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Can a Nonprofit Turn Around a School in a Juvenile Detention Facility?

As recently as a decade ago, the Youth Study Center would have been unlikely to attract an educational pioneer to their juvenile detention facility. The roughly 40 teenagers held in the flood-damaged center rarely made it to class because they were often on lockdown 23 hours a day. The staff had a reputation for incompetence. The building itself was plagued with bugs and mold.

But this summer, the Orleans Parish School Board signed over operations of the school to the national nonprofit Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings (CEEAS), which is known for its work tackling the academic deficits faced by juvenile delinquent students.