Updates include LAUSD Strategic Plan engagement, Joint Advocacy legislative priorities, L.A. STEM Hub's new partnership foundation, OYC's Young Leaders, and more
LAUSD Strategic Plan Engagement: The L.A. Compact is supporting a series of forums sponsored by the Superintendent’s Office this spring entitled “Leading Together Toward Destination Graduation.” The goal is to raise awareness about the district’s 2016-19 strategic plan and to promote a dialogue between parent, school, and community stakeholders about strategies to reach the District’s goal of 100% graduation. L.A. Compact higher education partners from CSUN and USC recently joined Superintendent King at forums at Vista Middle School in Panorama City and Nava Learning Academies in South LA, highlighting the importance of college partnerships with k-12 schools to promoting college readiness and access. Additional forums are scheduled in Local District West on April 26th and Local District Central on May 24th. LAUSD recently produced a video highlighting the strategic plan's objectives which features UNITE-LA President and L.A. Compact leader David Rattray commenting on the importance of early education to build the foundation for future learning.
LAUSD Promising Practice Forum: LAUSD is hosting its second Sharing Promising Practices Together forum on June 3rd, inviting school practitioner teams across a diverse network of school models to share their promising practices with a focus on supporting middle school students for college and career success. Workshop proposals are due by May 1st.
The L.A. Compact Joint Advocacy Group has promoted a united advocacy voice in Sacramento on issues impacting young people in the L.A. region since 2009. With the 2017 legislative session in full effect, the Joint Advocacy Group has identified this year's legislative priorities that include supporting state and federal policies, investments, and institutional reforms that improve early learning, K-12 education, higher education, and workforce development systems and create increased opportunities for foster and formerly incarcerated youth. The Joint Advocacy Group shared its priorities with Sen. Holly Mitchell, Assemblymember Adrin Nazarain and over 10 legislative staff during the Spring Legislative Reception and engaged in a discussion around opportunities to better partner with the L.A. delegation in the upcoming legislative session to ensure all students succeed.
The L.A. Regional STEM Hub, in partnership in partnership with the Tiger Woods Foundation, hosted a Business-Education Partnerships Summit to highlight the importance of public-private partnerships. Participants discussed the role that industry partners play in supporting and complementing STEM programming and how these initiatives help transform learning in the classroom. Encorps, Iridescent, Northrop Grumman Corporation and the Samueli Foundation shared their best practices and successes in facilitating collaborations among schools, industry, youth and families
The L.A. Regional STEM Hub collaborated with LACOE to host 100 female middle school students at the 2017 Engaging Girls and Young Women in STEM at the Arboretum. The event sought to promote girls and young women to explore STEM courses and pursue postsecondary degrees in STEM. The CA Department of Education and the CA Commission on the Status of Women and Girls worked together to promote statewide outreach to local educational agencies highlighting and encouraging female participation in STEM pathways.
The Steering Committee of the Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) Collaborative reconvened on April 7th to recap recent budgetary victories and to discuss strategies for the collaborative to support LAUSD in implementing elements of the 2016-2019 strategic plan. Since the group last convened in July 2016, several partners secured key resources to drive collaboration. LACCD secured $1.5M in one-time funding from the California College Promise Innovation Awards program to strengthen programmatic elements of the L.A. College Promise. Three LACCD colleges (L.A. Valley College, L.A. Mission College, and Pierce College) and CSUN received $1M in one-time funding from the Governor’s 2017 Awards for Innovation in Higher Education to develop a regional transfer partnership in the San Fernando Valley. The Steering Committee also discussed ways to engage the broader Collaborative on updating institutional commitments for the L.A. Compact 3.0, and for supporting LAUSD in implementing its strategic plan.
After completing the first data exchange between LAUSD and six teacher preparation programs in February, the Los Angeles Educator Pathways Partnership (LAEPP) workgroup reconvened on April 6th to begin discussing early findings from the data. The group began planning for the next phase of data analysis and discussed opportunities for shared analysis. LAEP was also invited to share its work during the New Generation of Educators Initiative convening hosted the Bechtel Foundation in Bakersfield, CA. Emily Mohr from the Los Angeles Unified School District and Paola Santana, representing the L.A. Compact, presented on the development of the LAEPP data sharing MOU and the subsequent data sharing process to a group of California State University teacher preparation programs.
