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Orange County Register

Forum Examines Educational Challenges of Foster Youth

Nov. 22, 2013

Orange County's foster youth have posted big gains in academic performance in the last five years, but with only 35 percent testing proficient in math – compared with 60 percent of their peers – more improvements and outreach efforts are needed.

That was the Orange County Department of Education's message on Thursday during a forum on the recently released 19th annual “Conditions of Children in Orange County” report. The event at Cal State Fullerton was the second of five forums planned to highlight report data.

Since the 2008-09 school year, the average cumulative GPA of local foster children has increased from 2.1 to 2.5. The number of students posting proficient or advanced scores in math has jumped from 19 percent to 35 percent and English proficiency has soared from 25 percent to 37 percent.

But foster students still lag in proficiency and gradation rates. Last year, 77 percent of foster care seniors completed high school. The countywide graduation rate in 2011-12 was 85.9.

“That's one in four not getting a high school diploma. … We can do better,” said keynote speaker Betsy DeGarmoe, the education department's manager of foster youth services.

The event at Cal State Fullerton was the second of five forums planned to highlight report data. Read the full article  online . Content is behind a paywall and may not be available without either a subscription or a small fee.

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