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This blog contains posts from the Education & Youth impact area at FSG.
Posted by: Rajni Chandrasekhar on 12/21/2011

A growing emphasis on greater standards for quality early education is emerging from the Obama Administration’s ‘Race to the Top’ Early Learning Challenge (RTT). Nine states were recently awarded a collective sum of $500 million in grant money to jump-start improvements to early childhood programs.

Posted by: Rajni Chandrasekhar on 6/28/2011

2015 is rapidly approaching, and among all of the Millennium Development Goals, we’ve arguably come closest to achieving Goal #2: Universal Primary Education. Access to education has dramatically increased, with the number of out-of-school children dropping from 96 million to 72 million between 1999 and 2005. Average enrollment rates in primary school have increased to over 80%, and completion above 60%. Between 1991 and 2007, the ratio of girls to boys in primary education in the developing world improved from 84 to 96%. However, assessments since 1999 show that poor learning outcomes in language, math, and other subjects are pervasive—with over 60% of countries allocating less than 800 yearly hours of instruction for grades 1-6 (far too few), and many developing countries facing shortages of trained teachers.

Posted by: Rajni Chandrasekhar on 4/7/2011

Efforts to prosecute fewer teenagers in adult court have been making the headlines of late. Last week, the New York Times wrote of recent efforts by states like Connecticut and Massachusetts to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18, no longer prosecuting youth in adult criminal court from the day they turn sixteen. The reasoning behind this shift is based in best practice in juvenile justice reform nationally. There are significant differences between young people and adults in their ability to make decisions, and their capacity to benefit from youth-centric, rehabilitative approaches to juvenile delinquency. The juvenile justice system too often becomes the “system of last resort” for youth that are likely to have experienced poverty, neglect or abuse. For those youth that act out in class, jump turnstiles, or test their amateur artistic skills with spray-paint cans, community-based support or alternatives to incarceration are often a better bet. Putting young people in adult prisons is known to increase their likelihood of recidivism over time.

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