The one issue that should be on every parents mind and the presidential candidates is what’s known as the alleged “school to prison” pipeline, and how to deal with this issue instead of making it worse. While Hillary Clinton has a long, committed record advocating for women and children, all we get from Donald Trump is his famous “pussy snatch”, and that he’s not attracted to women that are ugly (according to him), fat, and over 35.
Before I move on, I want to point out that I disagree with the use of the term “School to Prison” pipeline, because that pipeline starts at birth not in kindergarten.
In addition, the zero-tolerance policy that has swept America today isn’t the cause of this pipeline, but is making the situation worse for children that live in poverty and read far below grade level.
Instead of making the poverty-illiteracy pipeline to prison worse with these zero tolerance policies, schools should be doing more to starve that pipeline by offering more than just an academic high school degree at the end of 12th grade.
But schools can’t do it alone if they aren’t supported or funded properly.
Instead of more campus police officers (CPOs), the United States must have a national early childhood literacy program starting with children as young as 2 with a mandatory focus on all children that live in poverty and/or in homes where the parents are illiterate. These literacy programs cannot stop when children reach kindergarten at age 5. They must continue all the way through 12th grade. In addition, the United States must offer children entering high school a choice between a vocational and/or an academic high school degree. Many countries already do this: Japan, South Korea, Germany, China, for instance.
In Japan, only 70 percent of high school students graduate from academic high schools as they plan to go to college. The rest, planning to start work out of high school, graduate from vocational high schools, and a few students double up and graduate from both high school tracks.
Without that choice, the United States is not meeting the needs of future generations. Instead, the United States has become a police state with the largest prison population in the world with China in a distant 2nd place in a country that has more than four times the population of the U.S.
And most if not all of the autocratic, corporate charter schools industry is worse than the democratic traditional public schools, because they cherry pick the easiest to teach students who tend to score higher on arguably useless high stakes tests and quickly get rid of students that are a challenge to teach that slipped through their cherry-picking filter. In addition, autocratic, opaque and often fraudulent and inferior corporate charter schools continue to suspend students at much higher rates creating a true school to prison pipeline that should be called the autocratic, corporate charter school pipeline to prison.
The only thing these corporate charter schools have to brag about is higher test scores. but only after they get rid of the most challenging and difficult students to teach.
Meanwhile, this race to privatize K-12 education and automate as many jobs as possible is only going to increase the prison population at a faster pace than at any time in the history of civilization.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the unique love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.