The Student Success Workgroup came together on April 4th to discuss meeting frequency, membership changes, and ongoing business related to reverse transfer. The members invited Dr. Frances Gipson to join the workgroup in order to represent LAUSD and K-12 education; Dr. Gipson will determine an appropriate designee to represent her in workgroup meetings when she is unable to participate. The Workgroup will next meet in May and will set a quarterly meeting schedule for the upcoming academic year. In addition, Workgroup members received updates from LACCD and CSUN representatives, who submitted a success application to the 2017 Governor’s Awards for Innovation in Higher Education. The award of $1M will help launch the L.A. Reverse Transfer initiative, which will enable three LACCD community colleges in the San Fernando Valley to partner with CSUN to award associate degrees to students who have stopped out of CSUN. The workgroup members first explored the concept of a regional reverse transfer partnership in July 2016, during an inaugural meeting of the Student Success Workgroup. In addition, LACCD and CSUN is working with L.A. Compact staff to submit a proposal to the Lumina Foundation’s Talent Hubs initiative to secure additional resources to support work that will serve individuals in the region with “some college but no degree.” LACCD and CSUN representatives attended an application workshop with Compact staff in Washington, DC on April 13-14th.
At the latest L.A. Compact Data Workgroup meeting on March 17th, research and data specialists from member organizations engaged in a deep-dive on optimal Workforce indicators to be included in future reporting and began discussions of a publicly-accessible Data Dashboard-- a webpage tracking progress towards the Compact’s goals with a variety of key metrics along the cradle-to-career spectrum. The next meeting on May 19th will focus on identifying capabilities and cost of an ideal data dashboard and finalizing early education and K-12 indicators.
Leaders from First 5 LA, Children Now, and the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce convened in March to discuss several potential strategies for advancing a local Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) in L.A. County. Options include developing a leadership cabinet of system leaders and district superintendents to catalyze the development and implementation of a common KRA as well as piloting a tool with a select cohort of districts. Use of a common KRA across L.A. County would produce aggregate data that can be used to better inform policies, community needs, and targeting of resources to make the biggest impact with our youngest, most needy students.
L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative (LA OYC), convened by the Alliance for Children's Rights held the third official OYC Stewardship Committee meeting on April 12th. Members include decision-makers from LA Unified School District, Coalition for Responsible Community Development, Alliance for Children’s Rights, First Place for Youth, LA Area Chamber of Commerce, LA City Economic & Workforce Development Department, LA County Workforce Development, Aging Community Services, Community College Consortium, the Office of Child Protection, Extraordinary Families, Children’s Law Center, Department of Children and Family Services, iFoster, and an OYC Young Leader.
The LA OYC convened its Spring Quarterly Meeting on March 1 with over 100 participants at Los Angeles City College. The meeting served as a forum to discuss how to effectively engage and retain youth in programs as well as discuss barriers youth face to successfully get the help they need to become independent. Several partners were identified to sit on a panel and share with the group their best practices for engaging and retaining youth, and how they can leverage the support from other partners ensure youth success. After the meeting, many participants spent time networking. We hope these meetings continue to provide a safe space for partners to connect and deepen relationships. The next Quarterly Meeting will be on June 14th at Los Angeles Southwest College from 2-4pm.
