Sunday, December 17, 2006

This week's News: Youth in Transition


How to reverse the dropout crisis
Boston Bay-State Banner – December 14, 2006
James Scott dropped out of high school when he was 17, following a rocky transition to a new school and a rough neighborhood in Philadelphia. He got caught up with the wrong crowd and began taking and selling drugs, which led to his arrest. But when his daughter was born, James enrolled in a charter school for high school dropouts to make up the credits he needed to get his diploma. On track to graduate next year, James plans to start his own company purchasing and renovating houses for resale.

To fix US schools, panel says, start over
Christian Science Monitor – December 15, 2006
What if the solution to American students' stagnant performance levels and the wide achievement gap between white and minority students wasn't more money, smaller schools, or any of the reforms proposed in recent years, but rather a new education system altogether?

Vocational education is shifting focus
St. Louis Post Dispatch – December 15, 2006
It was once the refuge of high school students who weren't headed to college; for the kids who didn't excel at academics or preferred getting their hands dirty. But "vocational" education — the former province of budding mechanics, welders and secretaries — is shedding its grease-stained, dictation-taking image.

State learning gap persists - Chasm between black, white students is near worst in U.S.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – December 13, 2006
The education achievement gaps between African-American and white children in Wisconsin remain among the worst in the United States, according to an analysis released Wednesday by an influential education group.

Democrats' education agenda includes cutting college costs, reviewing No Child Left Behind
San Diego Union Tribune – December 12, 2006
Congressional Democrats say when they take the gavel from Republicans next month, they will put money in the pockets of college students and closely examine a law reforming elementary and secondary schools. How they will pay for their plans isn't clear.

New Congress, New Focus - Spellings and higher ed association leaders list their priorities. – December 2006
All eyes in Washington's postsecondary community are on the future, which begins in January with the start of the newly elected 110th Congress and the final two years of the Bush administration. With Democrats gaining control of the House and the Senate, the higher ed agenda will likely be impacted. The shift of control will bring changes in the lineup and leadership of its key education and appropriations committees.

Juvenile Justice

Judge seeks funds for juvenile court – December 14, 2006
Judge Theresa Dellick made an eloquent and impassioned plea for support of her Mahoning County Juvenile Court, and Anthony Traficanti, chairman of the Mahoning County Commissioners, said she and her staff presented "a very compelling case." "The county's best economic policy is to decrease violent juvenile crime. So long as violent juvenile crime remains or escalates, economic losses will be felt," the judge said. "By front-loading services in the juvenile justice system, less money is expended in the adult criminal justice system."

Should teenage brain be a factor in sentencing? – December 13, 2006
What was Michael Brown thinking? Jurors pondered that nearly 12 years ago before deciding on the guilty verdict that would lock the teen away for decades in an adult prison. They questioned why a 16-year-old boy with no previous history of violence did nothing to stop his teen pals from stabbing his screaming grandparents in 1994 unless he was the cold and calculating killer prosecutors said he was. But if the trial took place now or years from now, would science have played a greater role in their deliberating? Would Brown have been saved from the adult sanctions because of his teenage brain? Advances in brain research suggest it's possible.

Area officer to advise Crist on juvenile justice – December11, 2006
Gainesville police officer and union leader Jeff McAdams campaigned for Gov.-elect Charlie Crist and now he's in a position to make sure the new administration makes the right decisions. McAdams has been selected to examine the state's juvenile justice system as a member of one of the 29 citizens' committees that will make recommendations on nearly every aspect of state government during Crist's transition.

Foster Care

Young man, 18, needs help making transition from youth home to adult world
Charleston Daily Mail – December 15, 2006
When he was a toddler, he was the victim of severe abuse and neglect. It was a terrible start to a life that hasn't been easy. Now 18, he has been in foster care most of his life. At one time, he was adopted and then returned to the state's custody by his adoptive parents. He's currently in a state-funded youth group facility, but will be discharged soon because he is an adult.

Ads Push Us to Do Something about Foster Care
Voices for Illinois Children – December 12, 2006
"Don't Write Me Off: Foster Kids Are Our Kids," a partnership of child welfare agencies from every region of the state spearheaded by Voices for Illinois Children, took a major leap forward with the staged introduction of billboards, Spanish language radio spots, subway and bus ads, and print advertisements this month.

Colts fans asked to donate to Books for Youth – December 13, 2006
The Indianapolis Colts want you to bring a child's book to Monday night's game at the RCA Dome. Children at the College Avenue branch of the Marion County Public Library system received books Tuesday as the kick-off to the Books for Youth program. The Colts and the Department of Child Services want to get age-appropriate books into the hands of foster children. "It's designed to get children who come into foster care books so they can have a connection with education and something that belongs to them," said Judge James Payne, Department of Child Services.

Friday, December 08, 2006

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Solving the Educational and Employment Crisis in America's Cities Through Youth Cultural Competence – December 7, 2006
"If youth are willing to throw away their lives and freedom over disrespect in the streets, what do we think they will do to their educational choices when they are so called 'disrespected by the system’?” That was the question posed by the Youth Development and Research Fund (YDRF) as they kicked off the 2006 National Youth Development Symposium in Chicago this week.

Struggling students reach new heights through Lee's Achievement Academy
Commercial Dispatch – December 7, 2006
Watching students repeatedly remain in the seventh and eighth grades as their peers move on to high school, many might have dubbed them hopeless. But Robert Keenum, principal of Lee Middle School, took on the challenge of moving those over-aged children out of middle school and on to the rest of their lives.

Drop-Outs Flock to Private High School – December 7, 2006
There has been a lot of talk about the high school drop out problem in South Bend, but what is being done about it? This year, a new approach was tried as a private-not-for-profit group opened a faith based alternative school on South Michigan Street in August.

Educators opt to keep unruly kids in school
Miami Herald – December 4, 2006
Harold Barnwell rubbed his arm and gazed at the class, now transfixed on his discussion of owners' methods for controlling slaves. ''What if someone placed all the light-skinned people on one side of the room and dark-skinned people on the other?'' Barnwell asked the group. ``What would happen?''

Juvenile Justice

MacArthur awards $40 million for juvenile justice reform
Seattle Post Intelligence – December 4, 2006
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced Monday that it will award $40 million to four states, including Washington, to support juvenile justice reform.

Juvenile justice options examined at conference
Battleboro Reformer – December 7, 2006
Though no one can pinpoint precisely where it happens, at some point during a child's life, they become an adult. So when it comes to an adolescent who commits a crime, attention is usually paid to whether or not that person should be treated as an adult. For those in the legal community, that issue was looked at during a seminar in Montpelier last week.

