School to Prison Pipeline

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School-to-Prison Pipeline:
Does the Current Educational System Demonize or Criminalize Our Youth? In today’s society our children go down one of two paths: become successful or become criminals. The question then must be asked: have we allowed our children to be tracked down such opposite paths by using discipline as an excuse? There may well be an argument that ultimately the school and prison system have nothing to do with one another; however, I believe they have become one in the same. When a child can be suspended from school for bringing a plastic knife to cut his banana or a child can be expelled after two incidents of misbehavior, I think we have a problem. Where is the compassion and understanding that our education system
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Schools have become more driven by data and numerical results than by holistic student outcomes. To meet standards, students are trucked along grade after grade only learning what is absolutely necessary to pass their tests. Few if any resources are put toward supplementary programs or emotional or social supports for students. What results are schools needing to hire more teachers but for less pay and with less incentives to stay in challenging school environments. NCLB promises children the education they deserve by licensed teachers; however, when faced with multiple challenges for funding, the schools may find it easier to hire new teachers with little to no experience so that their pay can be less and funds can be allocated elsewhere. With a disparity in resources resulting from NCLB, schools in the less wealthy areas tend to suffer the most: “Unlike most countries that fund schools centrally and equally, the wealthiest U.S. public schools spend at least 10 times more than the poorest schools-ranging from over $30,000 per pupil to only $3,000 (Darling-Hammond)”. A teacher who has spent years in school to earn a degree is far less likely to want to spend their career in a school that is under funded, under staffed, overcrowded and labeled ‘failing’. This in turn meant that the best educated, best prepared and most dedicated teachers would concentrate in the most highly resourced schools, leaving underperforming
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