For one year I embarked upon an exciting journalistic journey as a prestigious Soros Justice Media Fellow through the New York City-based Open Society Institute. My fellowship project related to alternative schools in Georgia and how research shows that:
children of color
children with learning disabilities
are disproportionately diverted to these low-performing facilities. Many of these schools, statistics show, fail to adequately educate the at-risk students who are disproportionately and arbitrarily relegated to them, often solely at the discretion of school administrators. Additionally as was revealed by the controversial Atlanta Public Schools (APS) cheating scandal, the standardized test focused educational climate driven largely by the No Child Left Behind policy has led many school systems to push low-
performing students out of mainstream schools in effort
to maintain critical funding needs. Fueled by systemic inequities and zero tolerance policies popularized in the 1990s, this disturbing trend is one of the critical civil and human rights issues of our time. There is a thoroughly documented correlation between a lack of educational attainment and incarceration.
This in-depth feature that appeared in The Crisis Magazine,
explored why many people, particularly in communities of
color have growing concerns about the widespread practice
of diverting some of the nation’s most vulnerable students to
alternative schools. Fueled by systemic inequities and zero
tolerance policies popularized in the 1990s, I believe that this
disturbing trend is one of the critical civil and human right
issues of our time. It’s no secret that there is a thoroughly
documented correlation between a lack of educational
attainment and incarceration.