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The latest on the School to Prison Pipeline

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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Twitter: @ProfessorJVH

Click here for Vitae.

See also Colonizing the Black Natives: Reflections from a former NOLA Charter School Dean of Students

p.s. Binge listen to the entire Truth For America podcast series on YouTube here  or iTunes here.

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About Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig (659 Articles)
Julian Vasquez Heilig is an award-winning researcher and teacher. He is currently a Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Director of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership at California State Sacramento.

5 Comments on The latest on the School to Prison Pipeline

  1. josephine contreras // November 20, 2016 at 12:10 pm // Reply

    I am a volunteer at a Juvenile Hall. This happens all day long to the words of the state.Some are automatically doing it.With out a thought it is just automatic.

    Like

  2. I would like to suggest to those who are fighting for justice for all children to consider this, our government has un-constitutionally forced measures upon our public schools. Every state constitution prohibits the federal government from doing what is doing, so why do we continue to allow the educational malpractice that is forced upon the children in our public schools? The idea that a test which was by design, to have a 60% failure rate will constitute pedagogical sound and justice, is beyond my comprehension. We know exactly what the unscoupoulous profiteers, masquerading as school reformers, had in mind; design a scam to break down the schools to give them the excuse to hijack the schools in the districts of the poir, the working class and the polically disinfranchised in order to privatize public education (again illigal) public money is prohibited from use to profit. The profiteers paired with the private prison complex, so that the 60% who their racist test failed, will go directly to prison. Check out the Juvenile Court Judge in Philadelphia who took bribes from the prison complex, for every student he sent to prison, if this is not a sign of a decadent society, I don’t know what is.

    Like

  3. What we have allowed in the name of test-score “standardizing” is not only wrongheaded, but outright immoral.

    Like

  4. While so many people now recognize that school reform and the invasion of “testing” has caused them and their districts much grief, too little is ever said about the very direct result of forcing a “test-score” meritocracy onto our poorest kids. As a teacher working inside our big city’s poorest schools, I personally saw the big changes brought to our schools by NCLB turn into test fanaticism — our district pushed for each and every penny offered by school “reformers” and quickly our children became nothing more than guinea pigs. What we have allowed in the name of test-score “standardizing” diverse populations is not only wrongheaded, it is outright immoral.

    Like

  5. In Hilo it begins like this in Kindergarten….A line of small persons with hands in duck-tail position walking silently in straight lines from place to place and back after completing their assigned tasks. Teacher is monitoring and correcting constantly.

    Liked by 1 person

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