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ERIC Number: EJ906457
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov-10
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Academy Engages Incarcerated Youths
Zehr, Mary Ann
Education Week, v30 n11 p1, 14-15 Nov 2010
It's not easy to keep young people on task for learning in a youth prison, but David Domenici, the principal of the Maya Angelou Academy, a charter-like school serving incarcerated juveniles, is trying to do it while at the same time creating a model program for improving educational services for young offenders. Located at the New Beginnings Youth Development Center, a lockup facility housing young men convicted of crimes in the District of Columbia, Maya Angelou is one of a small number of schools run by charter school operators targeting incarcerated youths. As of late last month, the academy was educating 60 to 70 teenagers, ages 14 to 19, who were serving time for crimes ranging from unauthorized use of a vehicle, to armed robbery, to manslaughter. A few stay as little as five days; others may be incarcerated for a year. Yet, in the short time they're at the Maya Angelou Academy, Mr. Domenici hopes to give each of them the best education possible and also likely the best education they've ever had. The See Forever Foundation, a nonprofit organization that operates three charter schools in the District of Columbia, won the contract to provide education services to incarcerated youths more than three years ago from Washington's Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services. Mr. Domenici, a lawyer and a son of former U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., initially co-established the foundation with fellow lawyer James Forman Jr. in order to run a school for youths who had been arrested. The small program grew, though, into three charter schools serving a broad range of students. Before the foundation turned its attention to youths at the lockup facility, those services were managed by the District of Columbia school system. The facility was known then as Oak Hill and was housed in decrepit buildings in Laurel, 20 miles north of the nation's capital. Problems at Oak Hill led to an ongoing consent decree from the District of Columbia Superior Court to improve services, including education, for Washington's juvenile delinquents.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia