Sunday, February 04, 2007

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Readin’, writin, & rookies
New York Daily News- January 29, 2007
Scores of city schools are staffed almost entirely with teachers who have little or no classroom experience, a Daily News analysis has found. At 116 city schools-mostly new, small high schools in struggling neighborhoods- at least half the teachers have fewer than two years on the job. At 14 of the schools, 80% or more of the teachers are brand-new.

More money for Pell grants
USA Today-January 30, 2007
Democrats unveiled a $463.5 billion catchall spending bill late Monday to boost funding for community health centers, lower-income college students and efforts to combat AIDS overseas-while sticking within the confines of President Bush’s tight constraints for the ongoing budget year. The maximum Pell Grant for lower-income college students would increase by $260 to $4,310. While modest, it’s the first increase since 2003.

27% of top college blacks came from immigrant families
Chicago Sun-Times-January 31, 2007
Black students with U.S. ancestry appear to be less represented in college than race-based statistics indicated, as immigrants make up a disproportionate share of admissions, a Princeton University analysis found. First-or second-generation immigrants made up 27 percent of black freshman entering 28 top-ranked colleges in 1999, according to the study released Tuesday. Such immigrants accounted for only 13 percent of all U.S. blacks age 18 or 19 that year, the researchers found.

Study: 2-year colleges must improve
Contra Costa Times-February 2, 2007
Researchers find that community campuses are doing more to get people in but not enough to help them finish. Educators and policymakers have spent more time and money helping students get into college than on helping them earn their degrees, Sacramento State researchers found.

Juvenile Justice

Mission unaccomplished
Plain Dealer Reporter-January 21, 2007
Ohio’s juvenile-justice mission hinges on a simple, but telling, sentence: To enhance public safety by holding youthful offenders accountable and providing opportunities for rehabilitation. Only it doesn’t work. In the bloated juvenile prisons, public safety comes first; rehabilitation takes a back seat. One out of two inmates commits a new crime after being released and lands back behind bars within three years.

DJJ transition house
The State-February 3, 2007
One of the biggest breakdowns in our penal system is that many inmates— juvenile and adult—are released without skills to cope on the outside, all but guaranteeing they’ll return to prison. The Department of Juvenile Justice has been combating that and could make notable progress when its Girls Transition House, currently under construction, opens this summer. The $740,000 facility will house girls who are within six months of release. They’ll learn to manage money and a household, be better parents and resolve conflicts. Each will have individual graduation plans and access to GED preparation and testing.

Richland Co. taking different approach to juvenile justice
WIS10-January 30, 2007
Richland County is taking a different approach to juvenile justice. A new program is giving kids an alternative to being locked up. Instead of being charged with a crime and going through the juvenile justice process, first time offenders charged with non-violent crimes will be given the opportunity to atone for their mistake through the arbitration program. Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said, “The success rate has been about 90% of these young people never repeat.”

Foster Care

Gov. Wants to Triple Money for Homeless Foster Youth
Gilroy Dispatch-February 2, 2007
Between 120 and 150 children “age out” of foster care every year in Santa Clara County, but most lack the family support to find jobs, housing and other tools to lead successful lives. Social worker Jim Anderson says, “More than 50 percent of former foster youth in California wind up being homeless at some point and a lot of them end up being incarcerated because they just can’t make it.”

Bredesen on hand for Youth Villages announcement
The Bartlett Express-February 1, 2007
Governor Phil Bredesen, Clarence Day, President of the Day Foundation and Patrick Lawler, CEO for Youth Villages, a Memphis-based non-profit organization that works with children and families, held a joint press conference Jan. 23 to announce their joint collaboration to aid youth transitioning into adult life from the foster care system. The partnership produced $3 million in additional funding for Youth Villages Transitional Living program. For Bredesen, the event represented the power that can come when public and private funding is combined to combat any serious societal issue.

Study Calls GLBT Youth Homelessness an Epidemic
EDGE -January 31, 2007
Homelessness among GLBT youth in America is much higher proportionately than among those who are heterosexual, according to a new report. The federal government estimates that the total number of homeless and runaway youth ranges from 575,000 to 1.6 million. The study prepared by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Policy Institute and the National Coalition for the Homeless estimates that 20 to 40 percent (320,000 to 640,000) are GLBTs. According to a study cited in the report, the parents of half of gay teens reacted negatively when they came out and 26 percent were kicked out of their homes. Another study found that more than a third of youth who are homeless or in the care of social services experienced a violent physical assault when they came out. Such treatment often leads youth to leave a homeless shelter or foster care because they believe they would be safer living on the streets.

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