Monday, August 01, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


National graduation rates likely to dip as states switch to more accurate calculation formula
The Washington Post, Kansas City, MO – July 27, 2011
States are bracing for plummeting high school graduation rates as districts nationwide dump flawed measurement formulas that often undercounted dropouts and produced inflated results.  Education wonks long have suspected the statistics used by some people to determine how their neighborhood high school is faring — or even where to buy a house — can be figured using various formulas that produce wildly different results.

Examining the high school dropout crisis
KPCC 89.3 – July 27, 2011
An NPR series this week has focused on the high school dropout crisis, which disproportionately affects black and Latino teens. According to U.S. Department of Education statistics, in spite of lower overall dropout rates since 1980, Latino teens’ rates remain the highest. And while boys receive much of the attention, nearly as many girls drop out, too.

U.S. firms spend $3.5 billion a year on education
Market Watch, Washington, DC – July 26, 2011
Big business and the Obama administration are teaming up to better target the $3.5 billion corporations invest in the U.S. education system each year, with a focus on fixing lagging skills in science, technology, engineering and math. The first step: A meeting in Washington last week to announce new financial commitments from Bank of America Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Nike Inc. The next step: Business leaders plan to look to employees and communities for answers.

Juvenile Justice

Trio of Juvenile Justice Bills Signed Into Law
Ledyard Patch, Connecticut – July, 29, 2011
Three juvenile justice bills aim to rebalance the scales.  Ending racial disparity, decreasing recidivism, and making the system more fair and accountable – lofty goals to be sure. But children of color are more likely to enter juvenile justice system and are treated more harshly than white peers, according to the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance.

Juvenile Lockups Locking Their Doors This Week
Public News Service, Austin, TX – July 27, 2011
Four Texas Youth Commission (TYC) lockups are locking their doors for good this week, as the state's juvenile-justice system prepares for a major transformation.  TYC and the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission are slated to merge into a single department by December. The goal, says Benet Magnuson, an attorney with the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition's Juvenile Justice Initiative, is to dramatically reduce the number of juveniles who wind up behind bars, diverting many toward rehabilitation programs in their own communities.

Foster Care

"Project Now" helps foster youth
VolunteerTV, Knoxville, TN – July 28, 2011
The program teaches foster care youth how to manage money and save. It gives them the knowledge and tools to succeed in life independently.  Thousands of children "age out" of foster care once they turn 18 years old. Many go out on their own without the knowledge they need to succeed.

Homes for Those That Could Have Been Homeless
East Atlanta Patch, East Atlanta, AL – July 27, 2011
“When I needed my real mom the most, she wasn’t there for me. I go to bed every night just thinking about her. It’s tough,” said Tracy Joachim, a 21-year-old Atlantan who spent his childhood in the city’s foster care system.  Joachim’s story is painful, but things have been looking up for him since he entered the CHRIS Kids’ TransitionZ program and moved into Summit Trail, the EarthCraft-certified apartment complex in East Atlanta where the young adults in the program live.

Making A Difference In The Lives Of Foster Kids
WLWT News 5, Cincinnati, OH – July 26, 2011
A Tri-State program is helping teens bridge the gap between leaving foster care and becoming adults. On any given day, there are 850 kids in foster care in Hamilton County. Dozens get too old to stay in the system, and many have nowhere to turn for help.

Teen Pregnancy

Proven Programs and Community Ownership Are The Keys
Gaston Gazette, Gaston, NC – July 31, 2011
Parents, professionals, and community leaders have a landmark opportunity to help all young people grow to be healthy adults, and to help those least privileged break the sad cycles of poverty and poor health that last for generations. Gaston Youth Connected gives the community more tools to do this by addressing adolescent pregnancy in the most effective ways possible.

Groundbreaking Bill Integrates Pregnancy and Violence Prevention Strategies for Young People of Color
RH Reality Check – July 28, 2011
While the rest of the policy world is going a bit crazy arguing about the debt ceiling or trying to restrict women’s reproductive health access, how about a bit of good news for young women?  Today a groundbreaking bill was introduced in Congress with a first-ever policy approach that combines teen dating violence prevention and teen pregnancy prevention in communities of color.

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