mass schools and the truancy trap

A great piece in the Atlantic about truancy and the structural issues that surround mass schooling. I post regularly on truancy and it is good to see this article in a national magazine.

This article focuses on how police and schools benefit financially from truancy (and poverty) and it is frightening. We have a real structural issue with schools who have been slow to provide deeply supportive services for students and families. And this is due to the flaw of compulsory attendance laws, that have been extended now to 12+ years with no guarantee that the high school degree will even get you a job. A mandatory twelve years and then you qualify to get a government loan for a community college that specializes in remediation services. The entire exercise is becoming meaningless except for all the jobs the school system and the prison industrial complex provides. And that is a very dangerous situation, as this article clearly shows.

Schools that had to actually serve their districts and provide what families and kids want would function very differently. They would have built strong services that support and include families and communities. Schools need to become community hubs that offer and network learning services of a wide variety to families who have the ability to select the services they want. We will never get there with schools who have lots of police power over families and children when it really ought to be the other way around.
The Truancy Trap - Annette Fuentes - The Atlantic: "Lead attorney Michael Churchill says that shifting demographics over the last decade are at the core of Lebanon's truancy woes, with newer Latino residents now forming a majority in the schools and longtime white residents feeling resentment. Truancy is at 14 percent and the dropout rate is 45 percent. "For the most part, the Hispanics don't have lot of interaction with the rest of the community," he said. "Lots of students aren't comfortable or doing well in school, so there's a high dropout rate. The schools' reaction was, instead of offering services, they went after truants.""
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