New tack on teen justice: a push away from prisons
Christian Science Monitor – December 8, 2006
Cook County, home of the nation's first juvenile court, created in 1899, hasn't always had the best track record for dealing with young offenders. A 1995 Chicago Tribune editorial deplored the local juvenile detention center's filthy conditions, unqualified staff, and children who "languish there like warehoused animals."

Foster Care

Benefit held for foster children
Appalachian News Express – December 7, 2006
Some Pike County children won't spend Christmas with their families this year. They'll join hundreds of other Kentucky children who celebrate the holiday in foster care centers or homes.

Program Helps Teens Transition Out Of Foster Care – December 5, 2006
Once they turn 18 or graduate from high school, foster teens are basically on their own. Lucas Smith found himself in that situation at 19-years-old. "You don't know where you're going to go," he said. "You don't know if your family will take you in."

Monday, December 04, 2006

This Week's New: Youth in Transition


Time to Reform Public Higher Ed
Boston Globe - December 4, 2006
The National Conference of State Legislatures is out with a new report on the state of higher education across the United States, and the picture isn't pretty.

New Richland One Program Offers Second Chance For Drop-Outs, SC - Nov 15, 2006
Jamie Radden is just 16 years old, and she's already facing the same issues that people twice her age are dealing with.

States Attempt To Lower High School Dropout Rates - 12/2/2006
He was only in 10th grade but already 18 -- and still failing many classes. It's no mystery why Rico Simpson dropped out of Canton High School.

Juvenile Justice

Juvenile Justice Efforts Here Funded
Pittsburgh Post Gazette, PA - December 04, 2006
A report on juvenile justice being released today touts Pennsylvania and Allegheny County as models for national standards in the use of innovative strategies for keeping young people out of the court system.

Juvenile Justice System Needs Public Oversight
Nashville City Paper, TN - Nov 30, 2006
Of course, it is impossible for the public to actually monitor the juvenile justice system as it works to generate these kinds of records.

Juvenile Justice Leaders to Convene at MacArthur Foundation's
Business Wire (press release), CA - Nov 30, 2006
The MacArthur Foundation will commit a total of $100 million to support and accelerate promising models for juvenile justice reform across the country.

Foster Care

Foster Youth's Eternal Quest for a Forever Family
San Francisco Chronicle - Nov 28, 2006
In the last year, unprecedented attention has been focused on flaws in the foster care system. This is encouraging because the state of foster care demands our sustained attention if it is ever going to improve. But make no mistake. Foster care is by no means an end in itself. The true happy ending for a child who has been removed from his birth parents is a "forever family," whether that means returning to his own birth family in a healthy setting or being adopted.

The VOICES are Still Strong
Napa Valley Register, CA - Nov 21, 2006
Shawnee Brooks holds back tears when she’s asked to describe how working at the nation’s first youth-run support organization for foster care youth is changing her 22-year-old hard knocks life.

Youth Engagement

President Carter's Volunteerism Inspiring Young People, MS - Nov 30, 2006
"It feels good." Volunteers say the Youth Build program gives high school drop outs a new beginning. They've learned not to give up no matter what, and by volunteering, they hope to encourage hurricane victims not to give up either.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

This Week's News:Youth in Transition


Follow-up leads kids to graduate, expert says
Chicago Sun-Times-15 November 2006
Following up preschool with extra hdlp throughout childhood significantly boosts the odds that poor kids will graduate high school and live a crime-free life, a new study by a NoblePrize-winning University of Chicago economist finds. About 65 percent of disadvantaged students who go to quality preschool will graduate high school, the economic model predicts. If support continues as children age, that jumps to 91 percent.

Project to track high school grads through college
Houston Chronicle-19 November 2006
Once students graduate from high school, they often disappear into that massive place we call the real world. It's a frustrating reality for educators, including those in the Houston school district, who must carry out Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra's recent promise to create a "college- bound culture" in the city's schools.

Juvenile Justice

Juvenile Justice:Miss. should not boost plan
The Clarion-Ledger-26 November 2006
A report Wednesday that Mississippi's two juvenile facilities are still not in compliance with a federal court agreement should draw attention of state legislators when they meet in January. Mississippi in May 2005 entered a four-year decree to end a lawsuit by the U.S> Justice Department after abuses were found in 2003.

Foster Care

State struggles to place teens in foster care
Star Bulletin-20 November 2006
A series of Star Bulletin stories about the hard-to-place mixed racial children resulted in at least 15 adoptive families, many stationed here in the military. Fortunately, times have changed. Ethnicity is no longer a barrier to adoptions. But there are problems finding homes for older foster youth who need permanent families just as much as little ones.

The VOICES are still strong
Napa Valley Register - 21 November 2006
One year after founding VOICES-Voice Our Independent Choices for Emancipation Support-a group of 10 former foster care youth has shown the nation, critics, and themselves that so-called maladjusted former foster care kids can take charge of helping their own. VOICES' mission is to be a one-stop connection for foster youth who "age out" of the system when they turn 18. Youth workers guide their peers to find agencies that can help them live in the real world.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

This Week's News:Youth in Transition

Schools beating odds basis for plan to improve education
Arizona Republic - 13 November 2006
There may be newfound hope for "mostly Latino, mostly poor" Arizona schools that struggle with high dropout rates and low academic performance according to a state study. Latinos make up more than 405,000 of the state's 1 million students. They are a growing population, but are lagging behind their academic peers.

Gates Foundation aids school
17 November 2006
The richest charitable foundation in the world will help open an alternative high school in Western Pennsylvania next year to help the most vulnerable students have a better chance for success. Thanks to a multi-million dollar donation from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Communities In Schools will be able to expand its national network of alternative schools by opening 12 more in four states by fall of next year.

2-year colleges low on transfers
Mercury News - 17 November 2006
Most of California's 2.5 million community college students will neither earn associate's degrees nor transfer to four-year schools, according to a study released this week. The report by the Public Policy Institute of California illustrates the varied mission of the state's 110 two-year schools as well as stark racial differences in success rates. Researches found that black, Lation and American Indian students were half as likely to transfer as Asians.

Juvenile Justice
Juvenile Justice in "pit of trouble"
LA Daily News - 19 November 2006
The U.S. Department of Justice is close to seeking federal oversight of Los Angeles County's juvenile justice system, which has been plagued for years by violence and other problems, county authorities said Tuesday. Representatives of the department have expressed alarm about excessive use of force, an education crisis and high conviction rates in the three juvenile halls and 19 probation camps.

Attorney General Lockyer Releases 2005 Annual Juvenile Justice California Report - 17 November 2006
Attorney General Bill Lockyer today released the Department of Justice's Juvenile Justice in California, 2005 report showing nearly two-thirds (60 percent) of juveniles were arrested for a misdemeanor offense, 26.5 percent were arrested for felonies and 13.4 percent were arrested for status offenses.

