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School-to-Prison Pipeline Resources



In this comprehensive study of the relationship between American law and the school-to-prison pipeline, co-authors Catherine Y. Kim, Daniel J. Losen, and Damon T. Hewitt analyze the current state of the law for each entry point on the pipeline and propose legal theories and remedies to challenge them


Unnecessarily harsh discipline policies are applied unfairly and disproportionately to minority students, dragging down academic achievement. The National Education Policy Center published this report, by Daniel Losen, which documents a trend across the United States in which minority students routinely receive major penalties, including school suspensions, for minor school offenses. The materials also show how criminalizing kids detrimentally affects student learning, and criticizes the federal government’s minimal efforts to collect data in any uniform way on the large number of students kicked out of school.



In order to better understand the issues of efficacy and fairness in the use of out-of-school suspension, we first must answer two questions: How frequently is suspension being used in our schools? Are there significant differences in the frequency of suspension when we look at subgroups of children by race/ethnicity and gender? This report, published by the Southern Poverty Law Center with research by CRP Senior Law and Education Policy Associate Daniel Losen and Indiana University Professor Russell Skiba, is designed to help answer these questions.


In this companion brief to Discipline Policies, Successful Schools and Racial Justice

(see above), author Daniel Losen delineates legislative proposals to change harsh discipline policies at the federal and state levels.


Other Resources

In Texas, large numbers of children in middle and high school are being suspended and expelled—and those disciplined students are more likely to repeat a grade, drop out and become involved in the juvenile justice system. The landmark study relied on data for nearly 1 million public secondary school students in Texas—every student in the state, not just a sample of students—who were in seventh grade in the 2000, 2001 and 2002 academic years. The students were followed from the seventh through 12th grades. The study drew from more than 6 million individual student records, school campus information and juvenile justice data.


Racial Inequality in Special Education Resources

See also:

Racial Inequity in Special Education, Edited by Dan Losen and Gary Orfield, Foreword by Senator James M. Jeffords. Harvard Education Publishing Group, Copyright © 2002

ISBN 1-891792-05-9 (cloth), 1-891792-04-0 (paperback)


State Performance Plan Technical Assistance Project by Daniel Losen, offered via the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, provides three checklists that address

  1. district and school resource issues;
  2. system policy, procedure, and Practice issues at district, school, and classroom levels;
  3. and 3) environmental factors, all designed to aid in efforts to identify possible root causes of disproportionality and to help districts develop hypotheses and action plans for more detailed explorations of racial disproportionality.






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