Monday, October 31, 2011

This Week's News: Youth in Transition


Tackle dropout rate one at-risk student at a time
Shreveport Times, Louisiana – October 29, 2011
Cutting Louisiana's high school dropout rate is a cause with many supporters, but even more are needed. Every resident should attack the sources that result in one out of six students dropping out each year — their actions affecting not only the student but the state's future prosperity.

EDUCATION: Battle on to increase graduation, college-going rates
The Press-Enterprise, Inland Empire, CA – October 30, 2011
A generation ago, a high school degree was enough to land a decent-paying job at the local steel mill or aerospace plant and gain entry to the middle class.  In the years since, the job market has evolved into one that requires more brain power and less muscle.

Three of Four Students Not Prepared for College, City Says
The New York Times, New York, NY – October 24, 2011
Three quarters of New York City students who were high school freshmen in 2006 did not leave high school prepared for college, new data from the city Education Department shows.   Still, of the students in that cohort, about 46 percent had enrolled in a two or four-year college by late 2010. CUNY's START program provides remediation for students who did not pass the reading, writing and math placement exams.

Juvenile Justice

Senate Takes on Juvenile Justice Reforms
WCTV, Tallahassee, FL – October 29, 2011
Some of the same accountability measures that were introduced in public K-12 schools over the last decade are coming to the state's juvenile justice facilities.  Under a proposed law (SPB 7016) that will be considered Wednesday in a Senate education committee, school districts and the private companies involved in educating youth in the state's detention centers, residential treatment facilities and prevention programs would be subjected to a three-tier performance rating, from "failing" to "high performance."

Juvenile Justice – Governor Mead Calls For Changes
K2 Radio, Casper, WY – October 28, 2011
Changes to juvenile justice law won’t likely come during the next legislative session, that from Governor, Matt Mead, who is expected at the dedication of a new juvenile detention center in Casper Saturday. Mead says he wants a plan for the future that is state-based and works with alternatives already in use by some prosecutors in the state.  He sites practices in Natrona County that he says are providing alternatives to incarceration, “and rather than detaining them, getting them back in school, getting them education, and moving forward.

Five regional counties look at ways to improve juvenile justice systems
The Kansas City Star, Kansas – October 23, 2011
A national group that helped Missouri counties put fewer children in juvenile detention is turning its attention to Kansas. Jackson County officials credit the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative with cutting juvenile detention by about two-thirds over the past five years.

Foster Care

New group offers help for foster care ‘age outs’
The North Wind, Michigan – October 28, 2011
What started as a concerned student meeting with an adviser led to the group’s formation over the summer.  This fall marked the beginning of S.O.S. Networking for Success, a new student group on Northern’s campus.  S.O.S. Networking for Success is a student organization that provides mentoring and social networking for independent students at Northern Michigan University. “We invite first generation students, young single parents, students that have been in the foster care system and any others who lack a family support system,” said S.O.S. founder Cassandra Evers.

Project tries to help foster kids who turn 18 and leave system
Radio Iowa, Iowa – October 25, 2011
A new project in eastern Iowa aims to smooth the transition for foster children who age out of the system. Organizers of “Bridging the Gap” will meet today with Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley to discuss the program. Grassley, who co-founded and is co-chairman of the Senate Caucus on Foster Youth, says thousands of foster kids nationwide are falling through cracks in the system.

Exclusive: A rough ride into adulthood
News-Press, Florida – October 24, 2011
Earlier this month, 15 teenagers in foster care gathered in a room dotted with inspirational messages and portraits of ubersuccessful people, such as Oprah Winfrey and the president.  "What do you want to be when you grow up?" asked the speaker who had been talking to them about preparing a resume.

Teen Pregnancy

City program tackles rising teen pregnancy rate
Medille Reports, Illinois – October 27, 2011
Despite a steady decade-long decline in teen birth rates in the U.S., rates have risen in Illinois.  Illinois ranks 18th in the country for teen birth rates with a rate of 60.0 per 1,000 teens, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, compared with the U.S. rate of 56.8.

Researchers study link between teen pregnancy, poverty
The Daily O’Collegian, Oklahoma – October 24, 2011
Social service providers in the Tulsa area have asked researchers from The Oklahoma State University Center of Family Resilience to help end poverty and teen pregnancy. The study is part of the Tulsa Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition, which is joined by multiple social service organizations.  

Girls, Inc. to open new teen pregnancy help centers in Frayser

WMC TV, Memphis, TN – October 25, 2011
A community in a pregnancy crisis is getting some help. Tuesday, Girls, Inc. announced the opening of two new pregnancy help centers in Frayser.  Deborah Hester-Harrison, President of Girl's Incorporated, said the new after-school centers would will allow her organization to do more in the battle against teen pregnancy.

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