Monday, March 05, 2007

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Educators face new technological challenge
Daily Herald – February 22, 2007
Too few students in Illinois schools have the technological skills needed to compete in and out of the classroom, research shows. Starting next February, federal law requires every school district nationwide to grade the technological literacy of its eighth-graders.

Schools are finding longer days can help kids make the grade
Chicago Tribune – February 25, 2007
Harris runs Fletcher-Maynard Academy, a combined public elementary and middle school in Cambridge, Mass., that is experimenting with an extended, eight-hour school day. The school, which serves mostly poor, minority students, is one of 10 in the state experimenting with a longer day as part of $6.5 million program.

Program to boost AP enrollment
The Charleston Gazette – February 28, 2007
Not enough low-income students in West Virginia are exposed to advanced high school courses, experts say. Two educational agencies will launch a pilot program this fall in hopes of raising those statistics. Students eligible for free and reduced-price school meals receive fee waivers to offset the cost of AP exams.

Juvenile Justice

S.F. lawmaker urges reform for youth murderers
Mercury News – February 27, 2007
Sacramento- A lawmaker who worked as a school psychologist in the Bay Area before turning to politics said Monday he wants young offenders who are tried as adults and convicted of first-degree murder to no longer face life sentences without parole. Instead, he said, the maximum penalty should be 25 years to life in prison—with a chance of parole.

Suit challenges juvenile system
The Enquirer – March 1, 2007
A local children’s advocacy group, a state children’s advocacy group and a Cincinnati law firm are accusing the Ohio Department of Youth Services, which runs the state’s juvenile prisons, of holding teenagers longer than their sentences call for. The lawsuit said DYS is “arbitrarily and unilaterally” extending the minimum sentences the teenagers are supposed to serve and requiring the teenagers to complete programming as a condition of release without making the programming available.

Battle Brewing On Juvenile Justice
Hartford Courant – February 28, 2007
Connecticut police chiefs say a proposal to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to be treated as juveniles in the criminal justice system would hinder investigations and potentially cost towns money. Speaking to lawmakers at a public hearing at the state Capital complex Tuesday, West Hartford Police Chief James J. Strillacci said requiring a parent or legal guardian to be present before a 16- or 17-year-old can be questioned would create more work for police departments already strapped for staff.

Foster Care

State’s shift from using group homes questioned
Portland Press Herald - February 24, 2007
Augusta – A simmering feud over where troubled children should live is moving from Maine’s social service agencies to the halls of the State House, as legislators prepare to decide whether an outside expert should scrutinize the state’s housing practices for abused and neglected children. The dispute pits agencies that operate group homes for children against the state Department of Health and Human Services. At issue is the state’s decision to find permanent homes for more children and place fewer in privately run group homes—or discharge them from group homes more quickly than in the past.

Child welfare system improves
Philadelphia Inquirer – February 27, 2007
New Jersey’s long-troubled child welfare system is showing signs of improvement, according to the federal monitor appointed to track the state’s progress. New Jersey met its court-mandated goals from July through December 2006 for fixing its fractured system and, in some instances, exceeded them, the Center for the Study of Social Policy in Washington said in a report released yesterday. “New Jersey is finally on a positive path toward reforming the way it delivers child welfare services to children and families,” the report states.

Feds should pay to help families stay together
Des Moines Register – March 3, 2007
The bill being introduced in the Iowa Legislature encouraging social workers to place siblings together in foster care recognizes how important it is for foster children to stay connected with family (“Keep Sibling Together in Foster Care,” Feb. 13). Nationwide, almost 25 percent of children in foster care are living in the homes of grandparents and other relatives. Research show that these youth are more likely to live with their brothers and sisters and to stay connected with friends, family, teachers and all that is familiar. Yet, federal foster-care funds cannot currently be used to support foster children living with relatives who choose to become legal guardians of children.

No comments: