Sunday, July 02, 2006

This Week's News: 2 July, 2006

Foster Care

Foster Care Transitioning Focus of Yearlong NGA Policy Academy
National Governor’s Association - June 23, 2006
... Each year, approximately 20,000 youth transition out of foster care. Whether they return to their families or gain independence, their passage into adulthood is often difficult and troubled. Without support, many young adults experience substance abuse and mental illness, encounters with the criminal justice system, homelessness, suicide, teen pregnancy and early parenthood. About half drop out of high school and are ill-prepared to secure and retain employment and become self-supporting.

Strayhorn: More Dying in Foster Care
The Dallas Morning News, TX – June 24, 2006
AUSTIN – An alarming number of Texas children die in foster care, Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn said Friday. Foster children were four times more likely to die than children in the state's general population in 2003, Mrs. Strayhorn said.

Foster Parents Seek Clout of the Collective
Los Angeles Times, CA – June 26, 2006
Washington could become the first state with a union for the caregivers. But critics say such a change would spoil the system's spirit.

Youth and Poverty

Fewer Teens Have Babies or Dropout, but More Live in Poverty
USA Today – June 27, 2006
A report released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation charity finds that measures of health and income for children and teens are no longer improving as much as they did in the 1990s. Instead, children are “treading water,” said foundation President Doug Nelson. The findings were released Tuesday as part of the annual Kids Count report on the health and well-being of children and teens.

Study: Unemployment in State Hurting Kids
The Indianapolis Star, IN – June 27, 2006
A third of Indiana's children live in families where no parent has a full-time job, setting them up for problems ranging from educational struggles to poor health, according to a national report.


States Work to Narrow Teacher Equity Gap – June 23, 2006
For the first time, the federal government is demanding that more of a state's best teachers work at its poorest, mostly minority schools. In two weeks, states must submit a plan to eliminate disparities, such as in Ohio, where one of every eight teachers in its poorest elementary schools is not rated highly qualified compared to one in 67 in its richest schools.

Exit Exam Not the End for High School Seniors
Los Angeles Times, CA – June 25, 2006
Community colleges have long offered a second chance to students with lofty ambitions but lousy high school grades. Now many two-year colleges are trying to attract a new group seeking a fresh start: seniors leaving high school this month without diplomas because they couldn't pass California's new exit exam.

Study Casts Doubt On the ‘Boy Crisis’
The Washington Post, DC – June 26, 2006
A study to be released today looking at long-term trends in test scores and academic success argues that widespread reports of U.S. boys being in crisis are greatly overstated and that young males in school are in many ways doing better than ever. Using data compiled from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a federally funded accounting of student achievement since 1971, the think tank Education Sector found that, over the past three decades, boys’ test scores are mostly up, more boys are going to college and more are getting bachelor’s degrees.

Wanted: Hispanic Students; Colleges Stepping up Efforts to Recruit Hispanics
The Telegraph, GA – June 28, 2006
Georgia College & State University leaders want to say "hola" to many more Hispanic students in the future. With the help of a $700,000 gift this month, the college plans to hire a bilingual recruiter to help bring in more Hispanic students to the college

School District Plans Residence for Homeless Students
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO – June 28, 2006
For six years, Superintendent Linda Henke has watched homeless students struggle to attend Maplewood-Richmond Heights High School. Some miss class for a few days. Some never come back. Now, in what may be a first for a U.S. public school district, Henke is looking to open a group home and get homeless students to school each morning, homework each afternoon and family dinners nightly.

A Path from a ‘Dropout Factory’ to UC Berkeley
Los Angeles Times, CA – June 29, 2006
... Four years ago, when Luz Elena was a freshman, Fremont was labeled "a dropout factory" by a national study. Its dismal test scores have begun creeping up, but are still among the district's worst. The aging campus at 76th and San Pedro streets sits in one of South Los Angeles' poorest neighborhoods. Almost 90% of students are Latino and more than one-third are new immigrants, still learning English.

For Many, Graduation Day Is No Celebration
The Star-Ledger, NJ – June 29, 2006
Nearly 400 graduates of Paterson’s John F. Kennedy High School marched into their commencement last week in single file, many of them poor, most from immigrant families, all of them celebrating, but at least half of the original freshman class -- perhaps as many as 400 students -- had simply disappeared from the high school scene. New Jersey boasts the highest graduation rate in the country, at better than 84 percent, according to a new report that put the national average at 69 percent.

13% of State Students Projected to Drop Out
The Birmingham News, AL – June 29, 2006
MONTGOMERY - Thirteen of every 100 Alabama high school students are likely to drop out before reaching their graduation dates, according to the latest state figures. Across the state, those numbers vary widely. At Anniston High School, 37.14 percent of students are projected to drop out. On the other end of the spectrum are the Alabama School of Fine Arts, where no students are projected to drop out, and Mountain Brook High School, where the projection is 0.73 percent.

Juvenile Justice

Editorial: Juvenile Justice, FL - June 27, 2006
ISSUE: L.G. is pregnant again, but this time her day in court could put her behind bars. There's something wrong when a judge has to detain a pregnant teenager by sending her to a heavily guarded, high-risk, juvenile detention facility.

Officials Await Results of Juvenile Justice Bill, KS - June 28, 2006
Rep. Melody McCray-Miller celebrated when a bill she pushed requiring Kansas's juvenile justice system to reduce racial, geographic and other biases became law in May. The real celebration will come, the Wichita Democrat said, once black and Hispanic youths' presence in the system decreases.

Juvenile Justice Rally
Sacramento Bee, CA - June 30, 2006
Family members and friends of youths who have died while at California Youth Authority facilities rally Thursday at the Capitol. The group, Books not Bars, supports four bills in the Legislature sponsored by Sen. Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles, and Sen. Mike Machado, D-Linden, that are designed to overhaul the state's juvenile corrections system.

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