Tuesday, June 25, 2013

School house to jail house

My students are just getting into Michelle Alexander's book, The New Jim Crow. We're trying to understand the connection between the mass incarceration of young people, particularly African-Americans and the worsening conditions for poor and children of color in the nation's schools.

Furman Univ. prof, Paul Thomas, writing in Truthout makes the link between Reagan's War on Drugs, which began filling the jails in the 1980s, and corporate-style school reform.
For three decades, the War on Drugs has led to mass incarceration, primarily impacting African American males, the racially defined "others," and the education reform movement based on high-stakes accountability has targeted "other people's children"  in ways that suggest market-oriented education reform is a school-based component of the New Jim Crow grounded in the criminal justice system.
Mass incarceration and market-oriented education reform share more than their genesis in the 1980s, since both have been shown to cause far more harm than good and to further marginalize African American and impoverished youths and adults.
The United States still puts more children and teenagers in juvenile detention than any other developed nations in the world, with about 70,000 detained on any given day, according to the Washington Post.

A new paper by economists Anna Aizer and Joseph J. Doyle, Jr. offers strong evidence that juvenile detention is a really counterproductive strategy for many youths under the age of 19. Not only does throwing a kid in detention often reduce the chance that he or she will graduate high school, but it also raises the chance that the youth will commit more crimes later on in life.

1 comment:

  1. Bad Boys: Public Schools in the Making of Black Masculinty by Ann Arnett Ferguson


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