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Improved juvenile ward education: D.C. report

In a new report filed today, the monitor overseeing a court-ordered reform of the District's juvenile justice agency said the city had has staged a "remarkable" turnaround in how it educates juveniles in long-term detention.

Once marked by a lack of certified teachers and appropriate services, the school is now operated by a private foundation under contract and has become a model educational program for a juvenile correctional facility, the monitor, Grace M. Lopes, said.

In a 53-page report filed in D.C. Superior Court, Lopes said her educational expert, Carol Cramer Brooks, had conducted an assessment of the school over several months in 2009 and 2010 and concluded that the school was one of the "best programs" she had ever seen.

The Maya Angelou Academy is housed at New Beginnings, the modern detention facility the District opened in Laurel last year for long-term juvenile detainees. New Beginnings replaced the notorious Oak Hill detention center.

The report is a boost to the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, which has been under fire this year in the aftermath of several high-profile crimes involving young people.

In her report, Lopes said with the progress in education, the District had satisfied one of the goals set out in the plan to end the long-standing lawsuit against the District over its juvenile justice system.

-- Henri E. Cauvin

By Washington Post Editors  |  July 8, 2010; 2:20 PM ET
Categories:  The District  
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