The LA OYC recently launched the second cohort of the OYC Young Leaders. In order to participate in the group, the youth were required to submit an application, a letter of recommendation, and interview with Alliance for Children’s Rights and OYC staff. The 12 selected are an impressive mix of youth with a range of unique skills and talents. Each Young Leader has benefited or been served by OYC partners, and many allude their academic and employment achievements to the services they have been provided. On April 4, the Young Leaders convened for an orientation where they met for the first time, participated in an icebreaker, discussed their role in the OYC, and strategized how to effectively influence decision-makers in a meaningful way. This month they have participated in various activities including a focus group with the National Foster Youth Institute to provide feedback on the characteristics they would like to see in the new DCFS director, a focus group with the National Center for Foster Youth Law to ensure that their new brochure regarding sexual and reproductive health is youth friendly, in addition to, sitting in on the John Burton Advocates for Youth committee to plan for the Blueprint Conference. They are motivated to use their lived experiences to have thoughtful conversations and make significant changes this year.
The OYC Subsidized Jobs Workgroup, convened by UNITE-LA, met on April 11th. Attendees included cross-sector partners representing DCFS, the City and County workforce development systems, the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce and the L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative. The meeting centered on discussing strategies for bridging foster youth from subsidized work experiences to gainful employment. In previous years, this workgroup has focused primarily on increasing foster youth participation in the 6-week summer jobs program, resulting in a 250% increase in 2016 compared to 2013. The group is now turning to creating better connections between various subsidized and unsubsidized work opportunities to ensure foster youth are supported on streamlined pathways to build their workforce skills and gain self-sufficiency.
On April 8, the OYC Jobs for Foster Youth Program, convened by the Alliance for Children's Rights completed its 6th cohort with youth at Los Angeles Trade Tech College. To date, 250 foster youth have been employed and over 100 have been employed for more than 6 months. New employers have agreed to provide foster youth successfully completing the program with priority interviews. In the coming months, we will be expanding the program to the San Fernando Valley and will be working on engaging additional employers throughout the county. Additionally, OYC partner, iFoster’s work on the Improved Employment Outcomes For Foster Youth Act H.R.2060 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressmen Dave Reichert (R-WA), Danny Davis (D-IL), and Tom Reed (R-NY)). A Senate companion bill S.885 was also introduced by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to include transition age foster youth as categorically eligible for purposes of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). Employers may be eligible to receive a credit of up to $2,400 annually for each foster youth hired. OYC Young Leader Krisha, along with Congresswoman Norma Torres (D-CA), Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA), Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), and Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) gave testimony supporting the bill in Washington D.C. that will provide employers with a tax break similar to veterans. In March, iFoster, the LA OYC, and a youth from the OYC Jobs for Foster Youth Program attended a meeting with congressional staffers in DC to push the bill forward.
The OYC Foster Youth College Advancement Program (OYC FYCAP), convened by the John Burton Foundation and UNITE-LA, , has partnered with Judge Margaret Henry to convene the Court Scholars Workgroup, a working group of higher education, child welfare, advocacy, and other government officials that convenes monthly to tackle three priority areas. These priorities include: (1) creating greater consistency in the definitions of foster youth and the eligibility requirements used by colleges and universities to target services to foster youth (e.g. Guardian Scholars); (2) increasing self-identification amongst college enrolled foster youth in order to increase their access to available benefits and services; and (3) supporting campuses in developing consistent data tools in order to more effectively track foster youth outcomes, program efficacy, and identify and scale best practices in the region. OYC FYCAP is also organizing a focus group to better understand what resources campus support program staff need in order to refer college-enrolled foster youth to available employment resources, such as the OYC Subsidized Jobs Campaign and the OYC Jobs for Foster Youth Program.
The L.A. Performance Partnership Pilot (LA P3), convened by the L.A. City Education & Workforce Development Department, recently distributed a draft strategic plan, outlining the initiative's vision, mission, values, goals, and strategies. The mission of LA P3 is to “transform service delivery systems to improve the education, employment, housing, and physical and mental well-being of the region’s disconnected 16-24 year old population.” The plan was presented to and discussed by over 50 P3 stakeholders at a quarterly meeting on April 20th at the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce. The LA P3 was recently selected to join a national community of practice with five other P3 and Promise Zone sites across the country to develop a local fiscal map for disconnected youth. The fiscal map will identify various sources of funding and how the funding is allocated locally to serve the L.A. region’s population of 200,000 disconnected youth.