Sunday, March 18, 2007

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Group to Offer AP Exam Extra Credit: $250
The Washington Post – March 9, 2007
The Advanced Placement program has long offered college credit to high school students who show mastery of a subject. Now, a group of educators and business executives plan to dangle another incentive in front of AP students and teachers in selected schools across the country: $250 for each passing score on science, English and math tests. The group behind the offer says it aims to raise AP achievement in certain public schools where an incentive might make a difference.

Study calls for more targeted school funding
San Francisco Chronicle – March 14, 2007
A soon-to-be released study of California’s public education systems says the state will have to stop pouring money blindly into schools – and spend far more money specifically on kids with the highest needs – if it wants every student to succeed. The voluminous treatise—232 separate studies by academics and educators—highlights failings in the current system and offers ideas for improvement, concluding that dumping money on schools won’t cure what ails the 6.3 million student system.

AP Enterprise: Many states don’t track pre-K students
Kansas City Star – March 10, 2007
Fourteen years ago, Georgia launched a publicly funded pre-kindergarten program that later became the first in the nation to offer free classes to all 4-year-olds. Educators promised better prepared students and eventually lower crime rates when students got older. But don’t ask state officials for data on how many of those students graduated from high school and went on to college this past fall. They didn’t keep track.

Juvenile Justice

Critics call juvenile overhaul a gamble
The Charlotte Observer – March 17, 2007
North Carolina is betting at least $80 million on a transformation of its juvenile justice system that even its advocates aren’t sure will work. The NC Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is reinventing the way it treats its toughest offenders. The new approach stresses education and encouragement, not punishment.

Audit ordered on 17-year-olds in justice system
Oshkosh Northwestern – March 17, 2007
People have strong opinions on whether 17-year-olds who commit crimes should be prosecuted in adult court or in the juvenile system. Now, a state group will conduct a study to determine which option is most effective at reducing the chances a teen will not commit anymore crimes. The Joint Legislative Audit Committee unanimously directed the Legislative Audit Bureau to study what happens when a 17-year-old offender is handled by the juvenile system and what happens if that teen is prosecuted in adult court.

New hope for youth crime prevention
Monterey County Herald – March 15, 2007
Monterey County’s youth crime prevention programs are working, according to a report that will be sent to state officials this month. The report, which tracked young offenders after they took part in county invention programs, show that taking part in the programs keeps more young people from re-offending compared with children who have been arrested but do not enroll in such programs.

Foster Care

A dilemma: medications for foster kids
The Boston Globe – March 13, 2007
Coast to coast, states are wrestling with how best to treat the legions of emotionally troubled foster children in their care. Critics contend that powerful psychiatric drugs are overused and say poor record-keeping masks the scope of the problem. Nationwide, there are more than 500,000 children in foster care at any one time, and more than half have mental illness or serious behavioral problems, according to the Child Welfare League of America.

Local Fostered and Adopted Youth Empowered In Retreat
WEAU-TV 13 – March 17, 2007
A Minnesota based youth advocacy team helped lead a day-long retreat in Eau Claire designed to empower local fostered and adopted youth to speak out and make their voices heard. The retreat offered young people who’ve been adopted or are in foster care the chance to connect with others facing a similar experience, sharing stories of the challenges they’ve faced, while learning how to use those stories to make a difference.

Foster grandparents give “unparalleled love”
The Voice - March 14, 2007
They are described as having “unparalleled love and devotion” by the organization that sponsors them. They are the 72 foster grandparents at various locations in St. Clair County including schools, day care centers, head start programs, a teen-parenting program, and a juvenile detention center. The Council on Aging Inc., serving St. Clair County, in cooperation with the Michigan Foster Grandparent Program, has been training and sending out seniors to influence youth for the past 30 years.

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