An increase in the prevalence of strict discipline policies and high-stakes standardized tests is combining to form a pathway that shuttles students directly from public schools to prisons, a new report argues.
The report, by the Washington-based Advancement Project, a communication and legal group committed to racial justice, contends that current discipline and testing policies foster a culture in which students, parents, teachers, and law enforcement are put in adversarial positions. It suggests that “zero tolerance” discipline and “high-stakes testing” emanate from common ideological roots traced back to the 1980s, which became more pronounced with the authorization of the federal No Child Left Behind law.
The report also recommends steps to erase such policies at the local, state, and national levels.
A version of this article appeared in the January 27, 2010 edition of Education Week as Testing and Discipline