Sunday, April 20, 2008

Joining Gangs

On her campaign web site, Hillary Clinton promises to "Double the after school program to ensure that 2 million young people have a safe and stimulating place to go between 3 and 6 p.m."

From the Obama web site: "Obama will double funding for the main federal support for afterschool programs, the 21st Century Learning Centers program, to serve one million more children."

I assume that part of the reason these two candidates want to spend even more federal dollars on such programs is the belief that giving kids somewhere to go and something to do after school will keep them out of gangs. If that's their motivation, then perhaps we should save the taxpayers' money:

There is no evidence after-school clubs or cognitive-behavioral interventions can prevent youth age 7 to 16 from joining a gang, a British review said.

But it makes us feel so good to spend money on the children this way.

11 comments:

KauaiMark said...

So which "after school" program is gonna help this kid?

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,350249,00.html

Anonymous said...

Idle hands are the devil's workshop.
Especially for those with family problems, etc.

Darren said...

That may very well be true, anonymous, but this report indicates that the "solution" isn't working. Should we just spend more on the "solution", or try something else?

What's that definition of insanity? You keep doing the same thing, but hoping for a different result?

Anonymous said...

I don't know, but perhaps funding more is required to see a large enough result. I'm not sure.

allen (from Michigan) said...

It might be worthwhile to fund a pilot program as a way of proving the validity of the concept before committing the levels of funding typical of federal programs.

Of course, that assumes that the desired result isn't to throw money at favored organizations regardless of the value of the program.

David said...

Anybody here watch "The Wire?" Is it likely that the kids portrayed in that series would join the typical afterschool program?

Maybe if it was run by the guy who started the boxing gym, or the cop-turned-teacher, but not something created by the typical certified bureaucrat.

Ellen K said...

It's like on the Simpsons when that one lady goes around whining "but what about the children?" as a response to every single event. At some point it has to be about more than the children, it has to be about the safety of the decent folks in the community. And with parents who fight over gang affiliation for four year olds, I am sorry to say that kid's fate is already sealed.

Ms Bart said...

Hmm. Do you know what I think we should try? Midnight basketball leagues. That will surely get the children off the street. <\sarcasm>

Chanman said...

That's it Anonymous, when it's not working, let's throw more good money after bad.

That argument has been made about our public school system for years, and all the increases in spending haven't helped yet. I highly doubt increasing spending on after-school programs will result in anything different.

the teacher said...

I am very much against federal spending on programs but if they truly want to spend that money on something that will have a HUGE impact on children going down the right path, make parents go through mandated parenting classes before they can have children!!!

It always amazes me in how blame always seems to be placed everywhere except with the parents when kids do bad things.

Betty said...

I just love how politicians plan to "fix" education. Their pie in the sky plans might sound good as the crowds cheer, but getting them to acutally work is another matter. Plus, where do they plan to get all of the money?