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Public Foster Care Schools


by Ron Avi Astor — September 09, 2005

The commentary discusses how many of our low functioning urban schools are packed with high proportions of foster youth. This issue is not openly dealt with in policy, practice or research. Some public innercity schools in major cities have between 20-40 percent of their students in foster care or group homes. This drastically changes the way the public, researchers, and teachers view the academic challanges facing those schools. It also suggests that additional social and fiscal resources are needed if these schools are to succeed in improving academic outcomes.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: September 09, 2005
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12163, Date Accessed: 12/12/2017 8:21:05 PM

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About the Author
  • Ron Avi Astor
    University of Southern California
    E-mail Author
    RON AVI ASTOR currently holds a joint professorship in the schools’ of social work and education at the University of Southern California. He spent ten years at the University of Michigan in a similar position. He has 15 different large and on going studies that focus on the causes/ interventions surrounding school violence and children’s understanding/ approval of violence. He has over 70 scientific publications on issues children and violence. In 2005, Oxford University Press published his book “School Violence in Context” (along with R. Benbenishty) on the determinants of school victimization. The book is based on his most recent study in Israel that included over 24,000 students, 1,500 teachers and 200 principals. This is the largest school violence inquiry conducted for any country, to date. It has been the cornerstone for Israeli youth violence and school violence policy. This is the first and only representative study conducted on either Jewish or Arab children anywhere in the world. In the USA Astor has explored the influence of highly deteriorated school and neighborhood physical contexts on the approval of retribution. This lead to a mapping procedure that allows children and teachers map beliefs about dangerous locations in and around their schools and develop grass roots interventions based on their perceptions of danger. This research suggests that children have strong negative moral attributions towards physical contexts that could increase or decrease their approval of retribution towards others when provocation occurs in those contexts. This work has been extended to teachers reasoning about violent school locations and gender attributions in those locations. In the year 2000, The American Educational Research Association awarded this work the Palmer O. Johnson Award for Best Research Article in Education. The findings of these research and interventions projects have been widely covered by the international news media including, the Associate Press, Time Magazine, National Public Radio, the New York Times, CNN, CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, Washington Post, USA Today, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Kol Israel, and many major Israeli/ European news, radio and print media. His work has been supported by fellowships/ grants from NIMH, H.F. Guggenheim Fellowship, National Academy of Education/ Spencer Fellowship, the Israeli Ministry of Education, a Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowship, the William T. Grant Foundation, and the Kellogg Global Youth Initiative.
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