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Monique W. Morris African American Policy Forum
This report examines how the "school-to-prison pipeline" metaphor often fails to consider the unique position of Black girls in the push to reform school discipline policies. Monique W. Morris, a 2012 Soros Justice Fellow hosted by African American Policy Form and a former Vice President for the NAACP, writes that by ignoring issues of identity politics and stereotypes facing young Black women, the current debate about school discipline leaves Black girls "in a nebulous space between males and other women, where they are rendered not only invisible but powerless to correct course with opportunities that respond to their triple status as female, as a youth, and as a person of African descent."
We've all heard about the long-term benefits on early childhood education and services. Better access to quality early opportunities increases graduation rates, saves communities money on remediation or criminal justice, and increases the tax base. But how about the short-term? Short-term benefits are easier to build public and, crucially, political will around. "Savings Now, Savings Later" is an incredibly useful two-page brief from ReadyNation that outlines all the benefits of early childhood education and services in easy-to-understand, statistics-filled talking points. From parent mentoring programs to basic health care services to quality pre-k programs, the evidence is clear: access to these programs creates healthier and stronger children, families and communities.
The Dignity in Schools Campaign
The Dignity in Schools Campaign Model Code on Education and Dignity presents a set of recommended policies to schools, districts and legislators to help end school pushout and protect the human rights to education, dignity, participation and freedom from discrimination. The Code is the culmination of several years of research and dialogue with students, parents, educators, advocates and researchers who came together to envision a school system that supports all children and young people in reaching their full potential.
Center for Civil Rights Remedies at UCLA's Civil Rights Project
This report analyzes data from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights on school discipline and suspensions in the 2009-10 school year to reveal the unconscionable disparities regarding which students are pushed out of the classroom through out-of-school suspensions.The source data covers 7,000 school districts and represents 85 percent of all public school students, making this report the first and most comprehensive analysis of the impact of out nation's school discipline policies.
The Coalition for Teaching Quality
The Coalition for Teaching Quality, representing a broad cross-section of 90 civil rights, disability, parent, student, community and education groups are voicing their deep concern with the proposed extension of the highly qualified teacher federal amendment (HQT amendment) until 2015, allowing teachers in training to be “highly qualified” under federal law. The HQT amendment enacted in December 2010 allows participants in alternative teacher preparation programs to be classified as “highly qualified” even though they are still in training. Research shows that such teachers are disproportionately concentrated in schools and classrooms filled with our most vulnerable students. Under the current provision, teachers-in-training can continue to teach for as long as three years even if they never complete their preparation program, pass certification tests, or meet other state certification standards. And worse yet, parents are never notified that their children’s teachers are still in training and therefore not actually “highly qualified” according to the original definition of the term. Join advocates from across the country to tell Congress and President Obama to allow the current HQT amendment to sunset after the 2012-2013 school year. An Opportunity to Learn requires all students to have a well-prepared teacher on day one.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation
The 2012 version of the Annie E. Casey Foundation's annual KIDS COUNT Data Book tracks the well-being of our nation's children with state-by-state data on children's economic well-being, educational opportunities, access to healthcare and family and community environments. The report illustrates the deep disparities between children of color and their white peers in access to the opportunities and support necessary to succeed in school and in life.
Children's Defense Fund - New York
In this report, the Children's Defense Fund - New York brings to life data on the stark inequities in NYC's environment, schools and criminal justice system through a stunning series of maps illustrating "the legacy of years of misinformed fiscal and policy decisions." They are a call to action and a reminder that for decades "the lions of distress and limited opportunities were pursuing the children who call these neighborhoods home." Click here to download the report!
Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families
The children of immigrants - mostly Hispanic and almost all U.S. citizens - account for the majority of growth in Arkansas's child population in the last decade. Any discussion of the state's economic future is incomplete without considering the challenges these children face, such as higher rates of poverty and school drop out and lack of insurance. This report outlines how those challenge affect the children of immigrants and the policy changes Arkansas can implement to improve the opportunities available to these children.
Advancement Project, Alliance for Educational Justice, Gay-Straight Alliance Network
While it's necessary to address the bullying that goes on in schools, we need to do so in a way that employs discipline methods that keep kids in school for all but the worst offense and that address the root problems causing the misbehavior. Of the 42 states with bullying laws, 24 of them (57 percent) rely solely on punitive measures. These zero-tolerance policies have not only failed to make schools safer, they have produced a variety of harmful outcomes including the unnecessary use of school-based arrest and juvenile court citations; the overuse and misuse of out-of-school suspense and expulsions; and aggressive, in-school security measures such as metal detectors, surveillance cameras and school security or law enforcement officials. This "dangerous cocktail of policies and practices" is criminalizing our students rather than helping them grow and develop appropriate behaviors.
American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and Citizens for Juvenile Justice
Students who are arrested at school are three times more likely to drop out than those who are not, and those who do are more likely to end up in the criminal justice system than those who remain in school. While some school districts use on-site officers to apprehend students who pose a real and immediate threat to the physical safety of those around them, others predominantly use these officers to enforce their code of student conduct. In such districts, officers are encouraged to arrest, in many cases using public order offenses as a justification, students who are unruly, disrespectful, use profanity, or show "attitute." This report examines the rate at which police officers in Massachusetts' three largest school districts - Boston, Springfield and Worcester - arrest students for public order offenses and the extent to which school-based policing influences arrest rates.