Population Reference Bureau, analysis of data from U.S. Census Bureau. 2000 Census Summary File 1. As cited in: Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2002). Kids Count Data Book. AECF: Baltimore, MD.
Population Reference Bureau, analysis of data from U.S. Census Bureau. 2000 Census Summary File 1. As cited in: Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2002). Kids Count Data Book. AECF: Baltimore, MD
http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/opinion/x905413314/Belson-To-close-the-achievement-gap-start-with-early-learning,James J. Heckman, 2008, May. Schools, skills, and synapses. Discussion Paper Series No. 3515. Bonn, Germany: Institute for the Study of Labor.
Population: Foster Youth<br />On September 30, 2008? 463,000 children were in publicly supported foster care in the United States. This is actually a decline since 2000. <br />While the gender distribution was virtually equal, the largest share of children in care were ages 11-15 (29%)<br />This is very important to consider when looking into the achievement gaps they have in high school. <br />
Background<br />While authors agree that parenting practices and involvement are critical for student success, what happens to youth that do not have parents? <br />Jarret (1999) states that all parents want their children to grow up to be successful young people/adults, but it is hard when Af/Am (and all) families grow up on the “streets” (inner city, low income, and more).<br />Given these circumstances, they must try even harder than their counterparts growing up in different types of neighborhoods and communities—As advocates only hope for resiliency to arise. <br />
Only 20% of those who graduate from high school actually enroll in a higher education institution.
Only 26% of that 20% go on to earn a degree. This translates into a 1-2% completion rate of a college degree!
It is going to take a collaborative effort to dent what the “system” has created for our damaged and at risk youth. </li></li></ul><li>Achievement Problem<br />50% of foster youth do NOT graduate high school.<br />Foster youth experience social and emotional problems due to their histories, this creates a negative impact on their abilities to learn.<br />Estimated 60% are performing at grade level, in comparison to the 80% of all schoolchildren (White, et. al). <br />1/3 of the “aged out” youth become homeless <br />Many youth are not accounted for services due to reunification, or running away. <br />
Race/ethnicity of the children in foster care (2006) <br />Asian 1% 2,631 <br />Alaska Native/American Indian 2% 8,802<br />Black 31% 142,502<br />Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 0% 877 <br />Hispanic (of any race) 20% 92,464 <br />White 40% 183,149<br />Unknown/Unable to Determine 2% 10,753 <br />Two or more races 5% 21,822 <br />
Problem: Disproportional Insight <br />African American and Native American (Indian/Alaskan Native) children are overrepresented in foster care when compared to their representation in the total U.S. child population.<br />African American children constitute 15% of the U.S. child population, but 41% of the foster care population. <br />Native American children make up 1% of the U.S. population, but comprise 2% of the foster care population. <br />
Problem: Double Minority Conflict<br />Statistics indicate that every 7 seconds of the school day an African-American student is suspended from public school. <br />Every 49 seconds of the school day an African-American student drops out of school (Ford, Obiakor, & Patton, 1995).<br />On top of this, 41% of the African-American youth population are in foster care.<br />The weight they carry into the classroom is heavy, and often times unacknowledged. <br />
Problem: Performance Dip<br />For foster children, there is a performance dip as they transition from home to new home, meaning, they also transition from school to new school.<br />“The year of change, also predicts lower test scores and social disruption” (Ferguson, 2010)<br />The problem is too much movement, which can affect permanent school success (Balfanz et. al, 2007)<br />
Strategies for Families and Schools to Close the Achievement & Opportunity Gap<br />Early learning, as it is the first and most critical stage in human development.- U.S. Ed. Sec. Arne Duncan<br />Because the gaps start early, investing in young children is an investment in future productivity –Economist, James Heckman, 2008<br />Low-income children who attend high-quality preschool programs are 30 % more likely to graduate from high school and twice as likely to go to college, research shows. –R. Shore, 2010<br />Provide ALL children an opportunity to succeed with a wide variety of options and diversity considerations. <br />
Family Supports<br />The family plays a big role, and policy should invest in early years—(prevention)<br />Active encouragement of parents/foster parents’ high expectations for their children's achievement.<br />Involvement in their children's schooling, participation in homework completion, and commitment to help them meet performance standards.<br />School can link families with local social services; providing students with mentors, tutors, and role models; providing parents with adult basic skills education, job training, and parenting classes.<br />
Schools (Schwartz, 2001)<br />Need: In-depth, appropriate, and ongoing assessments of the performance and progress of each student holistically including: <br />family circumstances (trauma, foster care, single family homes, poverty, death, resources, etc.),<br />grades, <br />test scores, <br />classroom behavior, <br />and extracurricular activities, <br />--to determine class and program placement and the types of individual supports that should be given.<br /> Serious, professional development and supports are needed from school faculty (AGI Report).<br />
Advocacy Environment: <br />Programs that target the early years seem to have the greatest promise. I.E.: <br />The Nurse Family Partnership Program (Olds, 2002), the Abecedarian Program <br />Perry Program have been evaluated and show high returns.<br />The goal is to create a base of productive skills and traits for disadvantaged children living in culturally diverse settings. J. Heckman, 2008<br />Programs should respect cultural diversity when going into the home---This is KEY!<br />Synthesizing readings: Programs, schools, and community partnerships need to create a “safe space” for identity, social learning, mentoring, and leadership<br />
Connection<br />Q: How can we implement programs and early interventions so effectively to reduce foster care rates? – We need true prevention.<br />Q: How do we provide a common language and create consistency for all ecological systems that directly or indirectly involves a foster youth? <br />Q: If you were in charge, what would be your priority when investing in our children facing high risks?<br />