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Strengthening Education in Short-term Juvenile Detention Centers: Quality Assurance Tool (QAT)

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2016
20 pages
This Quality Assurance Tool (QAT) is intended for use in measuring the quality of education provided to youth housed in juvenile justice secure care settings.
This QAT resulted from research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice and reported in "Guiding Principles for Providing High Quality Education and Juvenile Justice Secure Care Settings." The QAT is designed to assess and evaluate critical indicators that are associated with high-quality educational programs in short-term detention centers. Stakeholders may use the results of the QAT to assess their current status, identify and prioritize areas for improvement, and compare their progress annually. The five principles used in QAT scoring are positive climate, community engagement, highly effective classroom practices, academic engagement, and coordinated transition supports. A positive climate prioritizes education and provides the social and emotional conditions for learning. Community engagement is measured by the strength of the coordination of the resources of community agencies and the JDC in ensuring the provision of education, skill building, treatment, and intervention resources for youth in detention. Highly effective classroom practices refers to the recruitment, retention, and professional development of education staff with skills relevant to juvenile justice settings. Academic engagement focuses on rigorous and relevant curricula aligned with State academic, career, and technical education standards and presented with instructional methods, resources, and practices that promote college and career readiness. Coordinated transition support relates to community and family-based strategies that prevent recidivism and facilitate a beneficial and supportive transition into constructive development for youth after their release.

Date Published: September 1, 2016