Foster Care
Institute for Justice Vows to Defend Arizona's Scholarships for Disabled and Foster Care Students From Unprecedented Legal Attack
EdNews - 16 November 2006
The Institute for Justice and its Arizona Chapter today pledged to defend Arizona's two new publicly funded scholarship programs from legal attack. The programs are designed to help especially vulnerable students-those with disabilities and those in foster care-secure quality educational opportunities in private schools. A coalition of special interest groups filed their legal challenge today, skipping the trial court and asking for a resolution of the case by the Arizona Supreme Court.

Tout college, training to foster children
Burlington Free Press - 19 November 2006
About 1,500 young Vermonters are under the care of the state on any given day. About 150 are nearing age 18 each year, many facing an uncertain future without the state's support, family connections or the basic skills to make it on their own. Vermont higher education, labor and industry, and financial aid officials need to reach out to foster care youths at the earliest ages to ensure they understand that college and work force training are within their grasp.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

This Week's News:Youth in Transition

New Tack Helps At-Risk Students: College
Washington Post
7 November 2006
Early college high schools look to offer college-credit programs tailored to disadvantaged students, including those who might drop out. The goal is to give students more challenging, career-oriented classes, with support when needed, in an effort to keep them in school.

Secretary Spellings Announces $42 Million for 16 Grants to Reward Effective Teaching and Leadership
U.S. Department of Education
8 November 2006
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today announced the award of $42 million for 16 grants that will reward educators who take on tough jobs and show result in high-need schools. The grants will be used to provide financial incentives to teachers and principals who improve student achievement in high-poverty schools and to recruit effective teachers to those schools. The grants are projected to be funded for five years for a total of some $240.6 million.

The Facts on Federal Education Spending
10 November 2006
Sweeping victories in the midterm elections have put Democrats in charge of the 110th Congress. After twelve years out of power, what will Democrats seek to accomplish in federal education policy? Actually, federal education spending has grown dramatically over the past six years under President Bush and the Republican Congress. But more importantly, whether it's Republican or Democrats increasing federal funding, more federal dollars have not improved American education in recent decades.

Juvenile Justice
Colleges work with Juvenile Justice to help troubled girls
The State.Com
5 November 2006
Two colleges have teamed with the state Juvenile Justice Department to improve the lives of troubled teenage girls. The Clemson Center for Girls Advocacy will act as a resource and research hub to tackle issues such as teen pregnancy and high school dropout rates and poor self esteem. There are specific differences between adolescent men and women that need to be taken into account as we develop educational opportunities for them.

Baltimore juvenile center criticized
The Washington Times
12 November 2006
The Baltimore Juvenile Justice Center is run in an unconstitutional manner, causing youth to "suffer significant harm and risk of harm" because of a lack of staff and inadequate behavior management and treatment plans, the U.S. Department of Justice has found. A report obtained by the Baltimore Sun concluded that the state-run center failed to adequately protect children, citing youth-on-youth assault rates 47 percent higher than the national average for such facilities. It also found that youths are not adequately protected against suicide and that the center fails to provide adequate mental health treatment and other services.

Foster Care
State program stalls, difficult-to-place foster children wait for homes
The Star-Ledger
12 November 2006
A $2.7 million state effort to locate foster families willing to accept the hardest-to-place kids has fallen far short of its goal, prompting child welfare officials to seek sweeping changes. There are 11,200 children in foster care because the Division of Youth and Family Services suspects or has substantiated that their parents or guardians have harmed them. About 9,000 of these children live in 4,200 traditional foster homes; the rest live in group homes and residential centers.

Cross Cutting
Defining the Term "At Risk"
9 November 2006
Child Trends has published this Research-to-Results Brief which aims to define this term, used frequently, but with no consistent definition. This brief highlights some of the issues surrounding the concept. Who is at risk? What are they at risk of? What can the information on risk be used for? Is a quantitative measure of "at-risk" desired? And what about protective factors?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

This Week's News: Youth in Transition

Foundation's small-schools experiment has yet to yield big results
Seattle Times
5 November 2006
Most Washington schools awarded grants to help downsize into smaller units haven't carried through. But a few are coming close to achieving what the foundation first envisioned as a way to improve high-school education. The Gates Foundation says it thinks most of its grantees have made good progress, with more low-income students in challenging classes and on a college track.

High college costs sacrificing students' dreams, study finds
Chicago Tribune
30 October 2006
Sharp tuition increases are forcing more lower-income students to trade their dream college for less expensive universities or community colleges, or are keeping some out of school entirely, according to a study released on Monday.

Nearly 95,000 students homeless in state
Oroville Mercury-Register
31 October 2006
Thousands of California school children each year find themselves living in shelters, motels, cars, with family or friends, and even on the street because they don't have a permanent home. The state Senate Transportation and Housing Committee released its own report Monday with preliminary homeless figures from the 2005-06 school year. They found close to 95,000 school-aged children were homeless last year and two-thirds of them in elementary school.

Juvenile Justice
'Bad girl' statistics get worse

Daily News
31 October 2006
More city schoolgirls are landing in juvenile detention now than a decade ago-while crime among boys is dropping, a new report reveals. Last year, 1,037 girls younger than 16 entered city detention facilities, up from 772 in 1992, according to the report by the Citizens' Committee for Children. Experts blame the spike among girls on many things, from increases in family violence and female aggression to violent images in the media.

Foster Care
Disabled foster kids to get special care
Miami Herald
2 November 2006
After a long wait, hundred of Florida foster children are supposed to received care for their developmental disabilities, but a Miami-Dade judge wants to know when. The long battle of 333 Florida foster child with special needs to obtain needed care from the state appears to be over, as state officials say they have found millions of dollars to help the kids.

Teen Court Days
Gotham Gazette
1 November 2006
More and more people agree that teens should have more of a voice in their own cases. A study last year by the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care found that surprisingly few teens participated in court proceedings. It recommended that courts find ways to include teens in the decision-making on their own cases. At New York's Youth Summit, recently held at Fordham University, many teens in foster care explain why it has been difficult for them to do so.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

This Week's News: Youth In Transition


Experiment Will Test the Effectiveness of Post-Prison Employment Programs
New York Times
1 October 2006
Jobs are arranged by a Chicago charity, the Safer Foundation, which works with current and former prisoners. Offering transitional jobs like these-immediate, closely supervised work and help finding permanent employment-is a growing tactic in the effort to usher felons back to society and curb recidivism. Now the effectiveness of this approach is about to be tested scientifically for the first time.

Del. drop-out rate frustratingly high
Wilmington News Journal
29 October 2006
Of every 10 freshman entering Delaware high schools this fall, six likely will earn their diplomas in 2010. Students offer many reasons for leaving. Of 500 dropouts interviewed, about 69 percent said they weren't motivated to work hard. Two-thirds said they would have worked harder if more was demanded of them. Many of the 16- to 25-years-olds interviewed had more than one reason for leaving.

