Breaking the cycle of academic failure for foster children -- What can the schools do to help?
Many students in foster care are not being provided fair educations or opportunities for academic achievement. They do not have access to the many special programs, advanced placement courses, extracurricular clubs and sports, and other activities that are vital to obtaining a well-rounded education. In addition, many foster children are not encouraged to pursue advanced education. It is safe to say, moreover, that the education of foster children is often overlooked, and they are one of the most educationally vulnerable populations in our schools. School personnel must develop a deeper understanding of the challenge of transforming their schools into caring and cohesive institutions that focus on helping every student succeed. The only way for the foster child to have a fighting chance, especially under the graduation requirements of No Child Left Behind, is for researchers and educators to be given incentives by the federal, state and local governments to develop and implement innovative programs and interventions that help these students succeed. Policies must be put into place at the national, state, and local levels that support effective educational reforms and innovative practices. Interventions that bring students, like foster children, up to grade level and provide experiences that bring realworld relevance into classrooms are as critical as school environments that support excellence in teaching and learning. This study examines the difficulties that the foster care child has in succeeding in school and it asks the question "What is currently known about the achievement of Foster Children?" Furthermore, this study examines what the research believes can be done to solve these problems and improve the chances for the foster child's academic success. It asks and answers the questions, "What can schools do to help improve the achievement of foster children?" and "What can be concluded about how schools can help foster children improve their overall achievement?"
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