ERIC Number: ED424519
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Oct
Enlighten Me, Don't Lose Me: Homeless Youth and the Education System.
Norum, Karen E.
America is called the "Land of Opportunity." Popular stories help to develop and perpetuate a mental model that says anyone can make anything of themselves. Education is promoted as the great equalizer; it is believed that anyone can go to high school in the United States, and even to college if they try hard enough. This mental model is challenged through exploring the plight of homeless youth. Descriptive data on homeless children and youth in the nation and in the Denver area are presented. The program provided by Urban Peak, a day shelter that cares for at-risk, homeless, and runaway youth is described. Long-term costs to society of youth who "drop out" rather than negotiate the complex maze that constitutes access to social and educational programs are discussed. Although the McKinney Homeless Assistance Act intends that homeless children have access to school, the reality is quite different; barriers presented by the educational system are discussed. Survey research conducted with homeless youth in the Denver metropolitan area in 1995 and 1996 is presented. Changes in school policies are needed to meet the needs of homeless youth who are struggling to finish school, get jobs, and make something of themselves. Sample survey of homeless youth is appended. Contains 18 references. (Author/EMK)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Association of State Coordinators for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NASCEHCY) Annual Conference (Nashville, TN, October 23-26, 1996).