Juvenile Justice and Alternative Education: A Life Course Assessment of Best Practices

Juvenile Justice and Alternative Education: A Life Course Assessment of Best Practices

Juvenile Justice and Alternative Education: A Life Course Assessment of Best Practices

Juvenile Justice and Alternative Education: A Life Course Assessment of Best Practices

Synopsis

Prior explores the connection between the quality of alternative education and juvenile delinquency using a life course perspective. Specifically, she determines that the implementation of quality assurance (QA) in alternative education disciplinary schools increased the likelihood that exiting students would return to their home school but had no effect on the students' attendance. Additionally, improving the quality of the alternative education school showed mixed results on likelihood of arrest. The results indicate that students at alternative education schools should be allowed to remain in these schools until graduation from high school.

Excerpt

In his January 27, 2010 State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama stressed the importance of investing in people through education:

In the twenty-first century the best anti-poverty program
around is a world class education. … We need to invest in the
skills and education of our people. Instead of rewarding
failure, we only reward success. Instead of funding the status
quo, we only invest in reforms that raise student achievement,
inspire students to excel … and turn around failing schools
that steal the future of too many Americans. (para. 47)

Many of the failing schools that President Obama referenced in his national address are alternative education schools.

The expectation that traditional public schools can effectively serve all students, especially those with learning challenges and behavioral management problems, is unrealistic (Young, 1990). Therefore, students hindered by learning challenges and behavioral problems of various types are oftentimes referred to alternative education schools (Raywid, 1994). Historically, alternative education schools were created to educate different types of students who struggled with traditional instructional methods utilized within the conventional education system (Fitzsimmons-Lovett, 2001). Despite their historical purpose, many alternative education schools shifted their focus from educating students with special instructional needs to responding to the inability of mainstream education to meet the needs . . .

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