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.

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