Report: Juvenile inmates receive substandard education
- A new report from the Southern Education Foundation finds that student inmates in the juvenile justice system are generally receiving substandard education, even though learning could give them a better future or make recurring offences less likely.
- The study used 2009 U.S. Department of Education data that reported students enrolled in the juvenile justice education system for over 90 days "failed to make any significant improvement in learning and academic achievement," and that less than half of the high school-aged students earned one or more course credit during their time attending state juvenile justice schools.
- The report recommends juvenile justice systems collect more data on their students so that their academic progress — both as individuals and schools — can be tracked and held accountable.
According to the Huffington Post, approximately 70,000 students were in juvenile justice systems across the nation in 2010. Of that number, over 60% were black or Hispanic and 85% were male. And about a third of students in the system were there for minor reasons (being unruly and breaking underage laws). These facts, weighed with the substandard education provided, say a lot.
The report's author, Steve Suitts, says a major factor making it difficult to understand and know how students in juvenile systems are being educated is the fact that they are not subject to standardized tests like the rest of the nation. This is why the report recommends juvenile justice system be subject to state standards and collect more data on the students' needs and progress.