A National Youth Summit, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, will bring together hundreds of youths and representatives of youth-related organization in Washington Saturday for events ranging from serious policy discussions to slam poetry, all with the purpose of identifying how the Obama administration’s college completion goal can be accomplished.
About 100 organizations and about 400 youth at expected to attend the summit, to be held on the Howard University campus.
Speakers, who include Education Secretary Arne Duncan, numerous other Education Department officials, a White House representative, and selected individuals from the invited organizations and youth, will touch on five general themes: effective teaching; college information gaps; parental involvement; community mentors; and school climate and discipline.
Among the forum discussions:
* Bringing it Home: Parent and Family Engagement – Changing the School Climate, which will feature two Education Department officials.
* Mentoring our Youth, Building Stronger Communities, featuring speakers from the Education Department, the White House and the Corporation for National and Community Service.
* Education Policy Panel
* Tapping the Power of Student Voice to Accelerate Teacher Effectiveness and Student Engagement, with three youth speakers.
* From Freshman Year to College Completion: A Youth Led Model for Setting Students on the Path to College.
A full agenda can be found here.
President Barack Obama, though not listed among the attendees, has provided the impetus for this event by setting an often repeated 2020 goal for increasing college completion, referring to 2020 as the year he wishes the U.S. to lead the world in college completion rates.
The Education Department conducted a national youth listening tour in which Education employees met with more than 1,800 middle and high school students across the country; tomorrow’s event will mark the conclusion of this tour.
Duncan, who is to address the group early Saturday, said in a statement that “In order to best prepare students, we need to know that we’re making every effort to meet their needs in achieving a world-class education.”
“The National Youth Summit brings together students who have taken responsibility for their education, acted as leaders in their schools and communities and who can provide the best insight and feedback on what they need to be successful in the future.”
Although the attendance list is closed, interested parties can sign up here for a listserv on the summit.