20 October 2009

Judge Uhler talks truancy on WITF

York County Judge John Uhler talks about truancy and the toll it takes on our community on WITF-FM's "Radio Smart Talk" this morning. His truancy work will be part of an upcoming series of town halls planned by YorkCounts. The first town hall is 6:30 p.m. Nov. 9 in Dover. Here's the program summary from witf.org:

"More than one million students drop out of school each year in the U.S. Statistics indicate that a college graduate will earn hundreds of thousands of dollars more in their lifetime than a high school drop out.

As these figures suggest, education is one of the keys to earning a sustainable living that will provide for a family.

So why do so many still leave school or not see education as important to their
futures? How do keep these kids in school and prepare them for the workforce after they've graduated?"

- Dan Fink


Steve said...

Judge Uhler has been leading the charge on truancy for over a decade. He surmised then something that, looking back at it, seems plain on its face, butwhich has only become a public focus recently. Children who are in school on time are not on the streets during school hours. And if they are not on the streets during school hours, they are not likely to get into trouble on the streets.

The juveniles Uhler has dealt with as a judge started their criminal careers as truants. Cut down on truancy, and you cut down on juvenile crime.

Seems simple, doesn't it? But this finding has eluded lots of smart people for a long time. Thanks, Judge Uhler, for bringing a common sense approach to a difficult problem.

Anonymous said...

There really needs to be more of an emphasis on careers that aren't associated with going to college in York County. It would be better for a kid to graduate and go on to a job than to just quit and make a life on the street. What are those jobs and how can we uplift students without hope to have hope again?

This idea of a kid not graduating and being idle indefinitely is so concerning to me and has to be the start of resolving so many problems -- teen pregnancy, domestic violence, dropping out, violence, drug use, etc.

YorkCounts said...

Anonymous, I think you're right on when you say that so many problems of youth are associated with kids giving up at school and dropping out. Which is why we're so enthusiastic about the Stay in School Report. If we can scale up these programs to really make a difference in dropout rates, it could make a huge difference in our communities.

Mary-Helen Rossi said...

I just read about Judge Uhler and YorkCounts' initiative this morning in the JCJC News - as co-directors of a youth development program, my husband and I have been watching the rising trends of delinquencies and dropouts for years -- we are very encouraged to see your community not only recognizing this national problem but actively seeking ways to address it. The charter school initiative could be an excellent answer if it can address both the academic and emotional/social needs of students - but whether or not you are able to get this going this year we would strongly recommend that you consider implementing an in-depth, comprehensive arts mentoring program. We've developed a turnkey system by which communities can implement such a program - details can be found at www.merge-education.com. We know this works - we have implemented it through various nonprofits for almost 2 decades and have hard data and wonderful stories of significant student success. We would welcome your contact, and we commend your community!

Anonymous said...

IF you look up West Virgina State LAW, you will find that students can NOT keep a Drivers License if they are failing OR, too many UNEXCUSED absences. Look up Berkley County Schools for WV and you will be stunned to see the measures THEY have taken for students to SHOW UP, PASS their classes. PA really needs to LEARN from other states. Don't cry about PA being in the low percentile for school. DO SOMETHING!