Sunday, July 09, 2006

This Week's News: 9 July, 2006

Foster Care

Schools at Group Homes Assailed
The Sacramento Bee, CA – July 3, 2006
A family of foster children has taken the state Department of Education to court in a case that could force broad changes in the way California educates thousands of youngsters living in group homes. The federal suit, filed last week in Los Angeles, contends the department has acknowledged but hasn't stopped the isolation of foster children in nonpublic schools geared to the most disabled, therefore hobbling their education and social development.

Giving Voice to Parents’ Side of Child Welfare
Los Angeles Times, CA – July 3, 2006
One day, Philneia Timmons sat down and wrote the whole, true story of why the state took her two children away. Even more remarkably, Timmons published her story -- in an unusual journal called Rise, written by and for parents who have been drawn into New York’s child-welfare system. “If you have a closed mind,” she said, “you would think I was a horrible parent.” But she knows what a difference it would have made, during those awful weeks after her children were removed, if she had gotten to read other mothers’ stories.

To Find a Way Home
San Francisco Chronicle, CA - July 7, 2006
WHEN OLDER children enter foster care, they are most at risk for emancipating out of the system without ever finding a stable home, or an adult with whom they can have a permanent relationship. These are the youth who often face homelessness, incarceration and unemployment once they are on their own at 18.


Drop Out Rates Higher than State Reported
Daily Press, CA – July 5, 2006
VICTORVILLE — California's flawed tracking system of high school drop-outs was brought to light in a new report by Education Week. It shows the system inaccurately tracks students, leaving the state with lower numbers to report.

Family-Like Program Opens Brave New Chapter for Black L.A. Students
Los Angeles Times, CA – July 6, 2006
A program created three years ago by African American faculty at Cleveland High, in Reseda, Calif., caused some controversy because it was aimed only at black students. Called the Village, the program focuses on forging personal connections with students in a communal setting that epitomizes the African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child.”

Conclusions Vary in Debate Over High School Exit Exams
AACRAO Transcript, DC - July 6, 2006
States that have adopted a high school exit exam have an increased percentage of drop outs, according to a working paper. Thomas Dee, professor at Swarthmore College, and Brian Jacob, professor at Harvard, report that students in states with relatively easy exit exams are roughly 4 percent more likely to drop out of high school than similar students in states with no exams. The percentage rises to 5.5 percent in states with more difficult exit exams. These effects are stronger among African-American men, they found, but the results were strongly positive for native-born Hispanic women.

Dropouts Must Acknowledge Chance of Bleak Future
Terre Haute Tribune Star, IN – July 8, 2006
Students who want to drop out of high school before age 18 must acknowledge in writing that it is likely to reduce future earnings and increase the likelihood of unemployment. That requirement is part of a new state law that took effect July 1. Now, the Vigo County School Corp. must update its policy on student withdrawal to include the new language. The new law, which includes many other components, is aimed at making it more difficult for students to withdraw before age 18.

Juvenile Justice

PCSO STAR Program Launched July 1
The Lake Wales News, FL – July 7, 2006
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice have reached a contract agreement today to operate a juvenile “STAR” program in Polk County. “STAR” stands for Sheriff’s Training And Respect.” The Sheriff’s Office formerly operated a juvenile boot camp.

Appeals Court Rejects Challenge to Juvenile Court Secrecy
WKYT 27, KY – July 8, 2006
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky's juvenile court proceedings and records may remain secret, a federal appeals court ruled Friday. The three-judge panel from the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati turned away an attempt by the Kentucky Press Association to open juvenile proceedings to the public. The ruling upheld a February 2005 decision by U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Hood, who dismissed the press association's lawsuit against the Kentucky courts.

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