"Across the country, students in the juvenile justice system are struggling in school. Research suggests that many enter the juvenile justice system well behind grade-level. In the absence of thoughtful programming, once they enter the juvenile justice system, they may fall further behind. Too many end up dropping out of school upon return to their communities. This publication examines one particular initiative that has shown great success in combating this problem—the Pennsylvania Academic and Career/Technical Training Alliance (PACTT)—and provides suggestions for replication in juvenile justice programming across the country. It also sets forth ideas for collecting data to measure the success of initiatives like PACTT and embedding in policy the general reform principles PACTT identified" (p. 5). The following parts are contained in this toolkit: introduction—the national context, and launching a project; PACTT practice components—creating a rigorous and relevant academic program, supporting students in career-readiness, seamless transitions and effective re-entry, and tracking data to serve individual students, improve programs, and inform policy; complying with the law and pursuing policy change; and conclusion. Tools included are: "Tool I: PACTT Components Checklist";" Tool II: A Checklist for Policies that Support PACTT Principles"; "Tool III: PACTT Data Logic Model" by Michael Norton and Tracey Hartmann; "Tool IV: PACTT Data Measures" by Norton and Hartmann; Tool V: Digest of Key Federal Laws"; :Tool VI: Desk Manuals on PACTT for Career and Technical Education Specialists and for Academic Specialists" by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Bureau of Juvenile Justice Services; "Tool VII: Sample PACTT Affiliate Agreement"; "Tool VIII: PACTT Employability/Soft Skills Manual" by Pennsylvania Academic and Career/Technical Training Alliance (PACTT); and "Tool IX: Federal Policy Recommendations" by Juvenile Law Center, Open Society Foundations, Pennsylvania Academic and Career/Technical Training Alliance, the Racial Justice Initiative, and the Robert F. Kennedy Juvenile Justice Collaborative.
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Building Brighter Futures: Tools for Improving Academic and Career/Technical Education in the Juvenile Justice System: A Pennsylvania Example