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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Test, Punish, and Push Out: How Zero Tolerance and High-Stakes Testing Funnel Youth into the School to Prison Pipeline

January 20, 2010

Dear Friends and Advocates for Educational Justice,

Today, Advancement Project, a national civil rights organization, released a first-of-its-kind report, “Test, Punish, and Push Out: How Zero Tolerance and High-Stakes Testing Funnel Youth into the School to Prison Pipeline.” The report shows that together, zero tolerance and high-stakes testing have turned schools into hostile and alienating environments for many youth, effectively treating them as dropouts-in-waiting.

“Test, Punish, and Push Out” provides an overview of zero-tolerance school discipline and high-stakes testing, how they relate to each other, how laws and policies such as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) have made school discipline even more punitive, and the risk faced if these devastating policies are not reformed. The report explores:
The common origins and ideological roots of zero tolerance and high-stakes testing;
The current state of zero-tolerance school discipline across the country, including local, state, and national data;
How high-stakes testing affects students, educators, and schools;
How zero tolerance and high-stakes testing have become mutually reinforcing, combining to push huge numbers of students out of school; and Successful grassroots efforts to eliminate harmful discipline and testing practices.

Also in the report are detailed recommendations for replacing zero-tolerance and high-stakes testing policies with those that will allow all young people to receive a high-quality pre-K-12 education. Included are steps that can be taken at the local, state, and federal levels, such as through the reauthorization process of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (NCLB) and the implementation of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the “stimulus”).

Click here to download a PDF copy of the report.

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