Seniors face tough odds trying to get into college
29 October 2006
Facing one of the most competitive college admissions cycles in decades, students scramble for acceptance. "We're turning away students who are number one and two in their class not because we're arrogant but because we don't have room" said Lee Stetson, dean of admissions at the University of Pennsylvania, which rejected 62 percent of the 1,035 high school valedictorians who applied this year.

Juvenile Justice

Studies: Youth punishment doesn't always fit the crime
Times Leader
29 October 2006
Unlike the adult criminal justice system, judges in the Commonwealth's juvenile system don't hand down uniform or definite sentences. In many cases, punishments for juveniles end up being harsher than they are for adults, with considerably longer sentences, according to some studies. There is evidence that female juveniles receive unequal treatment in sentencing even as the proportion of female juveniles in the system nationwide has slowly increased through the years, from 13 percent in 1991 to 15 percent in 2003.

Bringing vision to kids--and the system
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
30 October 2006
Councilwoman Kathy Lambert opens a lot of eyes in the juvenile justice system. She read a study done in San Bernardino, California that showed that more than 70 percent of the kids caught up in its juvenile justice system had some kind of vision problem and that after the young offenders and custodial cases were given glasses and tracked for one year, almost none returned to detention. Recidivism dropped to nearly nothing. This inspired her to test her local juvenile justice system. The result: Eighty percent of those tested had some kind of vision problem. Seventy-three percent needed glasses only while the others needed further vision evaluation. And, among all of those kids, only 5 percent had any idea that they had a problem with their sight.

Foster Care

Safety net for ex-foster kids
The Mercury News
28 October 2006
On Monday, Unity Place Apartments opens with great expectations in San Jose, the first 24 units in Santa Clara County dedicated exclusively to young adults who have "aged out" of foster care. Community groups like Unity Care are finally starting to get meaningful state support. This year, California legislators more than tripled the budget for affordable housing and supportive services for homeless former foster youth, from $1.3 million to $4.8 million.

Youth helps out fellow foster kids
The Press-Enterprise
28 October 2006
For his Eagle Scout project, Timothy Buchheit set out to collect 1,000 suitcases and bags for foster children. He chose this particular project, because, as a foster child himself, he could identify with the pain of being shuffled from one home to another with his worldly possessions stuffed into a garbage bag.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Bleak College Graduation Rate Is Found
Washington Post
19 October 2006
Only 9 percent of D.C. public school freshman will complete college within five years of graduating from high school, a figure far below the national average, according to a report to be released today. The report asserts that nine out of 10 freshman will be confined to low-paying jobs because they never began college or gave up before obtaining a degree.

Bush Touts Education Program
Los Angeles Times
19 October 2006
President Bush on Wednesday renewed his efforts to win reauthorization of his signature education program when the new Congress begins work next year, and said he would not yield on one of its most controversial components: the requirement that standardized tests periodically measure students' progress.

Dropout crisis in city emerges from research
The Philadelphia Inquirer
19 October 2006
Only about half of the ninth graders in Philadelphia's public schools graduate in four years, and for some minority male students, the rate is even lower, according to a report being released today.
Researchers say the social and finanical consequences are grave not only for the 30,000 young people who dropped out between 2000 and 2005, but also for the economic health of the region.

Juvenile Justice

Girl violence on the rise in schools
The State
16 October2006
Girls today, according to national crime statistics, are more violent than girls of two or three decades ago. Besides a rise in aggravated assault arrests, girls account for about a quarter of assualts by juveniles.
About 75 percent of the time, the victims are other girls. Experts cite a mix of causes: Today's girls, unlike girls of three decades ago, are encouraged to be competitive and confrontational. Some experts say girls fight for some of the same reasons boys often do--to gain respect and to defend their reputations.

Foster Care

CASA's Role In Promoting The Education of Foster Children
The Post- Journal
20 October 2006
CASA: Advocates for Children of New York State has partnered with the Permanent Judicial Commission for Justice for Children to address educational issues for foster children. The lingering effects of abuse and neglect often lead to behavior problems such as aggression and withdrawal, which can further interfere with the child's ability to learn. Many children surveyed in a study also said that they limited their social interaction with peers to hide their foster status and avoid the social stigma.

Funds to help at-risk kids lagging
The Mercury News
18 October 2006
Volunteers await training to advocate for delinquents, children in foster care. There's nothing that can be done because of the lack of funding, which is unfortunate. It's unfortunate for anyone who wants to be an advocate, but the real need is for the kids.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

This Week's News: Youth In Transition


Hispanics hit hard by tuition tab
Desert News
15 October 2006
While rising tuition costs affect all families, a new report by the Campaign for America's Future suggests that Hispanics are disproportionately hurt. College is simply getting priced out of reach for more and more deserving students.

Appeal planned on in-state tuition for illegal immigrants
Sacramento Bee
12 October 2006
A Yolo County judge's ruling upholding a CA law, that allows a public colleges and universities to extend resident fees to illegal immigrants will be appealed. Plantiffs claimed that giving certain undocumented immigrants lower-cost in-state tuition discriminates against U.S. residents who are charged higher tuition. Without the law, supporters say, many students would not have been able to afford college.

Juvenile Justice

States Are Growing More Lenient in Allowing Felons to Vote
New York Times
12-October 2006
Legislatures in 16 states have loosened voting restrictions on felons over the last decade, according to a new report, a trend hailed by some advocates as a step toward democratic principles and fairness, especially for black Americans. Becaused of their high incarceration rate, blacks are most affected by the voting bans that vary widely among the states, with many barring current inmates and parolees from voting until they have fulfilled their sentences, and some barring felons for life.

Justice Department report criticizes Juvenile Justice Center
The Associated Press
7 October 2006
The Baltimore Juvenile Justice Center is being run in an unconstitutional manner, causing youths to "suffer significant harm and risk of harm" because of a lack of staff and inadequate behavior management and treatment plans, the Justice Department has found. The U.S. agency began investigating the center last summer after advocates and others complained that youths were being mistreated and that the facility was unsafe and not adequately staffed.

Foster Care

Lil Kim Takes Up Foster Care Cause
11-October 2006
Lil Kim credits her 10-month stay in federal prision for giving her the clarity to pick up foster care as her new cause. She recently attended the second annual Keeping the Promise to At-Risk Youth Conferenced in Washington, DC. The one-day summit was organized to highlight issues within the foster care system and develop mentoring programs and other educational services for foster children and at-risk youth.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

This Week's News: Youth in Transition

Rationing Education
Washington Post
5 October 2006
In dire circumstances, we accept the rationing of scare resources as a necessary if regrettable choice. We triage. And we ration resources in an effort to do the most good for the largest number. But there are areas of life that we have rejected the idea of triage. Public education, an institute charged with disbursing equality of opportunity for all children, is certainly one of them.

