Forum Flash: February 13, 2008

The Forum has been very busy as we prepare for the National Launch of Ready by 21. Even while we are preparing for this large event, the Forum continues to foster our relationships with our partners. The American Associate of Superintendents and the Forum held a three-day forum that resulted in a white paper, "Leadership for Change." We also helped the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley  hold their first Youth Summit, where Karen presented a Ready by 21 presentation.

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February 13, 2008

In This Issue
AASA and the Forum
Conferences and Convenings

Quick Links

Karen's Columns

Youth Policy Resource Center

Youth Policy Action Center

Connect for Kids

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Dear Forum Flash Reader,

The Forum is bustling as we get ready for the national launch of the Ready by 21™ Challenge. The event will take place at the end of the month and will be co-hosted by former Congressman Gephardt and former Governor Tom Ridge, along with the Ready by 21 Strategic Partners: United Way of America, Corporate Voices for Working Families, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the American Association of School Administrators, the National Collaboration for Youth (National Assembly) and America's Promise.

Stay tuned: the next Forum Flash will bring you all the exciting coverage from the Launch, including our brand new Web site and details about the work we're doing with each of our national partners.

Meanwhile, scroll down for a sneak peak at one of our collaborative efforts with the American Association of School Administrators. Also learn about what Forum Executive Director Karen Pittman has been doing in Boston and Minneapolis in the last month.

AASA and the Forum: Collaborating with Superintendents

In December of 2007, the Forum and the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) co-hosted a three-day forum for state superintendents to discuss collaboration on extended learning opportunities, among other topics. The resulting white paper -- Leadership for Change: National Superintendent of the Year Forum 2007 -- is hot off the press and will be soon be available online at

In continuation of our work with the superintendents, Forum Managing Director Merita Irby is presenting at AASA's annual conference to be held this year in Tampa, Florida. The conference is the largest meeting of school superintendents in the United States. Merita will present a workshop entitled "Ensuring All Young People are Ready by 21: The Essential Role of School/Community Partnerships" on February 16.

Conferences and Convenings

Inspire 4 Life: Summit on Youth
The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley (UWMBMV) recently hosted their first Youth Summit. The Summit brought together community and corporate leaders, policy makers, youth providers and key stakeholders. Karen's standing-room only presentation charged the group with developing a Ready by 21 framework that would allow Massachusetts to align ideas, resources and stakeholders to change the odds for youth. View Karen's PowerPoint.
After her keynote, Karen spoke with 25 high-level state government leaders, foundation leaders and United Way major donors.

Safe and Healthy Learners Conference

Karen presented the closing keynote for the Safe and Healthy Learners Conference 2008 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her presentation highlighted the fact that only 4 in 10 young people are ready for college, work and life, not because they aren't trying, but because families and communities aren't providing all the supports and opportunities they need. "Schools cannot do this alone," Karen explained. "More importantly, schools should not try. It is time to blur the lines of responsibility and resources by engaging young people, families and all community leaders in redefining the who, what, where, when, why, and how of learning."
While in Minnesota, Karen also spoke at a legislative breakfast and was featured at a public forum hosted by the Applied Research Collaborative on Youth Development.


Thaddeus Ferber and Livia Kent
The Forum for Youth Investment


Publishing Date: 
February 13, 2008