The school-to-prison pipeline refers to the policies and practices that push school children, particularly low-socioeconomic and racial/ethnic minority youth, out of classrooms into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Critically, school failure for these youth appears to be driven by inadequate and persistently low-performing schools, disproportionate disciplinary and school suspension practices, and the combination of zero-tolerance discipline policies and the increased prioritization of test scores as the measure of success in educational contexts.
The Society for Prevention Research symposium held in San Francisco on June 1, 2016 highlighted policy, practice, and programmatic efforts aimed at dismantling the link between schools and justice systems. Specifically, Nayna Gupta (ACLU, Northern California), Daniel Losen (UCLA Civil Rights Project) and Julian Vasquez Heilig (California State University Sacramento) outlined 1) the extent to which disproportionate school discipline policies have initiatives have led to exclusionary practices thus affecting youth of color in terms of denying access to an equitable education; 2) the impact of state and federal policy initiatives addressing this issue, 3) the extent to which police presence in urban schools (e.g., Oakland, Stockton) affect the school-to-prison pipeline, given the community context, and how the community has responded to this phenomenon; and 4) a discussion about a set of community-based solutions to address the school to prison pipeline.
I discussed a set of community-based solutions including school-based Youth Courts, better data and restorative justice practices in local accountability plans. (Also hear about my 8th teacher and my willful defiance) Video cued below.
Daniel Losen discussed the extent to which disproportionate school discipline policies have initiatives have led to exclusionary practices thus affecting youth of color in terms of denying access to an equitable education and the impact of state and federal policy initiatives addressing this issue. Video cued below.
Nayna Gupta talked about the extent to which police presence in urban schools affect the school-to-prison pipeline, given the community context, and how the community has responded to this phenomenon. Video cued below.
See the entire discussion here:
Also, check out a new report that was released today entitled The High Cost of Harsh Discipline and Its Disparate Impact. The report was released by the UCLA Center for Civil Rights Remedies at UCLA’s Civil Rights Project and is the “first to quantify the economic cost of suspending students from school. It builds on a large body of research demonstrating that excessive school suspensions fail to improve school learning environments or enhance academic achievement.”
Using different data sources, the study also estimated the costs and effects of school suspensions in California and Florida, reaching remarkably consistent conclusions. According to the study, California 10th grade suspensions resulted in more than 10,000 additional high school dropouts. In Florida 9th grade suspensions increased the number of dropouts by nearly 3,500.
The study uses estimates of the economic losses from high school dropouts from Clive Belfield of Queens College. These estimates show that over the course of a lifetime, each additional dropout is responsible for $163,000 in lost tax revenue and $364,000 in other social costs, such as health care and criminal justice expenses. Cumulatively, the total cost of the 67,000 additional dropouts caused by school suspensions nationally exceeds $35 billion.
Stay tuned for more multimedia in the coming days here at Cloaking Inequity. I will also post from my upcoming trip to China.
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