Saturday, January 13, 2007

This week's News: Youth in Transition


State using Web site to help students prepare for college – January 9, 2007
High school students in Massachusetts have rising MCAS passing rates and higher SAT scores than the national average, but only about half of ninth graders start college and fewer than 30 percent earn a degree.

Latinos lag in reaching, finishing college
Sacramento Bee – January 9, 2007
It's a common refrain Latino kids hear from older relatives who migrated to the United States: "You've got to go to college to be successful -- don't go working in the fields like we did," said Diana Coughran, 17, a college-bound senior at Rio Americano High School.

How Bush education law has changed our schools
USA Today – January 8, 2007
The walls are speaking these days at Stanton Elementary School in Philadelphia, and they're talking about test scores. Post-It notes with children's names tell the story of how, in just five years, a federal law with a funny name has changed school for everyone. "We spend most of our days talking about or looking at data," principal Barbara Adderley says.

Keeping at-risk kids in school requires programs, not rhetoric – January 1, 2007
After bailing out of Franklin High School in her senior year, Jennifer Brown is taking courses again and on track to graduate in the spring. Brown, who was never actually counted as a dropout, is succeeding because Franklin gave her the chance to work at her own pace in an alternative, off-campus program called the Academic Recovery Center. The 18-year-old is even optimistic about passing geometry, her nemesis in the past.

Juvenile Justice

Lamar tackles youth crime
Orlando Sentinel – January 12, 2007
Orange-Osceola State Attorney Lawson Lamar sent a letter to Gov. Charlie Crist with the goal of creating a statewide approach to solve the juvenile-crime problem. Lamar said the Department of Juvenile Justice system "coddles, slaps the wrist and too often rapidly returns the juvenile to the same neighborhood where they once again prey on the community."

Panel aims to reform juvenile justice
The Albuquerque Tribune – January 11, 2007
New Mexico has a training academy for adult corrections officers, so why not offer the same for guards in the juvenile justice system? The idea is one of several stemming from a new state/county commission on juvenile justice, headed up by Tom Swisstack, the director of the Bernalillo County Juvenile Detention Center.

Foster Care

Ex-foster children get help
Fresno Bee – January 11, 2007
Mari Sanders was 12 when her mother swung a switchblade at Mari's half brother during a family fight. "I have a temper," says Bobbie Sanders, the mother. "Yes, I cut [him]. I think I wasn't myself." Mari Sanders, now 20, recalls the incident with little sign of emotion. Her half brother was cut on the arm, but not seriously injured. The police came. Mari ended up in foster care.

UPMC for You Chosen to Develop Program to Improve Care for Foster Children
PR Newswire – January 11, 2007
UPMC for You has been selected by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) to develop a program designed to improve access to physical and behavioral health care for children in foster care in Allegheny County. UPMC for You, the Medical Assistance program of UPMC Health Plan, was one of 11 managed care organizations across the country selected by CHCS to
be part of a national collaborative. The intent of the collaborative is to develop and pilot promising approaches to meet the health and behavioral care needs of children and youth in the child welfare system.

Chief justice asks lawmakers to help Iowa's foster children
Globe Gazette – January 10, 2007
Marsha Ternus, Iowa’s new Supreme Court chief justice, drew praise from lawmakers Wednesday for her calls to improve the state’s role in helping foster children. In the annual State of the Judiciary speech, Ternus’ first since assuming the state’s top court job in September, she urged legislators to do the best they could to protect children in foster care.

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