The L.A. County Office of Education- whose board I serve on- oversees the schools at the juvenile probation camps. Each time I visit one I am struck by a devastating contrast: students just like these – from the same challenging neighborhoods- are thriving in high-performing charter schools in their home communities. The charter school kids got a break and are learning what it means to be on the path to success. Statistics tell us that the incarcerated kids, on the other hand, will churn through the revolving door of the juvenile justice system and on into adult incarceration. Not a path to success.
My visit last week to the Christa McAuliffe School at Challenger Memorial Youth Center in Lancaster, however, was unexpectedly inspiring. Continue reading