High School Dropout Rates And Incarceration Rates

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The public education system has always been a controversial topic in America. Many different approaches have been taken to resolve the issues; however, the federal and state governments have yet to find a balance between school safety and education performance. Sociologists have studied the relationship between high school dropout rates and the increasing incarceration rates, that have been occurring within the last few decades. According to Thompson (2011; 23), “the nation’s public school system has been criminalized over the last forty years” resulting in poor academic performance of both students and teachers. In addition, Schept, Wall, and Brisman (2015; 96), focus on the negative impacts of federal legislation that has resulted in “racialized punishment” throughout public schools in the United States. In order to understand the relationship between high school dropout rates and incarceration rates, I will first touch upon a few laws specifically passed to improve school safety, for example the Safe School Act of 1994 (Schept, Wall, and Brisman, 2015; 96), the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Ellis, 2007; 221), and the Gun-Free School Act 1994 (Essex, 2000; 37). Next, I will discuss how the policies lead to increased school suspensions (Schept, Wall, and Brisman, 2015; 96), increased crime rates (Thompson, 2011; 23), and race bias (Simmons, 2009; 215 and Marable, 2008; 59). This paper intends to explore the various factors in an educational

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