Tax credits fund private school scholarships
The Arizona Republic
5 October 2006
More state money is available to help Arizona parents pay tution at private and religious schools. A new law allows businesses and corporations to make donations to private and religious schools to be used for scholarships. The businesses and corportations can then reduce the amount of taxes they owe the state by the smae dollar-for-dollar amount.

Educators Announce Joint Action Plan to Address School Dropout Crisis
National Education Association
5 October 2006
NEA releases 12-point plan for parents, educators, business leaders and lawmakers to reduce high school dropout rate using tactics tried through research and professional experience.

Juvenile Justice

Parishes get juvenile justice grants
Shreveport Times
4 October 2006
A five-year, $7.5 million juvenile justice grant will be split amoung judicial districts covering seven Louisiana parishes to help speed reform in those areas. The districts will use the dollars to reduce disparities that cause more minorities to be imprisoned, to increase community services to keep juvenile offenders out of prison facilities and to improve access to programs that help children avoid becoming juvenile offenders.

Foster Care
Aging out would be easier for youths
Detroit Free Press
8 October 2006
Children who grow up in, then outgrow state care face poverty, homelessness, unemployment, and sometimes jail. But if the Legislature adopts new recommendations, they might finally get some help to get off to a better start. Foster youth would leave state care at 21 and would: get continous medicaid coverage, attend Michigan colleges for free, and use services of a Detroit-based Housing Resource Cetner that matches them with affordable housing.

Downtown help center for homeless youth opening
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
10 October 2006
The local chapter of StandUp for Kids, a nonprofit agency is opening a new downtown outreach ceter for homeless kids and estimates that 2,500 youths in Atlanta are without homes. About 1 percent of America is homeless today and roughly 17 percent of the homeless are under 21.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

This Week's News: Youth In Transition

Making a difference one student at a time
September 28, 2006
Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune
Even Start is a program designed to help high school drop outs receive their GED. It is free and ofers 72 hours a month of instruction but what sets this program apart from other programs, is that the Even Start program adds the component of free child care, lunches and transportation.

Catching the Drop Outs
September 25, 2006
Hispanic Business
Altohugh the national Hispanic gradution rate hovers below 60%, 95% of Aspirantes finish high school. More than 80% finish college. For many years, miniorities and especially Latinos were steered toward vocational occupations. Aspira ensured curricula to enable students...

Foster Care
Lehigh hopes program will foster savings
October 1, 2006
The Morning Call
Lehigh County is starting a pilot program for foster care. The program will cut out the middleman and the county will no longer be solely relying on agencies to train, recruit and work with it's foster families. In the long term it wil be...

Juvenile Justice
Gap Grows in Arrests of Whites, Minority Youths
September 29, 2006
The Portland Oregonian
After years of success in reducing the disparity between the arrest, detention and conviction rates for white and minority juveniles in Multnomah County, the gap is growing again...

Landmark ruling for juvenile justice
September 28, 2006
State Supreme Court rules that minors are not entitled to jury trial.

Juvenile justice: helping juvenile offenders
September 29, 2006
Participants draft law on juvenile justice. The aim of the draft law is to regulate the relations arising in the process of protection of the rights and legal interests of juveniles in conflict with the law, minor sufferers and victims by courts, law enforcement and other state agenices, citizens' self-government bodies and nongovernmental nonprofit organizations.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

This Weeks's News: Youth in Transition


In Many Classroom, “Honors” in Name Only
Washington Post
19 September 2006
In an American education system full of plans for better high schools, more and more courses have impressive labels, such as “honors,” “advanced,” “college prep,” and “advanced placement.” But many researchers and educators say the teaching often does not match the title. They call it course-label inflation.

GRPS tries a new approach for dropouts
In an effort to lure high school drop outs back to school, Grand Rapids Public Schools are trying a new approach that uses hip hop and flexible school schedules.

Juvenile Justice

Families Can Open Their Homes to Troubled Teens

Miami Herald
14 September 2006
A new program in West Kendall funded by the state’s juvenile justice system is recruiting families to host troubled youth in their homes. Using a proven behavioral system, host parents and a group of clinical therapist encourage teenagers with serious delinquency or behavioral problems to develop skills and positive habits to become model citizens.

Is Adult Prison Best for Juveniles?
USA Today
21 September 2006

Get-tough laws that have put more teenagers in adult prisons since the early 90’s jibe poorly with new research on how children can be set straight and society protected at the same time. There is firm evidence that teens prosecuted as adults are much more likely to commit crimes when they get out than those tried as juveniles.

Foster Care

The Oldest Foster Kids Risk Falling To Failure
24-September 2006
This is a group of kids who are more likely by a factor of several times to end up homeless, to end up dependent, to experience a youth adulthood or unemployment, underemployment and poverty. The leading predictor of success for a youngster in foster care, especially an older one, is a caring adult.

This Weeks's News: Youth in Transition


In Many Classroom, “Honors” in Name Only
Washington Post
19 September 2006
In an American education system full of plans for better high schools, more and more courses have impressive labels, such as “honors,” “advanced,” “college prep,” and “advanced placement.” But many researchers and educators say the teaching often does not match the title. They call it course-label inflation.

GRPS tries a new approach for dropouts
In an effort to lure high school drop outs back to school, Grand Rapids Public Schools are trying a new approach that uses hip hop and flexible school schedules.

Juvenile Justice

Families Can Open Their Homes to Troubled Teens

Miami Herald
14 September 2006
A new program in West Kendall funded by the state’s juvenile justice system is recruiting families to host troubled youth in their homes. Using a proven behavioral system, host parents and a group of clinical therapist encourage teenagers with serious delinquency or behavioral problems to develop skills and positive habits to become model citizens.

Is Adult Prison Best for Juveniles?
USA Today
21 September 2006

Get-tough laws that have put more teenagers in adult prisons since the early 90’s jibe poorly with new research on how children can be set straight and society protected at the same time. There is firm evidence that teens prosecuted as adults are much more likely to commit crimes when they get out than those tried as juveniles.

Foster Care

The Oldest Foster Kids Risk Falling To Failure
24-September 2006
This is a group of kids who are more likely by a factor of several times to end up homeless, to end up dependent, to experience a youth adulthood or unemployment, underemployment and poverty. The leading predictor of success for a youngster in foster care, especially an older one, is a caring adult.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


More Schools Falling Short
The Boston Globe
13 September 2006
More of the state's public schools are failing to measure up under federal standards, and the number of schools receiving the worst designation has nearly doubled since last year, according to a preliminary report released yesterday.

