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© 2006 Changing the Odds for Youth : A Call for Organizational and Community Leadership Presented by Karen Pittman, Executive Director, The Forum for Youth Investment
© 2006 American Dream: All Youth Ready; Every Family and Community Supportive; Each Makes a Difference American Reality: Only 4 in 10 ready, only 1 in 3 supported; too few making a difference. Why?
© 2006 Fragmented Efforts Outcomes Ages Settings Supports Stakeholders Strategies
© 2006 The Ready by 21 Challenge: To Change the Odds for Children and Youth by Changing the Way we Do Business. Outcomes Ages Settings Supports Stakeholders Strategies
© 2006 We Advocate for the Use of a Big Picture Approach Take A im Take S tock Take A ction Make P rogress
© 2006 We Provide Basic “Conceptual” Tools Such as those in the Workbook About Young People How “Ready” are your Young People? Who’s Not Ready? What’s Behind the Numbers? About Communities How Supportive is Your Community? How Many Promises Have Been Met? How Well do Systems and Settings Provide Needed Supports? About Leaders and Change Does your Community Have the Change Horsepower it Needs?
© 2006 We Provide Training and TA for those needing “power” tools Program Landscape Mapping Program Quality Assessment Workforce Status Surveying Program Quality Improvement Planning –Workforce Development Asset Maps –Training curricula and Turnover reduction planning Public/Private “Demand” development Resource Assessment Community and Cross-System Strategic Planning “Change maker/change structure” coaching
© 2006 Wanted: Fully Prepared Youth
© 2006 The Need: Well-Prepared Youth “The continued ability of states to compete in the global economy hinges on how well they enable their younger citizens to attain the competencies and social attributes necessary to ultimately fuel economic growth and contribute to the well-being of their families and communities.” — National Governors Association’s Center for Best Practices October 2003
© 2006 Ready for Work Youth Employment Outcomes Ready for College Academic Outcomes Ready for Life Youth Development Outcomes 21 st Century Skills & Content Information & Media Literacy Communication Critical & Systems Thinking Problem Solving Creativity, Intellectual Curiosity Interpersonal Skills Self-Direction Accountability and Adaptability Social Responsibility Financial Literacy Global Awareness Civic Literacy Cultural, Physical & Behavioral Health Knowledge & Skills Specific Vocational Knowledge & Skills To Deliver 21 st Century Skills & Content: The Common Core of Ensuring All Youth are Ready Subject Matter Knowledge Community partners are calling for and contributing to the development of broader skills and knowledge.
© 2006 Too Few Young People Are Ready
© 2006 New Employer Survey Finds Skills in Short Supply On page after page, the answer to the report title – Are They Really Ready to Work? – was a disturbing “NO.” Employers ranked 20 skill areas in order of importance. The top skills fell into five categories: »professionalism/work ethic, »teamwork/collaboration, »oral communications, »ethics/social responsibility »reading comprehension.
© 2006 Employer survey How critical are these skills? 7 in 10 employers saw these skills as critical for entry-level high school graduates, 8 in 10 as critical for two-year college graduates, more than 9 in 10 as critical for four-year graduates. How prevalent? Employers reported that 4 in 10 high school graduates were deficient, Only 1 in 4 of four-year college graduates were highly qualified.
© 2006 We Know What It Takes to Support Development The National Research Council reports that teens need: Physical and psychological safety Appropriate structure Supportive relationships Opportunities to belong Positive social norms Support for efficacy and mattering Opportunities for skill-building Integration of family, school and community efforts
© 2006 Do these Supports Really make a Difference? Even in Adolescence? A BSOLUTELY Gambone and colleagues show that youth with supportive relationships as they enter high school are 5 times more likely to leave high school “ready” than those with weak relationships. SOURCE: Finding Out What Matters for Youth: Testing Key Links in a Community Action Framework for Youth Development 2.6
© 2006 Do these Supports Make a Difference in Adulthood? … and those seniors who were “ready” at the end of high school were more than 4 times as likely to be doing well as young adults. SOURCE: Finding Out What Matters for Youth: Testing Key Links in a Community Action Framework for Youth Development 2.7
© 2006 Providing these Supports Can Change the Odds from 4 in 10 doing well to 7 in 10 doing well*. Gambone/Connell’s research suggests that if all young people got the supports they needed in early adolescence, the picture could change…
© 2006 Wanted: High Quality, Coordinated Community Supports
© 2006 Communities should provide an ample array of program opportunities… through local entities that can coordinate such work across the entire community. C ommunities should put in place some locally appropriate mechanism for monitoring the availability, accessibility, and quality of programs … - Community Programs to Promote Youth Development, 2002 National Research Council Report Recommendations
© 2006.. the traditional boundaries between the public school system’s responsibilities and those of other community agencies are themselves part of the educational problem… and asks “How can [a] community use all its assets to provide the best education for all our children?” His answer: Community education partnerships Paul Hill, It Takes a City Education Expert’s Recommendations Paul Hill, a leading education researcher at the University of Washington suggests that:
© 2006 Ages Times of Day Outcome Areas prevention to participation cognitive, social, civic, physical The Challenge for All Community Stakeholders: Filling the Developmental White Space school ? ? ? after-school At it’s best, school only fills a portion of developmental space
© 2006 Families Peer groups Schools and Training Organizations Higher Education Youth-serving organizations CBOs (Non-profit service providers and associations) Businesses (jobs, internships, apprenticeships) Faith-Based organizations Libraries, Parks, Recreation Departments Community-based Health and Social Service Agencies Who is Responsible for the Rest? ?
