Imprint Author

Nadra Nittle

Nadra Nittle is a freelance reporter based in Los Angeles, California.

9/18/2020

Where Have All the Children Gone? COVID-era Kindergarten Enrollment Drop Raises Deep Concerns

Newly released figures from the Los Angeles Unified School District – one of the nation’s largest – show that roughly 6,000 fewer students registered for kindergarten this school year than in the previous year – a roughly 14% decrease from last year’s number of 42,912 children. 

8/26/2020

Focus on At-Risk Students’ Basic Needs, or Lose Them, UCLA Expert Advises

“We are at risk of losing an entire generation of young people.”

UCLA education professor Tyrone Howard made this bleak prediction at a virtual public meeting Wednesday while discussing Los Angeles County youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems who are heading back to upended schools during the disruptive storm of the coronavirus.

8/18/2020

Painful Questions
California is rolling out widespread screening for adverse childhood experiences. Critics question the science, and the consequences, behind that plan.

8/11/2020

Advocates Fear COVID-19 is Leaving Foster Youth Further Behind in School
When the coronavirus forced Minnesota schools to shift to distance learning in March, the transition from the classroom to not seeing his classmates anymore proved jarring for 6-year-old Cree, who Jon and Helen Tracy took in from foster care two years ago.

7/12/2020

Study Shows Excellent Preschool Experience Can Narrow Racial Achievement Gap

Highly trained, well-paid preschool teachers with low-student ratios, clean, safe classrooms with blocks, playdough, art supplies and outdoor spaces where kids can run and play could be key to closing the racial achievement gap, according to a new Rutgers University study.

6/23/2020

The First Woman of Color Set to Run L.A.’s Teachers Union Makes Racial Justice Her Mission

The Imprint of Social Change’s reporter Nadra Nittle spoke with Cecily Myart-Cruz about the policing of students and the school-to-prison pipeline as well as systemic racism in the classroom and how educators can make a difference.

6/15/2020

Home Visitors Left to Check on Parents from Afar

Ebony Middlebrook has spent a decade dropping by the homes of Los Angeles newborns and their families as a “home visitor” for Welcome Baby, a free program that coaches moms and dads on issues like early childhood development, breastfeeding, recognizing the signs of postpartum depression, and obtaining medical coverage. 

6/4/2020

Black Male Teachers a Rare and More Precious Resource in Wake of George Floyd Killing

Some of Edward Tillman’s friends have avoided watching footage of the killing of George Floyd — the 46-year-old black man a Minneapolis police officer suffocated last week while placing him under arrest.

5/27/2020

While Child Abuse Call Centers Grew Quiet, Helpline Requests Surged

Quesetta Bell has been a call specialist at the 2-1-1 call center in Akron, Ohio, for a year now. On an average day, she said, an operator in her position might get between 80 and 150 calls, anything from a query about city services to reports of downed power lines.

5/24/2017

Advocacy Groups Urge Legislators to Ban Willful Defiance Suspensions

Suspended multiple times as a student, Juan Peña now fights to keep kids in class. As an organizer for Los Angeles advocacy group Youth Justice Coalition, he’s supporting legislation that would ban willful defiance suspensions in schools statewide.

4/27/2017

Trans Youth at Risk in Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice Systems

A year after her release from the juvenile justice system in West Texas, Lydia* still struggles to sleep through the night.

“I wake up because I’m not sure I’m in my room, and I think there’s someone trying to hurt me, like what happened when I was gone,” she said.

4/13/2017

Colorado Takes Lead on Meeting Federal Education Requirements for Foster Youth

Children in foster care change schools as many as 15 times during their K-12 education. And each time they do, they risk falling behind up to 6 months academically. That’s why the Every Student Succeeds Act, the most significant federal education overhaul in more than a decade, gives states specific guidelines about meeting the needs of youth in the child welfare system.

6/29/2016

With New State Office, Washington Develops Plan to Help Homeless Youth

Since she was 6 years old, Caitlin Cheney has lived in a mishmash of places in Western Washington that includes motels, cars, and campgrounds. Yet she made it through her senior year of high school without being identified as homeless.

5/11/2016

Study Finds Foster Youth Fare Better When They Receive Care Until 21

Maria Serrano couldn’t wait to leave foster care behind when she turned 18 two years ago.

“I didn’t want anything to do with the system,” she said. In foster care since she was 15, Serrano felt unstable in the child welfare system.

3/7/2016

Truancy, Suspension Rates Drop in Greater Los Angeles Area Schools

As evidence mounts that punitive discipline makes students more likely to go to prison than to college, school districts in greater Los Angeles, including Long Beach Unified and Lynwood Unified, are shifting away from suspending students or citing them for truancy.

11/23/2015

Los Angeles Foster Youth Find Families on National Adoption Day

Nearly 170 foster children were adopted Friday during the National Adoption Day event at the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court in Monterey Park just east of Los Angeles. This marks the 16th time the court has taken part in the adoption celebration in which 400 courts from across the country finalize adoptions and honor families that have adopted youth from the child welfare system.

11/10/2015

As Student Citations Drop in Los Angeles, Questions About ‘Ghost Suspensions’ Rise

Amidst mounting criticism of its disciplinary practices in recent years, Los Angeles Unified School District began shifting away from citations and suspensions and toward practices that emphasize keeping students in the classroom in 2012.

10/1/2015

San Diego Unified Transitions Toward a Trauma-Informed School District

Godwin Higa may not be famous, but the San Diego principal has no shortage of fans.

He fields phone calls from admirers from across the country and, at times, even from across the pond.

7/22/2015

Educators Take Aim at Needs of Younger Foster Youth
California’s biggest school district put most of its funding for foster youth into extra high school services. But research, and advocates for youth in care, suggest that the problems start far earlier.

6/18/2015

Advocates Say California School Districts Should Spend More on Foster Youth

As California school districts spend June finalizing their budgets for the upcoming school year, they need to specify their plans to serve students in foster care, say child advocates.

Such plans could range from hiring more support personnel for foster youth to lowering the number of times foster youth transfer schools.