Harvard Ends Early Admission
New York Times
12 September 2006
University officials argued that early admissions programs put low-income and minority applicants at a distinct disadvantage.

Is Early Admission Unfair? Harvard’s decision to scrap the practice this week has sparked a debate about how colleges should pick students
The Christian Science Monitor
14 September 2006
When Jamie Dusseault applies to college this fall, she'll try what an increasing number of informed students do to better their chances at select institutions: Apply early.

Teacher leaves schools $1.3 million
The Flint Journal
09 September 2006
In her 29 years as a teacher and counselor at Davison High School, Edna Diehl came across as serious, sometimes even strict, to her students. But it was clear to everyone that she cared deeply and wanted them to succeed in life.

States score low marks in higher ed
07 September 2006A new report flunks 43 states for their efforts to make college affordable and urges states to do more if tomorrow’s students are to successfully compete on a global scale.

Juvenile Justice

Chartering a Course Past Gang Life (editorial)
Los Angeles Times
11 September 2006
The gray vinyl-covered twin beds are similar to the ones that furnish jail cells. But the four young men who just moved into Suite 308 of this Cal State Northridge dormitory couldn't be more aware that their new accommodations mark a milestone on a divergent path.

Federal Report Finds Significant Improvement at Juvenile Hall
The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)
12 September 2006
Treatment of young offenders in the Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall has improved significantly since 2003, when allegations of abuse and excessive force prompted a federal investigation.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

This Week's News: 09 September 2006

Juvenile Justice

Families Relocate Gang Members to Save Them
Sept 07, 2006, USA Today, Kevin Johnson
At a time when gang-related violence is boosting crime rates, a few clergy, parents and even police in troubled communities quietly have been helping to relocate youths in last-ditch efforts to extricate them from gang life.

More Kids In Custody
Sept 02, 2006, The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.), Bleys W. Rose
The number of children at Sonoma County's newly built juvenile hall and Valley of the Moon center for abused children has soared beyond expectations, leaving officials puzzled as to why.


Push to Win Back Dropouts
Sept 05, 2006, The Christian Science Monitor, Amanda Paulson
Chris Ahnert left high school because he figured he didn't have the credits to graduate, anyway.
Aziz Animashan left after he got kicked off the basketball team - the only thing keeping him there.

Vying for Students, Catholic Highs Refurbish, Expand
Sept 05, 2006, The Boston Globe, Tracy Jan
Plasma televisions mounted in hallways display the daily bulletin at St. John's Preparatory School, and computerized white boards have replaced chalk boards in every classroom.

College Students Get Help from Coaches
Sept 07, 2006, The Associated Press/The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Justin Pope
New York students are well-prepared for college, compared with their counterparts nationwide. But they are struggling to pay once they get there.

Foster Care

Alamo WorkSource to help former foster kids find jobs
Sept 07, 2006, San Antonio Business Journal
Alamo WorkSource is partnering with the state of Texas to launch a program designed to help young adults transition from foster care to life on their own.

Known as Preparation for Adult Living, or PAL, the program under the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services will use Alamo WorkSource to provide youth with services such as job-hunting assistance, job-readiness training, life-skills coaching, counseling on housing and medical help, and comprehensive case management.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

This Week's News: 03 September 2006


In Schools Across U.S., the Melting Pot Overflows
Sam Dillon, The New York Times - August 25, 2006
Some 55 million youngsters are enrolling for classes in the nation’s schools this fall, making this the largest group of students in America’s history and, in ethnic terms, the most dazzlingly diverse since waves of European immigrants washed through the public schools a century ago.

A bold plan to set black boys up for success
Kate Grossman, Chicago Suntimes - September 3, 2006
One hundred forty black high school boys, sharply dressed in polo shirts and khakis, stood silently in five long lines in an auditorium in West Englewood on a recent Tuesday.

Self-affirmation assignment boosts minority kids' grades
Carl T. Hall, Chronicle Science Writer - September 1, 2006
A simple 15-minute writing task at the start of the school year was enough to significantly improve the grades of African American students and close 40 percent of the "achievement gap" with white students in one suburban school, researchers said Thursday.

Additional News:

Secretary of education praises new GlenOak (Akron Beacon Journal)

Foster Care

Foster Daughter Fights for Herself: Where many such youths fail
Gosia Wozniacka, The (Portland) Oregonian - August 28, 2006
After spending half her life believing her mother’s promises that they would be a family again, a teenage girl faced aging out of foster care and life beyond. Her odds were grim: National statistics show most foster children fail to succeed. But Tabitha Jenner not only finished high school, she finished with a 4.0 grade-point average. She was named a Ford Family Foundation Scholar and was college-bound with 90 percent of her unmet college financial needs covered for four years. But her academic success was dampened by the void her mother left in Tabitha’s life.

Juvenile Justice

Camco man honored by Juvenile Justice Commission Cherry Hill Courier Post, NJ - Aug 24, 2006 A Clementon resident has been named a 2005 Corrections Officer of the Year by the state Juvenile Justice Commission.

Caddo must make its case for juvenile justice sales tax proposal Shreveport Times, LA - Aug 20, 2006 The Caddo Commission's decision to take another shot at a juvenile justice tax increase has a premature feel. Additional dollars ...


Authorities Hope Superintendent Can Turn Around Juvenile Center (WRTV Indianapolis)

Friday, August 25, 2006

This Week's News: 25 August 2006


Grants reward problem-tacklers
July 20, 2006 - Mercury News
Two directors of South Bay social programs are among the inaugural winners of the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award, an unrestricted $125,000 grant designed to recognize and support the most innovative community work in the state.

Eric Weaver, 42, founder of Lenders for Community Development, and James Bell, 52, of the W. Haywood Burns Institute, were among seven winners chosen from more than 475 nominees statewide.

A Former Jail Guard Helps Ex-Prisoners Move Back Into Society
August 3, 2006 issue – The Chronicle of Philanthropy
It is just before 4 on a Monday morning, and the 2700 block of Baltimore's East Madison Street is dark and forbidding, dotted with boarded-up houses. Homes that remain occupied sport "no loitering" signs, adding to the scene's desolation. But in a matter of minutes, the street teems with life: Some 15 men recently released from prison pour out of two buildings and head across the street to the God Is in Reach Transitional House.

Lacking Detention Center, Suffolk Ships Out Juveniles
August 22, 2006 - The New York Times
When the Suffolk County judge orders a 14-year-old runaway held until her next hearing, three days hence, she is sent to the juvenile detention center in neighboring Nassau County -- becoming another one of the hundreds of Long Island youths shipped out of Suffolk every year to detention centers in Nassau, the Bronx and as far away as Syracuse and Buffalo.


