Learning together, and from each other

When we think of education, we often picture a teacher in a classroom full of neatly ordered rows of desks. Some of the most important learning students do, however, comes from each other. This happens on the playground when students learn to interact as equals, on the ballfield where they learn to win and lose as team, and through programs like the Village Movement Mentoring Program.In school districts around the country, students who take part in PCG’s EPIC summer camp’s public speaking module take turns presenting at least one thing they learned to an audience of their peers, parents, district leaders. In other modules, students learn about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and team-building skills, and are encouraged to be creative while exercising their problem-solving skills. [More]

Villages, Villagers, and Scholars

Several years ago, Dr. Brenda Manuel, director of the Student Involvement, Development and Empowerment (SIDE) unit of the Los Angeles Unified School District, organized a conference for 400 high school boys of color – delivering workshops, introducing them to role models, and presenting content relevant to their lives. “The young men said, ‘Okay, now you’ve done this for us,�� Dr. Manuel recalls. “‘What else are you going to do?’” Dr. Manuel took the boys to another conference, but they pushed for more. “This is not it,” she remembers them saying. “What we need is ongoing support, role models who tell us how and help us to mitigate systems through their life lessons, and then check on us to see that we are making progress.” [More]

Alleviating Emergency Medical Services’ Fiscal Challenges”

State budgets are under significant pressure and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers are facing declining reimbursement in response to serving as the public health care safety net. Many fiscal challenges exist for over-burdened departments and the prospects for addressing these inequities are dim. Healthcare systems and EMS ambulance transport providers are struggling to find alternative funding sources because of the decreasing reimbursement dollars from private and public insurance. This overall sentiment is evidenced by an article posted on the EMSWorld Website, which highlights the challenges faced by the EMS provider community. [More]

GAO-17-129: HHS Has Taken Steps to Support States' Oversight of Psychotropic Medications, but Additional Assistance Could Further Collaboration

The Government Accounting Office (GAO) completed another report (GAO-17-129) exploring how states are addressing the huge percent of children prescribed psychotropic medications while in foster care. Surveys conducted between 2008 and 2011 by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) found that 18 percent of foster care children were taking a psychotropic medication. ACF further defined the group and discovered that children in group homes or residential treatment facilities were taking psychotropic medications at a significantly higher rate (48 percent) than children living in nonrelative foster homes or formal kinship care (14 percent). [More]

CMS proposes rules to stabilize health insurance markets

On February 15, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued draft proposed regulations intended to stabilize the individual and small group health insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The proposed rules would shorten the open enrollment period for 2018, amend standards on special enrollment periods, increase pre-enrollment verification of eligibility on the HealthCare.gov website, allow health insurance issuers to apply consumers’ payments to past unpaid debts for coverage, increase allowable variations in the actuarial value (AV) calculations, offer more flexibility in substantiating provider network adequacy, and facilitate insurers’ compliance with essential community provider (ECP) standards. [More]

A Great and Historic Partnership

An historic coalition has recently formed, one that has the potential to impact the child welfare community for decades. The American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) and the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities (Alliance) have partnered to host a joint summit from April 30-May 3 to “advance solutions within and across sectors to improve outcomes for individuals, families and communities.” In these uncertain and changing times, the need to explore new methods of obtaining resources and gaining funding support has never been more critical. Only with strong, dynamic and insightful leadership can changes of the nature needed in child welfare occur. This coalition is such an example. [More]

Los Patojos, “the Little Ones,” comes to PCG

Los Patojos is a school that exists because of one man's dream to create a safe haven and a better future for the children in his neighborhood. Juan Pablo Romero Fuentes started Los Patojos in his family home in 2006 and, through his passion and determination, Los Patojos is now a thriving standalone school, health clinic, and community center. At Los Patojos, they focus on the whole child—education, health, happiness, honor, pride, compassion, and dignity. The school educates 300 students year round from pre-K through grade 7 through a progressive, child-centric curriculum. Every student receives two meals per day, medical services, and there is extensive afterschool programming for children of all ages. Los Patojos is striving to replicate their successful "whole child" education model in schools all across Guatemala. [More]

Transportation innovations for New Yorkers with disabilities would knock down barriers to communities and jobs, says new study

A statewide, coordinated system for transportation of individuals with disabilities could significantly improve their connections with jobs, community activities and overall quality of life, while delivering more efficient use of government and service-provider resources. That is the key finding from a newly released report developed for the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) by Public Consulting Group, Inc., (PCG) a leading provider of management-consulting services to public-sector education, health, and human services clients, and subcontractor Nelson\Nygaard. [More]

New Ideas and New Resources: The Benefits of Community Engagement

Other than parents, schools and teachers have more responsibility for raising children than any other part of society. But they can’t do it alone.

Diallo Shabazz, executive director of One Hundred Black Men, Inc. of New York, tells the story of how, several years ago, a school in Queens where the organization works with students experienced a mutiny of sorts in a global history class.

“One of the students stopped the teacher one day and said, ‘I can’t do this anymore,’” Shabazz recalls. “‘As students, we come in here and learn about all the terrible things that have happened. We learn about war and famine and racism and slavery, and we’re taught to recite what happened, but we’re not taught to change things moving forward. And unless you’re going to teach us how to use this information to change the world around us, I’m not studying this.’” [More]

PCG hosts three Chicago high school juniors for Job Shadow Day

For us at Public Consulting Group (PCG), that’s one of the best definitions we’ve ever heard of what it means to work as a consultant. And what makes that definition so especially wonderful: It came from an 11th grader in Chicago, Ahlexuss Lee from Theodore Roosevelt High School, after she and two other students visited us for a recent Job Shadow Day. Ahlexuss is on the Early Education/Teaching Career Path at Roosevelt. [More]