Monday, April 09, 2007

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Voicing Concern for English-Learners in Debate over NCLB
Education Week – April 4, 2007
Peter Zamora, a recent graduate of Georgetown University Law Center is putting his experience to use as co-chairman of a diverse coalition of advocacy groups pressing the concerns of English-learners as Congress considers reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act. The impact of the “rigid tracking system” left Latino and African-American students behind which was seen through time spent in a California high school.

D.C. students graduate without meeting requirements
The Washington Times – April 6, 2007
A government audit released yesterday questioned whether D.C. public school system officials fairly apply graduation requirements in city schools and uncovered more than a dozen students at one high school who graduated despite failing to earn diplomas. The report found that D.C. Public Schools do not “have well-defined or documented requirements or policies,” which increases the risk that school officials won’t apply graduation requirements consistently, auditors said.

Ohio campaigns to get more students into college
The Enquirer – March 29, 2007
Ohio high schoolers will be barraged with fliers, advertisements, and Internet links pushing higher education as part of a new effort to bring the state out of its college graduate doldrums. Gov. Ted Strickland said Wednesday the state, which ranks low in residents with college degrees, will join the national KnowHow2Go initiative that pushed college education to 8th-through 10th- graders, and expand it to reach more young adults. Low-income students will be the focus of the multimedia campaign, which is funded through a $200,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation on Education.

Juvenile Justice

GU Announces New Center for Juvenile Justice
Georgetown University – April 4, 2007
The Georgetown Public Policy Institute recently announced the creation of the new Center for Juvenile Justice Reform and Systems Integration, to support scholarship and discourse on issues relating to juvenile justice reform. The center will sponsor academic programs and symposia for government leaders involved in juvenile justice policy and practice. Under Shay Bilchik’s leadership, this new center will enhance the nation’s dialogue on how our juvenile justice system- both prevention and intervention-can operate more effectively.

Juvenile Status Sought for 16-and 17-year-olds
Fairfield Citizen – April 6, 2007
Fairfield resident Abby Anderson was one of more than 300 people who rallied together at the state Capitol on March 9 for “Educate the Legislature Day for Raise the Age CT.” The rally was part of an initiative to get nonviolent 16- and 17-year-olds out of adult prisons and into the juvenile justice system. Youth sent to the adult criminal justice system in Connecticut are not eligible for the kinds of services that prevent them for re-offending that are available in the juvenile justice system, according to information provided by the CJJA.

Foster Care

On California’s Foster-Care System Needs of foster youth are not met
San Francisco Chronicle – April 8, 2007
Children living in our foster-care system are all too often separated from their families, friends, schools, neighborhoods and everything that is familiar. For many, these separations take place without any warning. Add that to the abuse or neglect that precipitated their removal, and the outcome is that far too many foster children undergo psychological trauma at a young age. Indeed, most children living in foster care – youngsters at greatest risk of emotional and upheaval – often do not receive psychiatric care until their situation reaches a crisis point. Research shows that less than one-third of children received mental-health services during the year following contact with the child-welfare system, despite overwhelming evidence that early intervention may be an important element in reducing long-term negative consequences.

Foster Children at the Center of School Voucher Debate
All Headline News – April 7, 2007
According to the Florida Department of Children and Families, about 10,000 Florida children are in foster care at any given time, although over the course of a year the number of children who experience foster care is significantly higher. Children in foster care often experience numerous changes in placement require changes in schools. Not only must foster children cope with the emotional consequences of such instability, they also must adjust to new teachers, classmates, curricula and rules. In addition, school disruptions often result in lost credits, delayed academic progress, repetition of grades, and delays in enrollment and transfer of student records. Under legislation that passed a House council this week, foster children and youths who have left the juvenile justice system would be eligible for $3,750 scholarships annually to attend private schools, where they care remain even if they change homes and school zones.

County may help ex-fosters
Inside Bay Area – April 6, 2007
Now, the county is ready to help these young adults by creating an “emancipation village” at Fred Finch Youth Center in Oakland. County supervisors last week approved a $150,000 study to assess whether the youth center site is appropriate for a transitional housing complex for as many as 60 18-to 24-year-olds. A live-in resident in each of four dormitory-style buildings would assist the young people with job and educational opportunities. The county also would operate a health clinic, post-foster care training program and independent living skill project on-site.

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