Ready News: October 15, 2021

Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality – Upcoming Training Opportunities

The Forum’s Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality partners with networks of youth programs to implement evidence-based quality improvement and accountability systems. To help build local capacity, the Weikart Center regularly offers trainings that prepare participants to lead their quality improvement process.

Upcoming opportunities include:

Online Database of American Rescue Plan Funding for Children and Youth Services

The American Rescue Plan includes more than $160 billion designated for education and childcare and an additional $350 billion that states and localities can flexibly spend on children. A new searchable online database from the Children’s Funding Project highlights the allocations going to more than 27,000 counties, cities, and towns; nearly 17,000 school districts; 3,500 higher education institutions; and all 50 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.

The flexibility of these funds gives local leaders and advocates an opportunity to think boldly and creatively about child- and youth-focused services and the chance to create sustained and robust investments in our kids going forward. Communities can search the database to find out how much money their local area will receive for children and youth.

Explore the database.

Building A Grad Nation 2021 Report

The GradNation campaign is a nationwide effort to boost the high school graduation rate to 90 percent and prepare young people for postsecondary enrollment and the workforce. The high school graduation rate was at an all-time high of 85.8% in 2019, the final school year unaffected by the upheavals of the COVID-19 pandemic. The convening partners of the GradNation campaign—America’s Promise Alliance, Alliance for Excellent Education, Civic, and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University—highlight key learnings about high school graduation in the United States in the newly released 2021 Building A Grad Nation report.

The report provides a pre-pandemic baseline, including a 50-state analysis outlining progress and challenges facing key student groups. Unless states make concerted, data-driven efforts to sustain improvements among key student groups, particularly English Learners and students with disabilities, COVID-19 could jeopardize graduation rate progress. The GradNation report outlines a series of policy recommendations for states to meet the demands of the current moment so that every young person reaches the graduation milestone college- and career-ready.

Read the report.

The Impact of the Pandemic and Racial Trauma on Emerging Adolescents

Webinar Presented by CASEL, AMLE, Success Bound, To&Through, & UVA Youth-Nex 
Wednesday, October 20, 4:00-5:00 PM ET 

Experts in adolescent development and the creation of racial identities will discuss the impact of COVID-19 and incidents of racial trauma on emerging adolescents. The panel will include Dr. Rob Jagers from CASEL and Dr. Joanna Williams from Rutgers University. The panel will be moderated by Jenny Nagaoka of the University of Chicago with a welcome and introduction by Dr. Nancy Deutsch of the University of Virginia. The panel is co-hosted by CASEL: the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, the Association for Middle Level Education, Success Bound, the University of Chicago To&Through Middle Grades Network, and the University of Virginia Youth-Nex Center.

Students Around the Country Offer Advice for Re-Opening Schools

Wallace Foundation Blog 

“While last year was the most difficult year we’ve probably had as educators, this upcoming year is the most important year,” said Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in an opening statement during the U.S. Department of Education’s final Summer Learning & Enrichment Collaborative Virtual Session last month.

Earlier conversations in the seven-part series focused on such topics as forming state-level coalitions, using evidence to inform summer programs, and tapping federal funds to promote equity through summer enrichment opportunities. This last session, however, addressed perhaps the country’s most important stakeholders: building student capacity to lead and advocate.

“We know students have a voice, and they have a lot to say. We have to make sure we’re designed to listen,” Cardona said.

Read more.