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.