Academic Achievement and Youth DevelopmentResources and strategies that lead to increased academic achievement and better preparation for further learning and careers.
Taking Center Stage-Act II (TCSII) (PDF) California Department of Education (2008) is an innovative project dedicated to promoting excellence in middle grades education and is delivered through a dynamic Web portal. TCSII is based on the following recommendations addressed by related chapters:
- Chapter Four: Relevance (PDF) - Meet the needs of middle grade students by developing a rich set of courses and enrichment opportunities that engage students as lifelong learners by developing socially relevant cross-curricular understanding and opportunities for meaningful participation before, during, and after school.
- Chapter Five: Relationships (PDF) - Foster close relationships for accountability and engagement among students and with adults who share extended time through grade-level, subject-area, or interdisciplinary small learning communities.
- Chapter Eight: Safety, Resilience, and Health (PDF) - Create and sustain a fair, safe, and healthy school environment through a policy of positive discipline; civic and character education; safe and engaging facilities; access to adult mentors and counseling; and school and community health and social services.
Every Child Learning: Safe and Supportive Schools
This report by Learning First Alliance (2001) synthesizes the literature, identifies four research-based elements essential to safe and supportive schools, and makes recommendations on how schools and districts can build safe and supportive learning communities. The report advocates a comprehensive approach to safe and supportive learning communities as an essential component of effective school reform, and has set the creation of safe and supportive places of learning as one of its top priorities, equal with its priorities of high student achievement and effective family and community involvement.
Transforming the American High School: Lessons Learned and Struggles Ahead
The report by American Youth Policy Forum (2004) calls upon policymakers to learn about strategies to create more effective learning environments for youth, particularly disadvantaged youth that lead to increased academic achievement and better preparation for further learning and careers. The report underscores the need to help low-performing or disadvantaged students transition more effectively to postsecondary education; provide high quality career preparation; and create connections to caring and knowledgeable adults.
ASCD Whole Child Initiative
Launched in 2007, ASCD's Whole Child Initiative is an effort to change the conversation about education from a focus on narrowly defined academic achievement to one that promotes the long term development and success of children. Through the initiative, ASCD helps educators, families, community members, and policymakers move from a vision about educating the whole child to sustainable, collaborative action.