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Improving Outcomes for Marginalized Girls in the Secondary Education and Workforce Development Systems

NCJ Number
Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy Volume: 20 Issue: 2 Dated: Winter 2013 Pages: 351-372
Rhiana Gunn-Wright; Barbara Gault
Date Published
22 pages
This article highlights the need for improving the educational status of marginalized girls.
Research indicates that improving the educational status of marginalized young people at the secondary and post-secondary level can greatly improve their chances for success. This article highlights the need for improving the educational status of marginalized girls and young women, and presents the results of research suggesting that economical disadvantages experienced by these women can be offset through improvements to academic achievement. Higher levels of academic achievement and involvement has been found to reduce the risks associated with race/ethnicity, lower socioeconomic status, substance and alcohol abuse, and teen pregnancy. Improving the educational status of young women and girls requires stakeholders to adequately address certain challenges: educational challenges for teen mothers; non-parental caregiving responsibilities among marginalized girls; violence, abuse, and harassment; lack of support services; and involvement in the juvenile justice system. The article discusses these challenges along with efforts that could be implemented to overcome them. These efforts include providing transitions to college and college supports for pregnant and parenting teens, integration of early care and education services into job training and postsecondary education programs, and access to high quality career and technical education. The final section of the article includes a set of policy recommendations that could be implemented at the Federal, State, and local levels for addressing the educational needs of marginalized girls.


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