise’s goal for the community summits is to fuel local collaborative action to increase high school graduation rates.

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. It doesn't have to be this way. So says Forum CEO Karen Pittman in her recent blog on the Huffington Post, where she makes the case for not just more learning time -- but for more high-quality learning time, in school and out.
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