Young Adults Must Find Way After Foster Care
August 20, 2006 - (Cleveland, Ohio) The Plain Dealer
Every year, about 20,000 youngsters across the country "age out" of foster care, the surrogate system that looks after children removed from their families, usually because of abuse or neglect.


College Uncertain for Kids Here Illegally: Voters to decide if in-state tuition will apply
August 19, 2006 - Tucson (Ariz.) Citizen
Whose responsibility are they? Children who were brought into the United States illegally, grew up in Tucson, graduated from public schools and aspire to attend college would no longer qualify for in-state tuition at Arizona’s colleges and universities if Proposition 300 passes in November.

Program targets those at risk of not finishing school in 4 years
August 18, 2006 - Chattanooga (Tenn.) Times Free Press
Just a week into his new job as Dade High School’s graduation coach, Byron Ballard got a visit from a girl who hadn’t managed to earn a single credit during her first year of high school.


New Year, New School Concepts in New Orleans
August 26, 2006 edition - The Christian Science Monitor
Katrina's devastation created an opportunity to reconceive a poor system. Charter schools, student input, hope – and controversy – are hallmarks of the one that's emerging.

Monday, August 21, 2006

This Week's News: 21 August 2006

Foster Care

Gay Foster Families Sought
Houston Chronicle, TX – August 14, 2006
A Houston gay advocacy organization has drafted a plan to save gay youths from the streets. The idea -- to recruit gay and gay-friendly parents to the foster care system -- comes amid debates about caregiving by gays and lesbians. At least one state, Florida, outlaws adoption by this segment of the population, and others, including Texas, recently debated stopping them from serving as foster parents. At the same time, gay rights groups say they’ve seen an increased push by some child welfare agencies, including ones in New York City and Philadelphia, to recruit gay-friendly foster parents for gay, lesbian and transgender teenagers.

Foster Parents Getting Organized
USA Today – August 14, 2006
... The Baxters and others, convinced that Washington state's foster-care system is "in crisis," are forming the nation's first union representing foster parents to gain more clout with state agencies. By January, organizers expect to have a proposal before the Legislature, which must approve any new group of unionized state employees.

State Warned About Foster System
Las Vegas Review-Journal, NV – August 17, 2006
... Conditions for foster children in Clark County have "worsened" since federal officials examined the county's child welfare system in February 2004, stated the letter from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families. Federal officials also noted that the Clark County Department of Family Services violates its own policies by frequently keeping children at Child Haven for longer than a month.


Some Closing the Gap
Rocky Mountain News, CO – August 14, 2006
Students in a few schools across Denver are turning traditional achievement gaps upside down, with Hispanic and black children performing as well as - and in some cases, better than - their white classmates on state reading and math exams.

Black Dads Step Up in Schools with Million Fathers March
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA – August 14, 2006
First, there was the Million Man March in 1995, encouraging African-American men to step up in their responsibilities to their families and community. Now, African-American men are again being encouraged to step up, but with a different twist — helping children do better in school. The Million Fathers March, held for the first time in Atlanta, was organized to get black fathers across the nation more actively involved in their children's learning.

Minority Students Decline in Top New York Schools
The New York Times, NY – August 18, 2006
More than a decade after the city created a special institute to prepare black and Hispanic students for the mind-bendingly difficult test that determines who gets into New York’s three most elite specialized high schools, the percentage of such students has not only failed to rise, it has declined.

Juvenile Justice

New Juvenile Hall Delivers A Message
The Mercury News, CA – July 30, 2006
New architecture for juvenile justice is nearing completion in the foothills of San Mateo County -- designed to give young offenders the support they need to turn away from crime and thrive. At the county's new $148 million youth services complex, the premise is treatment, not punishment, and the message is delivered in the very walls: soothing pastels to calm testy moods, skylights letting in swaths of sunlight and open space for stretching growing muscles.

Costa Mesa Mom Helps Parents Keep Kids From Gangs
Orange County Register, CA – August 15, 2006
It's a quiet day at the Save Our Youth (SOY) center in Costa Mesa, so there are just a couple dozen teens hanging out, but Carmen Barrios makes sure to check every corner – from the weight room to the basketball courts to the music room – to make sure her charges aren't up to trouble.

Youth Leadership

Portland Children Write Own Bill of Rights
The Oregonian, OR - August 16, 2006
Portland will soon become the first major U.S. city to have a children's bill of rights written by the very people it affects. City Council members will vote today to accept the result of a year and a half of work by dozens of Portland children. The document is a no-surprises list of fundamental needs and philosophies any parent or compassionate adult could support, such as the notion that all children should have clothing, a solid roof over their heads and adequate health care.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

This Week's News: 13 August, 2006

Foster Care

The State’s Forgotten Children
Milford Daily News, MA – August 6, 2006
But for many young adults, the scariest and most dangerous part of the foster care experience is the end, when they leave state custody and have to fend for themselves. Every year, researchers believe 600 or so Massachusetts residents "age out" of the foster care system.

Study: Dozens of Children Placed in Foster Care Return to Families
The Belleville News-Democrat, IL – August 6, 2006
A recent survey of 386 foster teens by the University of Chicago Chapin Hall Center for Children found that 106 chose to leave the system, with more than a third of those teens moving in with their biological families. "It's surprising from the standpoint of general public perception and even to people in the system," said Mark Courtney, the center's director. Although many were brought in to the child-welfare system because of abuse or neglect, most of the youths in the study had remained in contact with their relatives. Most reported feeling close to one or more relatives, especially grandparents, siblings and biological mothers.

Fostering a Future
Seattle University, WA - August 9, 2006
For foster youth, dreams of college are often put on hold—or seem too grand to achieve—in a life marked by upheaval and uncertainty. That's about to change for seven exceptional young people, who will take the first step toward fulfilling their dreams of higher education and a better life as Seattle University students beginning this fall.


Schools Getting Tougher on Truants
The Orlando Sentinel, FL – August 8, 2006
Truancy is out of control across Central Florida, and school officials in Orange and Osceola counties are turning to police and the state attorney for more help in convincing parents that their children must be in school. Beginning with this year’s start of school, parents of Orange and Osceola students with five unexcused absences in a month or 10 in three months may be in line for a serious talk with a law-enforcement officer.

Schools Add Graduation Coaches
The Telegraph, GA – August 8, 2006
Seniors in Houston and Peach counties will get an extra boost this year as they work toward graduation. As part of Gov. Sonny Perdue's education initiatives adopted this year by the state Legislature, all high schools in Georgia are required to have a completion counselor, or graduation coach as they are now called.

Two States Drop Out of New Dropout Plan – August 9, 2006
Last summer, all 50 governors pledged to adopt the same formula for tallying high school graduation rates to get a realistic state-by-state picture of how many students are dropping out. But two states already have opted out of the plan, and three more are still deciding whether they'll fall in line.

