Posts Tagged ‘school-to-prison pipeline’

Sen Durbin to hold hearing on school-to-prison pipeline

Monday, December 10th, 2012

UPDATE: The deadline for submitting testimony has been extended to Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 5:00PM.  Statements should be emailed to Stephanie Trifone at as soon as possible, please also cc Scott Roberts,


Testimony is due today for the Wednesday 12-12-12 hearing.

Here’s the testimony I submitted, which focused on high-stakes testing/retention and inappropriate charter school discipline policies (a la Noble).

PURE’s recommendations included the following:

End wholesale retention of students. Retention has been shown by decades of research to increase the drop out rate. Retention should be used only when parents and the school agree that it is in the best interest of that individual child. Other options include developing individualized education plans for at-risk students and creating student portfolios to get a better understanding of the student’s strengths and weaknesses.

Hold an extensive, public review of enrollment, discipline, and other policies to minimize the potential for schools to push students out and maximize the opportunities for student support and cooperative problem solving.

Increase both the number and the effectiveness of high school counselors through adding positions, training, and clear communication to students and parents about what to expect from the counselors. Make sure that all students and their families receive extensive, ongoing information about college and other further educational opportunities.

Require every high school, with the Local School Council, to create a plan for increased parent outreach and participation. This should include offering parents workshops on their rights and on proper high school policies, opportunities to volunteer and observe in their children’s classrooms, and clear information about the school curriculum and programs.


From Dignity in Schools:

Ending the School to Prison Pipeline

Hearing before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights

For the first time ever, Congress is holding a hearing on the School to Prison Pipeline (12/12/12, 2pm et at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC). If you are anywhere near DC, please help pack the room. If you are not, please make your voice heard! Feel free to use this form, developed by the Dignity in Schools Campaign, as a template for a written statement.

If you have any questions, please email Matt Cregor at

To submit your statement, please send it to

Please send a copy to Matt as well for the DSC website:

Instructions from the Senate on Written Testimony:

Statements for the Record: Chairman Durbin invites advocates, students, educators, experts, and other stakeholders to submit written testimony to be included in the hearing record. These statements help educate Committee members about the issue and are very important to demonstrating community interest. Statements should be less than 10 pages, and should be emailed to Stephanie Trifone at Stephanie_Trifone@Judiciary-dem.Senate.govas early as possible, but no later than Monday, December 10, 2012 at 5:00 p.m.

Suggested Questions (drafted by DSC):

Name: ____________________ City and State: _______________________________

Organization (optional): ___________________________________________________

  1. How have you experienced the school-to-prison pipeline and/or school pushout? What does school discipline look like in your school/your child’s school? Is your school a charter or traditional public school? What sort of things are students suspended, expelled, or arrested for? If you are a parent or a teacher, in what ways is school discipline different now than when you were a student?
  1. How has the school-to-prison pipeline impacted you, your family, and your community? What message does suspension or arrest send to students?
  1. What are you doing to end the school-to-prison pipeline in your community? What positive solutions can be used to stop school pushout? What can be done at the federal level to support this?
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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.