Wednesday, April 27, 2016

New report: Review of Summer Youth Employment Programs in Eight Major Cities and the District of Columbia

On April 21, the DC Auditor (ODCA) released the report Review of Summer Youth Employment Programs in Eight Major Cities and the District of Columbia (PDF).   ODCA did the audit to comply with 2015 legislation
directing ODCA to "conduct an evaluation of multiple years of the summer youth jobs program to assess whether the program has met and is meeting program objectives." This report, which reviews the structure, eligibility rules, services, costs, and outcomes of summer youth employment programs in the District of Columbia and eight other large cities, is part of ODCA's effort to fulfill the Council's directive and inform discussions of how to make the Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP) as effective as possible.

The report also includes 11 recommendations.

Perhaps the most damning and troubling finding is about the evaluation, or lack thereof, of SYEP:

Several other cities have commissioned independent evaluations of their summer youth employment programs, including studies that have randomly assigned youth to program and control groups in order to isolate the impact of the program on youth well-being. By contrast, DOES has not commissioned an independent evaluation of MBSYEP since 2010 despite a statutory requirement to do so annually.

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