© 2006 Why are all these stakeholders needed? All learning doesn’t happen in schools. Critical learning can and does happen outside of schools for every kind of student. All students are not in school. Not all students who need to learn are in school (nationally,32% do not graduate on time). All students in school are not learning. Those in school are frequently not absorbed in learning because teachers have not had to master the art of creating youth-centered learning environments. These are not indictments of schools. They are facts that have to be considered if we are going to ensure that every student is ready for college, work and life.
© 2006 To Provide Consistent Supports: across the settings where young people spend their time WHENWHEN WHERE? In the School Building During the School Day Out of School Time In the Community There is increasing evidence that the characteristics of good learning environments are the same across the range of settings where learning happens. School Classrooms & Spaces Libraries, Museums, Colleges, Businesses Extracurriculars Community Schools Families, CBOs, Faith, Parks & Rec, Community Centers Formal Learning Enriched Learning Informal & Applied Learning
© 2006 To Foster Initiative: All settings have equal potential, all do not currently deliver
© 2006 Wanted: Cross-System Commitments to Quality
© 2006 The NRC Report Affirms that Some Environments are Actually Toxic
© 2006 The Systems and Settings Where Youth Spend their time
© 2006 Developmental Supports #1 Education #2 Juvenile Justice #3#4#5 Doing Well Doing Harm Doing Well Doing Harm Doing Well Doing Harm Doing Well Doing Harm Doing Well Doing Harm Basic Services ❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏ Physical and Psychological Safety ❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏ Appropriate Structure ❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏ Supportive Relationships ❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏ Opportunities to Belong ❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏ Positive Social Norms ❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏ Support for Efficacy and Mattering ❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏ Opportunities for Skill Building ❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏❏ Can we measure quality across them? Use a common lens to assess systems and settings
© 2006 YES. If we get to the core of youth-adult interactions. Point of service quality is the space where kids, adults and resources come together. It emphasizes the after-school experience from the perspective of the youth – meaning that quality is defined in terms of access to key experiences by all youth in the program. Converging research suggests improving POS quality adds value in the most important youth outcome areas. High/Scope 2005
© 2006 Engagement Interaction Supportive Environment Safe Environment Youth Centered Policies & Practices High Expectations Access Set goals and make plans Make choicesReflect Partner with adults Lead and mentor Be in small groups Experience a sense of belonging Reframing conflict Encouragement Skill buildingActive engagement Appropriate session flow Welcoming atmosphere Healthy food and drinks Program space and furniture Emergency procedures and supplies Physically safe environment Psychological and emotional safety Staff development Supportive social norms High expectations for young people Committed to program improvement Staff availability and longevity Program schedules Barriers addressed Families, other orgs, schools Staff qualifications support positive youth development Tap youth interests & build skills Youth influence setting and activities Youth influence structure and policy High/Scope Educational Research Foundation: “Point of service” assessments Maintaining and Improving Program Quality: New Research, New Impetus for Investments
© 2006 Program Quality Drops as the Expectations increase Scores Across Diverse Samples Trained outside observersSelf assess Program Offering Level Mixed N=140 School Age N=12 21 st Elem N=15 21 st MS N=26 I. Safe environment4.354.104.384.39 II. Supportive environment 3.753.143.694.16 III. Interaction3.112.972.933.73 IV. Engagement2.831.702.713.37
© 2006 Program Quality Improves with Training and Capacity Building Across settings, POS Quality decreases with movement up the pyramid from safety to engagement. The High/Scope research strongly suggests that best way to improve “POS Quality” is to: –Reduce staff turnover –Increase training, professional development and on- site support –Increase opportunities for young people to have input and share control
© 2006 QUALITY COUNTS, QUALITY COSTS, and YOUR LEADERSHIP IS REQUIRED Improving youth outcomes requires improving community supports. Improving community supports requires adequate investments in infrastructure – in the things that ensure that learning environments are plentiful and positive. This means redoubled commitments from public and private leaders to focus on increasing the quantity and quality of supports for youth.
