Mandating community service high schools
A Gallup poll released in December found that 61 percent of the 1,400 youths (age 12-17) surveyed were doing volunteer work.But more than half of them thought it was wrong to mandate community service in school.
"How can they do community service and then get home?
"Although we don't encourage schools to require it, we do feel that youth service is a good way to show outcome-based learning.
So, not only can we teach through service learning, the kids can demonstrate what they've learned," Richardson said. They help the elderly in nursing homes, build access ramps for handicapped people, care for hospital patients, organize activities in day care centers, plant trees, pick up trash, or work in museums, recreation centers, nonprofit organizations and social welfare agencies.
Although the Maryland Board of Education mandated community service, it made no provision for funds for personnel, teacher training, transportation or record-keeping.
The Anne Arundel County Maryland Board of Education says the requirement "carries a high price tag for implementation, monitoring, transportation and scheduling." One source of help could be the National and Community Service Act of 1990, passed by Congress, which provides funding, training and technical aid to states and communities to develop and broaden K-12 community service projects.
"In Minnesota, we have 324 out of 411 school districts participating in youth service programs, but only three school districts require it.