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24 August 2006

Reason: The Amazing Colossal Poorhouse: Ten years after welfare reform, the welfare state is even larger than before

Ten years after welfare reform, the welfare state is even larger than before

The Amazing Colossal Poorhouse
by Jesse Walker

Ten years ago today, President Bill Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, known more colloquially as welfare reform. The president had promised to end "welfare as we know it," and by signing the bill he did exactly that: In 2006 the welfare state is larger than ever before, but the way Americans think and talk about it has been radically changed. As a function of the government, welfare is thriving. As a culture war issue, it's practically dead...MORE

Job Corps Launches Innovative STARS Initiative

http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/training/jobcorps.htm

Job Corps Launches Innovative STARS Initiative

Targets Raising Student Retention and Academic Achievement

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor"s Office of Job Corps today announced the launch of an initiative designed to improve students" preparedness for high-demand industries of the 21st century.

The new program called STARS (Speakers, Tutors, Achievement, Retention and Success) will increase Job Corps students' academic achievement, career skills attainment and retention in the program by providing motivational speakers to inspire them, and highly-qualified tutors and mentors to assist them in academics and personal skills.

"The STARS initiative is a major component of Job Corps' Vision for the 21st Century," said Job Corps National Director Esther R. Johnson. "STARS resources will help students strengthen their literacy, numeracy, and personal and social development. STARS will increase student retention in Job Corps, ensure completion of their program of study, and ultimately prepare them for the 21st century workplace."

Motivational speakers will offer students the opportunity to hear and interact with real-life achievers who will provide motivating and inspiring messages about what it takes to succeed and the challenges they will face. Tutors will provide students with academic assistance based on their individual needs. Mentors will provide guidance in career technical areas and offer strategies to enhance personal development and life skills.

Thirteen Job Corps centers across the country have been selected for the STARS pilot phase. The STARS initiative began with a motivational speaker at the Woodland Job Corps Center in Laurel, Md. on Aug. 24, 2006.

Job Corps is the nation's largest and most comprehensive residential education and job training program for at-risk youth, ages 16 through 24. Job Corps combines classroom, practical, and work-based learning experiences to prepare youth for stable, long-term, high-paying jobs.

Job Corps is administered by the Department of Labor's Office of the Secretary. For information on Job Corps, including eligibility requirements and location of the center nearest you, call (800) 733-JOBS.

DOL Web Pages on This Topic
Job Corps Center Locations
There are 122 Job Corps centers located throughout the United States, each offering educational training and a variety of vocational training programs. Visit this page to learn more about centers located near you and what they have to offer.

Job Corps Contracts
Provides information about contracts that are available for providing Job Corps services and how to apply for them.

Laws on This Topic
Public Law 105-220
Workforce Investment Act of 1998

U.S. Department of Labor
Frances Perkins Building
200 Constitution Avenue, NW

Burning Man

Published: September 1, 2006
Burning Man
Former Baltimore cop and teacher Ed Burns isn't a masochist. The writer-producer for the HBO series The Wire is just feverishly trying to save public schools.
By Scott J. Cech

Stand at the intersection of Baltimore’s Guilford Avenue and East Lanvale Street and look up at the fa├žade of the old brick school in front of you. Paint peels from every window frame, and even the boarded-up windows are broken. That in itself isn’t too surprising in an urban school system as troubled as this one. But check your watch. It’s a Tuesday morning in November, and there are no children in sight at an hour when students should be hustling up the littered sidewalks to beat the tardy bell. Instead, the street is jammed with shiny black semi-trailer trucks. The only humans in the vicinity of the building’s metal doors are a burly man and a young woman, each with a laminated ID and a walkie-talkie headset...MORE

23 August 2006

WireTap: Student Debt Crisis: Are There Any Solutions?

AlterNet: WireTap: Student Debt Crisis: Are There Any Solutions?

By Talia Berman, WireTap. Posted August 23, 2006.

Many would argue that higher education in this country is the best in the world. France has some of the best culinary schools, and Oxford and Cambridge have rivaling histories of literary renown, but only in the United States will you find comparable culinary and literary prowess as well as thousands of virtually every other topic one could imagine -- only to the United States do more than half a million students come every year to study...more

22 August 2006

Chapin Hall

Negotiating Among Opportunity and Constraint: The Participation of Young People in Out-of-School-Time Activities
2006
Robert Chaskin, Stephen Baker

Out-of-school opportunities--such as arts and music programs, sports teams, community service and youth entrepreneurship opportunities--are increasingly seen as potentially powerful tools to promote positive youth development and to prevent problematic behaviors. Based on in-depth, semi-structured interviews conducted with 99 students in 10th grade in four Chicago Public Schools, this Chapin Hall report explores young people’s perspectives on their use of out-of-school time and the influences, barriers, contexts, and processes that contribute to their choices and experiences. The report investigates how young people learn about and choose to get involved in different kinds of out-of-school opportunities and the influence that family members, peers, and non-family adults have on their thinking and decision making. It also explores the relationship between young people’s participation in out-of-school programs and their interests, aspirations, and assessments of the kinds of opportunities and barriers found within their families, schools and neighborhoods. Finally, it offers conclusions and recommendations about how to improve opportunities for young people based on the insights provided by them, including specific suggestions about approaches to outreach, access, ongoing engagement and program provision...
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