© 2006 How do We Change from Business as Usual?
© 2006 We Need to Think Big Incremental change can be easier to attain, but limited policy improvements for children can frustrate policy advocates and parents when conditions for children are slow to improve. — Who Speaks for America's Children?
© 2006 Core Supports & Opportunities Delinquency & Violence Pregnancy & HIV/AIDS Dropouts & Illiteracy Unemployment Substance Abuse, Suicide, Depression Even the smallest communities have too many initiatives Civic Engagement Educational Attainment Physical Health Vocational Readiness & Success Social & Emotional Health
© 2006 Children’s Services in LA County SOURCE: Margaret Dunkle We Need to Alter Our Response Set: … See a Problem, Convene a Task Force, Create a Program …. Has created a tangle of inefficiencies
© 2006 Think Differently the more we focus (on narrow pieces), the more we fragment (the responses), the more we fail (our children and youth). C = D x V x P Change = Dissatisfaction x Vision x Plan The Harvard Change Model suggests that the likelihood of change increases exponentially as any of these factors gets stronger. But disconnected change efforts may actually dissipate the energy for change.
© 2006 Big Picture Vision: Core Assumptions About Youth Communities Need to Ensure That throughout their developmental years Age Groups e.g., Early childhood, High School, Young adults and throughout their waking hours Time e.g., During School, After School, Summer All Children and Youth need constant access to a range of services, supports and opportunities Supports e.g., Basic Care, Challenging Experiences, Relationships in the settings where they spend time Settings e.g., Families, Youth Organizations, Schools in ways that address challenges, strengthen skills and connections Goals e.g., Protection/Treatment, Prevention, Preparation in order to be well-prepared for college, work and life Outcomes e.g., Learning, Working, Thriving, Contributing Achieve to Their Full Potential and get additional supports, if needed. Challenges Poverty, Race, Disability, ESL.
© 2006 Big Picture Vision: Building on the Core Assumptions about Youth Big Picture Vision » Youth-Centered » Research-based » Actionable – using the core assumptions taking what we know about young people and how they develop to build our strategic planning framework.
© 2006 Pre–K 0–5 Children 6–11 Youth 12–17 Young Adults 18–20+ Ready for College Cognitive/ academic development Ready for Work Vocational development Ready for Life Physical development Social/ emotional development Civic and cultural development Take Aim on the Big Picture of Youth Outcomes
© 2006 Create Big Ticket Assessments: Take Stock of Youth Outcomes Using a Set of Key Indicators Pre–K 0–5 Children 6–12 Youth 13–19 Young Adults 20–24 Families and Communities Ready for College Cognitive/ academic development Ready for Work Vocational development Ready for Life Physical development Social/ emotional development Civic and cultural development
© 2006 Take Stock of Public & Private Community Supports Using a Common Set of Performance Measures Setting ASetting BSetting CSetting DSetting E Safety & Structure Relationships & Belonging Skill-Building Opportunities Opportunities to Contribute Basic Services
© 2006 Alternative: Keeping Focused on the Big Picture Pre–K 0–5 Children 6–12 Youth 13–19 Young Adults 20–24 Families and Communities Ready for College Cognitive/ academic development Ready for Work Vocational development Ready for Life Physical development Social/ emotional development Civic and cultural development Pre–K 0–5 Children 6–12 Youth 13–19 Young Adults 20–24 Families and Communities Ready for College Cognitive/ academic development Ready for Work Vocational development Ready for Life Physical development Social/ emotional development Civic and cultural development shifting red to yellow, yellow to green Big Picture Change Planning
© 2006 The Ready by 21 Roadmap Big Tent Partnerships that take Shared Accountability for a Big Picture Vision and work to develop Integrated Strategies, and Sustainable Change Structures, to achieve Big Impact Results
© 2006 Support Big Picture Change Makers:Support the Individuals and Organizations Who Are Trying to Connect the Dots Individuals and organizations with the capacity, motivation and authority to work across initiatives and entities to achieve a shared goal.
© 2006 The Ready by 21 Challenge: To Change the Odds for Children and Youth by Changing the Way we Do Business. Moving the small gear makes a big difference
© 2006 www.forumfyi.org
Strengthening Youth Policy in the States Web-Assisted Audio-Conference Co-Hosted by The Forum for Youth Investment and the National Conference of State.
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