National News Roundup
A Philadelphia consulting firm has received more than $1 million in grants to conduct two studies examining the effectiveness of various youth-employment programs.
Public-Private Ventures, a nonprofit corporation that designs, manages, and analyzes programs to help disadvantaged youths enter the job market, will undertake both studies in an effort to address the problems created by the high rate of youth unemployment, said Natalie Jaffe, a spokesman for the firm.
As of January, 18.9 percent of teen-agers between the ages of 16 and 19 were unemployed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment rates for inner-city teen-agers run as high as 40 percent.
One of the studies, funded by a $550,000 grant from the Ford Foundation, will examine the effectiveness of state and local youth conservation corps. The programs, which operate in about 30 states and localities, enroll youths 18 years old and older to work on projects that benefit their communities.
The second of the studies, funded at $510,000 by a consortium of foundations, including the Exxon Educa-tion Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, will focus on school-business partnerships that provide entry-level jobs for students after they graduate.
The firm plans to publish its findings in a series of papers in 1985 and 1986, she said.
The Reagan Administration's proposed fiscal 1986 budget would cut federal aid to state and local governments by 14.1 percent, or $13.8 billion, from the spending levels needed to maintain current levels of services, according to an analysis released last week by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, which represents about 1.4 million public-sector employees.
According to the analysis, prepared by a Washington-based firm called Fiscal Planning Services, 75 percent of domestic social-services spending cuts would come out of money earmarked for state and local governments.
State politicians have claimed in recent months that the federal government is trying to balance its budget on the backs of states, many of which are operating with budget surpluses. (See Education Week, March 6, 1985.)
The afscme analysis criticizes sharp cuts in postsecondary-student aid, child-nutrition programs, gen-eral-revenue sharing, library construction, and juvenile-justice programs.
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has awarded high-school-improvement grants to six American high schools abroad in a new program designed to involve those schools in the reform movement.
The $3,000 grants--given to schools that have demonstrated the potential to advance curriculum, teaching and learning, technology, community support, and other aspects of their programs--were awarded last week at the annual meeting of the Association for the Advancement of International Education, which administers the program.
American schools in Brazil, Columbia, Germany, Greece, Japan, and Kenya received awards, according to Ernest L. Boyer, president of the foundation. More than 26,000 U.S. students attend American schools abroad. Thirty-four schools had applied to receive the grants.
The Carnegie Foundation, with support from the Atlantic Richfield Foundation, last year gave awards to 200 high schools in the United States for taking steps to improve their programs. In April, grants of $25,000 or more will be awarded to 25 to 30 high schools for school-improvement activities.