At Schools, Less Tolerance For ‘Zero Tolerance’
USA Today – August 9, 2006
“Zero tolerance” discipline policies widely enforced in U.S. schools are backfiring: They may be promoting misbehavior and making students feel more anxious, the American Psychological Association reports. The group called Wednesday for more flexibility and common sense in applying the policies, reserving zero tolerance for the most serious threats to school safety. “The ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach isn’t working. Bringing aspirin to school is not the same as bringing cocaine,” says Texas A&M educational psychologist Cecil Reynolds who led an APA panel that surveyed the get-tough practices.

Juvenile Justice

Should Teens Get Life Prison Terms?
The Detroit News, MI – August 5, 2006
Michigan’s juvenile justice system allows teens to spend the rest of their lives behind bars for murder, even if they didn’t pull the trigger. Though 41 other states permit life sentences without parole for those younger than 18, such sentencing is forbidden in most countries, notes a United Nations human rights report. Ann Arbor lawyer Deborah LaBelle, whose research was cited by the U.N., is leading a push in Michigan and across the country to change such laws.

Sheriff Implements Fresh Start Program for Juvenile Offenders
Sun Herald, FL – August 11, 2006
Charlotte County Sheriff John Davenport announced implementation of a new program called "Fresh Start" for first-time juvenile offenders and at-risk juveniles before they become delinquent.

Monday, August 07, 2006

This Week's News: 7 August, 2006


Perkins Reauthorization
On July 26, the Senate approved final reauthorization of the “Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006” by unanimous consent. Early on July 29, the House of Representatives followed by passing the bill by a 399-1 vote. Final passage of this legislation is a huge victory for career and technical education (CTE)! This was the final step necessary to send the bill to the President to be enacted into law.

Editorial: U.S. Needs to Improve Black Teens' Schooling
Star Tribune, MN – July 31, 2006
America now has more black, male college graduates, professionals and other success stories than ever, yet the numbers at the other end of the spectrum are growing too. Check out just about any index, and African-American males are at or near the top of the "worst" lists: unemployment, poverty, arrests, incarceration, health problems -- all tend to hit them harder.

Those Who Quit School Have Reasons and Regrets
Tennessean, TN – August 6, 2006
They call it an epidemic — the silent epidemic. It's the high number of students who drop out of high school. It's happening in Nashville, in Tennessee and in many other cities and towns across the nation. And, it's a major concern.

Juvenile Justice

New Juvenile Hall Delivers a Message
The Mercury News, CA – July 30, 2006
New architecture for juvenile justice is nearing completion in the foothills of San Mateo County -- designed to give young offenders the support they need to turn away from crime and thrive. At the county's new $148 million youth services complex, the premise is treatment, not punishment, and the message is delivered in the very walls: soothing pastels to calm testy moods, skylights letting in swaths of sunlight and open space for stretching growing muscles.

For Juvenile Offenders, a Measure of Justice that Heals
Boston Globe, MA - August 3, 2006
…The 2001 case involving Zucker was the first one the Restorative Circle handled. The program is an alternative to the court system for young offenders whose crimes involve property damage or alcohol abuse, but not personal injury. The Carlisle Restorative Circle, a replication of the Concord program, began in 2003.

Foster Care

Editorial: No Time to be Complacent
San Francisco Chronicle, CA - July 30, 2006
ASK ABOUT THE state of foster care in California these days, and many -- from the state Capitol, to the courts, to the counties -- will say the same thing: "The time for reform is now."

Leno Foster Care Bill Gets Funding
Bay Area Reporter, CA - August 3, 2006
…The funding boost was included in the 2006-07 state budget, and will allow implementation of Leno's AB2489, a measure to provide foster youth with academic preparation, financial assistance, and campus-based support.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

This Week's News: 29 July, 2006

Foster Care

'Aging Out’ a Struggle as Some of Area’s Foster Youth Leave Home
The Western Star, OH - July 27, 2006
…In Ohio, about 1,200 children age out of foster care each year; including a handful from Warren County. When they do, they lose their state benefits and often have to get a job, health insurance and housing without the help of an adult. But many foster youth aren’t ready for that responsibility and struggle to make it on their own, according to a study released by Harvard Medical School late last year.

State Program Helps Foster Kids Transition into Adulthood
Helena Independent Record, MT – July 28, 2006
…“It used to be that when a foster child turned 18, they were given a stipend and shown the door,” Winters said. “This program provides a bridge from foster care to adulthood. It’s not intended to support foster youth. It’s to help them learn to support themselves.”

Foster Children Get Help Saving Money
Tampa Bay's 10, FL – July 29, 2006
Tampa, Florida - About 30 foster teenagers started learning the value of saving money today. They were taken to the Washington Mutual Bank on North Dale Mabry, where they made their first ever savings account deposit. It's part of a program called Eckerd Foundation's "Opportunity Passport", aimed at helping foster youth become economically self-sufficient.


New Standards to Improve Accuracy of Dropout Rates
Republican American, CT – July 23, 2006
…Depending on what figures you look at now, numbers for the national dropout rate for high school students are all over the place, varying by up to 20 percent based on some statistics, according to Jack Jennings, the president of the Center on Education Policy in Washington, D.C. Some say 10 percent of high school students drop out, while others says that number is closer to 30 percent.

Texas Receives Federal Grant to Help With Dropout Rate
Brownsville Herald, TX – July 28, 2006
The U.S. Department of Education on Wednesday awarded the Texas Education Agency a $2.5 million federal grant to help prevent at-risk students from dropping out. The money will be used to address the needs of students at risk of not completing high school as well as students that have already dropped out and are returning to school, the TEA reported.

Bredesen Says 5-year Schools Could Stem Dropouts
WBIR-TV – TN – July 30, 2006
Governor Bredesen says a five-year high school program that bundles together a diploma with a community college degree could help stem dropout rates. Bredesen, who is running for re-election this fall, says he would use his second term to explore creating the program. He says if students spent two years earning an associate's degree while still in high school, they would be much better prepared to enter the job market after graduation.

Juvenile Justice

At-Risk Youth Will be Focus of New County Group
Gazette.Net, MD - July 26, 2006
African Americans make up a disproportionate number of children in the county’s juvenile services and court systems, special education programs and on the roll of students in need of assistance. On Tuesday, county government, schools and law enforcement officials pledged to find out why by agreeing to form the Interdisciplinary Group on At-Risk Children.

Study: 1 In 3 Youth Arrested Are Girl, FL – July 26, 2006
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville police said they're seeing a growing trend of more and more female offenders who are not adult women but girls on the wrong side of the law. Drugs and robberies have become more commonplace with girls.