CLASP's youth policy work aims to advance policy and practice that will dramatically improve the education, employment, and life outcomes for youth in communities of high youth distress. Learn more>>

Pathways to Reconnection for Disconnected Youth

We advocate for federal policies that meet the education and training needs of the millions of young people ages 16 to 24 who are disconnected from school and employment.  Read more>>

Building the Capacity of Communities

We work with communities to identify and highlight effective cross-system approaches that can provide opportunities for youth to complete their education, enter the labor market and improve their life outcomes. Read more>>

Supports and Strategies for Youth of Color 

We highlight the depth of the disadvantaged and disconnected youth problem for young people of color in some of the nation's most challenged communities and propose strategic solutions. Read more>>

Aug 4, 2016  |  PERMALINK »

CLASP Submits Comments on Proposed Regulations to Promote Accountability for Vulnerable and Out-of-School Youth under ESSA

By: Nia West-Bey

On August 1, CLASP submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education on proposed regulations that address accountability and state plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Signed by President Barack Obama In December, ESSA reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, which provides federal funds to improve elementary and secondary education in the nation’s public schools. 

Through the regulatory process, the Department has the opportunity to emphasize state and Local Education Agency accountability for the educational outcomes of vulnerable and disconnected students, as well as highlight opportunities for states to address these students’ needs in their state plans. Drawing on prior recommendations, CLASP’s comments focus on strengthening and prioritizing the ESSA provisions that support state and district efforts to prevent students from dropping out of high school as well as reengage out-of-school youth. CLASP also emphasizes the importance of aligning ESSA with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which targets funding and comprehensive education and training programs to out-of-school youth. 

Specifically, CLASP’s comments:

  • Express support for the proposed regulations’ focus on high schools with low graduation rates for all or key subgroups of students, as well as attention to postsecondary readiness and enrollment in accountability systems.
  • Advocate for revisions to support increased accountability for and incentives to reengage youth who have dropped out.
  • Recommend that ESSA align its definitions of vulnerable populations with WIOA’s definitions of eligible in-school youth by requesting disaggregation of accountability data for court-involved youth and pregnant and parenting youth.
  • Advocate for including middle and high school students in stakeholder conversations to develop plans for comprehensive support and improvement. These discussions should also engage vulnerable youth as well as the agencies and community-based organizations that serve them.
  • Recommend that evidence-based dropout prevention and recovery strategies be included in State plans and plans for comprehensive support and improvement.
  • Reflect agreement with colleagues from Civil Rights organizations that the regulations must address school climate, exclusionary discipline, and presence of law enforcement in schools as part of school accountability systems.

Young people who have discontinued their education without earning a high school diploma need viable options for returning to school. The current system presents obstacles; youth often lack information on available education options and where to enroll. Our comments can help to ensure that the final regulations encourage states and LEAs to recognize these students and incentivize the creation of intentional, coordinated plans for reengaging and keeping them connected. 

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REGISTER NOW: CLASP's 2016 Youth of Color Forum

Please join us on June 20th from 12pm - 3pm for our annual youth of color forum, this year entitled, "Realizing Youth Justice: Advancing Education, Employment, and Youth Empowerment." READ MORE »
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