College and Career Readiness through Blended Learning

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Early College initiative

‘Equitable Access’ a Priority

Earlier this month a Boston Globe editorial gave a good overview of the state’s new early college initiative.

As the editorial points out, the great challenge will be to include low-income students, whose rates of college completion lag far behind more affluent students. The resolution that created the program prioritizes “students underrepresented in higher education enrollment and completion.” This language includes the overlapping categories of minority and special needs students as well as low-income. It will be necessary to include all these groups if the goal of 16,000 early college students per year is to be met. To put that goal into perspective, the total number of public high school graduates entering the state public higher education system each year is about 20,000.

The “design principle” that spells out these priorities is headed “Equitable Access.” It recommends “student supports to prepare students for entry into the program” and “student supports to promote success.” These student supports will be necessary to broaden and deepen the early college pool; and they are exactly what JFYNet College and Career Readiness provides. Early College will require that students meet the goal of “college readiness” one, two or more years earlier than at present– a significant boost in high school performance standards. Raising the skills of “underrepresented” students to college level is not a trivial task. Remediation rates at community colleges, the best available gauge of the skills of this group, have hovered over 60% since the 1990s.

The success of this initiative will depend on a strong program of skill-focused academic supports to bring these students to college readiness. JFYNet is extending its instructional sequence, currently MCAS Prep and College Readiness (Accuplacer), to encompass early college supports. This move links our mission, expertise and experience in raising the skills of “underrepresented” students to the next stage of education reform. As a tested and proven method of achieving college readiness in high school, JFYNet can provide the academic support component that early college needs. College readiness is still the necessary pre-condition of college success—especially when college starts early.

Gary Kaplan
Executive Director

JFYNetWorks
44 School Street, Suite 1010
Boston MA 02108
Phone 617-338-0815 x 224
GKaplan@jfynet.org

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JFYNetWorks Partner School Spotlight

MARCH 2017 Edition JFYNet Partner School Spotlight


Sometimes We Need to Be Reminded…

… that our schools are full of great kids, hard-working and creative teachers, overworked and underappreciated administrators, and effective programs.

Read more about some of these outstanding people, schools and communities in our New Series: Spotlighting JFYNetWorks Partner Schools.

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FY Executive staff with Speaker DeLeo

JFYNetWorks board and staff enjoyed the company of House Speaker Robert DeLeo at a recent event in Boston. JFY Chairman Otis Gates and the Speaker shared reminiscences of their mutual alma mater,#BostonLatinSchool. Left to Right: Otis Gates, JFY Board Chairman; Susan Dunnigan, Board Secretary; House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo; Kevin Macdonald, Board Treasurer; Gary Kaplan, Executive Director.

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JFYNet Partner School Spotlight

JFYNet Partner School Spotlight

By Patti Parisella, JFYNetWorks Fiscal Director

Our #JFYNetPartnerSchool spotlight series features stories about our partner schools and the good work they do for students and their communities.

What do you think of when you hear the words “college and career readiness”?  Do you think of pathways to college and careers?  Maybe you think of remedial college courses, or closing the achievement gap, or finding success in the workforce?

It can be easy to forget what all these outcomes have in common: Schools.  Incredible schools.  Schools that keep their communities vital by working to help young people develop the skills to thrive in college or technical training and in careers.

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Diversity relies on deeper talent pool in Boston

How to Achieve Diversity in Boston and Massachusetts Business

by Gary Kaplan, Executive Director of JFYNetWorks and David Driscoll, former Massachusetts Commissioner of Education. | Originally published by the Boston Business Journal on 11/11/16. See the original post here.

Speaking to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce last month, Mayor Walsh challenged Boston’s business leaders to confront their lack of diversity and to assemble a workforce and leadership teams reflective of the city’s demographics. The response was enthusiastically positive. But how can diversity actually be achieved?

Leadership teams rise from the workforce, and the workforce of the Boston and Massachusetts business community comes more than ever from the college graduate pool. Promotion through the ranks is a natural process of corporate capillarity. Despite the steps that many businesses are taking to improve diversity, in order for more people of color to rise through the workforce there has to be a more diverse pool of college graduates. This is where the problem begins.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Patti Parisella
JFYNetWorks
617-338-0815 x 222
PParisella@jfynet.org


JFYNetWorks joins the Global #GivingTuesday Movement pledges to prepare urban youth for successful college entry without the need for remedial courses.

Boston, MA November 23, 2016 – JFYNetWorks has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. JFYNetWorks helps urban high school students prepare for successful college entry with blended learning instructional programs that eliminate the need for remedial college courses.

Occurring this year on November 29, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely-recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday to kick-off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.

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Madison Park Technical Vocational High School Student

It’s Time for Madison Park To Get Some Respect

by Gary Kaplan

The Boston Globe Magazine’s recent article on vocational education (School of Work, 10/2/16) came down like a ton of raw concrete on Boston’s Madison Park Technical Vocational High School.  One commentator blamed Madison Park for “vocational education’s tarnished reputation in Massachusetts” while another recommended scrapping the school altogether and “start[ing] over again.”  There are legitimate reasons to be frustrated with Madison Park; but there are better options than the dumpster.

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Workplace skills then and now: The Lesson of Inland Steel

Workplace Skills Then and Now: The Lesson of Inland Steel

by Gary Kaplan

“Sorry, son, we can’t hire you. You’re overqualified.”

Thus ended my career as a steelworker. The place was Inland Steel in East Chicago, Indiana. The time was the 1970s. I was looking for an interim job while I plotted my next career move. I thought that working in a steel mill would be educational, in addition to bringing in some serious, and seriously needed, cash.

I had grown up in the Calumet Region of Northwest Indiana, one of the world’s largest concentrations of heavy industry. Steel mills and oil refineries were the landscape of my childhood. Many of my high school classmates had gone directly to work at Inland, Youngstown, US Steel or Standard Oil and were well on their way to owning a house, a car, a cabin in Michigan, a boat, and eventually a union pension. Though I had been around the mills my whole life, I had never been inside them. I thought it was time I found out how America’s industrial might was created.