Friday, April 18, 2014
The Southern Education Foundation (SEF) released its report yesterday concluding that the “young people placed in the juvenile justice system-predominately minority males incarcerated for minor offenses-are receiving a substandard education.” The report, Just Learning: The Imperative to Transform Juvenile Justice Systems into Effective Educational Systems, Steve Suitts, SEF vice president and author of the study, says that the 70,000 students in the juvenile justice system leave “in worse shape than when they entered, struggling to return to school or get their lives back on track." The report makes the recommendations listed below. Read Just Learning here.
To ensure that youth leaving the juvenile justice system have the skills and education they need to reenter school, find jobs, and become productive members of society, the report urges that states:
- Re-organize programs so that they are designed and operated to advance the teaching and learning of students.
- Set and apply the same educational standards that exist for all students in a state to the schools and educational programs in the juvenile justice system.
- Establish effective and timely methods of testing and reporting on the educational status and progress of every child and youth in the juvenile justice system.
- Develop and implement an individual educational plan and learning strategy-including special education, developmental services, academic motivation and persistence, and meta-cognition-to guide the instruction and services of every student in the juvenile justice system.
- Establish systems of coordination and cooperation to provide a seamless transition of students from and back into public schools.
- Create and maintain data systems to measure institutional and system-wide educational progress and identify areas in need of improvement.