Monday, April 26, 2010

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


District Innovates to Address Dropout Problem
Education Week, Detroit, MI – April 23, 2010
By any measure, the Detroit area’s high-school-dropout problem is a crisis.  The Motor City area has one of the highest dropout rates in the country, which experts say contributes to the city’s economic stagnation and high crime rate, and strains state and local aid programs. But Westwood Cyber High School, a new online program sponsored by the 2,500-student Westwood Community School District near Detroit aimed at helping struggling students earn their diplomas in virtual classes, is having success re-engaging area dropouts and at-risk students.

Fayette Community Action Agency addressing dropout program
Connellsville Daily Courier, Pennsylvania – April 22, 2010
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 226 students dropped out of the six school districts in Fayette County in the 2007-08 school year. This is the last year statistics were available.  "We have a dropout problem in the Fayette County school districts, and that's why our GED program is so important," said Fayette County Community Action Agency's education project manager Sue Wagner, who is also a certified teacher.  Sometimes, young people don't realize how important education is until they reach their mid-20s, Wagner said.

University of Michigan adviser to help nudge Muskegon High School students toward college
The Muskegon Chronicle, Muskegon, MI – April 26, 2010
A program through the University of Michigan aimed at increasing the number of students pursuing higher education will place a college adviser at Muskegon High School beginning next year.  The full-time adviser, a recent graduate of U-M, will not cost the school district anything while providing students valuable help getting lined up for post-secondary education, officials said.

Michigan high school dropout rate falls 3 percent
The Detroit News, East Lansing, MI – April 19, 2010
Michigan's high school dropout rate is down 3 percent since Michigan adopted tougher graduation requirements in 2007, Gov. Jennifer Granholm told educators at Michigan State University for the 15th annual Governor's Education Summit.  On the eve of Tuesday's four-year anniversary of the higher-standards curriculum, Granholm said the percentage of students who leave school before graduating declined from 14 percent in 2007 to 11 percent in 2009 -- contrary to critics' predictions that more students would drop out if required to take Algebra 2 and other tough subjects.

Juvenile Justice

DOJ Backs Juvenile Justice Reauthorization; Hearing Today
The Crime Report, Washington, DC – April 21, 2010
The Justice Department says it ”strongly supports” the Senate’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2009, reports Youth Today. The letter, Justice’s first public statement on the legislation, was sent less than a week before today’s initial hearing on reauthorization by the House Education and Labor Committee.

Juvenile justice evolves in Wyo.
Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Cheyenne, WY – April 25, 2010
Laramie County's plan to build its own youth detention facility is part of an evolving policy change in the way Wyoming handles children who come in contact with law enforcement.  The system is designed to meet Wyoming's desire to create local decisions, while also meeting state and federal standards for satisfactory treatment of children. Wyoming Department of Family Services Director Tony Lewis said the idea is to create state-support, community-run programs that can best address problems that kids encounter.

Foster Care

Adoption law change aids foster parents
The Washington Post, Washington, DC – April 21, 2010
The D.C. Council passed emergency legislation on Tuesday intended to make it easier for foster families to provide permanent homes for children, especially older ones, who often languish in the child welfare system.  For years, some foster parents who wanted to adopt or to become legal guardians have opted not to because it would mean an earlier end to the subsidy that many rely on to help care for the children they take into their homes.  Under the new law, instead of losing the subsidy when the child is 18, a legal guardian or adoptive parent will keep the subsidy until the child turns 21 -- the same age at which it ends for a foster child.

Dream Teams help foster teens cross bridge to adulthood
Le Mars Daily Sentinel, Le Mars, IA – April 20, 2010
When teens who live in foster homes wake up on their 18th birthday, they have more to think about than freedom and independence.  In the U.S. foster care system, children who turn 18 and graduate from high school are "aged out."  That means they have to find a job, a place to live, transportation, a college -- even basic necessities like dishes and towels.  "We can't even begin to imagine it, because we had parents when we made that transition out," said Nola Aalberts, who works with area teens in foster care through a program called Dream Teams.

Supreme Court Approves First-ever Rules of Juvenile Procedure
Huntington News, Charleston, WV – April 21, 2010
The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia has approved West Virginia’s first Rules of Juvenile Procedure.  Chief Justice Robin Jean Davis said, “The Court is pleased to announce the approval of these rules, which are the result of several years work.”   The rules will become effective on July 1, 2010. An order approving the rules was entered today, April 20, and copy of the rules is posted on the Supreme Court Web site at  “Through the Court Improvement Board, the Court earlier adopted the Rules of Procedure for Child Abuse and Neglect Proceedings, and those rules have been an enormous help in improving the quality and timeliness of results in those cases. The Board’s Youth Services Committee, led by attorney Jane Moran, thought a similar set of rules for delinquency/status offense cases would bring about similar benefits, and that is the main purpose of this comprehensive set of rules,” Davis said.

No comments: