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TEXAS EDUCATION REVIEW Fall 2018 Special Issue The Politics of (Un)deservedness and (In)visibility: Examining Economic Justice Issues in Education

TEXAS EDUCATION REVIEW Fall 2018 Special Issue The Politics of (Un)deservedness and (In)visibility: Examining Economic Justice Issues in Education

The Politics of (Un)deservedness and (In)visibility:………………………….……………....iv Examining Economic Justice Issues in Education Melinda Lemke ESSA, Low-Wage Migrants, and the Persistent Neoliberal Education Structure ...................... 2 Kathleen Reeb-Reascos Jennifer Serniuk Paradoxical Choices: The Realities and Privatized Education for Latino Students ................. 13 Jon C. Veenis Charter Schools: The Destruction of Teacher Certification in New York State ...................... 31 Michelle Wing Jennifer Saboda Excelsior, New York States' "Free" College Scholarship ............................................................. 50 Christian Pierce Justin Siraco Prison Reform and Redemption for Whom? ................................................................................. 60 Jennifer Mdurvwa Wolcott Avenues into the Street Economy ................................................................................................... 71 Tara-Jeneil S. Fenton

TEXAS EDUCATION REVIEW FALL 2018 EDITORIAL BOARD AND PEER REVIEWERS Managing Editor: Catherine Hartman Editors: Dwuana Bradley Chelseaia Charran Eliza Epstein Rebecca Gavillet Lakeya Omogun Ashley Phelps Chloe Latham Sikes Z.W. Taylor Peer Reviewers: Isiana Rendon

Welcome to the Fall 2018 Special Issue of the Texas Education Review, “The Politics of (Un)deservedness and (In)visibility: Examining Economic Justice Issues in Education.”

This issue features pieces from graduate students at the State University of New York at Buffalo with a special focus on how social, cultural, economic, geographic, and political factors impact educational access and equity for all students.

Comments and feedback about the issue can be directed to the Special Issue Editor, Melinda Lemke, PhD, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy, State University of New York at Buffalo: Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, 470 Baldy Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260-1000, USA. Email: [email protected]

Journal Homepage: Texas Education Review Published online: December 2018 Submit your article to this journal

The Politics of (Un)Deservedness and (In)visibility: Examining Economic Justice Issues in Education MELINDA LEMKE University at Buffalo

To cite this article: Lemke, M. (2018). The politics of educational (un)deservedness and (in)visibility: Examining economic justice issues in education. Texas Education Review, Fall 2018 Special Issue, iv-x. http://doi.org/10.15781/T2GH9BV67 __________

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The Politics of Educational (Un)deservedness and (In)visibility: Examining Economic Justice Issues in Education MELINDA LEMKE University at Buffalo Prior to the Supreme Court ruling in San Antonio v. Rodriguez (1973), research across the social sciences documented a range of economic inequalities both between districts and within schools across most states, with the result being vastly divergent student educational experiences. Thus, the implications of Rodriguez were profound, as unlike the classification of race in Brown (1954), the Court held that wealth could not be treated as a “suspect classification,” and furthermore, education was not an explicit right in the United States. School funding equalization claims thereafter were tied to rights guaranteed in individual state constitutions. Though some states have reformed their funding formulas, even being deemed successes, disparities have decreased only nominally (Baker & Welner, 2010; Lemke, Jackson, & Lehr, 2014) and persist to the present day. “Separate and unequal schooling” by socioeconomic status, race, and language now is the norm with inequality on the rise as a result of recent economic devastation wrought by the 2008 recession and widespread conservative efforts to scale back basic political rights including the vote (Scott & Quinn, 2014, p. 750). Rodriguez is one of many reasons for spatial hyper-segregation and intellectual stratification witnessed in U.S. public education today. Among other contributing factors are toxic state-level accountability-driven learning environments (Nichols & Berliner, 2008), education boards antagonistic to critical inquiry (Lemke, 2015), and an onslaught of commercialism in schools (Ritzer, 2015). Yet, while much has been made about the contemporary thrust of efficiency and sanction-based educational models, let us also not forget that schools in fact have been central to the reproduction of inequality (Bowles & Gintis, 2011) and contemporary neoliberal project (Aronowitz, 2003). Indeed, there is a lengthy history of corporate involvement in educational policy and respective institutions (Cuban, 2004). Public school leaders increasingly must confront elite networks and organizations (Trujillo, 2014) that in their aim to maintain a vision of education consonant with an unbridled free market, demonstrate open hostility toward public education, its employees, students, and families. As demonstrated by Anyon (1980), Lareau (2003), Bourdieu (2010), and others, the historic uneven distribution of “public” educational dollars and resources has been coupled with economic stratification at large so that a primary political goal of schooling is achieved—manifest (e.g. skills-based) and latent (e.g. norm-based) dynamics coalesce to do little more than prepare students for an economic system that inherently is hierarchical. Thus, through both overt and hidden legitimization patterns (Lareau, 2003) certain knowledge, behavior, and characteristics are privileged while others are marginalized and labeled deviant. Moreover, as many reformers have infiltrated public education itself, those loyal to that system must navigate difficult professional relations. The stakes are even higher within the current political climate where it is commonplace for leaders, from the president down, to utilize the politics (and policies) of fear, so to buttress what has become a uniquely American neodemocracy. All of this, and scholarship also, has been attentive to how social welfare policies have shifted in ways that deprive the most vulnerable from needed assistance. Contrary to commonsense understanding of the social welfare state, spending has grown steadily since the 1970s (Moffit, 2015). What is important about this spending however is that there has been a redistribution of resources away from perceived undeserving to deserving groups, namely away from younger, nondisabled, single-parent, and the poorest families to elderly, disabled, married-parent, and higher income families (Moffit, 2015). Thus, the post-Depression era egalitarian policy commitment to a bottom line bev

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neath which individuals cannot sink has waned significantly. Furthermore, whether societal norms about pauperism in the early 1800s (Moffit, 2015), or stereotypes about African Americans during welfare reform in the mid-1990s (Gilens, 1999), simply receiving government relief often has been viewed as undeservedness. Though normative values concerning worth have shifted over time and can be context specific, undeservedness often carries the stigma of moral ineptitude, laziness, and blame for one’s lot in life, whereas deservedness signifies possessing genuine need through no fault of one’s own. Indeed, research demonstrates how policy processes, actors, and media discourse help frame the target population of policy as morally deserving or undeserving (Gilens, 1999; Katz, 2013; Ingram & Schneider, 2005; Katz, 2013; Schneider & Ingram, 1993, 1997). In education, such traditionalist normative understandings of deservedness are argued as responsible for negative portrayals of public school leaders and teachers in relation to school choice (Mintrom 2000), as well as the failure to enact wholescale equity-based educational reform (Engvall, 1996). At the local level, such thinking, I would argue, makes it difficult for well-meaning educational leaders to enact with consistency, whole child, culturally relevant, trauma-informed, and “wraparound” services, which work across the school, home, and community to meet student needs. Also, a consideration is that, akin to historic tactics to keep so called underserving groups from attaining political, cultural, and economic capital, those minoritized student groups who fail to meet the normative standards of schools are disciplined, incarcerated, detained, and pushed-out into dangerous street economies at rates that far exceed that of their white, heteronormative counterparts. U.S. policies dating to the founding established individual and group (un)deservedness, and thus societal (in)visibility. With this understanding, it is important to emphasize that those deemed undeserving by the status quo, do not lack knowledge and skills necessary to convert capital into other assets. Rather, it is a unique and purposeful failure of the power structure neither to consider nor value such factors. Still, it should come as no surprise that complex justice-oriented problems coalesce in urban (Oliver & Shapiro, 1997), rural (Sherman, 2006), and suburban (Drier, Mollenkopf, & Swanstrom, 2014) school contexts in ways that foment disadvantage for those already invisible and historically deemed undeserving student populations. Yet, the ability to affect change in this regard is restrained and regulated by neoliberalism, which in its preference for technocratic standardization of thought and action, shrinks critical consciousness within educational spaces. Such processes leave institutional inequalities unabated and ultimately reify existing power structures that perpetrate harm against not only the marginalized but the larger body politic. Thus, it is incumbent upon those possessing privilege of any kind to actively strive to make visible those issues, histories, and lifeworlds made invisible by power. Overview of the Special Issue Addressing notions of (un)deservedness and (in)visibility within public education is multidimensional and takes on many forms. This special issue of Texas Education Review, “The Politics of (Un)deservedness and (In)visibility: Policy and Leadership Students Engage with Economic Justice Issues in Education,” is one of those forms. It takes up issues such as the neglected realities of migrant youth labor as relevant to education, the advance of commercially-driven standardization, and burgeoning pipelines between invisible youth of color and the streets. Ultimately, this special issue examines how educational policy and practice establish the foundation for or fail to create economic justice for students attending U.S. public schools and higher education, as well as for those living within those tangential sites, institutions, and communities that routinely intersect with public education. Analysis of economic policy should not be separated from consideration of sociopolitical, cultural, normative, and geographic contexts. The six articles in this special issue therefore aimed to vi

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unpack the historic dimensions of specific U.S. educational policies in light of how the current political and economic climate is shaping educational spaces, programming, and opportunities. These articles center critical education policy and leadership scholarship. Given the complexity of the issues examined, they also draw from interdisciplinary research to help frame thinking about cultural political economy and unpack how “commonsense” views of concepts like worth, access, merit, choice, and equity, in turn shape public knowledge of the actual function of educational policy. Focused on the interplay between policy process and its actors within federal, New York State, and local policy arenas, articles also juxtapose “so called” neutral aims of legislation as enshrined in texts and actor discourse and the often value ridden consequences for student educational experience. Finally, as many of the authors also are educational practitioners, recommendations for policy and practice are offered in each article To begin, the first two articles provide insights into the ways federal and state-level educational policy affects specific demographics of students. In “ESSA, Low-Wage Migrants, and the Persistent Neoliberal Education Structure: A Critical Review,” Kathleen Reeb-Reascos and Jennifer Serniuk unpack how low-wage migrants simultaneously have been exploited, but deemed undeserving due to their race, economic, and language status. Specifically, they examine what Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) could do for low-wage migrant students while underscoring the ESSA’s shaky ground given the current anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric of the Trump administration. Jon Veenis explores the relationship between Latino/a students and the charter school model of education in “Paradoxical Choices: The Realities and Limitations of Privatized Education for Latino Students.” As discussed in this article, not only are Latino/a students overrepresented in charter schools, but such privatized school settings reflect similar patterns of segregation as found in traditional public schools and if unaddressed, could intensify them. The next two articles examine certain challenges posed by privatization in K-12 education and seeming opportunities offered by new funding schemes in higher education. Looking at the issue of charter schools in New York State specifically, in “Charter Schools: The Destruction of Teacher Certification in New York State,” Michelle Wing and Jennifer Saboda turn their attention to the ways charter school operators are sidestepping the more stringent teacher certification requirements placed on public schools. Through an analysis of NYS Education Law §355(2-a), they outline the negative short- and long-term effects such a policy shift, if enacted, could have on students attending charter schools. Christian Pierce and Justin Siraco examine another area of NYS educational policy in “Excelsior, New York States’ ‘Free’ College Scholarship.” Specifically, they dissect how the Excelsior Scholarship addresses, if at all, low income student higher educational access in comparison to what we know about similar older programs, including the Georgia Hope Scholarship, Indiana 21st Century Scholarship, and the Wisconsin Covenant. The last two articles in this special issue investigate what happens to historically minoritized and normatively labeled undeserving youth when the U.S. educational system fails them. In “Prison Reform and Redemption for Whom?” Jennifer Mdurvwa Wolcott uses Critical Race Theory to discuss the ways educational policies pipe students of color into the school-to-prison pipeline, as well as the problematic aspects of federal policy concerning the use of private prisons. Centering the question of who benefits, she discusses the Trump administration’s Prison Reform and Redemption Act (2017), concluding that it does little to benefit those youth and communities plagued by mass incarceration. Finally, and in a similar vein, Tara-Jeneil Fenton unpacks dynamics that push youth into underground labor, sex, and drug economies in “Avenues into the Street Economy: Childhood Trauma and the Unsuccessful Navigation of the Public Education System in the United States.” Given the high rates of childhood maltreatment and poverty in the U.S., students from multiple backgrounds are susceptible to life on the streets, which she argues should be a pressing concern for all educators. Yet, this concern should turn on one key factor—more than any other group, youth of vii

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color constitute the majority of the street economy, and thus solutions to it must make their experience visible. Change in education seems to be accelerating so rapidly that the development of sound policy and practice cannot match the pace of change. In many ways, this special issue could not have arrived at a more important moment for educational researchers and practitioners concerned with tackling certain of the most pressing challenges facing education today. The varied economics topics discussed in these articles bring home the complexity in raising and answering questions about, as well as proffering solutions to educational inequity. By focusing on hidden policy processes and corresponding taken-for-granted deservedness, this special issue also was designed to stand against student isolation and disempowerment. Taken together, these articles educate us about how certain groups face challenges not only in attaining an equal education but accessing one at all. Moreover, given the current political climate, these student authors authentically voice recommendations for us regarding the lengths to which we still must go to eliminate injustice within school contexts and the kind of multisector work we must do to reach those children and youth who exist within zones of abandonment and invisibility outside the educational system. __________ MELINDA LEMKE, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. There she teaches across three areas including Educational Administration (EDA) Doctoral, Master’s, and Certification programs, the Economics and Education Policy Analysis (EEPA) Master’s program, and Education Leadership and Policy for Equity (ELPE) Minor, the latter of which she is the Program Advisor. Melinda’s research examines the politics of education, educational actor responses to youth displacement, trauma-informed practice and violence prevention, and gender issues in education.

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References Anyon, J. (1980). Social class and the hidden curriculum of work. Journal of Education, 162(1), 67-92. Aronowitz, S. (2003). How class works: Power and social movement. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Baker, B. D., & Welner. K. G. (2010). Premature celebrations: The persistence of interdistrict funding disparities. Educational Policy Analysis Archives, 18(9), 1-31. doi: 10.14507/epaa.v18n9.2010 Bourdieu, P. (2010). Ch. 6, The forms of capital. In Sadovnik, A. R. (Ed.), Sociology of education: A critical reader (2nd ed.) (pp. 83-95). New York, NY: Routledge. Bowles, S., & Gintis, H. (2011). Schooling in capitalist America: Educational reform and the contradictions of economic life. Chicago, IL: Haymarket Books. Cuban, L. (2004). The blackboard and the bottom line: Why schools can’t be businesses. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Drier, P., Mollenkopf, J., & Swanstrom, T. (2014). Place matters: Metropolitics for the twenty-first century (3rd ed.). Wichita, KS: University of Kansas Press. Engvall, R. (1996). The connections between poverty discourse and educational reform: When did “reform” become synonymous with inattention? The Urban Review, 28(2), 141-63. doi: 10.1007/BF02354382 Gilens, M. (1999). Why Americans hate welfare: Race, media, and the politics of antipoverty policy. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Ingram, H., & Schneider, A. (2005). Introduction: Public policy and the social construction of deservedness. In A. Schneider & H. Ingram, Deserving and entitled: Social constructions and public policy (pp. 1-34). Albany, NY: State University of New York. Katz, M. B. (2013). The undeserving poor: America’s enduring confrontation with poverty (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Pantheon Books. Lareau, A. (2003). Unequal childhoods: Class, race, and family life. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Lemke, M., Jackson, K., & Lehr, M. D. (2014). An overview of school finance policy: Key federal and Texas litigation. Texas Education Review, 2(2), 147-156. Lemke, M. (2015). (Un)making the neoliberal agenda in public education: A critical discourse analysis of Texas high school social studies policy processes and standards. In K. M. Sturges (Ed.), Neoliberalizing educational reform: America’s quest for profitable market colonies and the undoing of public good (pp. 53-77). Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers. Mintrom, M. (2000). Policy entrepreneurs and school choice. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press. Moffitt, R. A. (2015). The deserving poor, the family, and the U.S. welfare system. Demography, 52, 729-749. doi: 10.1007/s13524-015-0395-0 Oliver, M. L., & Shapiro, T. L. (1997). Black wealth, White wealth: New perspectives on racial inequality. New York, NY: Routledge. Nichols, S. L., & Berliner, D. C. (2008). Collateral damage: How high-stakes testing corrupts America’s schools. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Ritzer, G. (2015). The McDonaldization of society (8th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1 (1973) Schneider, A., & Ingram, H. (1993). Social construction of target populations: Implications for politics and policy. The American Political Science Review, 87, 334-347. Schneider, A., & Ingram, H. (1997). Policy design for democracy. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press.

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Scott, J., & Quinn, R. (2014). The politics of education in the post-Brown era: Race, markets, and the struggle for equitable schooling. Educational Administration Quarterly, 50(5) 749-763. doi: 10.1177/0013161X14551983 Sherman, J. (2006). Coping with rural poverty: Economic survival and moral capital in rural America. Social Forces, 85(2), 891-913. doi: 10.1353/sof.2007.0026 Trujillo, T. (2014). The modern cult of efficiency: Intermediary organizations and the new scientific management. Educational Policy, 28(2), 207-232. doi: 10.1177/0895904813513148

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Journal Homepage: Texas Education Review Published online: December 2018 Submit your article to this journal

ESSA, Low-Wage Migrants, and the Persistent Neoliberal Education Structure: A Critical Review KATHLEEN REEB-REASCOS JENNIFER SERNIUK University at Buffalo

To cite this article: Reeb-Reascos, K. & Serniuk, J. (2018). ESSA, low-age migrants, and the persistent neoliberal education structure: A critical review. Texas Education Review, Fall 2018 Special Issue, 2-12. http://doi.org/10.15781/T2M902N9F __________

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ESSA, Low-Wage Migrants, and the Persistent Neoliberal Education Structure: A Critical Review KATHLEEN REEB-REASCOS JENNIFER SERNIUK University at Buffalo Through discriminatory policies and neoliberal practices, public institutions have historically marginalized low-wage migrants on the basis of race, ethnicity, class, and English-language ability. Under the Trump administration and Republican-led Congress, anti-immigrant practices and rhetoric have intensified. This paper explores the impact of current educational policies as they exist in a structure dominated by anti-immigrant ideology. In a critical review of scholarly literature, this paper examines the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in the context of past legislation and the position of these groups within the structure of U.S. education. Our investigation acknowledges that the ESSA attempts to improve educational opportunities for low-wage migrants, but the policy’s shift toward state and local control creates uncertainty for these students. Specifically, we conclude that policy implementation for migrant populations will remain ineffective without fundamental changes to the climate and organization of state and local systems. Keywords: low-wage migrants, educational policy, neoliberalism, immigration, Every Student Succeeds Act Exacerbated by the divisive rhetoric of the Trump administration, the current sociopolitical climate in the United States is predicated on sensational rhetoric and loaded discourse regarding many of the country’s racial and ethnic minority groups (Quinn, Hopkins, & García Bedolla, 2017). Most notably, immigrants have become the prime target for a growing right-wing, populist movement seeking to deport or ban them from remaining in and/or entering the U.S (Lemke, 2017). As a result, immigration reform has become a central focus for conservative politicians seeking to implement discriminatory policies aimed at minimizing opportunities for low-wage migrants1 (Nguyen & Kebede, 2017; Quinn, Hopkins, & García Bedolla, 2017). Concerned with the potential implications for education from this growing political movement, we find it important to examine the sociopolitical position of low-wage migrants in the United States and explore its connections with current policies and reforms. Specifically, we: 1) identify relevant legislative, economic and educational policies that have structurally positioned low-wage migrants within society; 2) discuss the link between this position and its negative impact on the educational experiences for children from low-wage migrant families; and 3) explore the potential implications of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) within the context of history and the current sociopolitical climate. In addition, we conclude with policy recommendations that we think could help ameliorate the negative impact on low-wage migrant families and their children. To achieve these research aims, we used the following questions to guide our research: • • •

How have past legislative, economic, and educational policies led to the social, political, and economic position of low-wage migrant families? How do the social, political, and economic positions of low-wage migrant families shape their educational experiences? How might ESSA influence these experiences?

Low-wage migrant is being used to include any refugee, asylees, labor migrant, low-wage immigrant or undocumented person, as it acknowledges their unique situations, but highlights similarities in experiences (i.e. work, education, discrimination etc.) once arrived in the United States. It is intended to exclude newcomers who immigrate with a higher socioeconomic status (i.e. professional migrants, diplomats, investors etc.).

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The U.S., Education, and the History of the Low-Wage Migrant The U.S. has maintained a trying relationship with foreign migration that has played out across economic and educational institutions. For the last two centuries, capitalist employers and the state have controlled the ebb and flow of migration through calculated policies and strategic practices, which have directly affected the livelihoods of those entering the country (Ali & Hartmann, 2015; Gerber, 2011). Dating back to the 1700s, migrant workers have come to fill a variety of labor roles in the economy’s ever-evolving work force, bringing profound sociopolitical changes to businesses and public institutions (Gerber, 2011; Portes & Rumbaut, 2014). This dependence on migrant populations led to a sordid history of mistreatment, exploitation, and objectification, much of which was affirmed and maintained by the legal and educational systems of the U.S. government (Gerber, 2011; Kao, Vaquera & Goyette, 2013; Portes & Rumbaut, 2014; Ueda, 2007). In this section, we unpack the origin and lineage of U.S. immigration and the subsequent treatment of these populations in the context of legislative and educational policy. The first European wave of labor migration to the U.S. took place between 1880 and 1930, as nearly 23 million people entered the country at the height of the Industrial Revolution (Portes & Rumbaut, 2014). This wave, according to Portes and Rumbaut (2014), “may be viewed as an adjustment of population to resources; that in its magnitude and the extent to which it adapted itself to purely economic needs has few parallels in history” (p. 13). This period greatly changed the landscape of the American workforce through its massive increase in uneducated and economically desperate laborers who sought financial stability in the U.S. (Portes & Rumbaut, 2014). At the height of this wave, industrialists, nativists, and like-minded educational leaders sought to “integrate” migrants into a “hierarchically organized society” by “instilling them with middle-class attitudes, beliefs, and standards of behavior” (Apple, 2004, p. 74). To evaluate their performance and usher in a new era of rational reforms, schools began sorting these populations using formal tests of intelligence. As a result, educational institutions of the time became the main sites for assimilation, and curriculum and assessment emerged as the mechanism through which such sorting was carried out (Apple, 2004). Apple (2004) wrote: In the context of the time, they no doubt believed that American society was more willing to deal with diversity in intelligence than diversity in ethnicity or race. But they undoubtedly felt secure in their belief that a ‘real’ community could be built through education, one with ‘natural’ leaders and ‘natural’ followers, and one in which people like ‘us’ could define what ‘they’ should be like.” (p. 74) Their efforts, however, failed to slow a growing nativist movement that sought to deport and ban immigrants from entering the country, as a political backlash emerged in the following decades. As the industrialist period came to an end, the U.S. and its institutions sought to quell the nativist unrest by enacting anti-immigrant programs and policies (Gerber, 2011; Portes & Rumbaut, 2014). For instance, the 1924 National Origins Act halted mass migration to the U.S. for various non-White populations by implementing a quota system that limited emigration numbers by country (Gerber, 2011; Portes & Rumbaut, 2014). This act also saw the installation of literacy tests that ultimately disadvantaged migrants from non-English speaking countries and from lower socioeconomic classes with little access to education (Gerber, 2011; Portes & Rumbaut, 2014). This policy explicitly supported nativism by excluding migrants based on race and would, ultimately, become the legal precedent for solidifying racial divides (Portes & Rumbaut, 2014). The impact of this law can be seen today in the criminalization of Mexican migrants and the permanent “foreign” status of various Asian American groups (Lee, 2009; Lemke, 2017; Louie, 2012; Ngai, 1999). Following the passage of the 1924 National Origins Act, nearly all immigration stopped as a result of the economic downturn of the Great Depression and the overt anti-immigrant actions of 4

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the federal government (Portes & Rumbaut, 2014). In Texas, for instance, nearly 40% of the Mexican population was deported to Mexico, including individuals born in the United States (Portes & Rumbaut, 2014). These overtly racist actions endured until 1942 when farmers found themselves in need of manual laborers due to the worker shortages caused by World War II (Portes & Rumbaut, 2014). At that time, the federal government reversed its policy and reached an agreement with Mexico to bring in tens of thousands of workers (Portes & Rumbaut, 2014). Known as the Bracero Program, roughly 500,000 Mexicans legally entered the United States in the decade following in order to work on U.S. farm lands desperate for cheap, manual labor (Portes & Rumbaut, 2014). After the mid-century stagnation in migration, the 1960s ushered in a period of postindustrial migration (Massey, 1999). Massey (1999) explained that the “postindustrial era brought people from densely settled countries at the earliest stages of industrialization into densely settled, economically mature, postindustrial societies” (p. 34). Along with the sophistication of global economies, the federal government also formulated a new policy to reopen the U.S. to migration in order to serve its growing economy (Massey, 1999). The 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act abolished the quotas established by the 1924 law and welcomed a new era of migrants from post-colonial countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Oceania (Ueda, 2007). This law also supported family reunification allowing U.S. citizens to sponsor family members to migrate to the United States. Unlike the previous waves of immigration, the U.S. economy sought a combination of both professional and low-wage migrants to satisfy the globalist capitalist infrastructure (Lee, 2009). Education and Immigration In the decades following the passage of the 1965 immigration laws, myriad legislative actions dictated the educational and societal experiences of children from low-wage migrant families. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, for instance, identified migrants, alongside Native Americans and rural residents, in the efforts to guarantee primary and secondary education for children from low-income families (Spring, 2012). A few years later, Congress passed the 1968 Bilingual Education Act that recognized the importance of bilingual education for the nation’s growing Asian and Latino populations (Li, 2007). As a result, bilingual education was recognized as a mechanism for accessing curricular content and reducing the drop-out rate for learners of English as a New Language (ENL) (Li, 2007). Similarly, in 1974, both a Supreme Court ruling – Lau v. Nichols – and the passage of the Equal Educational Opportunity Act upheld the rights and protections of ENLs by making it illegal to discriminate against them on the basis of language proficiency (Spring, 2012). In the following decade, President Jimmy Carter expanded U.S. immigration law by signing the Refugee Act of 1980, which admitted foreign refugees who experienced political or religious oppression in their home countries (Spring, 2012). Later that same year, Carter enhanced the protection of admitted refugees by signing the Refugee Education Assistance Act that supported educational access for refugee students (Spring, 2012). A couple years later, the Supreme Court extended educational protections to undocumented students through the Plyler v. Doe (1982) decision, which made it illegal for schools to deny access to or charge fees for educating undocumented students (Radoff, 2011). A decade later, President Clinton sought to improve the status of all migrant students by signing the Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994, which increased funding for bilingual programs and immigrant education while focusing on drop-out prevention (Spring, 2012). Conversely, President Clinton also signed into law the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (1996), which prohibited states from offering financial aid to undocumented students wishing to attend institutions of higher education (Spring, 2012). 5

ESSA, Low-Wage Migrants, and the Persistent Neoliberal Education Structure

At the turn of the 21st century, mass education reform shook the educational landscape for all students in the United States. In 2001, George W. Bush signed into law No Child Left Behind (NCLB), which sought to improve the achievement gap for minority students by implementing accountability and standardized teaching practices (Au, 2007; Spring, 2012). The results of this reform were far from the law’s original objective, as many minority students were labeled “deficient” and relegated to lower achievement tracks (Au, 2007, 2011). A few years later, President Barack Obama set forth two initiatives – The Common Core State Standards and Race to the Top – in order to provide local school districts with curricular goals and the funding to reach them (McGuinn, 2016; Spring, 2012). Although intended to lift persistently low-performing schools, these initiatives economically penalized such schools and weakened education for low-income minority students, many of whom were from low-wage migrant families (Spring, 2012). Evident in the history of low-wage migrant populations in the U.S., social, economic, and political entities have determined the extent to which these individuals have the right to access the same rights of American citizens (Radoff, 2011). As a result of this sordid history, low-wage migrant families continue to struggle on the fringes of society and at the bottom of the economic system. Their position, as co-opted by historical policies, affects their access to and quality of education, rendering it more difficult to elevate their position. Amidst the current sociopolitical climate in the U.S. and a brand-new education law, the future position of these families is curious. In the following sections, we will examine the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) against the backdrop of history and the current U.S. climate. Education Today: The Every Student Succeeds Act Under the Obama administration, education reform prompted considerable backlash and opposition from teachers’ unions, Republicans, and fellow Democrats, as it expanded its own powers and failed to live up to party expectations (Egalite, Fusarelli & Fusarelli, 2017; McGuinn, 2016). When Obama took office in 2008, the expectation was that he would repeal NCLB and replace it with a more suitable program designed for local learning and innovation (McGuinn, 2016). To the surprise of many, he not only left NCLB unscathed, he expanded the federal government’s role by implementing the Common Core and Race to the Top initiatives, which provided extra funding to states that adopted the standards and performed per the federal government’s guidelines (Egalite et al., 2017; McGuinn, 2016). According to President Obama, his strategy of declaring initiatives was not to expand the federal government’s power but to sidestep a gridlocked, Republican-controlled Congress refusing to take up the issue of education (McGuinn, 2016). As the administration furthered government expansion, members of Congress began to take notice, and Republican Senator Lamar Alexander spearheaded a movement for educational reform in order to stop Obama’s far-reaching policies (McGuinn, 2016). As a result, ESSA passed both the House and the Senate with bipartisan support in December of 2015 and took affect for the 2017-2018 school year (McGuinn, 2016). An explanation of this law follows, along with a discussion of its potential consequences for federal, state, and local governing bodies. ESSA maintained many aspects of NCLB that were implemented under the Bush administration (Egalite et al., 2017; McGuinn, 2016). Most notably, the annual test provision that requires math and English Language Arts testing once a year, and once in high school, along with science at three different points, remained in place (McGuinn, 2016). In addition, states still are mandated to publicly disclose their test scores and separate the data by subgroups (e.g., special needs students, learners of English as a New Language (ENLs), racial groups and low-income students) for the purposes of evaluating which populations and schools require additional intervention (Egalite et al., 6

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2017; McGuinn, 2016). Under ESSA, states still are required to reach a 95% completion rate on all standardized tests but are given more leeway on which tests they will implement (McGuinn, 2016). Another measure upheld was the English proficiency standards, which required states to assess English levels of ENLs on an annual basis, as well as align these language standards with the math and ELA standards (Pompa & McHigh, 2016). Departing from NCLB, many provisions in the ESSA are a direct result of the emphasis placed on transferring control of education to the state level (McGuinn, 2016; Pompa & McHigh, 2016). For instance, ESSA prohibited the Secretary of Education from pressuring states to implement any one form of curricular standards and lays out specific limitations on the office of the secretary (McGuinn, 2016). Under ESSA, the Department of Education also no longer can pressure states into adopting proscriptive measures in exchange for federal funds, nor can it dictate how best to turnaround low-performing schools (Egalite et al., 2017). In essence, ESSA provided individual states the ability and flexibility to create programs, direct funds, and develop interventions that address the needs of their local populations without having to pass on federal funds (Egalite et al., 2017). In addition to the devolution of governance, the ESSA elevated English proficiency to be included in state accountability systems, giving greater importance and visibility to the needs of ENLs (Egalite et al., 2017; Pompa & McHigh, 2016). It also allowed and required states to set their own goals for this population, leaving the door open for direct, local intervention (Pompa & McHigh, 2016). ESSA also required states to set standardized entrance and exit criteria for students in ENL programs, which reinforces mobility and access for ENLs across state school districts (Pompa & McHigh, 2016). Lastly, under ESSA, the way ENL students are counted may change at the behest of the federal government (Pompa & McHigh, 2016). In the past, state counts were used to determine the population size, which ultimately determined federal funding. As a result of ESSA, the American Community Survey (ACS) – the ongoing survey carried out by the U.S. Census Bureau each year – may also be part of or completely replace the state count system (Pompa & McHigh, 2016). This could have severe repercussions on state funding if the numbers differ for any reason, as federal numbers would supersede state counts (Pompa & McHigh, 2016). For states with large populations of seasonal migrants, for instance, federal counts on the ACS may not account for such ebbs and flows across the school year, leaving districts without access to federal money for these students. Although lasting effects of this policy remain to be seen, it is important to note that the extent to which immigrants and ENLs are included in the ESSA is unprecedented. For many ENL advocates, passage of this law is a victory for this population, yet other civil rights advocates are hesitant to celebrate since the future is not yet known (Egalite et al., 2017; Pompa & McHigh, 2016). The passage of this law could prove positive for low-wage migrants, but if we look to the past for any indication, we must proceed with caution and skepticism. Discussion: The Future With the passage and recent implementation of ESSA, many stakeholders are wondering how education for the most vulnerable students will change. We would like to believe this law will revolutionize the experiences and outcomes for low-wage migrants, but after examining the law and related literature, we are struggling to see any specific component that will guarantee the dismantling of the pre-existing structures that have worked to marginalize these groups for decades. To have a realistic discussion of the potential impact of ESSA on this population, we must examine the law in the context of institutional structures that have historically placed low-wage migrants at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder. Specifically, we look at ESSA in conversation with the rational aspects 7

ESSA, Low-Wage Migrants, and the Persistent Neoliberal Education Structure

of the educational system (e.g., accountability practices, assessment, and uniform curricula) and the burden of rational choice (i.e., the perceived versus actual ability to access optimal educational placements, programs, or services) in order to gauge whether this law could affect profound change. Given the newness of this law, however, our review draws largely from literature published before ESSA took effect and may not reflect specific changes to state policies or procedures. To compensate for this shortfall, our review focuses on the fundamental elements of the law that have been shown to impact students from low-wage migrant families in the past. The Constraints of a Rational System System rationality has been a component of the American education structure since the early 1900s as a means of assimilating new migrant groups into a “hierarchically organized society” (Apple, 2004, p. 74). At the time, industrialists and educational leaders implemented measurement scales (e.g., IQ tests) that used the language of science and technology in order to assess the student population, but their efforts led to the creation of a system of controls that undermined the position of non-White, non-English speaking populations by relegating these pupils to lesser-valued, vocational tracks of learning (Apple, 2004). On the creation and continued use of these practices, Apple (2004) writes: the language of science and technology held forth the promise of better control, giving educators a greater ease of prediction and manipulation. It would help us in our goal to get different students from point A to point B quickly and efficiently…thereby going a long way toward creating the categories and procedures that have maintained the abstract individual, the unconnected educator and student, to this day. (p. 75) The rational system under NCLB amplified these ideals by designing a system of standardized tests, uniform curricula, and prescribed teaching approaches that led to the methodic labeling and sorting of students based on measurements of perceived ability (Au, 2007, 2011). For many of the nation’s minority groups, the NCLB era of heightened rationality translated into fewer educational opportunities, a narrower scope of learning, lower achievement outcomes, and fewer future earnings (Deming, Cohodes, Jennings & Jencks, 2016). For children from low-wage migrant families specifically, it nearly solidified their position at the lowest levels of educational opportunity. ESSA’s continued reliance on such accountability measures is telling for students from lowwage migrant families. As it stands, uniform curricula and standardized testing exclude this population, as these practices often are designed from a certain ideological stance (Carnoy, 1989). Carnoy (1989) explains, “students from subordinate groups, especially marginalized groups, face a curriculum which demands a certain kind of learning. The method of teaching this curriculum assumes a desire to succeed on the school’s (and society’s) terms” (p. 21). The terms of contemporary curricular standards are derived from the values, beliefs, and knowledge associated with White, middleclass, English-dominant America. Students from immigrant families encountering such “subtractive schooling” (Valenzuela, 1999) often feel stripped of their respective cultures, ideologies and languages, and feel obligated to assimilate into the dominant culture. As a result, the absence of home culture in school environments has been linked with low academic performance, learner disengagement, and a higher probability of leaving the system (Lee, 2009; Lopez, 2002; Smith, 2006; Tadesse, 2014; Weis & Fine, 2005). Today, ESSA prohibits the federal government from obligating states to adopt a specific accountability model, uniform curriculum, or specific set of teaching methods. Yet, states still are required to implement their own accountability systems using standardized tests and report results by specific subgroup (e. g,. language proficiency, disability, race, and economic disadvantage) (Egalite et 8

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al., 2017; McGuinn, 2016). If states decide to maintain a model of the existing system, it will be to the detriment of the low-wage migrant population; however, if states seek to create curricula and testing that include the unique educational and cultural needs of this population, pockets of lasting change could emerge. Moving forward, for ESSA to benefit the children from low-wage migrant families, states will have to mitigate the negative consequences of recent accountability practices, as well as navigate the sensational anti-immigrant rhetoric perpetuated by certain political leaders and media pundits. By shifting control back to individual states, ESSA has opened the door for inclusive testing practices, culturally-enriched curriculum, and school-specific interventions that could break the constraints inflicted by NCLB. Whether states intend to do so, however, remains to be seen. The Illusion of “Rational Choice” for Low-Wage Migrants As ESSA unfolds into practice, it is important to note its oversight in addressing the pervasive assumption that all actors in the system have the ability to make “rational choices” (Harvey, 2007). This ideology, a fundamental aspect of neoliberalism, contends that “all people […] act in ways that maximize their own personal benefits” (Apple, 2005, p. 273) despite the realities of systemic inequality, disadvantage, and structural location. For states seeking to include low-wage migrant families in their standards and systems, it is important for them to understand that some families face barriers to making optimal choices for their kids. If states fail to do so, no legislative action will elevate this population to an acceptable level. Given the new shift in control, state and local policymakers must come to realize the origins of rational choice in relation to how low-wage migrants are absorbed by U.S. society. Gans (2009) explained that placement and potential mobility within the system depends on people’s personal experiences, background, and knowledge. He wrote, “the amount of […] mobility can vary tremendously, depending both on the backgrounds of the newcomers and the state of the economy when and where they arrive in the U.S.” (Gans, 2009, p. 1659). These factors of the migration process can directly impact an individual’s structural location in society post-movement, meaning it will dictate where the migrants live, where they will work, and how they will live (Gans, 2009). Generally speaking, the lack of employment and low wages paid to the individual can greatly impact the resources available to themselves and any family member, thus determining the location of their children’s schools (Dumbrill, 2008). As a result, many children from low-wage migrant families often attend over-burdened, persistently under-performing schools that are ill-equipped to meet their unique learning needs. In designing new state curricula, procedures, and programs, education leaders should take into account the lack of leverage that low-wage migrant families have when interacting with their children’s education. Bourdieu (1996) explained: The holders of a great volume of overall capital, such as proprietors, members of liberal professions, and professors are opposed, in the mass, to those who are most deprived of economic and cultural capital such as unskilled workers. (p. 14) In essence, low-wage migrant parents enter the school system lacking the knowledge of the values and norms perpetuated by the U.S. education system, leaving them at a sufficient disadvantage to fulfill explicit and implicit expectations required by the school structure (e.g., participation, advocacy, and academic support) (Apple, 2004). Their counterparts, White, middle-class parents, on the other hand, have a superior advantage by knowing how the system works and acting on their kids’ behalf, leading to greater outcomes for those children (Lareau, 2011). If states decide that improving educational opportunities and outcomes for children from low-wage migrant families is essential, the unique, yet fundamental needs of these families must be addressed. States are now in more control of how federal funds can be spent to reach performance 9

ESSA, Low-Wage Migrants, and the Persistent Neoliberal Education Structure

goals, as well as have the opportunity to innovate programs and initiatives that educate, inform, and assist parents as they manage their children’s education. Under ESSA, these initiatives can be targeted to the needs of local communities, which could provide the impetus for more lasting improvements. With several states seeking to quell unrest over undocumented immigrants by supporting and enacting anti-immigrant policies (e.g., sanctuary city bans, provisions to public assistance eligibility, enhanced policing, etc.), however, the desire to implement such programs may be limited. Conclusion: Education, Policy, and the Low-Wage Migrant Educational institutions, as an arm of the state and global economy, have become a direct supplier of the world’s low-wage workforce. For centuries, the U.S. has been a receiver of this labor but in recent decades also has sustained its own by denying its low-wage migrant populations access to substantive education. This process of reproduction and labor creation relies on the sorting and tracking of students inherent to the P-12 pipeline, as it readies students for the division of labor seen in today’s global market (Apple, 2005; Carnoy, 1989). This sorting and tracking is maintained by the rational system of accountability and policymakers’ reliance on measurement, testing, and rational choice. Although many reforms have taken effect in the United States, the children from low-wage migrant families continue to suffer. As ESSA emerges as the new system of practice, education leaders and stakeholders must be prudent in their efforts to educate and serve low-wage migrant families. With the new law passing decision-making to the state level, local actors have more opportunity to have their voices heard. If this law is going to succeed for this population, fundamental shifts toward cultural inclusion and less-stringent standards need to be emphasized. Specifically, schools must become places of difference, multiple discourses, and myriad voices. Curricula should include literature and knowledge from other cultures, and teachers should celebrate a diverse classroom. In addition, more funding needs to be funneled to struggling schools that service the majority of this population. By doing so, we would be lifting those who deserve to be lifted and challenging the achievement gap. ESSA has opened the door to state control, but whether states prioritize this population is uncertain. __________ KATHLEEN K. REEB-REASCOS, EdM, is a doctoral candidate at The State University of New York at Buffalo (UB) in the Educational Culture, Policy and Society program. She received her Master’s in Educational Studies (Learning and Instruction) from UB and her Bachelor’s in journalism and Spanish from Middle Tennessee State University. Kathleen taught English abroad for five years. Her research interests include parent involvement and institutional structures as understood through class, location, race, and (dis)ability. JENNIFER SERNIUK, MMEd, is a doctoral candidate at The State University of New York at Buffalo in the Educational Culture, Policy, and Society Program. She received her Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from SUNY Fredonia in Music Education. Jennifer has taught music in local schools and has worked for various grant programs in Buffalo over the past several years. Her research interests include the educational experiences of current and former refugees, and the sociological aspects of their migration.

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References Ali, S., & Hartmann, D. (2015). Migration, incorporation, and change in an interconnected world. New York, NY: Routledge. Apple, M. (2004). Ideology and curriculum. New York, NY: Routledge. Apple, M. (2004). Creating difference: Neo-liberalism, neo-conservatism and the politics of educational reform. Educational Policy, 18(12), 12-44. doi: 10.1177/0895904803260022 Apple, M. (2005). Doing things the ‘right’ way: Legitimating educational inequalities in conservative times. Educational Review, 57(3), 271-293. doi: 10.1080/00131910500149002 Au, W. (2007). High stakes testing and curricular control. Educational Researcher, 36(5), 258-267. doi: 10.3102/0013189X07306523 Au, W. (2011). Teaching under the new Taylorism: High stakes testing and the standardization of the 21st century curriculum. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 43(1), 25-45. doi: 10.1080/00220272.2010.521261 Carnoy, M. (1989). Education, state, and culture in American society. In H. A. Giroux & P. M. McLaren (Eds.), Critical pedagogy, the state, and cultural struggle (pp. 3-23). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Deming, D., Cohodes, S., Jennings, J., & Jencks, C. (2016). School accountability, postsecondary attainment, and earnings (NBER Working Paper No. 19444). Retrieved from http://www.nber.org/papers/w19444.pdf Dumbrill, G. C. (2008). Your policies, our children: Messages from refugee parents to child welfare workers and policymakers. Child Welfare, 88(3), 145-168. Gans, H. J. (2009). First generation decline: Downward mobility among refugees and immigrants. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 32(9), 1658-1670. doi: 10.1080/01419870903204625 Gerber, D. A. (2011). American immigration: A very short introduction. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Egalite, A. J., Fusarelli, L. D., & Fusarelli, B. C. (2017). Will decentralization affect educational inequity? The Every Student Succeeds Sct. Educational Administration Quarterly, 53(5), 757-781. doi:10.1177/0013161X17735869. Harvey, D. (2007). Neoliberalism as creative destruction. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 610(1), 22-44. doi:10.1177/0002716206296780. Kao, G., Vaquera, E., & Goyette, K. (2013). Education and immigration. Malden, MA: Policy Press. Lareau, A. (2011). Unequal childhoods: Class, race, and family Life (2nd ed.). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Lee, S. (2009). Unraveling the “model minority” stereotype: Listening to Asian American youth. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. Lemke, M. (2017). Trafficking and immigration policy: Intersections, inconsistencies, and implications for public education. Educational Policy, 31(6), 743-763. doi:10.1177/0895904817719528. Li, B. (2007). From bilingual education to OELALEAALEPS: How the no child left behind act has undermined English language learners’ access to a meaningful education. Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy, XIV(3), 539-572. Lopez, N. (2002). Hopeful girls, troubled boys: Race and gender disparity in urban education. New York, NY: Routledge. Louie, V. (2012). Keeping the immigrant bargain: The costs and rewards of success in America. New York, NY: The Russell Sage Foundation. Massey, D. (1999). Why does immigration occur? A theoretical synthesis. In C. Hirschman, P. Kasinitz, & J. Dewind (Eds.), The handbook of international migration: The American experience (pp. 3452). New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation. 11

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McGuinn, P. (2016). From no child left behind to the Every Student Succeeds Act: Federalism and the education legacy of the Obama administration. The Journal of Federalism, 46(3), 392-415. doi: 10.1093/publius/pjw014 Ngai, M. M. (1999). The architecture of race in American immigration law: A reexamination of the Immigration Act of 1924. The Journal of American History, 86(1), 67-92. doi: 10.2307/2567407 Nguyen, C., & Kebede, M. (2017). Immigrant students in the trump era: What we know and do not know. Educational Policy, 31(6), 716-742. doi:10.1177/0895904817723740. Pompa, D., & McHigh, M. (2016). Taking stock of ESSA’s potential impact on immigrant and English language learner students [Webinar]. Retrieved from http://www.migrationpolicy.org/multimedia/taking-stock-essa-potential-impact-immigrantand-english-learner-students Portes, A., & Rumbaut, R. (2014). Immigrant American: A portrait. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Quinn, R., Hopkins, M., & García Bedolla, L. (2017). The politics of immigration and education. Educational Policy, 31(6), 707-715. doi:10.1177/0895904817725729 Radoff, S. (2011). Crossing the borders of Plyler v. Doe: Students without documentation and their right to rights. Education Studies, 47, 436-450. doi: 10.1080/00131946.2011.602149 Smith, R. C. (2006). Mexican New York: Transnational lives of new immigrants. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Spring, J. (2012). Equality of education opportunity: Race, gender and special needs. In American education (15th ed.) (pp. 107-127). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. Tadesse, S. (2014). Parent involvement: Encouragement and barriers to African refugees parent teacher relationships. Childhood Education, 90(4), 298-305. Ueda, R. (2007). Immigration in global historical perspective. In M. Waters & R. Ueda (Eds.), The new Americans: A guide to immigration since 1965 (pp. 14-28). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Valenzuela, A. (1999). Subtractive schooling: U.S.-Mexican youth and the politics of caring. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. Weis, L., & Fine, M. (2005). Beyond silenced voices: Class, race, and gender in United States schools. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

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Journal Homepage: Texas Education Review Published online: December 2018 Submit your article to this journal

Paradoxical Choices: The Realities and Limitations of Privatized Education for Latino Students JON C. VEENIS University at Buffalo

To cite this article: Veenis, J.C. (2018). Paradoxical choices: The realities and limitations of privatized education for Latino students. Texas Education Review, Fall 2018 Special Issue, 13-30. http://doi.org/10.15781/T2R20SG3T __________

Paradoxical Choices

Paradoxical Choices: The Realities and Limitations of Privatized Education for Latino Students JON C. VEENIS University at Buffalo One of the claims asserted by advocates of the privatized school choice model is that Traditional Public Schools (TPSs) have failed in their efforts to ameliorate social inequalities for underserved populations. School choice models that support privatization and competition are typically associated with the idealization of market efficiencies, as well as a cult-like focus on the efficient management of public goods (Trujillo, 2014). Apple (2004) calls this framing of the market ethos an eloquent fiction, suggesting that its advocates embrace social Darwinism and divestiture from public institutions. Latinos are expected to represent approximately 25% of all public school students by the year 2021 (Gándara, 2010). While achievement gaps between Whites and Latinos have narrowed slightly in recent decades, the gap between Latino English Learners (ELs) and non-Latino ELs has remained steady or grown marginally (U.S. Department of Education, 2011). In 2014, over 12 million Latino students were enrolled in public schools across the country. Roughly six percent of those students attended charter schools. Latinos are proportionally overrepresented in charter schools, accounting for over 30% of all enrollees (U.S. Department of Education, 2015b). This paper critically examines various issues of equity and equality for Latino students through the lens of scholarly works that have empirically or theoretically explored various nuances of the privatized school choice model. It offers a synthesis of findings gleaned from the aforesaid body of literature, while also addressing key implications for federal, state, and local educational policy. Keywords: privatized school choice, charter schools, education equity, traditional public schools, Latino achievement, school segregation, neoliberalism The ideological underpinnings of privatized education in the United States have a strong footing in the country’s historical and philosophical connection to the rights and freedoms of the individual. In recent decades, the idea of privatized school choice often is connected, rhetorically, to the goal of ameliorating educational inequities. Frequently, this narrative is accompanied by periphrastic linkages to the inadequacies of public schooling. These deficiencies, whether real or hyperbolized (or some of both), have taken the public stage on various occasions across the long arc of its relatively brief, but tumultuous history. Notwithstanding the potential (or tendency) to politicize the topic, the cracks in our educational system have a basis in reality. At a minimum, it is fair to say that our public school system has served and continues to serve certain groups better than others (See: Flores, 2007). The Coleman Report (1966), for example, which addressed the underachievement of marginalized groups in the United States, made these fissures quite evident and, in simultaneity, set the stage for a public discourse framed around the failures of public schools. The narrative of public school failure has proven to be especially useful to certain politicians who, at one time or another, jockey for votes or who seek to weaken their political opponents using the aforementioned theme as a politically convenient means to divide and conquer the voting populous. A Nation at Risk, published in 1984, which positioned American schools as being far behind their global competitors, also heightened the public’s perception that national educational reform was needed (U.S. Department of Education, 1983). It is not until a decade or so later, however, that privatized school choice became a key component of federal and state educational policy. 14

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Privatized school choice alternatives have grown at a steady pace over the last three and a half decades, with notable surges here and there along the way. One of the primary mechanisms for operationalizing privatized school choice has included the charter school model. Another notable increase in charter schools is linked to President Obama’s first term. As the name implies, schools of this category come with a charter (i.e., a contract that determines the accountability agreement between the issuing authority and the school). Generally speaking, charter schools are funded with public monies but are subject to fewer regulations than traditional public schools (TPSs). A significant growth in charter schools is detected at or around the beginning of George W. Bush’s first term as president. Moreover, politicians’ support for privatized school choice proved to be uniquely bipartisan in post-90s America. Despite their accelerated growth in the last decade and a half, charter schools represent just over 6% of all schools in the country (U.S. Department of Education, 2016b). Nevertheless, when combined with a comparatively high percentage of private schools, which represent roughly 25% of all schools (Council for American Private Education, 2016), the encroachment of charter schools upon public schooling in the U.S. is quite significant. The well-known economist Milton Friedman, who often is credited (or disparaged) for having first introduced the idea of school vouchers, also is a key point of reference in terms of understanding the ideological underpinnings of privatized school choice. Friedman (1982) advocated for an expanded application of free-market principles to include areas of life that were once considered the primary responsibility of the public sector, which included education. In his most often cited book, Capitalism and Freedom (1962), Friedman asserted that complex social problems were best addressed by promoting competition and by unleashing the invisible hand of the markets. Over the decades, his beliefs have been endorsed, regurgitated, and reinvented by politicians and privateers seeking to position themselves as proponents of American capitalism and free enterprise (e.g., Ronald Reagan). Privatized school choice, or any model that supports competition and the mobilization of private capital, is typically associated with the idealization of market efficiencies, as well as a focus on the efficient management of public goods (Trujillo, 2014). Apple (2004) calls this framing of the market ethos an eloquent fiction, suggesting that its advocates embrace social Darwinism and divestiture from social responsibility above all else. In more recent times, the term neoliberalism, which derives from the classical liberal economic views of philosophers such as Adam Smith, is used to describe public policies that are undergirded by free-market principles. Political conservatives (i.e., post-Eisenhower), who typically view government intervention with disdain, have embraced freemarket policies as a means to reduce the overall size of the federal government’s influence. This viewpoint, scholars have argued, typically is wedded to a belief that deregulation will help to stoke the embers of entrepreneurship and economic expansion (Lemke, 2015). Scholars also remind us that progressive liberals were some of the first to embrace school choice as a possible way to address socioeconomic disparities entrenched in the public school system. Forman (2005) offered such a rejoinder, pointing out that progressive liberals in Manhattan, outraged by the city’s failure to properly educate African-American children, endorsed the idea of vouchers in the late 1960s. Like all phenomena that are framed by theoretical abstractions, the manifest form(s) of privatized school choice derive from ideas and concepts that are interwoven and temporally juxtaposed.

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Charter Schools In 1992, the first charter school was opened in Minnesota. Interestingly, its founders were former public school teachers (Sanchez, 2012). In fact, it was Albert Shanker, the former head of the American Federation of Teachers, who first proposed the idea. Believing that teachers would have greater freedom to explore progressive approaches in this setting, Shanker viewed charter schools primarily as conduits for informing the policies and practices of TPSs. According to this vision, charter schools would serve as laboratories for experimentation and innovation, focusing specifically on ways to bridge sociocultural gaps between students of different backgrounds (Kahlenberg & Potter, 2014). Perhaps what Shanker and others were not able to predict or foresee with great clarity is the extent to which their grand experiment might be misconstrued and, in subsequent decades, politicized for purposes unintended. Since 1995, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has provided grant monies to encourage the expansion of charter schools (National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, 2016). Between 1992 and 2014, over six thousand charter schools have sprung up across the country (an increase of 224%). The largest percentage increases happened during the early-mid 2000s (U.S. Department of Education, 2016a). Three types of charter schools include: 1) those run primarily by forprofit operators called Education Management Organizations, or EMOs; 2) non-profit charters referred to as Charter Management Organizations, or CMOs; and 3) free standing charters. Since 2010, CMOs have taken a greater share of the industry’s growth and currently represent 24% of all newly created charter schools. Nevertheless, aggregate growth is evident across all types of charter school categories and EMOs represent about 15% of all new charters (Mead, Mitchel, & Rotherham, 2015). The Battlefield: Policies, Players, Vested Interests, and Controversies The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, signed into law by President Bush in 2002, made it possible for students to transfer out of “failing” TPSs and into either a TPS in the same district or a charter school (U.S. Department of Education, 2007). In 2015, Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to replace NCLB. Although it trims down the role of the federal government in education, it continues to incent the expansion of charter schools through grant funding. It also loosens accountability requirements by allowing states to determine their own methods for measuring school effectiveness (U.S. Department of Education, 2016a). Current Secretary of the DOE, Betsy DeVos, is an ardent supporter of privatized school choice, especially vouchers. Her efforts to promote market-driven school reform in Michigan contributed to the further deregulation of charter schools in that state (Westervelt, 2016). States must first adopt specific charter school laws in order to authorize their existence in a given jurisdiction. Presently, 43 states have adopted charter school laws. Term limits dictate how long a school’s charter is valid in a given state. They currently range from 5 to 20 years, depending on the state (Education Commission of the States, 2016). Some states impose no limits on the total number of charters, while others set caps on either the total number of schools or the total enrollment legally permissible. Between 1995 and 2003, the number of states with charter school laws 16

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grew from 19 to 40. Currently, 17 states place no caps on the number of charter schools allowable (Education Commission of the States, 2016). Privatized school choice is highly controversial. As alluded to earlier, it is fueled in part by dueling ideologies about the role of the federal government in state affairs, as well as differing theoretical viewpoints over economics (e.g., supply-side versus demand-side policies). Private industry has much to gain from school choice. Executives in charter schools can make handsome salaries. For example, the CEO of Community Academy made roughly 1.3 million dollars in 2013 (Brown & Chandler, 2015). Among other types of constituents, the privatized school choice movement has been supported ideologically and financially by individuals who accumulated their wealth in the private industry, and thus have a vested interest in the advancement of the free-market ethos. Conservative think tanks also have funded research that supports privatized school choice. Unlike university researchers, think tank scholars can focus exclusively on their role as advocates for one policy approach or another (Boyles, 2005). To that end, such individuals are in a prime position to influence public opinion because they are freed from all teaching responsibilities and are comparatively better funded than university researchers. The U.S. marketplace represents huge potential for those who may view the industry in an opportunistic way. Given demographic trends, Latinos represent a burgeoning source of revenue streams for the industry. This is made even more evident when considering the aggregate number of school-aged students of Latino origins currently enrolled in TPSs. Opponents of privatized school choice view a myriad of dangers posed by the adoption of marketdriven reforms in education. Cuban (2004), for example, warned that charter school students represent a captive market that could be easily exploited by private industry. The 2008 economic collapse reminds us that deregulation poses hazards of various kinds to the public good, including moral ones. A recent study estimated that roughly 1.8 billion dollars in taxpayer money will be lost to malfeasance and fraud associated with loose oversight of charter schools (The Center for Popular Democracy, 2016). Opponents of market-led reforms point out a variety of other concerns relating to privatized school choice programs. They claim, among other things, that privatized school choice has not delivered on the promise of improving student achievement and bringing about greater equity in schools (see, for example, Center for Public Education, 2017). The National Education Association (NEA), for example, officially opposes school voucher programs on the grounds they pose a threat to separation of church and state (85% of private schools are religious). They and other scholars claim that special interest groups, lobbying politicians to support privatized school choice, endanger the fundamental precepts of participatory democracy, exerting disproportionate influence over policy outcomes (Au & Ferrare, 2014; National Education Association, n.d.). Harvey (2007) took this idea a step further, asserting that privatization amounts to the surrendering of public assets to the privileged class and, in so doing, the “commodification” of public resources (p. 35). The Latino Context: Educational and Social Inequities Latinos are expected to represent approximately 25% of all public school students by the year 2021 (Gándara, 2010). While achievement gaps between Whites and Latinos have narrowed slightly in recent decades, the gap between Latino English Learners (ELs) and non-Latino ELs has remained steady or grown marginally (U.S. Department of Education, 2011). The aforementioned point is important because it alludes to potential vulnerabilities for the broader Latino population, 17

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especially if population growth is fueled in large part by ELs. According to National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data for 2015, 24% of Latinos in the twelfth grade were proficient in reading and 12% reached proficiency in math, compared to 46% and 32% respectively for Whites. Results from 2015 were slightly lower for Latinos than their achievement in 1992 (U.S. Department of Education, 2015a). In 2014, over 12 million Latino students were enrolled in public schools across the country. Roughly 6% of those students attended charter schools. Latinos are proportionally overrepresented in charter schools, accounting for over 30% of all enrollees (U.S. Department of Education, 2015b). Some scholars have pointed out that Latinos are highly segregated in certain categories of both TPSs and charter schools. Orfield and Frankenberg (2008) indicated that over 60% of Latinos attend what they call intensely segregated schools in the larger cities of the west coast (i.e., schools that are at least 90% non-White). The Latino population is highly stratified both in terms of their educational attainment and their academic achievement. Roughly 31% of the 31.5 million Latinos in this country 25 years of age or older do not hold a high school degree (U.S. Census Bureau, 2016). Between 1971 and 2005, the bachelor degree attainment rates of Latinos held relatively constant, fluctuating between 9% and 12% (Gándara, 2010). By 2014, the percentage had risen to 15%. Latinos are less likely than Whites or other groups to assume debt in order to pay for college. Additionally, due to the prohibitive cost of four-year colleges, they are much more likely to attend community colleges than Whites (Krogstad, 2016); this includes high-achieving Latino students (Kurlaender, 2006). Over 77% of all Latino children participating in the National School Lunch Program receive free or reduced lunch and roughly 28% live in food insecure households (Delgado, 2015). Roughly 25% of all Latinos in the United States live in poverty and are uninsured (Stepler & Brown, 2016). About half of all employed Latino males are clustered in low-skilled labor occupations (U.S. Department of Labor, 2011). Moreover, both male and female Latinos are overrepresented in occupations of low status and minimal social mobility (Kochhar, 2005). Privatization and Educational Equity for Latino Students: A Synthesis of Findings Despite the growing enthusiasm for privatized school choice, there is little scholarly consensus over whether or not such options will best ameliorate the cultural and socioeconomic disparities extant in U.S. schools. For example, a variety of studies found that students attending charter schools do not outperform their peers who attend TPSs (Bifulco & Ladd, 2006; Carnoy, Jacobsen, Mishel, & Rothstein, 2005; Lubienski & Lubienski, 2006; Chingos & West, 2015; Hanushek et al., 2006; Nelson, Rosenberg, & Van Meter, 2004; Scott & Villavicencio, 2009). A large scale quantitative study of reading and math performance in 27 states, often referred to as the CREDO study, however, found that Latinos of low SES in charter schools marginally outperformed their peers in TPSs (Cremata et al., 2013). A recent review of the methods employed in that study, nevertheless, raised some doubts over its empirical validity. Maul (2015) pointed out that: 1) the effect sizes were quite small; 2) the samples excluded some of the worst performers in charter schools; and 3) the matching techniques were atypical for regression analysis. In a similar way, Vasquez Heilig et al. (2011) offered a pithy deconstruction of African-American achievement in Texas charter schools, pointing to the high attrition rates of such students as a counter-narrative to the so-called Texas 18

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miracle (i.e., a reference to the assumption that school choice and accountability had significantly improved achievement in Texas during the early years of reform). Digging deeper into the CREDO data, one also finds that growth comparisons to White students were much less favorable for charter schools. Latinos of low SES enrolled in charters grew at a far slower pace than Whites in TPSs. Furthermore, Latino ELs, who constitute 80% of all ELs (National Education Association, n.d.), grew at a lower rate than Whites enrolled in TPSs (Cremata et al., 2013). A study of Michigan’s charter schools showed that Latino students underperformed in comparison to their TPS peers (Michigan Department of Education, 2010). The aforementioned study did not disaggregate Latinos by SES, and thus it is difficult to determine whether poorer Latinos fared better, worse, or the same as their TPS peers. Controlling for demographics and location, Lubienski and Lubienski (2006) came to the conclusion that charter schools underperformed TPSs, but that Latino achievement was relatively low across all categories of schools. In their examination of racial and ethnic segregation in public schools, Frankenberg and Lee (2003) found that disadvantaged minorities attending charter schools tended to be clustered in institutional settings with more uniform demographics. At that time, Latinos were equally segregated in both TPSs and charter schools. Since then, their clustering in both demographically isolated TPSs and charter schools has increased (Frankenberg et al., 2012; Ladd, Clotfelter, & Holbein, 2015; Orfield, Kucsera, & Siegel-Hawley, 2012; Whitehurst, Reeves, & Rodriguez, 2016). The aforementioned trend is observed alongside overall increases in charter school attendance by Latinos. The total number of Latinos enrolled in charter schools more than doubled between 2007 and 2014, increasing their overall representation from 24.1% to 30% (U.S. Department of Education, 2015b). Other studies have shown that charter schools contribute to the deepening of school segregation across categories of minorities (Brunner, Imazeki, & Ross, 2010; Cobb & Glass, 1999; Frankenberg, SiegelHawley, & Wang, 2010; Jabbar et al., 2015; Garcia, 2008). Some scholars have asserted that charter schools tend to replicate the resource deficits that are found in their neighboring public schools (Ascher, Jacobowitz, McBride, 1999) or exacerbate preexisting ones (Baker, 2016), calling into question the notion that such alternatives offer an “educational oasis” for disadvantaged minorities. Others demonstrate how charter schools intentionally exclude certain types of students (Bancroft, 2009; Buckley & Schneider, 2007; Lacireno-Paquet et al., 2002). Research has suggested that school integration can have a positive impact on learning outcomes for all students (Armor, 2002; Eaton, 2011; Ellsworth, 2013; Mickelson, 2012; Wells et al., 2009; Wortman & Bryant, 1983). Conversely, school segregation can have a negative impact on achievement for students of low SES (Bankston & Caldas, 1996; Coleman et al., 1966; Entwisle & Alexander, 1992; Rumberger & Palardy, 2005). One particular study, which focused on the segregation of Latinos in school settings, found that socioeconomic clustering had a negative influence on the achievement of low-income Latino students (Ryabov & Van Hook, 2007). It also showed that first-generation Latino immigrants were negatively impacted by both ethnic and socioeconomic segregation. This brief review of the literature dealing in school segregation is troubling, especially when considering that 65 years have passed since the Brown v. Board of Education decision. In seeking to amend the social injustices that are reproduced through educational inequities, the reversal of racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic isolation would seem to be of utmost relevance to the U.S. Department of Education’s overall strategy. Instead, it appears that neoliberal approaches to addressing educa19

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tional inequities have been favored by its leadership in recent decades. The persistence of various inequities in schools, including the segregation of Latinos and other minorities, calls into question the logic of focusing on the expansion of privatized school choice, especially when it seems evident these models, at a minimum, replicate patterns of segregation or, more than likely, accentuate them. If the latter is true, then a compounding effect on social stratification is likely to occur in the decades to come since Latinos are 1) growing in population size and 2) increasingly overrepresented in demographically-isolated charter schools and TPSs. The above discussion sets the stage for a brief treatment of an important but less- rigorously documented topic: Latino parents and their decision-making around schooling. Haynes, Phillips, and Goldring (2010) found that Latino parents who chose magnet schools tended to be second generation immigrants and middle-income earners. Intuitively, these findings make sense considering that first-generation immigrants of Latino origin, by and large, will have less access to information due to language barriers (Fry & Gonzales, 2008; Mavrogordato & Stein, 2014), as well as less direct involvement in academic matters due to limited English proficiency (Smith, Stern, & Shatrova, 2008). Low income parents, more generally speaking, have less access to privileged forms of social capital when making choices about schools (Bell, 2009; Gamoran, Turley, Turner, & Fish, 2012; Horvat, Weininger, & Lareau; Perna & Titus, 2005). Income itself also will influence decision-making about schooling. Bell (2009), for example, found that pragmatic choices about cost and transportation were significant factors for parents of low SES (i.e., in terms of weighing different school options). In a mixed-methods study, Mavrogordato and Stein (2014) determined that Latino parents rely heavily on informal networks when choosing schools, but also weigh indirect costs to construct their choice set. Considering that 35% of foreign-born Latinos live in poverty, indirect costs will likely impact first-generation students and parents more directly than their second- or third-generation counterparts (Fry & Gonzalez, 2008). All of these considerations raise doubts concerning the fundamental assumptions of privatized school choice, especially the notion that parents examine the marketplace through a similar lens. Discussion Broadly speaking, privatized school choice, by itself, does not help to ameliorate educational inequities for Latino students of low SES. Although pockets of success (linked to school choice programs) may be detectable in terms of improved academic achievement (Cremata et al., 2013; Hoxby, Murarka, & Kang, 2009; Rouse, 1998), it is not yet evident these gains are (a) generalizable to all Latinos of low SES nor (b) enduring over the long-term (see, for example, Dobbie & Fryer, 2016). Given the uncertainty of the claim that charter schools improve the long-term achievement of Latinos, a more cautious and intentional policy approach toward privatized school choice is advisable. The issue of segregation is even more troubling when considering the Latino context. Here, it seems clear that, at best, charter schools reflect similar patterns of Latino segregation in TPSs and, at worst, they intensify them. Desegregation can bring with it benefits for all types of students, including but not limited to the empowerment of their social networks (Braddock, 1980; Wells & Crain, 1994; Zweigenhaft & Domhoff, 2003). Social capital plays a significant factor in the overall educational attainment of Latinos (Pérez & McDonough, 2008). Generally speaking, it also contrib20

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utes to social mobility or, alternatively, immobility (Bourdieu, 1992). The sustained (or deepened) segregation of economically disadvantaged Latino students might explain why the overall trends relating to social mobility have not changed significantly for this group. Thus, even if privatized education improved such things like standardized test scores for Latinos of low SES, its overall impact on their college and career success is likely to be mitigated by other factors (e.g., issues relating social capital). Literature dealing with the topic of how low-income Latino parents make decisions about schools is far from complete. Yet, there is some indication that, although academics are indeed important to them, other factors limit the extent to which they can take advantage of all possible options. Their reliance on localized social networks, for example, appears to set perceived boundaries around their decisions, especially where it concerns ELs of Spanish-speaking background (Mavrogordato & Stein, 2014). A more recent study conducted in the Houston Independent School District (HISD), for example, found that ELs were statistically less likely to participate in school choice programs when compared to non-ELs (Mavrogordato & Harris, 2017). Also, convenience factors, which are related to the indirect costs of school alternatives, seem to influence their decision-making (Haynes, Phillips, & Goldring, 2010). Altogether, these trends seem to indicate that at least two key assumptions of the privatization model are potentially flawed. First, Latinos of low SES do not have equal access to information about schooling options. Second, accountability metrics (e.g., test results, graduation rates, etc.) are not the only factors they consider (Mavrogordato & Stein, 2014). Recommendations: Federal-State Level Current federal policy sets the stage for the continued expansion of charter schools through competitive grants. Thus, recommendations for the short-term will focus on how this growth occurs. Federal grants earmarked for charter school expansion should carry with them the following addendum stipulations: 1.) Awardees should commit to operating schools that are socioeconomically and racially/ethnically mixed, 2.) Secondary level charter schools should offer college-preparatory coursework that is open to all enrollees, 3.) For-profit operators should contribute a portion of their profits to high poverty districts in the states where they operate, and 4.) Secondary level charter schools must demonstrate a strong record of placing minority students of low SES into four-year colleges who are underrepresented in said institutions—or risk losing their charter. In the medium-term, the recommendation is for the U.S. Department of Education and state lawmakers to, at a minimum, pause and reconsider the headlong policy plunge into the murky waters of privatized school choice. There simply is not enough definitive evidence supporting the idea that privatization helps to reverse inequities for disadvantaged groups such as Latinos. Generally speaking, long-term investment in improving TPSs, particularly those in distressed urban areas, represents the more ideal direction. However, the evaluation of school improvement efforts needs to consider more than just test results. For high schools, the college placement rates of traditionally marginalized groups would be a better place to start, but even those metrics are incomplete when considered in isolation. Access to college-preparatory classes, including Advanced Placement coursework, is an essential part of the equation. In her seminal examination of school knowledge and curricula, Anyon (1980) found that students from low-income families are typically excluded 21

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from privileged areas of knowledge. To that end, school reform efforts should focus on issues of expanding curricular access to targeted groups such as Latinos of low SES. Carnoy (1989) suggested that a “counterhegemonic” approach to schooling is one that engenders greater inclusiveness, while also adopting more accommodative approaches to learning (p. 22). When evaluating school reform efforts, state auspices, thus, should consider how schools both counteract the exclusionary distribution of knowledge (Harvey, 2007) and engender curricula that is inherently meaningful to all students (see, for example, Nozaki, 2006). State education policymakers should lobby for stricter caps on charter school enrollments. They also can encourage shorter term limits for charter schools. The creation of state-sponsored programs aimed at expanding magnet schools and other publicly managed school choice options within TPS districts is a possible way to tweak the current school choice agenda. This might increase the range of options available to Latinos of low SES, and help them to avoid hyper-segregated/high poverty schools. This paper’s analysis, however, showed that more needs to be understood about how Latino parents of low SES make decisions about schooling. Increasing grant funding for research specifically aimed at gaining a better understanding of this phenomenon also is recommended. Yet another important policy change that could happen at the federal level would be to provide grant monies to states stipulating they be used either to (a) incent the retention of high quality bilingual teachers in urban TPSs and magnet schools, (b) attract promising graduates to urban TPSs that are trained in bilingual education, or (c) create or enhance university programs for bilingual teacher education. Finally, states can promote inter- and intra-district transfer programs that enable both city and suburban students to choose amongst TPS options. That being said, it is important that state policymakers combine such transfer agreements with efforts to improve the instructional programs of the public schools with whom such arrangements exist while also eliminating or significantly reducing funding disparities that exist between them. Recommendations: Local Level Demographic stratifications between schools within large urban districts are sometimes related to local policy. For example, criteria-based schools will often exclude certain categories of students. One way to discourage the flight of Latino students of low SES to charter schools is to develop admissions criteria that awards diversity to encourage their enrollment in public schools that require an application. Such policies would help to reduce intra-district segregation and encourage the retention of minority students. In cases where magnet or other publicly managed choice schools are available, it is crucial that recruitment efforts target underserved students with specificity. Direct outreach to parents with limited financial means, including home visits, should be done as a means to bridge the information gap that sometimes complicates the decision-making process for families of low SES. In the case of Spanish-speaking parents, it is important that outreach efforts be sensitive to home language considerations. Local policy can support these endeavors by hiring a sufficient number Spanish-speaking staff and faculty in public schools. Dual language programs can be appealing for Spanish-speaking students and their respective parents. When they are structured for balanced bilingualism, they can be equally attractive to English-speaking students as well (see, for example, de Jong & Howard, 2009). These programs, if promoted and structured properly, tend to be quite diverse in terms of their racial and ethnic composi22

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tions. Too often, however, they turn into quasi-honors programs. Thus, local policy must support socioeconomic diversity alongside racial, ethnic, and linguistic pluralism. In this way, dual language programs can serve as catalysts for desegregation. The first policy step that precedes it, of course, is to fiscally prioritize curriculum development and teacher training (Boser, Chingos, & Straus, 2015; Yoon et al., 2007). Conclusion In sum, this paper has sought to demonstrate the reasons why policymakers should reconsider the so-called commonsense assumption that privatization is the elixir that will rectify social incongruities for society’s most susceptible constituents. It has done so with a particular focus on the Latino context. The primary assertions, however, are likely applicable to other marginalized groups as well. Bowles and Gintis (1975) reminded us that school reform is too often an attempt to redirect attention away from society’s inherent inequities, serving to mollify the populous and strengthen the position of the privileged classes. Social stratification, among other things, creates a perpetual stream of cheap labor for the wealthy elites. Our public schools, with all their imperfections, offer the most viable conduits through which meaningful societal change might be harnessed and channeled with greatest ubiquity. If we choose to disinvest from our public institutions, then we cede responsibility for social justice to a much smaller segment of society—a constituency whose interests may or may not align to those who are most vulnerable in society. Yet, if we choose to embrace the challenge of fixing our public schools, at a minimum, we reassert our commitment to democratic principles and, in so doing, retain the hope and promise of an education that can be reconstituted by a broader coalition of voices, perspectives, and backgrounds. To that end, it would seem illogical to expect our egalitarian ideals to be accomplished in an educational system that is defined by greater opacity and, therefore, diminished capacity for public scrutiny. __________ JON C. VEENIS, MBA, is a doctoral student at The State University of New York at Buffalo in the Educational Administration program. He received his Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. He has ten years of experience as a Spanish teacher and several more as a school administrator. His research interests include educational policy, social justice in the school setting, principal effectiveness, and best practices for English Learners.

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References Anyon, J. (1980). Social class and the hidden curriculum of work. Journal of Education, 162(1), 6792. doi: https://www.jstor.org/stable/42741976 Apple, M. W. (2004). Creating difference: Neo-liberalism, neo-conservatism and the politics of edu cational reform. Educational Policy, 18(12), 12-44. doi: 10.1177/0895904803260022 Armor, D. J. (2002). Desegregation and achievement. In C. H. Rossell, D. D. Armor, & H. J. Wal berg (Eds.), School desegregation in the 21st century (pp. 148-187). New York, NY: Praeger. Ascher, C., Jacobowitz, R., & McBride, Y. (1999). Standards-based reform and the charter school movement in 1998-99: An analysis of four states. Final report to the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. New York, NY: Institute of Educational and Social Policy. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED441942.pdf Au, W., & Ferrare, J. J. (2014). Sponsors of policy: A network analysis of wealthy elites, their affiliate ed philanthropies, and charter school reform in Washington State. Teachers College Record, 116(8), 1-24. Baker, B. D. (2016). Exploring the consequences of charter school expansion in U.S. cities. Wash ington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute. Retrieved from https://www.epi.org/publication/exploring-the-consequences-of-charter-school-expansionin-u-s-cities/ Bancroft, K. (2009). To have and to have not: The socioeconomics of charter schools. Education and Urban Society, 41(2), 248-279. doi: 0.1177/0013124508325674 Bankston, C. L. III., & Caldas, S. J. (1996). Majority African-American schools and social injustice: The influence of de facto segregation on academic achievement. Social Forces, 75(2), 535-555. doi: 10.1093/sf/75.2.535 Bell, C. (2009). All choices created equal? The role of choice sets in the selection of schools. Peabody Journal of Education, 84, 191-208. doi: 10.1080/01619560902810146 Bifulco, R., & Ladd, H. F. (2006). The impacts of charter schools on student achievement: Evidence from North Carolina. Education Finance and Policy, 1(1), 50-90. doi:10.1162/edfp.2006.1.1.50 Boser, U., Chingos, M., & Straus, C. (2015). The hidden value of curriculum reform: Do states and districts receive the most bang for their curriculum buck? Washington, DC: Center for American Progress. Retrieved from https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wpcontent/uploads/2015/10/06111518/CurriculumMatters-report.pdf Bourdieu, P., & Wacquant, L. J. D. (1992). An invitation to reflexive sociology. Chicago, IL: Univer sity of Chicago Press. Bowles, S., & Gintis, H. (1975). Capitalism and education in the United States. Radical Philosophers News Journal, 5, 101-137. Boyles, D. R. (2005). Institutes, foundations, and think tanks: Conservative influences on U.S. public schools. Educational Policy Studies Faculty Publications, 1(1). Braddock, J. H. (1980). The perpetuation of segregation across levels of education: A behavioral assessment of the contact-hypothesis. Sociology of Education, 53, 178-186. doi:10.2307/2112412 Brown, E., & Chandler, M. A. (2015, February 23). D.C. charter school executive salaries vary wide 24

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ly, Post analysis shows. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/dc-charter-school-executive-salariesvary-widely-post-analysis-shows/2015/02/23/5191b3fc-b38c-11e4-886bc22184f27c35_story.html?utm_term=.e32f35aab23c Brunner, E. J., Imazeki, J., & Ross, S. L. (2010). Universal vouchers and racial and ethnic segrega tion. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 92(4), 912-927. doi:10.1162/REST_a_00037 Buckley, J., & Schneider, M. (2007). Introduction. In J. Buckley & M. Schneider (Eds.), Charter schools: Hope or hype (pp. 1-21). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Carnoy, M., Jacobsen, R., Mishel, L., & Rothstein, R. (2005). The charter school dust up: Examining the evidence on enrollment and achievement. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. Carnoy, M. (1989). Education, state, and culture in American society. In H. A. Giroux & P. M. McLaren (Eds.), Critical pedagogy, the state, and cultural struggle (pp. 3-23). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Center for Public Education. (2017). A school choice primer. Retrieved from http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/system/files/School%20Choice%20Full%20Rep ort_0.pdf Council for American Private Education. (2016). Facts and studies. Retrieved from http://www.capenet.org/facts.html Chingos, M. M., & West, M. R. (2015). The uneven performance of Arizona’s charter schools . Edu cational Evaluation & Policy Analysis, 37(1S), 120S-134S. doi: 10.3102/0162373715576077 Cobb, C. D., & Glass, G. V. (1999). Ethnic segregation in Arizona charter schools. Educational Pol icy Analysis Archives, 7(1), 1-39. doi: 10.14507/epaa.v7n1.1999 Coleman, J. S., Campbell, E. Q., Hobson, C. J., McPartland, J., Mood, A. M., Weinfeld, F. D., & York, Y. L., (1966). Equality of educational opportunity. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED012275.pdf Cremata, E., Davis, D., Dickey, K., Lawyer, K., Negassi, Y., Raymond, M. E., & Woodworth, J. L. (2013). National charter school study: 2013. Stanford, CA: Center for Research on Education Outcomes, Stanford University. Retrieved from http://credo.stanford.edu/documents/NCSS%202013%20Final%20Draft.pdf Cuban, L. (2004). The blackboard and the bottom line: Why schools can’t be businesses. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. de Jong, E., & Howard, E. (2009). Integration in two-way immersion education: Equalising linguistic benefits for all students. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 12(1), 81-99. doi: 10.1080/13670050802149531 Delgado, M. (2015). 2015 profiles of Latino health: A closer look at Latino child nutrition. Issue 10: Hispanic participation in school-based nutrition programs. Washington, DC: National Council of La Raza. Retrieved from http://www.nclr.org/Assets/uploads/Publications/NutritionProfiles/2015plh_issue10_727 15.pdf Dobbie, W., & Fryer, R. G. (2016). Charter school and labor market outcomes (Working Paper No. 22502). Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved from https://www.nber.org/papers/w22502 Eaton, S. (2011, October 20). School racial and economic composition & math and science 25

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achievement (No Research Brief. 1). Washington, DC: The National Coalition on School Diversity. Retrieved from http://schooldiversity.org/pdf/DiversityResearchBriefNo1.pdf Education Commission of the States. (2018). 50-state comparison. Retrieved from https://www.ecs.org/charter-school-policies/ Ellsworth, S. S. (2013). CREC student achievement overview 2013. Hartford, CT: Capitol Region Education Council, Office of Data Analysis, Research and Technology. Retrieved from http://sheffmovement.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/CREC-Student-AchievementOverview-2013.pdf Entwisle, D. R., & Alexander, K. L. (1992). Summer setback: race, poverty, school composition, and mathematics achievement in the first two years of school. American Sociological Review, 57, 72-84. doi: 10.2307/2096145 Flores, A. (2007). Examining disparities in mathematics education: Achievement gap or opportunity gap? The High School Journal, 91(1), 29-42. doi: https://www.jstor.org/stable/40367921 Forman, J. (2005). The secret history of school choice: How progressives got there first. Yale Law School Legal Scholarship Repository, 93, 1287-1319. Frankenberg, E., & Lee, C. (2003). Charter schools and race: A lost opportunity for integrated edu cation. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 11(32). Frankenberg, E., Siegel-Hawley, G., Wang, J., & Orfield, G. (2012). Choice without equity: Charter school segregation and the need for civil rights standards. Los Angeles, CA: The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/4r07q8kg#page-1 Friedman, M. (1982). Introduction and VI, The Role of government in education. In M. Friedman, Capitalism and freedom (pp. 10-14, 75-92). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Fry, R., & Gonzales, F. (2008, August 26). One-in-five and growing fast: A profile of Hispanic pub lic school students. Washington, DC: The PEW Hispanic Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewhispanic.org/files/reports/92.pdf Gamoran, A., Turley, R. N. L., Turner, A., & Fish, R. (2012). Differences between Hispanic and non-Hispanic families in social capital and child development: First-year findings from an experimental study . Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 30(1), 97-112. doi: 10.1016/j.rssm.2011.08.001 Gándara, P. (2010). Special topic: The Latino education crisis. Educational Leadership, 67(5), 24-30. Garcia, D. R. (2008). Academic and racial segregation in charter schools. Do parents sort students into specialized charter schools? Education and Urban Society, 40(5), 590-612. doi:10.1177/0013124508316044 Hanushek, E. A., Kain, J. F., Rivkin, S. G., & Branch, G. F. (2006). Charter school quality and pa rental decision making with school choice. Journal of Public Economics, 91(5-6), 823-848. doi:10.1016/j.jpubeco.2006.09.014 Harvey, D. (2007). Neoliberalism as creative destruction. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 610(1), 22-44. doi:10.1177/0002716206296780 Haynes, K. T., Phillips, K. J. R., & Goldring, E. B. (2010). Latino parents’ choice of magnet school: How school choice differs across racial and ethnic boundaries. Education and Urban Society, 42(6), 758-789. doi:10.1177/0013124510370943 Horvat, E. M., Weininger, E. B., & Lareau, A. (2003). From social ties to social capital: Class differ 26

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ences in the relations between schools and parent networks. American Educational Research Journal, 40, 319–351. doi:10.3102/00028312040002319 Hoxby, C. M., Murarka, S., & Kang, J. (2009). How New York City's charter schools affect achive ment, August 2009 report. Cambridge, MA: New York City Charter Schools Evaluation Project. Retrieved from http://users.nber.org/~schools/charterschoolseval/how_NYC_charter_schools_affect_ach ievement_sept2009 Jabbar, H., Holme, J., Lemke, M., LeClair, A. V., Sanchez, J., & Torres, E. M. (2015). Will school vouchers benefit low-income families? Assessing the evidence. Austin, TX: Texas Center for Education Policy, The University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved from https://www.edb.utexas.edu/tcep/resources/TCEP%20Graduate%20Seminar%20DRAFT %20Vouchers%20Memo.pdf Kahlenberg, R. D., & Potter, H. (2014). Restoring Shanker’s vision for charter schools. American Educator, 4-13. Kochhar, R. (2005, December 15). The occupational status and mobility of Hispanics. Retrieved from http://pewhispanic.org/files/reports/59.pdf Krogstad, J. M. (2016, July 28). 5 facts about Latinos and education. Retrieved from http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/07/28/5-facts-about-latinos-and-education/ Kurlaender, M. (2006). Choosing community college: Factors affecting Latino college choice. New Directions for Community Colleges, 133, 7-16. doi:10.1002/cc.223 Ladd, H. F., Clotfelter, C. T., & Holbein, J. B. (2015). The growing segmentation of the charter school sector in North Carolina (CALDER Working Paper No. 133). Washington, DC: CALDER, American Institutes for Research. Retrieved from http://www.caldercenter.org/sites/default/files/WP%20133_0.pdf Lemke, M. A. (2015). (Un)making the neoliberal agenda in public education: A critical discourse analysis of the Texas high school social studies policy processes. In K. M. Sturges (Ed.), Neoliberalizing educational reform: America’s quest for profitable market colonies and the undoing of public good (pp. 53-77). Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers. Lacireno-Paquet, N., Holyoke, T. T., Moser, M., & Henig, J. R. (2002). Creaming versus cropping: Charter school enrollment practices in response to market incentives. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 24(2), 145-158. doi:10.3102/01623737024002145 Loeb, S., & McEwan, P. J. (2006). An economic approach to education policy implementation. In M. I. Honig (Ed.), New directions in education policy implementation: Confronting complexity (pp. 169-186). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Lubienski, C., & Lubienski, S. T. (2006). Charter, private, public schools and academic achievement: New evidence from NAEP mathematics data. New York, NY: National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education, Columbia University. Retrieved from http://nepc.colorado.edu/files/EPRU-0601-137-OWI%5B1%5D.pdf Maul, A. (2015). Review of urban charter school study 2015. Boulder, CO: National Education Poli cy Center. Retrieved from http://nepc.colorado.edu/files/ttr-urbancharter-credo.pdf Mavrogordato, M., & Harris, J. (2017, September). Eligiendo escuelas: English Learners and access

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to school choice (Research brief). Retrieved from https://www.scribd.com/document/363753577/English-Learners-and-Access-to-SchoolChoice Mavrogordato, M., & Stein, M. (2014). Accessing choice: A mixed-methods examination of how La tino parents engage in the educational marketplace. Urban Education, 1-34. doi: 0.1177/0042085914553674 Michigan Department of Education. (2010). Public school academy report to the legislature 2010. Retrieved from http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/2010_Legislative_Report__FINAL_356780_7.pdf Mickelson, R. A. (2012). Twenty-first century social science on school racial diversity and education al outcomes. Ohio State Law Journal, 69(1173), 1173-1228. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265233338_TwentyFirst_Century_Social_Science_on_School_Racial_Diversity_and_Educational_Outcomes Mead, S., Mitchel, A. L., & Rotherham, A. J. (2015). The state of the charter school movement [Powerpoint slides]. Retrieved from http://bellwethereducation.org/sites/default/files/Charter%20Research%200908%20FINA L.pdf National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Measuring up. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.publiccharters.org/law-database/caps/ National Education Association. (n.d.) Hispanics: Education issues. Retrieved from http://www.nea.org/home/HispanicsEducation%20Issues.htm National Education Association. (n.d.) The case against vouchers. The educational case against vouchers. Retrieved from http://www.nea.org/home/19133.htm Nelson, H., Rosenberg, B., & Van Meter, N. (2004). Charter school achievement on the 2003 Na tional Assessment of Educational Progress. Washington, DC: American Federation of Teachers. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED483349.pdf Nozaki, Y. (2006). Riding tensions critically: Ideology, power/knowledge, and curriculum making. In L. Weis, C. McCarthy, & G. Dimitriadis (Eds.), Ideology, curriculum, and the new sociology of education: Revisiting the work of Michael Apple (pp. 69-90). New York, NY: Routledge. Orfield, G., & Frankenberg, E. (2008). The last have become first: Rural and small town America lead the way of desegregation. Los Angeles, CA: UCLA Civil Rights Project/ Proyecto Derechez Civiles. Retrieved from http://escholarship.org/uc/item/5062t6qs#page-5 Orfield, G., Kucsera, J., & Siegel-Hawley, G. (2012). E pluribus… Separation: Deepening double segregation for more students. Los Angeles, CA: The Civil Rights Project, Proyecto Derech os Civiles. Retrieved from https://www.civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/research/k-12education/integration-and-diversity/mlk-national/e-pluribus...separation-deepening-doublesegregation-for-more-students/orfield_epluribus_revised_omplete_2012.pdf Pérez, P. A., McDonough, P. M. (2008). Understanding Latina and Latino college choice: A social capital and chain migration analysis. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 1-17. doi:10.1177/1538192708317620 Perna, L. W., & Titus, M. A. (2005). The relationship between parental involvement as social capital and college enrollment: An examination of racial/ethnic group differences. The Journal of Higher Education, 76(5), 485-518. 28

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Rouse, C. E. (1998). Private school vouchers and student achievement: An evaluation of the Mil waukee parental choice program. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 553-602. doi: 10.1162/003355398555685 Rumberger, R. W., & Palardy, G. J. (2005). Does segregation still matter? The impact of student composition on academic achievement in high school. Teachers College Record, 107(9), 1999-2045. Ryabov, I., & Van Hook, J. (2007). School segregation and academic achievement among Hispanic children . Social Science Research, 36(2007), 767-788. doi:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2006.04.002 Sanchez, C. (2012, August 31). From a single charter school, a movement grows [Web log post]. Re trieved from http://www.npr.org/2012/09/02/160409742/from-a-single-charter-school-amovement-grows Scott, J., & Villavicencio, A. (2009). School context and charter school achievement: A framework for understanding the performance “black box.” Peabody Journal of Education, 84, 227-243. doi:10.1080/01619560902810161 Smith, A. (1994). The wealth of nations. E. Cannan (Ed.). New York, NY: Random House, Inc. Smith, J., Stern, K., & Zhanna, S. (2008). Factors inhibiting Hispanic parents' school involvement. Rural Educator, 29(2), 8-13. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ869288.pdf Stepler, R., & Brown, A. (2016, April 19). Statistical portrait of Hispanics in the United States. Re trieved from http://www.pewhispanic.org/2016/04/19/statistical-portrait-of-hispanics-inthe-united-states/ The Center for Popular Democracy. (2016). Charter school vulnerabilities to waste, fraud, and abuse: Federal charter school spending, insufficient authorizer oversight, and poor state & local oversight leads to growing fraud problem in charter schools. Washington, DC: The Center for Popular Democracy. Retrieved from https://populardemocracy.org/sites/default/files/Charter-School-Fraud_Report_web.pdf Trujillo, T. (2014). The modern cult of efficiency: Intermediary organizations and the new scientific management. Educational Policy, 28(2), 207-232. doi: 10.1177/0895904813513148 U.S. Census Bureau. (2016). Table 1. Enrollment status of the population 3 years and over, by sex, age, race, Hispanic origin, foreign born, and foreign-born parentage: October 2015 [Table]. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/hhes/school/data/cps/2015/tables.html U.S. Department of Education. (2007). No Child Left Behind and charter schools: Giving parents information and options. Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/nclb/choice/charter/nclbcharter.html U.S. Department of Education. (2016). Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov/essa U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Sta tistics. (2011). Achievement gaps: How Hispanic and white students in public schools perform in mathematics and reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress . Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pdf/studies/2011485.pdf U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Sta tistics. (2015a). 2015 reading grade 12 assessment report card: Summary data tables for national and pilot state sample sizes, participation rates, proportions of SD and ELL students 29

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identified, demographics, and performance results . Retrieved from http://www.nationsreportcard.gov/reading_math_g12_2015/files/Appendix_2015_Readin g_G12.pdf U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Sta tistics. (2015b). Number and percentage distribution of public elementary and secondary students and schools, by traditional or charter school status and selected characteristics: Selected years, 1999-2000 through 2013-14 [Table]. http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d15/tables/dt15_216.30.asp U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Sta tistics. (2016). Fast Facts | Charter schools. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=30 U.S. Department of Education, The National Commission on Excellence in Education. (1983). A nation at risk: The imperative for educational reform. A report to the nation and the Secretary of Education. . Retrieved from https://www.edreform.com/wpcontent/uploads/2013/02/A_Nation_At_Risk_1983.pdf U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2011). Occupational employment by race and ethnicity. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2012/ted_20121026.htm Vasquez Heilig, J., Williams, A., McNeil, L. M., & Lee, C. (2011). Is choice a panacea? An analysis of black secondary student attrition from KIPP, other private charters and urban districts. Berkeley Review of Education, 2(2), 153-178. doi:10.5070/B82110008 Wells, A. S., & Crain, R. L. (1994). Perpetuation theory and the long-term effects of school desegre gation. Review of Educational Research, 64(4), 531-555. doi: 10.3102/00346543064004531 Wells, A. S., Holme, J. J., Revilla, A. T., & Atanda, A. K. (2009). Both sides now: The story of school desegregation’s graduates. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Westervelt, E. (2016, November 23). Trump chooses Betsy DeVos for education secretary. NPREd. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/11/23/499642077/trump-choosesbetsy-devos-for-education-secretary Whitehurst, G. J., Reeves, R. V., & Rodriguez, E. (2016). Segregation, race, and charter schools: what do we know? Washington, DC: Center on Children and Families at Brookings. Retrieved from https://www.brookings.edu/wpcontent/uploads/2016/10/ccf_20161021segregation_version-10_211.pdf Wortman, P. M., & Bryant, F. B. (1983). School desegregation and Black achievement: An integra tive review. Sociological Methods Research, 13(3), 289-324. doi:10.1177/0049124185013003002 Yoon, K. S., Duncan, T., Lee, S. W.-Y., Scarloss, B., & Shapley, K. (2007). Reviewing the evidence on how teacher professional development affects student achievement (Issues & Answers Report, REL 2007-No. 033). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. National Center for Evaluation and Regional Assistance. Retrieved from http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/southwest/pdf/REL_2007033.pdf Zweigenhaft, R. & Domhoff, G. W. (2003). Blacks in the white elite: Will the progress continue? Oxford, UK: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

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Journal Homepage: Texas Education Review Published online: December 2018 Submit your article to this journal

Charter Schools: The Destruction of Teacher Certification in New York State MICHELLE WING JENNIFER SABODA University at Buffalo

To cite this article: Wing, M. & Saboda, J. (2018). Charter schools: The destruction of teacher certification in New York State. Texas Education Review, Fall 2018 Special Issue, 31-49. http://doi.org/10.15781/T2VT1H87N __________

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Charter Schools: The Destruction of Teacher Certification in New York State MICHELLE WING JENNIFER SABODA University at Buffalo In an era of increasing teacher accountability, charter schools are finding ways to circumnavigate the restrictions placed on public schools in regard to teacher certification. These efforts purportedly are being made to fill teacher shortages in high need areas, but realistically allow charter school teachers to avoid expensive and time-consuming training and certification procedures. This paper will examine and elaborate on the negative impacts of these maneuvers in New York State. It concludes with a discussion of how the lack of teacher certification will affect the most vulnerable populations attending these charter schools while contributing to the permanence and reinforcement of socioeconomic structural inequalities. Keywords: charter schools, teacher certification, accountability, deskilling, culturally responsive teaching In June 2016, the New York State Legislature enacted Education Law §355(2-a), which essentially stated that charter schools are empowered and given greater flexibility in regard to standard regulations that public schools are obligated to follow. This leeway can apply to important issues such as teacher certification requirements for their teaching staff (New York State Education Department, 2017). This is a critical policy that impacts students, teachers, administrators and community members due to the changes in regulation and language therein. Education Law §355(2-a) gives State University of New York (SUNY) and Charter School Committees, two important governing bodies that shape the qualifications and requirements of the teaching force in New York, the power to propose certification requirements and hire teachers who potentially have minimal pedagogical background (both in terms of knowledge or time in the classroom), practical experience, and education in the teaching field. While some studies have found that initial certification status does not have an immense impact on teacher effectiveness (Schuls & Trivitt, 2015), experience in the classroom and interactions with students have been found to be instrumental in increasing a teacher’s effectiveness (Kane, Rockoff, & Staiger, 2007). Given that this new legislation would negate the required classroom experience time traditionally required for public school teachers, charter school teachers certified in this alternative manner would lack that experience, thus negatively impacting their teaching experience and effectiveness. While this particular piece of legislation may seem limited in its immediate scope and impact, the implications for further denigrating and weakening the professionalism and training of the teaching force reflects an alarming trend in education that continues and strengthens an already oppressive and discriminatory system. In order to fully grasp, decode, and understand not only this legislation but its potential impacts (both positive and negative), a multilevel framework was used to examine the aforementioned education law. In doing so, we focused on the macro effects of statewide implications of Education Law §355 (2-a) and micro implications on individual teachers and students, as well as parents and community members. To guide our analysis, we looked at the potential impacts of the implementation of Education Law§355 (2-a) on the socioeconomic justice issues faced by charter school student populations and how these certification requirements (or lack there32

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of) affect the profession of teaching and teacher training programs, especially in heavily regulated states like New York. Background Charter schools have had a unique impact on the United States educational system since the 1983 report A Nation at Risk, published under President Ronald Reagan’s National Commission on Excellence in Education. It painted an alarming picture of the failure of the American public education system, creating a sense of urgency that students were not being educated properly to enter a competitive global marketplace (Redd, LeClair, & Goessling, 2014). The concept of alternative forms of public education originated in 1974 under Ray Budde, education professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. It was based on structural and pedagogical concerns he had about the public education system, which later were echoed and verified in the A Nation at Risk report. As one means to address what was viewed as the failing public school system illustrated in this report, charter schools were created and originally implemented in Minnesota in 1991 (Kolderie, 2015) to provide alternative educational opportunities and choices. They were publicly funded and nondiscriminatory in their entrance and admission requirements. Charter schools also were devised with the allowance for more pedagogical experimentation and innovation. In their original design, charter schools were managed by not-for-profit board of trustees instead of traditional boards of education,1 but were to be held to time-constrained evaluations, on which their existence depended. Some charter schools also needed to exhibit satisfactory achievement of established goals and standards every five years to have their charter renewed and continue to operate as an educational institution (New York State Education Department Charter School Office, 2018). In 1988, Albert Shanker, longtime president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), credited Budde’s restructured system as an inspiration (Kolderie, 2015) and proposed the establishment of new publicly funded, independently managed schools, which was in direct opposition to the teachers’ unions stance on charter schools today (Jason, 2017). These charter schools originally were viewed as positive alternatives to failing schools because of the restructured hierarchies, pedagogical flexibility, encouraged innovation, and heightened accountability standards. Yet, the current opinion held by many teacher unions’ and their supporters are that charter schools are siphons of public funds, which are not held to the same standards of accountability and rigor, and thus, do not bear the same cost of failure. Additionally, many teachers’ unions view the increasing privatization and opaque transparency of spending and curriculum of charter schools as damaging to charter school students and, thus, opposite of the original intention of charter schools (Gooray, 2018). These individuals and unions also maintain that charter schools are less stable and more prone to waste and fraud as opposed to heavily regulated and monitored public schools (NEA Policy Statement on Charter Schools, 2017). Over the past three decades, the number of charter schools has skyrocketed, with many opening in high needs areas to address the perceived failures of public schooling. More than 6900 charter schools currently are in operation nationwide, and much of that growth has occurred in the While originally operated by not-for profit boards, some states have allowed for-profit entities to manage charter schools, although this number remains less than 15% of charter schools nationally (National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, 2018).

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last decade (Prothero, 2017). Given the national trends and continued growth of charter schools in New York State, Education Law §355 (2-a) brought months of controversy about maintaining a highly qualified and prepared teaching workforce and protecting vulnerable populations of students, prior to the decision made in October 2017. In October 2017, the SUNY Charter Schools Committee approved a plan that would give jurisdiction to SUNY and the Charter Schools Committee to certify their own charter school teachers. The State Education Department and many teachers’ unions quickly filed lawsuits after the passage of the bill, legally delineating the controversies, such as lowered certification standards and negative impacts of having unqualified teachers leading high needs classrooms. The New York State Supreme Court ruled in favor of the State Education Department, deeming these charter schools’ certification processes inadequate and underqualified. The State University of New York (SUNY) Charter School Commission declared its intent to fight the ruling and currently is filing appeals at the writing of this article (Disare, 2018). A major justification for this decision was based on the critical teacher shortage affecting schools in New York State. Over 80% of charter schools in New York serve students living in New York City, and the majority of other charter schools exist in high-needs cities like Buffalo, Syracuse, and Rochester (NYSED Charter School Office, 2018). Through this pivotal decision, the requirements for teacher certification were diminished, and low-income, minoritized, and students of other backgrounds (primarily within the aforementioned urban areas) in the most need of a quality education would be instructed by teachers with the least experience and qualifications. Urban areas such as New York City experience high teacher attrition, up to 40% every year (Zimmerman, 2017), which can lead not only to teacher shortages, but educational instability and uncertainty experienced by the students. Many urban students already face challenges such as poverty, limited English proficiency, poor health, and family instability (National Center for Education Statistics, 2018). These challenges should be addressed by qualified teachers who are trained and able to support their students and offer relevant curriculum and instruction. Although not as comprehensive and multicultural as their training should be, traditionally certified teachers must complete a more rigorous, time intensive, and pedagogically focused pathway in order to gain their certification, the specific requirements of which will be discussed in subsequent sections. Sociopolitical and Economic Issues Nationally, the charter school movement receives support from both major political parties (Republican and Democrat) but for different declared reasons. Whereas Republicans tend to promote the choice and competitive nature charter schools introduce as amenable to their traditional party views, Democrats publicly support charter schools as avenues of potential reform that would be otherwise unavailable in the public school sector (Reckhow, Grossman & Evans, 2014). Given that New York is a strongly held Democratic political arena, the reforms and suggestions regarding this certification issue must be examined for motivation and results. What remains crucial to realize, however, is that this support is not simply following party lines in either Republican or Democratic situations – as Ravitch, a former staunch supporter of the charter school movement points out, the support instead is indicative of the insipid control of the neoliberal movement. Accurately identifying this dangerous trend, Ravitch (2013) stated: 34

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Our nation is heading in a perilous direction, toward the privatization of education, which will increase social stratification and racial segregation. Our civic commitment to education for all is eroding…the public schools are a public responsibility, not a consumer good. (par. 15) Ravitch’s intense statement identified the importance of maintaining a critical lens when examining these issues. While both political parties may claim logic and reason as the basis for supporting the current charter school movement (which can include the alternative certification path discussed in this paper), in reality, neoliberal ideology influences both sides of the spectrum to support structures that maintain White hegemonic supremacy. The subtle influence and control of neoliberalism (Harvey, 2017) truly rears its head when examining these changes suggested and supported by Democrats. While their goal appears to be providing students with adequately staffed alternatives to their public school options, upon further examination, it becomes clear that their decisions are not altogether altruistic, but instead are closely tied to their political leanings. One of the major issues that opponents of charter schools (and this particular law) have is that policies and procedures made in charter schools often are economically or politically motivated and dictated, as opposed to being structured around the needs of the student population that they are meant to serve (Strauss, 2017). This approach, of course, flies in the face of the original intention and justification of the charter school movement and demonstrates that legislation such as the alternative pathway to certification only furthers the interests of political and economic beneficiaries and shortchanges student populations. The motivations and political advantages to be gained by those making these decisions must be questioned, and the realistic benefits that students and families will actually receive also should be questioned when evaluating policies such as this alternative pathway. Two major education issues that need to be addressed are equitable access to strong educators and school integration. Students, especially those who are racially minoritized, learners of English as a New Language (ENL), and those with disabilities, who lack sufficient educational opportunities from the onset, are at an extreme disadvantage if they also have teachers who are underqualified for the position. In New York State, African American students constitute 60% of charter school enrollment (Prothero, 2016), in which 76% of these students are eligible for subsidized school meals, a proxy for low income households, compared to 51% of traditional public school students (Center for Research on Education Outcomes, 2017). With the continuous growth of charter schools in New York State and the number of African American students in poverty attending such schools, teachers need to be highly qualified and culturally responsive (Sleeter & Owuor, 2011). In 2016, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) called for a moratorium on charter school growth due to “increased segregation, high rates of suspensions and expulsions for black students, fiscal mismanagement, and poor oversight in charter schools” (Prothero, 2016, n.p.). Schools such as the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), Success Academy Charter (one of the entities appealing the State Supreme Court’s decision), and Achievement First are creating structures for marginalized students, wherein they pride themselves on closing the achievement gap between African American and Caucasian students. However, these are the same schools that are defunding and devaluing the public school system while creating a more segregated space for African American students, thus fulfilling the neoliberal agenda (Harvey, 2007). In addition, within these charter schools, there are teachers 35

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who, under the proposed certification requirements, would have less of a pedagogical and content rich background to address these marginalized students’ unique needs within the educational system. In the 2016-2017 school year, New York State had a total number of 267 charter schools and 132,100 students in attendance with 4% growth in anticipation of 16 new charters opening (National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, 2017). Within these schools there are teachers who can be certified through the State of New York by completing a Master’s or Bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA or “have the necessary knowledge and skills to successfully complete the program” (Bump, 2017, p. 1). To complete the program, the teacher only needs 160 hours of classroom instruction, which equals a month of instruction. In addition, the teacher needs 40 hours of field experience, which equals a week of student teaching while taking one final assessment (either the Educating All Students test or an exam, “which measures, at a minimum, all required elements of the EAS test”) (Bump, 2017, p. 1). Through Education Law §355(2-a), the teacher could be certified within one year as opposed to the minimum of 81 semester hours (which include at least 30 in liberal arts and sciences, 30 in the certificate title sought and 21 in pedagogy) required for state certification (New York State Education Department, 2017). Teachers in New York typically are required to take three certification exams, including a content test and the edTPA, which requires an extensive portfolio of work (Disare, 2017). Most disparagingly, in current teacher preparatory programs, teachers rarely are taught about cultural responsiveness (Lowenstein, 2009). As in most teacher education programs, multicultural education is limited to one mandatory course or simply taken as an elective. By depreciating the already problematic teacher certification process, Education Law §355(2-a) would employ teachers who have minimal to no experience with culturally responsive teaching and diverse learners. According to the Education Trust-New York (2017): For students of color, having a teacher of color during their educational experience can have a positive impact on improving student performance in reading and math, increasing the likelihood that Black students are identified as gifted, reducing suspension rates, decreasing dropout rates, and improving students’ hopes of attending college. (p. 2) The public school teaching force in New York primarily is White (76%), with African-American and Latino/a teachers filling much smaller proportions (10% and 9% respectively) (Boser, 2014). By contrast, the student population in public schools of New York is much more diverse, with White students occupying only 45% of the population, and Hispanic or Latino/a (a rapidly increasing population) composing 26%, and African-Americans being the third largest group at 18% (New York State Department of Education, 2017). A diversity index (measuring the gap between the teaching force composition compared to the student population) created by Boser (2014) found that New York had a diversity index of 27 and fell behind 28 other states in this evaluation. Charter schools in New York State have 33% African American teachers, 46% African American assistant principals and 36% African American principals (Education Trust, 2017). Across the state, there are 1,157 students or 2% that attend a charter school with no African American teachers. Latino/a students are even worse off, with 1,613 students or 5% that attend a charter school with no Latino/a teachers (Education Trust, 2017). The alternative certification pathway for charter schools only would serve to exacerbate this gap and create more inequality. Therefore, teacher diversity and requirements surrounding teacher 36

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certification need to be strengthened, not weakened. It is necessary, even crucial, to include culturally responsive practices in the core, required classes for teacher candidates in college teacher preparatory programs. By the implementation of Education Law §355(2-a), proponents argue that they will now have the ability to hire teachers more readily in charter schools and be able to choose from an array of individuals during this time of teacher shortage. However, diminishing the quality of the teacher certification process ultimately will have a negative effect on strengthening diversity components that prepare teacher candidates to educate students of color or students from low-income backgrounds. Furthermore, an increased disrespect for the teaching profession will exacerbate the teacher shortage and the accessibility of qualified teaching candidates, as well as working conditions, professional support, and training for in-service educators. History of Teacher Certification in New York Historically, teacher certification in New York State was considered among the most rigorous with reciprocity in almost all other states (New York State Board of Regents, 2017). With increasing calls for accountability in the early 2000s and a public discontent with teachers who presumably had few requirements for recertification or professional development hours, systematic changes were implemented to address this lack of continuing accountability (NYSUT Media Relations, 2018). Many teachers certified in the latter portion of the 20th and early 21st century were required to obtain a provisional certificate after completing an approved teacher education program and after five years would obtain a permanent certification. This would guarantee their ability to teach for their lifetime with few requirements for renewal (usually an occasional fee) (New York State Education Department, 2017). This timeline has since shifted, and teachers now are granted an initial certificate after completing a teacher education program, workshops, and appropriate student teaching experience; this is followed by a professional certificate after obtaining a Master’s degree and three years of paid teaching experience, among other pedagogical trainings and workshops (New York State Education Department Office of Teaching Initiatives, 2017). With the introduction of the aforementioned mandatory professional certificate, New York State requires certified teachers to fulfill requirements and prove continuing professional development every five years (New York State Office of Teaching Initiatives, 2017). This effort to convince the public of accountability and the effectiveness of teachers and teacher preparatory programs has continued with the introduction of the edTPA program, despite inconclusive evidence that increasing requirements actually lead to better prepared teachers (Schuls & Trivitt, 2018). edTPA was developed by educators at Stanford University, and endeavors to implement a “performance-based, subject-specific assessment and support system used by teacher preparation programs throughout the United States to emphasize, measure and support the skills and knowledge that all teachers need from Day 1 in the classroom” (Pearson Education, Inc., 2018, p. 2). Among the requirements, a portfolio demonstrating thoughtful and reflective teaching practices as well as video recorded lessons to provide active proof of pedagogical skills in action were created to answer the call for more rigorous teacher preparation. These requirements are not replicated in the alternative charter school certification pathway focused on herein, nor is there any comparable feature present in that alternate certification. 37

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Most alternative pathways recognized by New York State Department of Education to teacher certification require more field experience and pedagogical coursework than the charter school certification route and proposed charter school pathway. These alternative pathways focus more on certification of potential teachers who already hold a Bachelor’s degree and generally involve an accelerated teacher education program as well as similar assessments to the traditional pathway, which results in the equivalent of an initial certificate (New York State Office of Teaching Initiatives, 2017). The new legislation allowing charter schools to create their own in-house certification requirements would circumvent these new and continually reformed requirements demanded of public school teachers. Realizing the potential damage and imminent danger of placing underqualified and under-trained teachers in the classroom, the New York State Education Department and the Board of Regents filed complaints with the Supreme Court in Albany to challenge this new legislation, stating: by allowing respondents to employ inexperienced and unqualified individuals to teach children in SUNY-authorized charter schools, the challenged regulations will effectively erode the quality of teaching in New York State and negatively impact student achievement particularly for children who are most in need. (Clukey, 2018, par.4) This complaint was upheld by the State Supreme Court, resulting in a temporary pause in the implementation of the charter school certification process (Disare, 2018); however, as previously mentioned, the SUNY Charter School Committee and many charter schools already started the process of appealing this ruling. Deskilling and Whiteness in the Teaching Profession Given the current research on teacher preparation and its correlation to the deskilling of teachers (Apple, 1982), Education Law §355(2-a) only would further exacerbate the lack of training and increase the amount of underprepared teachers in the New York State workforce. Such deskilling is centered around the goal of legitimizing and maintaining control of knowledge and the economy (Apple, 1982), a goal that currently is supported and maintained by neoliberalism (Harvey, 2017, p. 22). Neoliberalism is a school of thought which supposedly endeavors to increase free market capitalism and, thus, increase opportunities for all, while in reality the policies and practices that neoliberals support subtly, but powerfully, reinforce social and economic systems that oppress and disadvantage large groups of the population. This deskilling, which essentially creates teachers trained to reinforce the standardized system instead of innovate, create, and challenge social injustice, transcends teacher preparation and enters into the arena of curriculum, including modules, boxed sets, appropriate behaviors/skills and scripted lessons, to which both charter school and state-certified teachers are subjected (Apple, 1982). This deskilling is damaging not only in the sense that teacher preparation programs underprepare teachers for the challenges and students they will connect within the classroom, but it also creates a teaching force that reiterates and empowers an oppressive socioeconomic and education system through scripted curricula and ineffective professional development. Thus, even though charter schools have been created and endeavor to set themselves apart as laboratories of innovation and creativity, these new certification processes do little to counteract this deskilling trend or to support educators who would engage in creative or innovative approaches. As a result, not only are teachers taking this shortened charter school pathway 38

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losing any redeemable or valuable training offered in teacher training programs, but they also are subjected to neoliberal-controlled curriculum, high-stakes testing, and requirements once in the classroom (Au, 2011), thus further disabling them to adequately and effectively address the needs of their students. Studies of teacher preparation support this argument, focusing on the lack of multicultural training within traditional teacher education programs and the major voids in social knowledge and awareness for future generations (Sleeter & Owuor, 2011). If this deskilling and lack of multicultural training is present within lengthy teacher education programs, a reasonable conclusion can be drawn that shortened trainings, like the ones seen in charter schools, will have an even greater impact on both teachers and students. Teachers hired under this shortened certification process will lack the tools, training, and self-reflexive and critical pedagogy required in order to combat this increased deskilling and Taylorization (Au, 2011). Through Taylorization, the factory system essentially is implemented in education, and focuses more on efficient output than addressing social and economic inequalities. For the populations that charter schools serve, which tend to be the historically disadvantaged groups, including students from low-income, minoritized, or high-needs backgrounds in primarily urban areas, this efficiency output focus can be severely damaging and result in maintenance of inequity and oppression. As every state department of education’s responsibility is to provide an equal and adequate education for the students within their state boundaries, trends like charter school certification pathways should warrant close attention, scrutiny, and critique. Multicultural training is essential to address historic oppression and inequity within the education system but can be rendered completely ineffective if the inherent, yet subtle, counterforces at work are not acknowledged and addressed. The primary counterforce to multicultural education is the issue of Whiteness, which plays a central role in the concerning trend of providing alternate certification pathways that require less pedagogical and cultural preparation. Given that this new sector of the teaching force closely mirrors the trend of the general teaching force, which currently is composed of teachers that are 80% White, 77% female, (Loewus, 2017) and also is comprised of mostly individuals in the middle class, the same concerns with the centrality of Whiteness in their worldview and pedagogy will be reflected. McIntyre (2002) concluded that White upper/middle-class prospective teachers all “construct and experience ‘whiteness’ as natural and involuntary, which often leads to a reification of stereotypes and a privileging of the status quo” (p. 44). This mindset also includes a denial of personal responsibility and a lack of understanding of the oppressiveness of the centrality of Whiteness. Additionally, circumnavigating the traditional teacher training includes missing even the token multicultural training, which according to Lowenstein (2009), rarely occurs past preparation experience. This approach contributes to an educational environment where the preeminence of White culture, history, and pedagogy is allowed to continue and leaves minimal room for effective continued learning. Additionally, there is little opportunity for White teachers to acknowledge their participation in the continuation of stereotypes and silencing of underrepresented voices in the classroom and curriculum. Harris (1993) echoed the dangers of this predominance and denial of White privilege, stating: In ways so embedded that it is rarely apparent, the set of assumptions, privileges, and benefits that accompany the status of being white have become a valuable asset that whites 39

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sought to protect...Whites have come to expect and rely on these benefits, and over time these expectations have been affirmed, legitimated, and protected by the law. (p. 1713) Intensive training in Whiteness studies and multicultural education is not an integral part of most traditional teacher preparation programs. Yet, the major concern with the charter school certification process remains that these processes were intended, like charter schools themselves, to address the gaps within traditional public education; instead, this process will only continue training teachers who are underprepared and underqualified to appropriately address the needs of the students in their classrooms and to challenge the White hegemonic structures controlling education and socioeconomic opportunities. While allegedly created to fill teacher shortages and thus improve the educational outlook of students in underserved and low-staffed schools, a shortened teacher preparation track has become another means to maintain White hegemonic control that has existed since the creation of public education. This alternative route fails to provide any acknowledgement or means to address the problematic racial, socioeconomic, and gender structures that oppress so many students (Stitzlein, 2018). The lack of requirements found in this shortened pathway increases the likelihood that this damaging approach will be even stronger. While this particular policy was created by the Charter School Committees primarily to address teacher shortages in New York City, the implication statewide must also be closely examined, as the majority of charter schools in New York serve students in economically depressed urban areas such as Buffalo, Rochester, and New York City neighborhoods, such as Brooklyn and the Bronx (New York State Education Department Charter School Office, 2018). The deskilling and Whiteness issues that feature so prominently in education become more prevalent with policy maneuvers such as this and others that seek to circumnavigate the already minimal training teachers receive to equip them to teach in high need areas. Proponents, Opponents, and Who Benefits: Who is Really Interested and Affected by this Change? Proponents use the vagueness of Education Law §355(2-a) language to argue that the State University of New York authorized charters can create their own internal teacher certification program. The language adopted by the Assembly and Senate states that the law “promulgate[s] regulations with respect to the governance, structure and operations of charter schools that are authorized by the SUNY Board of Trustees” (New York State Education Department, 2017, p. 4). Therefore, the new law appears to authorize a set of regulations that govern SUNY authorized charters (Marlette, 2016). The State University of New York asserts that due to the difficulty in finding high quality teachers, the language in Education Law §355(2-a) gives SUNY the governance or jurisdiction to determine the statues of certification for charter schools (Disare, 2018). Opponents of Education Law §355(2-a) allege that charter schools already have leeway based on Education Law §2854(3)(a-1), which provides charter schools with significant flexibility to hire certain numbers of: Uncertified teachers with at least three years of elementary, middle or secondary classroom teaching experience, tenured or tenure track college faculty, individuals with two years of satisfactory experience through the Teach for America program and individ40

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uals who possess exceptional business, professional, artistic, athletic, or military experience. (New York State Education Department, 2017) Moreover, Part 80 of the Regulations gives additional flexibility in which qualified candidates obtain a Transitional B certificate allowing them to teach as the teacher of record until they are fully certified (New York State Education Department, 2017). While originally designed to address shortcomings and failures in the public school system, charter schools have often found themselves struggling to address the same challenges and not faring much better than the public schools (Hull, 2018). Charter schools are known for high turnover rates, including 41% of teachers compared to 18% of district school teachers when examining schools across New York State (Katz, 2017). As cited by Strauss (2017), scholars such as LadsonBillings who have long examined education trends and teaching professions point out that not only are teachers certified through alternative routes less qualified and prepared, but they also are two to three times more likely to leave teaching. Charter school teachers and leaders typically have lower salaries and less job security while engaging in a 24/7 work culture focused on competition and pressure (Jabbar, Sun, Lemke, & Germain, 2018). Other factors include compensation not comparable to the public-school system and lack of mentoring, tenure or union protection, and professional development. In the words of New York State Commissioner, MaryEllen Elia, and New York State Board of Regents, Betty A. Rosa: It is imperative for policymakers to remember that no parent wants their child to be assigned to a classroom teacher who has not had the best training and demonstrated that he/she has the knowledge, skills, and disposition necessary to ensure their child’s success. (New York State Education Department, 2017, p. a-1) While Rosa’s statement rings true at the surface level, the difference in understanding between public opinion of what qualifies as “best” teachers and what pedagogically constitutes an effective teacher often do not synchronize. The flurry of assessments and evaluation reforms that have been introduced in an effort to quantify a definition of “best” or highly effective teachers (Disare, 2018) serves as evidence for this struggle to equate the public’s view with what an effective educator should be – well trained in subject matter and pedagogy, critical of oppressive structures that maintain socioeconomic inequities, and engaged in continual reflection and action to dismantle these structures through the power of education. A key factor to consider when addressing this issue is the persons or entities involved. The SUNY Charter Schools Committee is an independent body, which authorizes and regulates 185 of the 282 operational charter schools in New York State. Additionally, the State Education Department and Board of Regents have both joined in the aforementioned complaint, filing on the grounds that “the regulations violate existing education law and the committee violated the State Administrative Procedure Act when approving them,” as both the Board of Regents and State Education Department are heavily involved in determining and shaping teacher certification pathways (Clukey, 2018, n.p.). A substantial, perhaps more financially invested group to be considered is the large amount of teacher colleges and preparatory programs, both public and private, which exist in New York State. The teacher colleges must maintain the quality, recruiting ability, and investment of their programs based on the qualified candidates they produce. Although the SUNY system has decreased their already limited amount of teacher preparatory programs, these programs would still maintain a 41

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vested interest in changes of teacher preparatory requirements. This ultimately leads to questions regarding SUNY’s motivation in this decision. Should the implementation of this alternative charter school specific qualification come about (as a much cheaper and less time-consuming option), these institutions and programs would experience a drastic negative impact. A particularly powerful group of education policy players in New York is the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), which largely is recognized as one of the most powerful unions in the country. As the union has been engaged in countless battles over accountability, testing scores, qualifications, and requirements (Clukey & Shapiro, 2018), this new alternative pathway for charter school teachers presented by this legislation will no doubt encroach upon their quest to continue to promote teaching regarded as a highly skilled, highly qualified profession that is deserving of the pay, benefits, and recognition for which they have fought. Although it is almost never in public interest to defend these groups, student loan corporations would have a vested interest in the implementation of this alternative certification route. New modes of teacher certification would undoubtedly decrease the amount of potential pre-service teachers utilizing loan services to complete full teacher education programs, who may instead opt for cheaper, quicker charter school qualifications (Student Loan Options for Teachers, 2017). While the authors of this paper certainly are not intrinsically concerned with immediate negative impacts on these companies, it is important to remember that student loan companies wield significant political power and could potentially have serious involvement in lobbying for certain certification processes, as well as changing specific loan forgiveness programs that many teachers in both public and charter schools utilize and benefit from (Holmes & Docey, 2018). Certainly, the K-12 system, both public and private, would have a certain stake in these proceedings, as public schools would not be able to take direct advantage of this shortened route to fill their vacancies, but they may have a tangential interest because of the risk of potentially employing underqualified individuals who have gained their experience and certification in such a manner. The population of involved individuals that is most significant, however, are the students and parents who inevitably will be affected by this legislation. Many families who choose to attend charter schools do so to enact their own sense of agency and control with the end goal being a higher quality of education and opportunity than the one planned for them at their original educational institution (Vasquez Heilig, Williams, McNeil, & Lee, 2011). If charter schools are allowed to employ underqualified, inexperienced educators, the effort of these self-advocating families and individuals will be waylaid and only further compound their educational struggles. These vulnerable populations and the inherent socioeconomic stagnation and structural impediments enforced by the education system are crucial to examine and expose, which will be done in the following section. Recommendations and Implications for Policymakers and Practitioners By implementing the alternative certification avenue that avoids addressing substantial multicultural and equity issues in teacher education, a system is developed that undermines the quality and rigor of the teaching profession. More importantly, it increases a hegemonic culture that devalues and degrades student opportunities for an equitable education. The declared intention of the creation of Education Law §355(2-a) purportedly is to address the teacher shortage in New York State that particularly plagues urban districts in which charter schools tend to be located. The additional 42

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unintended consequences of this bill potentially create tension with the NYSUT, as the profession increasingly is scrutinized and deskilled. Given that the majority of their efforts in the past decades have been to build the professionalism, credibility, and training of New York State certified teachers, legislation like this stands in direct opposition to their already beleaguered efforts. This legislation, while not advertised as such, creates, maintains, and solidifies the structural barriers that sustain socioeconomic stratification of marginalized and underserved populations. Immediate recommendations would be to revoke the recently passed bill and to review current teacher certification structure and requirements. If this effort proves unsuccessful, it remains for local educators, administrators, and other involved parties to take personal responsibility for protecting the interests and education of their student populations. Given the relatively decentralized nature of education, there is a fair amount of room for public educators to push for equity training and multicultural awareness within their districts and educational settings. This can be achieved through purposeful multicultural training, continued interaction with political decision makers, and extensive advocacy work through unions, activist groups, coalitions, and other avenues of democratic expression and appeal. Pedagogy requirements should be considered from a nuanced perspective that considers issues of socioeconomic equity and cultural responsiveness. SUNY and the associated governing bodies need to restructure and create certification regulations that both educate teachers to work in diverse environments and provide meaningful practices that address all facets of teacher education. These governing bodies also should be held accountable for their decisions, and the lack of consideration they hold for the needs and edification of their student and teacher populations. Accountability groups must be composed of vested parties (such as parents, educators, students, and researchers) that are not politically appointed and are empowered to remove corrupt parties and to change legislation within these structural systems. These changes, while difficult to implement, are crucial for the success and essential education of the student population within New York State. Conclusion Teacher accountability and the accompanied shortages are giving charter schools an opportunity to use legislation as a crux to expedite the teacher certification process. The political climate, which ever favors a neoliberal agenda with a heavy emphasis on free-market capitalism, is aiding charter schools in bypassing rigorous certification processes. This climate, in addition to the pervasive attitudes of Whiteness that permeate teacher education programs and pedagogy, serves to exacerbate and increase the Taylorization and deskilling of the teaching force. These factors, added to this alternative pathway to certification, will lead to further oppression and limited opportunities for populations historically subjected to these struggles and obstacles. The educational policy and practice recommendations given help ensure that teacher certification processes strive toward a high quality, rigorous pathway so all students, especially high-needs students, are being taught by the most qualified, highly trained education professionals who are prepared to challenge, address, and reform the inequitable education system. If the certification process is devalued and minimized, the profession as a whole will continue to be devalued while sustaining social inequities already dominating the New York State educational system. 43

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__________ MICHELLE WING, MA, is a doctoral student at The State University of New York at Buffalo (UB) in the Education in Culture, Policy and Society program. She also has a Master’s in History an Advanced Certificate in Teaching and Leading for Diversity from UB. Michelle’s undergraduate work included a dual major in Augmented History and Adolescent Education. Michelle has had the privilege of teaching middle and high school history in Buffalo area schools for the last 9 years. Michelle’s research interests includes gender and race studies, particularly in the area of higher education access and attainment. JENNIFER SABODA, MSEd, is a doctoral student at The State University of New York at Buffalo (UB) in the Educational Leadership and Policy program. She also holds a Master’s of Science Education and Master’s of Science in Educational Administration and Supervision from Canisius College. Jennifer’s undergraduate work included a dual major in Health and Human Services, Early Childhood and Sociology. Jennifer has been a school administrator for the past 11 years and taught special education for four years in Buffalo, New York. Jennifer’s research interests include critical feminist theory, and gender, school leadership, and policy.

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References Apple, M. W. (1982). Curriculum and the labor process: the logic of technical control. Social Text, 2(3), 293-319. doi:10.1177/0143831X8123002 Au, W. (2011). Teaching under the new Taylorism: High-stakes testing and the standardization of the 21st century curriculum. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 43(1), 25-45. doi:10.1080/00220272.2010.521261 Boesenberg, E. (2003). Privatizing public schools: education in the marketplace. Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor, 10, 66-76. Boser, U. (2014). Teacher diversity revisited. Center for American Progress. Retrieved from https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/TeacherDiversity.pdf Castagno, A. (2013). Multicultural education and the protection of whiteness. American Journal of Education, 120(1), 101-128. doi:10.1086/673121 Center for Research on Education Outcomes. (2017). Charter school performance in New York. Retrieved from https://credo.stanford.edu/pdfs/NY_State_report %202017%2006%2001%20FINAL.pdf Clukey, K. (2018, February 9). Education Department, Regents file complaint over SUNY charter teacher certification. Politico. Retrieved from https://www.politico.com/states /new-york/newsletters/politico-new-york-education/2018/02/12/state-ed-v-suny-onteacher-certification-032716 CollegeScholarships.org. (2017). Student loan options for teachers. Retrieved from http://www.collegescholarships.org/loans/teaching.htm Decker, G. (2015, October 19). Charter school demographics coming under fresh scrutiny. Chalkbeat. Retrieved from https://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/ny/2015/10/19/ coming-under-fresh-scrutiny/ Disare, M. (2017, July 6). Some charter school teachers could become certified without a master’s under proposed new SUNY rules. Chalkbeat. Retrieved from https:// www.chalkbeat.org/posts/ny/2017/07/06/some-charter-school-teachers-could-becomecertified-without-a-masters-under-proposed-new-suny-rules/ Disare, M. (2018, January 8). How diverse is the teaching force in your district? A new analysis highlights the gap between students and teachers of color. Chalkbeat. Retrieved from https://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/ny/2018/01/08/how-diverse-is-the-teaching-force-inyour-district-a-new-analysis-highlights-the-gap-between-students-and-teachers-of-color/ Disare, M. (2017, October 8). SUNY revises controversial proposal to let some New York charter schools certify their own teachers. Chalkbeat. Retrieved from https://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/ny/2017/10/08/suny-revises-controversial-proposal-tolet-some-new-york-charter-schools-certify-their-own-teachers/ Disare, M. (2018, June 19). Judge strikes down rule allowing some New York charter schools to certify their own teachers. Chalkbeat. Retrieved from https://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/ny/2018/06/19/judge-strikes-down-rule-allowing-somenew-york-charter-schools-to-certify-their-own-teachers/ Gooden, M. A., Jabbar, H., & Torres, Jr., M. (2016). Race and school vouchers: Legal, historical, and political contexts. Peabody Journal of Education, 91(4), 522-536. 45

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doi:10.1080/0161956X.2016.1207445 Gooray, E. (2018, April 24) Why can’t charter schools and teachers’ unions be friends? Pacific Standard. Retrieved from https://psmag.com/economics/why-cant-charter-schools-andteachers-unions-be-friends Harris, C. L. (1993). Whiteness as property. Harvard Law Review, 106(8), 1710-1769. doi: 10.2307/1341787 Harvey, D. (2007). Neoliberalism as creative destruction. The Annals of the American Academy of Politi cal and Social Science. 610(1), 21-44. doi: 10.1177/0002716206296780 Hattie, J. (2017). Hattie ranking: 252 influences and effect sizes related to student achievement. The University of Melbourne. Retrieved from https://visible-learning.org/hattie-ranking -influences-effect-sizes-learning-achievement/ Holmes, C., & Ducey, J. (2018). Are charter school teachers eligible for loan forgiveness? ABC News. Retrieved from https://www.abc15.com/news/let-joe-know/are-charter-schoolteachers-eligible-for-loan-forgiveness Hull, J. (2018). How do charter schools compare to traditional public schools in performance? Center for Public Education. Retrieved from http://www.data-first.org/questions/how-docharter-schools-compare-to-regular-public-schools-in-student-performance/ Jabbar, H., Sun, W., Lemke, M., & Germain, E. (2018). Gender, markets, and inequality: A framework for examining how market-based reforms impact female leaders. Educational Policy, 32(6) 755-796. doi:10.1177/0895904816673740. Jason, Z. (2017, May). The battle over charter schools. Harvard Ed Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/ed/17/05/battle-over-charter-schools Kane, T. J., Rockoff, J. E., & Staiger, D. O. (2007). What does certification tell us about teacher effectiveness? Evidence from New York City. Economics of Education Review, 27, 615- 631. doi:10.1016/j.econedurev.2007.05.005 Katz, A. (2017, June 26). Turnover, a charter school plague. Daily News. Retrieved from http://beta.nydailynews.com/opinion/turnover-charter-school-plague-article-1.3272954 Kolderie, T. (2008). How the idea of ‘chartering’ schools came about. Minnesota Journal. Retrieved from https://www.educationevolving.org/pdf/Origins-of-Chartering-CitizensLeague-Role.pdf Loewus, L. (2017, August 15). The nation's teaching force is still mostly white and female. Education Week. Retrieved from https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2017/08/15 /the-nations-Teaching-force-is-still-mostly.html Marlette, J. (2016, September 5). Disputes emerge over new SUNY charter school regulatory authority. New York State School Boards Association. Retrieved from https://www.nyssba.org/news/2016/09/01/on-board-online-september-5-2016/disputesemerge-over-new-suny-charter-school-regulatory-authority/ McIntyre, A. (2002). Exploring whiteness and multicultural education with prospective teachers. Curriculum Inquiry, 32(1), 31-49. Mead, S., Libetti-Mitchel, A., & Rotherham, A. (2015). The state of the Charter school movement. Bellweather Education Partners. Retrieved from https://bellwethereducation.

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org/sites/default/files/Charter%20Research%200908%20FINAL.pdf National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. (2017). Estimated charter public school enrollment, 2016-17. Retrieved from http://www.publiccharters.org/sites/default/ files/migrated/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/EER_Report_V5.pdf National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (2018) Charter school FAQ. Retrieved from https://www.publiccharters.org/about-charter-schools/charter-school-faq National Center for Education Statistics. (2018). Urban schools: The challenge of location and poverty. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/pubs/web/96184ex.asp National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools. (2017). Charter school special education finance project. Retrieved from http://www.ncsecs.org/state-data/ National Education Association. (2017). Policy statement on charter schools. Retrieved from http://www.nea.org/home/16332.htm Neuharth-Pritchett, S., Reiff, J. C., & Pearson, C. A. (2001). Through the eyes of preservice teachers: Implications for the multicultural journey from teacher education. Journal of Research in Childhood Education. 15(2), 256-269. doi:10.1080/02568540109594965 New York State Education Department. (2017). Comments on the governance, structure and operations of SUNY authorized charter schools pertaining to teacher compliance. Retrieved from http://www.nysed.gov/common/nysed/files/comments-proposed-suny-teachercertification-regulations-memo.pdf New York State Education Department, Office of Teaching Initiatives (2017). Charter school directory. Retrieved from http://www.p12.nysed.gov/psc/csdirectory/CSLaunchPage.html New York State Education Department, Office of Teaching Initiatives (2017). Types of certificates and licenses. Retrieved from http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert /certificate/typesofcerts.html NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. (2018). Teacher educa tion reinvented: Supporting excellence in teacher education. Retrieved from https://teachereducation.steinhardt.nyu.edu/high-teacher-turnover/ Pearson Education Inc. (2018). About edTPA. Retrieved from https://www.edtpa.com/ PageView.aspx?f=GEN_AboutEdTPA.html Prothero, A. (2016, June 13) Data and the debate over diversity in charters. Education Week. Retrieved from https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/06/03/data-and-the-debate -over-diversity-in.html Prothero, A. (2017, February 14). Growth in charter school population. Education Week. Retrieved from https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2017/02/15/growth-in-charter- schoolpopulation.html Ravitch, D. (2013). Charter schools are a colossal mistake: Here’s why. Alternet Media. Retrieved from https://www.alternet.org/education/diane-ravitch-charter-schools-are-colossalmistake-heres-why Reckhow, S., Grossman, M., & Evans, B. C. (2014). Policy cues and ideology in attitudes towards charter schools (WP #41). The Education Policy Center. Retrieved from https://education.msu.edu/epc/library/papers/documents/WP41PolicyCuesandIdeology.p df 47

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Redd, L., LeClair, A. V., & Goessling, S. J. (2014). An overview on charter schools: historical rise and opposing views. Texas Education Review, 2(1), 14-24. Shuls, J. V. & Trivitt, J. R. (2013) Teacher effectiveness: an analysis of licensure screens. Educational Policy, 29(4), 645-675. doi:10.1177/0895904813510777 Sleeter, C. E., & Owuor, J. (2012). Research on the impact of teacher preparation to teach diverse students: the research we have and the research we need. Action in Teacher Education, 33(5-6), 524-536. doi:10.1080/01626620.2011.627045 Stitzlein, S. M. (2018, May 8). Does school choice put freedom before equity? Education Week. Retrieved from https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2018/05/09/does-school-choice-putfreedom-before-equity.html Strauss, V. (2017, August 2). What’s the link between charter schools, political donations and teacher certification in New York? The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/08/02/whats-the-linkbetween-charter-schools-political-donations-and-teacher-certification-in-newyork/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.4709627d8bed Strauss, V. (2017, September 18). Where have all the teachers gone? The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answersheet/wp/2017/09/18/where-have-all-the-teachers-gone/?utm_term=.99e6b2d7c056 Taylor, K. (2017, October 11). Some charter schools can certify their own teachers, board says. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/11/nyregion/ suny-charter-schools-teacher-training.html The Education Trust—New York. (2017, December 8). See our truth: The state of teacher and school leader diversity in New York, and why it matters for students, educators, and our future. Retrieved from https://www.nyscoss.org/img/uploads/See%20Our%20Truth_PPT %2012-07-17.pdf The Education Trust–New York. (2017, August 9). The Education Trust- New York issues public comment on proposal for teacher certification at SUNY-authorized charter schools. Retrieved from: https://newyork.edtrust.org/press-release/suny_teacher_cert/ Tschannen-Moran, M., & Woolfolk-Hoy, A. (2001). Teacher efficacy: capturing an elusive construct. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17(7), 783-805. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0742051X(01)00036-1 Vasquez Heilig, J., Williams, A., McNeil, L. M., & Lee, C. (2011). Is choice a panacea? An analysis of black secondary student attrition from KIPP, other private charters and urban districts. Berkeley Review of Education, 2(2), 153-178. doi:10.5070/B82110008 Watson, J., Murin, A., & Pape, L. (2014). Keeping pace with K-12 digital learning: Teaching online across state lines. Evergreen Education Group. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED558144.pdf Woodworth, J. L., Raymond, M. E., Han, C., Negassi, Y., & Snow, W. (2017). Charter management organizations. Center for Research on Education Outcomes. Retrieved from https://credo.stanford.edu/pdfs/CMO%20FINAL.pdf Zimmerman, A. (2017). 40 percent of teachers were gone from struggling New York City schools after two years, union data show. Chalkbeat. Retrieved from 48

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https://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/ny/2017/11/02/40-percent-of-teachers-were-gone-fromstruggling-new-york-city-schools-after-two-years-union-data-show/

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Journal Homepage: Texas Education Review Published online: December 2018 Submit your article to this journal

Excelsior, New York State’s “Free” College Scholarship CHRISTIAN PIERCE JUSTIN SIRACO University at Buffalo

To cite this article: Pierce, C. & Siraco, J. (2018). Excelsior, New York State’s “free” college scholarship. Texas Education Review, Fall 2018 Special Issue, 50-59. http://doi.org/10.15781/T20K26X27 __________

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Excelsior, New York State’s “Free” College Scholarship CHRISTIAN PIERCE JUSTIN SIRACO University at Buffalo This paper examines the New York State Excelsior Scholarship and the criteria that must be met for students to be eligible to receive it. The main focus of this examination is how this scholarship aims to address access issues faced by students from low income families and how the program can be improved to better address their needs. Comparisons are made between this Scholarship and others similar to it, namely the Georgia Hope Scholarship, the Indiana 21st Century Scholarship, and the Wisconsin Covenant. Recommendations for improving the Excelsior Scholarship are made based on research-based evidence on the successes and failures of the other scholarship programs, as well as potential barriers found within the Excelsior Scholarship itself. Keywords: Excelsior Scholarship, college access, financial aid, scholarship programs Strategies to subsidize higher education have varied greatly since the introduction of the federal Pell grant in 1965, but recently the burden of funding was transferred to state governments. Furthermore, as of the last two decades, there was a major shift towards focusing on merit-based aid, evidenced by a variety of state policies rewarding aid through scholarships (Long, 2010). During the period of 2000-2010, non-need based grant aid grew 203%, while need-based aid experienced a growth of 60% (Long, 2010). Non-need based aid refers to aid given to students based on academic merit and aid given to students who exceed certain income requirements. Need-based aid is reserved for individuals who fall under an income requirement, indicating that their family needs more assistance in paying for college. Georgia HOPE, which stands for Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally, Wisconsin Covenant, and Indiana 21st Scholars all are models of merit-based aid initiated by their respective states. Each program displayed differing levels of success regarding academic outcomes and access, as well as providing valuable information on shaping current merit-based scholarships, such as the New York State Excelsior Scholarship. Although not an exact replica of the three aforementioned programs, much of the Excelsior Scholarship is modeled off of these previous programs, despite evidence of their ineffectiveness in reaching desired outcomes. The most troubling aspects of Excelsior revolve around the complex stipulations required to retain the scholarship, as well as the demographic it targets. An investment in education is encouraging progress in the face of a troubling access problem, but as discussed in the following sections, research completed on similar policies indicates that non-need based aid has been ineffective in addressing the widening access gap between low-income and high income students. Without considerable adjustments, the Excelsior scholarship may also fail to reach its expected goals. One of the most blatant issues facing the introduction of the Excelsior Scholarship is one that the scholarship fails to address. Access to higher education has been stifled by rising prices as well as insufficient funding for individuals of lower income families. The following section further examines the access issue and how it relates to the installation of the Excelsior Scholarship. 51

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Access Issues in Higher Education Since the first appearance of colleges and universities, many students have faced issues related to access to higher education. While many attempts have been made to reduce its effects, some of which will be discussed later, the problem still stands today. With historically soaring prices of attending colleges and universities, especially within the past few decades, the lowest income families are the most negatively influenced group. Only 52% of students coming from low-income families attend college compared to 82% of their high-income counterparts; already at a disadvantage when trying to enter higher education, they also face a lower graduation rate, even if they do gain entry: 59% compared to 89% of high-income students (Long, 2016). Students who come from lowerincome backgrounds face a substantial gap in educational access, and this disadvantage follows them throughout their college careers. There are many reasons as to why this gap exists, but one of the main reasons, and the point that this discussion centers around, is the cost of attendance. As of 2017, in New York State public universities have an average cost of about $25,160 per year, broken down as follows: tuition ($6,670); fees ($1,640); room and board ($12,810); books and supplies ($1,340); personal expenses ($1,590); and transportation ($1,110) (SUNY, 2018). For many families, $25,160 worth of expenses is not feasible. While there are forms of government aid and scholarships available that attempt to lessen the costs to the students and their families, many only address tuition. As previously stated, tuition only is $6,670 of the total expenses, leaving the students responsible for taking care of $18,490 left on their bill. For many, especially lower-income students, the remaining amount that they must contribute ultimately may be the deciding factor as to whether or not they attend college. Access to higher education has been a growing issue coinciding with the rising cost of attendance at institutions across the country. It is an especially prevalent barrier to students coming from lower-income backgrounds who not only have a lower chance of attending higher education institutions but also have a lower success rate when it comes to completion. The Excelsior Scholarship aims to tackle a portion of this access issue through provisions of financial relief. The Excelsior Scholarship Given the rising cost of colleges and universities, students and families alike rejoiced when New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced the Excelsior Scholarship, which was praised as a “first in the nation” program (Governor Andrew N. Cuomo, 2017). It was marketed as a “last dollar” tuition assistance program specifically aimed at middle class residents of New York State (NYS) that will cover the remaining costs of tuition after application of other forms of grants and aid. Students who come from families with a combined income of less than $110,000 as of 2018 ($125,000 in 2019) will be eligible to receive the scholarship worth up to $5,500 (other forms of aid are expected to cover the remaining cost of tuition). Students must complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms in order to be considered for the Excelsior Scholarship program. Along with the income requirements are a few more criteria that students must meet in order to be eligible for the award. Students must be residents of NYS for at least 12 months prior to use of the scholarship and attend either a State University of New York (SUNY) school, City Uni52

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versity of New York (CUNY) school, or community college (which includes Cornell and Alfred University). Students also are required to be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours per term, which must add up to at least 30 credit hours over the academic year. The most interesting stipulation when accepting this award though is that a student who receives the Excelsior Scholarship must agree to stay in NYS for the same amount of time that they received the scholarship. If they choose not to, the scholarship turns into a no-interest loan. The state government’s reasoning behind this is that it will be beneficial for both parties involved. Students receive high quality education at a reduced price while the government receives a return on their investment in the form of skilled labor (Excelsior Scholarship Program, 2018). The Excelsior Scholarship has various similarities to previous merit-based aid programs, thus making it possible to approximate potential effects of the program. Many of the Excelsior stipulations are drawn from those in the Georgia HOPE Scholarship, Wisconsin Covenant, and Indiana 21st Century Scholars. While these programs have shared outcome goals to advance student achievement and access, there are differences, which will be explained in this paper. Analysis of Scholarship Programs To estimate the possible effects of the Excelsior Scholarship, we examined the Georgia HOPE Scholarship, the Wisconsin Covenant, and Indiana’s 21st Century. Unlike the Excelsior Scholarship, these policies are early commitment programs that require a student to maintain certain criteria throughout high school in order to receive the scholarships. Yet, these scholarship programs relate to the Excelsior Scholarship in terms of stipulations necessary to maintain funding and in terms of the demographic of students the scholarships are accessible to. The Georgia HOPE Scholarship is most similar to the Excelsior Scholarship, as obligations exist throughout college enrollment. Despite different requirements, the goals of all the scholarship programs are nearly identical. The Wisconsin Covenant policy, since discontinued, aimed to change expectations and perceived accessibility among high school students of all income levels (Birkeland & Arney, 2011). More specifically, it aspired to increase academic outcomes in high school and college, college enrollment rates for low-income students, and overall persistence in higher education for all students (Birkeland & Arney, 2011). Indiana’s 21st Century is catered to low-income students, as it is designed to provide early academic intervention to low-income students and increase access to college for all students (St. John et al., 2004). The Georgia HOPE Scholarship is intended to achieve the stated goals of the other policies but is focused solely on increasing access and college enrollment among all students (Long, 2004). New York’s Excelsior Scholarship is no different, as it intends to reduce financial burden, increase access for middle-income students, and promote ontime completion of undergraduate degrees. The Wisconsin Covenant Since the Wisconsin Covenant policy was an early commitment program, a high school student must have completed the following requirements to qualify: signed up for the program in 8th grade; attended a Wisconsin high school; maintained a 2.85 GPA throughout high school; applied for the FASFA; exclusively applied to public, private, and technical schools in Wisconsin; and 53

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demonstrated satisfactory involvement in the community (Birkeland & Arney, 2011). Fulfillment of these requirements guaranteed students a spot in a Wisconsin higher education institution. The financial package students received was allocated based on their family’s federally defined income. Unlike HOPE, 21st Century Scholars, and the Excelsior Scholarship, this program did not assure full coverage of tuition and fees. Results. Four years after the program was implemented, Birkeland and Arney (2011) examined demographic statistics of those participating in the Wisconsin Covenant. Student participation rates in the Wisconsin Covenant were found to be lower in smaller schools, schools that are more racially diverse, and schools where larger numbers of students qualified for free lunch. The authors attributed a low participation rate in these demographics to more stringent GPA requirements and insufficient awareness of the short enrollment period. Although these participation effects were found in Wisconsin high school students, similar consequences could occur with the Excelsior Scholarship considering the high college GPA requirement of 3.0 and insufficient promotion of the program. Additionally, the authors suggested that the Wisconsin Covenant would fail to close the minority gap and could even adversely affect low-income students financially—an effect later found in Georgia HOPE. One of the most pressing issues found with the Wisconsin Covenant Scholarship centered around financial benefits of this program being distributed to infra-marginal students who most likely would have attended college regardless (Birkeland & Arney, 2011). These concerns are nearly identical to the ones associated with the Excelsior Scholarship. The Wisconsin Covenant thus is a useful case-study for programs like the Excelsior Scholarship, as it contained flawed stipulations found in Excelsior. Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars The qualifications for becoming an Indiana 21st Century Scholar are as follows: enrollment in 7 or 8th grade; attaining a 2.0 GPA upon graduation of high school; application to Indiana higher education institutions; application for financial aid; and enrollment in college within two years of graduating high school. Full tuition and fees to any of Indiana’s public universities are offered to students who meet these requirements, with similar compensation of public tuition being awarded at private schools. The program also provides retaining strategies that include tutoring, college visits, mentoring, access to information, and assistance in acquiring college prep curriculum. There are no stipulations for this scholarship that require students to reach certain standards upon graduation (St. John et al., 2004). th

Results. St. John et al. (2004) found that students that enrolled in the Scholars program already were more likely to enroll in college, while those who enrolled in the program from high poverty schools were less likely to have college aspirations. A parallel can be made to a potential outcome of the Excelsior Scholarship, as students who receive the scholarship already were likely to enroll in college, creating concern as to whether the scholarship will address the access problem, even for middle-income students. The likelihood of college enrollment for students of high poverty schools increased 5.34 times when becoming an affirmed scholar; however, this result was not limited only to the high poverty schools, as the entire sample was found 4.77 times more likely to enroll 54

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in college when enrolled in the program (St. John et al., 2004). Preparatory work, mentors, and encouragement regarding college attainment were found to have significant, positive effects on both enrollment and aspirations for college (St. John et al., 2004). Although the positive effects were found for high school students, the successful aspects of this program eventually could be applied to the Excelsior Scholarship to bolster on-time completion. Georgia HOPE Scholarship A Georgia HOPE recipient must achieve a B grade point average in high school, graduate from a Georgia HOPE eligible school, complete HOPE-specific academic curriculum, and attend either a Georgia private or public school (Long, 2010). At public universities, a HOPE recipient receives full tuition and fees, plus a book allowance. HOPE recipients of private universities receive similar compensation to what would be awarded if they attended a public school (Long, 2010). This program is similar to the Excelsior Scholarship in terms of the academic stipulations necessary to maintain the scholarship. Georgia HOPE recipients are required to achieve a 3.0 GPA by the end of every spring semester, as well as complete 30 credit hours every full academic year (Long, 2010). Results. Research found that total enrollment in Georgia universities among all 18-19-yearold students increased from 7.0 percentage points to 7.9 percentage points (Dynarski, 2000). Georgia HOPE’s main aspiration was to increase college enrollment rates in-state; thus, marginal success can be inferred. However, statistics relative to demographics are far more concerning. Georgia’s White high school students experienced a 12.3%-point rise in attendance, while attendance rates of Black students were entirely unaffected in response to the HOPE Scholarship (Dynarski, 2000). Furthermore, an 11.4 percentage point rise was found in attendance of upper-income students, as opposed to low-income students, whose attendance rates were unaffected by the policy (Dynarski, 2000). Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship did not explicitly target low-income students, but it was expected to increase access to higher education; it is clear that this is a shortcoming of this program. A similar issue potentially could be found in the Excelsior Scholarship, as it is targeting the incorrect demographic of students: one that is already more likely to enroll in college. Research on both the Wisconsin Covenant and the Georgia HOPE Scholarship finds that benefits are being devoted toward students who would attend college anyway and that there was inadequate promotion of the programs. These findings are the most prominent issues that may be observed after the Excelsior Scholarship is released. However, extra resources provided to scholarship students within the Indiana 21st Scholars program demonstrate that success can be obtained with merit-based programs. Although the Excelsior Scholarship does not administer these additional resources, it is a provision that could further improve the effectiveness of the scholarship. The aforementioned programs and the Excelsior Scholarship share similar issues whose impacts will be further examined. Problems with the Excelsior Scholarship The Excelsior Scholarship is a movement in the right direction toward lessening access issues in higher education. Still there are some flaws pertaining to access issues faced by low income 55

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students that need to be addressed if the program is to operate at an optimal level. These issues begin at the very first step of the application process: Filling out FAFSA forms. Students coming from lower income backgrounds already are placed at a disadvantage because of issues that arise when completing FAFSA forms. Nearly 20% of undergraduate students fail to apply for aid such as FAFSA, of which 44% claim they did not think they were eligible, and many were unaware of what financial aid even was (Cook, 2016). A large portion of low income students most likely do not attempt to attend college out of fear of costs (Cook, 2016). Obviously, if students already do not fill out FAFSA forms, especially low-income students, then they automatically will be ineligible for the Excelsior Scholarship. Even if these low-income students do fill out their FAFSA forms, a large amount will not feel any of the benefits of the scholarship. Within the City University of New York system, 66% of the student population already goes to these institutions tuition free (due to FAFSA and NYS Tuition Assistance Program) with a large majority of them coming from families with combined incomes of less than $33,000 (Burdick, 2017). Given the “last dollar” nature of the scholarship, these students never will receive any funds from the scholarship. The fact that this scholarship only covers tuition exposes one of the larger problems surrounding the access issue with low-income students. If the scholarship and aid cover the complete cost of a SUNY schools tuition, $6,670, that still leaves the remaining cost of $18,490 resting on the shoulders of students and their families. If a student already is in need of assistance to pay for their $6,670 tuition bill, they are unlikely to be able to afford $18,490 to cover room and board, fees, and books. Some of the requirements may be restricting and difficult to meet as well. The stipulation that students must stay in state after graduation for the same amount of time as they received the scholarship may limit their job market prospects, and many may end up leaving the state anyway just to find a job, which then places the burden of tuition back onto the students in the form of loans. Second, the requirement that students take 30 credits a year, which assumes a student will graduate in four years exactly, may not be a realistic expectation for some students. Given that only 60% of students graduate within 6 years nationally, and only 30-33% graduate within 5 years at CUNY schools, it is unlikely that many students will be able to complete this requirement (Burdick, 2017). The Excelsior Scholarship still misses the mark when addressing the access issues faced by low-income students. It only covers tuition which leaves a large portion of the costs of attendance resting on the shoulders of the students and at points can hold them to unreachably high standards in terms of credits and coursework. While the intentions of the scholarship are positive, there is still the possibility for improvement which can be aided by adopting features of other similar programs, as well as adapting to fit present needs. Policy Recommendations It may be premature to make policy recommendations for a program that was introduced less than a year ago, but it is apparent that critical adjustments need to be made in order for the scholarship to succeed. Learning and adapting to successful aspects of Georgia HOPE, Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars, and the Wisconsin Covenant would be a start. What made Indiana’s policy so effective seemed to be the assistance provided throughout enrollment of the program. Although this 56

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assistance was administered during the high school years, a similar track could be created for Excelsior college students. Devoting resources that extend past financial aid could lead to greater rates of on-time completion. One considerable deficiency of the Wisconsin Covenant was the low participation rate among low-income students (Birkeland & Arney, 2011). Lack of awareness can be contributed to this issue, as well as a complicated application process. For those who have trouble filling out the FASFA and New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) applications, the Excelsior Scholarship is just one more obstacle in applying to college. Tweaking the Excelsior Scholarship to provide extra resources throughout college enrollment, enhancing promotion of the scholarship, and simplifying the application process may make it a more effective policy. To be fair, the Excelsior Scholarship never claimed to attempt to help low-income students. It was made very clear that this was a middle-class scholarship. The scholarship as of right now favors those with incomes between $80,000 and $125,000, given those above will not qualify and those below will have the cost of tuition supplied by other forms of aid (Lobosco, 2017). That being said, it does fail to address the larger issue pertaining to access that low-income students have to higher education. The largest majority of costs incurred by students are those of room and board, fees, and books, so a possible adjustment to the scholarship could be to extend coverage of costs to these areas for those who are low income or are in extreme financial need. An easier adjustment would be to extend or shift the qualifying income. A lower qualifying income would allow students coming from lower-income backgrounds to benefit from the program, although issues with funding could arise if an increased number of students were to use the program. By making these changes, the effects of the program would be shifted to lower-income students. Decreasing the minimum workload for an academic year to one that follows the more traditional 4-plus year graduation rates (average of 5.2 academic years to receive bachelor’s degree) would be beneficial in helping students have continued success throughout college and have the ability to receive the scholarship for the entire time they are attending school (National Student Clearinghouse, 2016). Another important area that would need to be addressed, as previously stated, is simplifying the application process. Given that low income students have a decreased chance of filling out FAFSA forms, they also have a lower chance of being eligible for Excelsior. It would be beneficial to allocate some of the funds toward increasing the ease of filling out FAFSA and increasing awareness of aid that is available to low income students. This would allow students, who would not otherwise be in consideration for the scholarship, to become eligible and also would open the doors for them to receive other forms of aid. Given that there are other programs similar to the Excelsior Scholarship, it may be beneficial to learn from these and adapt to ensure success and avoid the deficiencies that they faced. If New York State lawmakers choose to shift toward low income assistance rather than middle income, there are adjustments that can be made pertaining to income qualifications and areas of coverage. The Excelsior Scholarship is a step in the right direction, but given the relative newness of the program, the outcomes have yet to be seen.

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Conclusion While the Excelsior Scholarship is far from perfect, any attempt to lessen the financial burden of obtaining higher education is a step in the right direction. While it is making strides in helping college become more affordable for the middle class, it is missing the huge access problem faced by low-income students. The program could learn for the successes and failures of programs such as the Georgia Hope Scholarship, the Indiana 21st Century Scholarship, and the Wisconsin Covenant. With the many barriers that low income students face, it may be beneficial for Excelsior to adjust some of its requirements to better fit the needs of this group. Nonetheless, it is early in the life of the Excelsior Scholarship, and it has yet to be seen what kind of lasting effects it has on access and success of students throughout college. As more data emerge on these effects, hopefully the scholarship will be able to adjust in order to be the most effective it can be. __________ CHRISTIAN PIERCE, BA, is a Master’s student at The State University of New York at Buffalo (UB) in the Economics and Education Policy Analysis Program. He also received his Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from UB. Christian currently is working as a data analyst for the FAFSA Completion Project. His research interests include the effect of financial aid and scholarships on student achievement and completion in higher education. JUSTIN SIRACO, BA, is a Master’s student at The State University of New York at Buffalo in the Economics and Education Policy Analysis Program. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Economics at The State University of New York at Geneseo. Justin currently is interning at SUNY Buffalo’s Office of Institutional Research. His research interests include postsecondary student outcomes in relation to student assistance programs.

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References Birkeland, K., & Arney, J. (2011). The Wisconsin Covenant: A closer at participants, access, and redistribution in higher education. State and Local Government Review, 43(1), 6-16. doi: 10.1177/0160323X10386804 Burdick, J. M. (2017). Not exactly free. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2017/05/16/drawbacks-new-york-states-freecollege-plan-essay Cook, K. (2016). College financial aid: How many students apply? Time. Retrieved from http://time.com/money/4520236/college-financial-aid-why-students-dont-apply/ Dynarski, S. (2000). Hope for whom? Financial aid for the middle class and its impact on college attendance. National Tax Journal, 53(3), 629-661. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. (2017, April 8). Governor Cuomo announces first-in-the-nation excelsior scholarship program will provide tuition-free college to middle-class families. Retrieved from https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-first-nationexcelsior-scholarship-program-will-provide-tuition-free Lobosco, K. (2017). Why New York’s ‘tuition-free’ colleges will still cost $14,000. CNN. Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/30/pf/college/new-york-tuition-free/index.html Long, B. T. (2014, June 19). Addressing the academic barriers to higher education. Washington D.C.: The Hamilton Project, Brookings. Retrieved from https://www.brookings.edu/research/addressing-the-academic-barriers-to-highereducation/ Long, B. T. (2010). Making college affordable by improving aid policies. Issues in Science and Technology, 26(4). doi: https://www.jstor.org/stable/43315184 National Student Clearinghouse (2016, September 19). The new reality for college students: Earning a bachelor's degree takes 5 to 6 years and students attend multiple institutions. Retrieved from https://studentclearinghouse.org/blog/the-new-reality-for-college-students-earning-abachelors-degree-takes-5-to-6-years-and-students-attend-multiple-institutions/ New York State Higher Education Corporation (2018). Excelsior scholarship program. Retrieved from https://www.hesc.ny.gov/pay-for-college/financial-aid/types-of-financial-aid/nysgrants-scholarships-awards/the-excelsior-scholarship.html St. John, E. P., Musoba, G. D., Simmons, A., Chung, C., Schmitt, J., & Peng, C. J. (2004). Meeting the access challenge: An examination of Indiana’s Twenty-First Century Scholars Program. Research in Higher Education, 45(8), 829-871. doi:10.1007/s11162-004-5951-1 SUNY. (2017) Tuition and fees. Retrieved from https://www.suny.edu/smarttrack/tuition-andfees/

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Journal Homepage: Texas Education Review Published online: December 2018 Submit your article to this journal

Prison Reform and Redemption for Whom? JENNIFER MDURVWA WOLCOTT University at Buffalo

To cite this article: Wolcott, J.M. (2018). Prison reform and redemption for whom? Texas Education Review, Fall 2018 Special Issue, 60-70. http://doi.org/10.15781/T24B2XQ60 __________

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Prison Reform and Redemption for Whom? JENNIFER MDURVWA WOLCOTT University at Buffalo This paper examines the ways in which people of color are systematically disadvantaged by the criminal justice system in the United States and questions who the true beneficiary of prison reform is. I review specific economic and educational policies that have contributed to this disenfranchisement, such as the School-to-Prison Pipeline, and policies surrounding the use of private prisons. I use Critical Race Theory as a lens to understand racial inequality in our criminal justice system and the ways in which criminal justice reform has failed to consider race in its policies. I conclude by examining the Trump administration’s efforts at addressing the problems with our criminal justice systems and offer policy recommendations. Keywords: prison reform, criminal justice reform, school-to-prison pipeline, Critical Race Theory Mass incarceration is a growing problem in the United States with almost no tangible solutions in sight (Vazquez, 2017). Though the U.S. makes up five percent of the world’s population, it contributes to 25% of the prison population (Cohen, 2014; Vazquez, 2017). Paradoxically, in the last decade, overall crime rates in the U.S. have decreased, but the country’s prison population continues to increase (Cohen, 2014; Vazquez, 2017). In this paper, I begin by examining economic, criminal justice, and educational policies that have created a funnel for people of color into our criminal justice system. Next, I introduce Critical Race Theory and illustrate the ways in which people of color are systematically disadvantaged in the United States. Then, I discuss the policy implications for the Trump administration’s 2017 Prison Reform and Redemption Act and the ways in which it fails to address many of the issues plaguing our criminal justice system. While a bipartisan bill targeted at the problems of our prison system is a critical issue in need of resolution in America, I argue that this bill does little to address front-end issues of our prison system, nor does it address the policies that have led to the mass incarceration rates in the United States. Furthermore, this bill does not address the racial disparity between incarcerated populations in this country and does not acknowledge the kinds of economic and education policies that pipe people of color into our prison system. Finally, I conclude with policy recommendations for the Trump administration, as well as insight into how critical race theory can help us address some of the problems of our criminal justice system. Background There are a number of policies, both past and present, which have helped fuel the mass incarceration rates in the United States. These policies have criminal, educational, and economic implications that disproportionately target people of color. Policies that Led to Mass Incarceration One of the major factors that contributes to mass incarceration rates in the United States is the profitability of the prison system (Alexander, 2012). Private corporations, like the Corrections 61

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Corporation of America, are in the business of supplying the government with private properties to house prisoners and are profiting greatly off our federal and state governments (Alexander, 2012; Selman & Leighton, 2010). Thus, they have an invested interest in higher sentencing rates and tougher crime and drug penalties, as these policies keep their prisons full and allow them to expand their business (Alexander, 2012; Selman & Leighton, 2010). Beyond the private prison industry, there are other private and public sector businesses profiting off prisoners (Alexander, 2012). These include the phone companies that overcharge prisoners and families to speak with one another, gun manufacturers that arm prison guards and police officers, health care providers, and the U.S. military and other private manufacturers that rely on cheap prison labor (Alexander, 2012). Thus, Alexander (2012) argued the volume of public and private sector jobs created by the prison system combined with the billions of dollars in private and public investment has discouraged any attempts at real prison reform. However, the economic advantages gained by those profiting from the current prison system do not compensate for the catastrophic human and financial cost for the families involved and the communities within which they live (Vazquez, 2017). In addition to the financial advantages of maintaining a robust prison system, the federal government has a history of introducing tough on crime policies that helped keep U.S. prisons full. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration launched the “War on Drugs” campaign which severely cracked down on drug offenses through zero tolerance policies and mandatory minimum sentences (Alexander, 2012; Bennett, 2014; Cohen 2014). This was followed by the Clinton administration’s “Three Strikes” rule in the 1990s, which instituted stricter sentencing policies and mandatory minimums for repeat offenders (Alexander, 2012). The combination of these policies and the government’s tough on crime stance led to a rapid increase in incarceration rates from 1985 to 2000 (Alexander, 2012; Bennet, 2014; Selman & Leighton, 2010). In contrast to Reagan and Clinton era policies, the Obama administration recognized the importance of prison reform and took steps to resolve this issue. For example, from 2014 until he left office in 2017, President Obama commuted the sentences of 1,715 individuals imprisoned under outdated laws, which was more than the last six presidents combined. Obama also tasked the Attorney General with reviewing the overuse of solitary confinement and worked to strengthen the relationships among police officers and their communities (The White House: President Barack Obama, n.d.). The Obama administration also called for the Bureau of Prisons, which was established within the Department of Justice in 1930 to manage and regulate all federal penal and correctional institutions, to reduce their reliance on private prisons (Brennan Center for Justice, 2018; Federal Bureau of Prisons, n.d.). While these initiatives worked to address some of the damage done by our criminal justice system, the Obama administration was unable to pass any bipartisan criminal justice reform policies through the House and Senate. Since taking office in 2017, President Trump has rolled back many Obama era policies aimed at criminal justice reform. This includes resuming the use of private prisons, increasing the use of mandatory minimums in drug related offenses, and decreased federal oversight of police and policies aimed at healing the relationship between police and communities (Brennan Center for Justice, 2018). However, the Trump administration introduced a new bill in 2017 known as the Prison Reform and Redemption Act, which was signed by 10 Democrats and 11 Republicans, into Congress (see Appendix). The bill aims to reduce the recidivism rate of prisoners once they are released from prison through education and job training (Wheeler, 2018). This is the Trump Administration’s first 62

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attempt at criminal justice reform, and it is important to determine whether there is potential for this policy to effect real change for people of color in this regard. Impact of Policies on People of Color Research shows that Black youths enter the criminal justice systems as adults at almost seven times the rate of their White peers, and 60% of incarcerated males are Black or Latino (Vazquez, 2017). Additionally, Blacks and Latinos are incarcerated at 20 to 25 times the rate of Whites for drug offenses and make up 75% of all people imprisoned for drug-related crimes. Although the majority of illegal drug users are White, people of color are the ones suffering the harshest penalties (Alexander, 2012). Policies like “Three Strikes” and the War on Drugs disproportionately targeted people of color and led to heavier policing of the city neighborhoods where they live (Alexander, 2012; Bennet, 2014; Cohen, 2014). These policies have had dire consequences for poor communities of color. Heavier policing and increased incarceration rates have translated into increased poverty, chronic unemployment, broken families and crime in these areas; additionally, these policies have dismantled families of color and made it difficult for them to survive, let alone prosper, in these environments (Alexander, 2012; Cohen 2014). Furthermore, tough on crime policies made sending people to prison the norm rather than the exception, especially for people of color (Vazquez, 2017). Thus, poor communities and families of color are being ravaged while those with money invested in the prison system continue to prosper. Education Policies’ Impact on the U.S. Prison System In addition to crime and drug policies, education policies passed by the federal government also have helped grow the U.S. prison population. For example, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was signed by the Bush Administration in 2002 as an attempt to reform the American education system (Johnson & Hanegan, 2006; Ryan, 2004). The act was introduced in response to reports that American students were falling behind and being out performed by international counterparts (Johnson & Hanegan, 2006; Ryan, 2004). Under NCLB, administrators were held more accountable for achievement gaps between schools and were tasked with coming up with solutions to close this gap. For example, underperforming schools were obligated to provide additional services to students that were struggling academically until they could demonstrate students were meeting policy standards (Johnson & Hanegan, 2006; Ryan 2004). NCLB measured student and teacher success through standardized test results, especially in the areas of mathematics, reading, and science (Johnson & Hanegan, 2006; Ryan, 2004). The bill also promoted parent choice and provided school districts more flexibility in how and where they used their federal funding (Johnson & Hanegan, 2006). Thus, parents had the freedom to move their children from underperforming schools into better performing districts, leaving those who could not afford to do so behind (Johnson & Hanegan, 2006). Large components of NCLB policy included high-stakes standardized testing, the importance of improving student and school performance, and reaching uniform benchmarks set forth by the policy (Kim, Losen & Hewitt, 2010; Ryan, 2004). NCLB was a results based policy that 63

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measures teacher and school success on the test scores of its students. Education policies that place a strong emphasis on high-stakes testing and uniform achievement benchmarking increase pressure on schools to push low-performing and -achieving students out of the school system, as schools are determined to avoid the stigma of being a failing school (Kim, Losen & Hewitt, 2010; Ryan, 2004). With nowhere else to turn, many of these students end up in what is called the School-to-Prison Pipeline. School-to-Prison Pipeline The public school’s failure to serve populations plagued by poverty and communities filled with at-risk youth is reflected in the prominence of people of color within the “School-to-Prison Pipeline” (Kim, Losen & Hewitt, 2010; Skiba, Arredondo, & Williams, 2014). As defined by Kim, Losen, and Hewitt (2010), the School-to-Prison Pipeline “presents the intersection of the K-12 educational system and the juvenile justice system, which too often fail to serve our nation’s at risk youth” (p. 1). The U.S. public school system has failed to meet the educational and social needs of a large number of students it is meant serve, with the majority of those students being of color and low socioeconomic status (Kim, Losen & Hewitt, 2010). As mentioned, education policies that place a strong emphasis on high-stakes testing and results have motivated schools to push low-performing students out of the school system. Low-achieving students and students with disabilities can be a financial drain on school districts, as they require additional services and support (Kim, Losen & Hewitt, 2010). Thus, school districts have begun to rely on juvenile detention centers to rehabilitate these students (Kim, Losen & Hewitt, 2010). Without alternative schools or options, many of these students, in turn, are pushed into the prison pipeline (Berlowitz, Frye, & Jette, 2017; Kim, Losen & Hewitt, 2010; Skiba, Arredondo, & Williams, 2014). Once a student enters the School-to-Prison Pipeline and ends up in the juvenile detention system, they often are inadequately educated and unprepared to re-enter society upon release (Kim, Losen & Hewitt, 2010). Some school districts even go as far as denying students who have been expelled from school to any education at all (Kim, Losen & Hewitt, 2010). Thus, students that have fallen victim to the pipeline and the policies that keep it in place have little hope of accessing higher education or resources to improve their socioeconomic situation once released back into society. Furthermore, families and communities with large detention center and prison populations suffer economic costs for years to come (Kim, Losen & Hewitt, 2010). Communities not only lose out on potential productive citizens that will give back to their communities, but incur the financial responsibility of keeping these individuals in the criminal justice system, a cost that far outweighs the cost of public education (Kim, Losen & Hewitt, 2010). Using Critical Race Theory to Understand American Education and Criminal Justice Critical Race Theory (CRT) can help us understand the deficiencies in the education and criminal justice systems by using a racial lens. CRT builds upon many of the racial issues that were brought to the forefront during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s (Delgado & Stefancic, 2017; Martinez, 2014). CRT brings together “issues of power, race, and racism to address the liberal notion of color blindness and argues that ignoring racial difference maintains and perpet64

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uates the status quo with its deeply institutionalized injustices to racial minorities” (Martinez, 2014, p. 9). The theory questions the foundations of our society and the idea that liberalism is a solution to issues of race and inequality (Collins, 2015; Delgado & Stefancic, 2017; Martinez, 2014). CRT also provides a framework for understanding why the experiences and opportunities for people of color differ so greatly from their White peers. Students that have been labeled at risk or that attend low-performing schools are subjected to much harsher and more punitive learning environments when compared to students in affluent school districts (Kim, Losen & Hewitt, 2010). In an effort to maintain order and deal with problematic behavior, low-performing school districts have turned to police-like tactics to clean up their schools. This has led to an overreliance on law enforcement to carryout disciplinary action on behalf of school administrators; police are used to conduct random sweeps and locker checks, student searches, interrogations, and drug testing on students (Kim, Losen & Hewitt, 2010). Law enforcement can then use this information against students in court proceedings and to turn students over to the juvenile justice system (Kim, Losen & Hewitt, 2010). Kim, Losen, and Hewitt (2010) argued that police officers often spend more time patrolling hallways and doling out punishments than teachers and administrators and that these methods are counterproductive for preventing troubled and criminal behavior in schools. Studies have shown, and Critical Race theorists would argue, that such tactics are used to target students of color far more than their White peers (Berlowitz, Frye, & Jette, 2017; Kim, Losen & Hewitt, 2010; Skiba, Arredondo, & Williams, 2014). Early interaction with the criminal justice system can result in negative psychological effects in youth of color, which in turn can result in a higher likelihood of being pushed out of school and future interactions with the criminal justice system (Berlowitz, Frye, & Jette, 2017; Kim, Losen & Hewitt, 2010; Skiba, Arredondo, & Williams, 2014). Studies also have shown that students of color are overrepresented in every stage of the pipeline, from enrollment in poorly funded school districts, to suspension and expulsion rates, to referrals to disciplinary schools and law enforcement, and finally, in the juvenile justice system (Kim, Losen & Hewitt, 2010, p. 34). With inadequate educational preparation and services, students of color are at risk for higher recidivism rates once released from the juvenile system and more likely to re-enter the criminal justice system as adults (Berlowitz, Frye, & Jette, 2017; Kim, Losen & Hewitt, 2010; Skiba, Arredondo, & Williams, 2014). Critical Race Theory points to this phenomenon as evidence of how those in power continue to keep Black and Latino student populations at a disadvantage. From a criminal justice standpoint, Critical Race theorists point to the following figures as evidence of racism in our criminal justice system: Black men who murder White men are executed at nearly ten times the rate as White men who murder Black men, and there are many more Black men sitting in prisons than there are on college campuses (Delgado & Stefancic, 2017, p. 120). Other racially motivated criminalized behavior within our criminal justice system includes: racial profiling, disparities between Black and Latino motorists stopped by police versus White motorists, heavier policing in poor city neighborhoods, city ordinances that punish young Black and Latino men that belong to gangs or congregate in groups or on street corners, and harsher sentencing for crackcocaine possession versus powder cocaine (Delgado & Stefancic, 2017; Van Cleve & Mayes, 2015). Critical Race theorists also argue that white-collar crimes, which are nonviolent criminal offenses such as fraud, blackmail, and other illegal financial transactions, cause more deaths and property losses on a per capita basis than street crime (Delgado & Stefancic, 2017, p. 121; Schwartz & Kre65

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mer, 2012.). Critical Race Theory illuminates how the criminal justice system is designed to specifically target people of color, and through this lens, we are able to see how it has been specifically designed to keep prisons filled with people of color. The Prison Reform and Redemption Act The Prison Reform and Redemption Act was introduced into in Congress in 2017 with bipartisan support (see Appendix). The bill attempts to reduce the recidivism rate of prisoners once they are released from prison and aims to accomplish this by allowing eligible nonviolent prisoners to complete evidence-based educational, skills, or job training that have shown to reduce recidivism rates for inmates while still in prison (Prison Reform and Redemption Act, 2017-2018; Wheeler, 2018). Drug treatment and rehabilitation programs also will be available, as proper drug treatment and mental health counseling can positively influence recidivism rates (Prison Reform and Redemption Act, 2017-2018; Wheeler, 2018). Upon successful completion, prisoners will be permitted to serve the remainder of their sentence in a halfway house or while under house arrest and will be permitted to seek employment (Prison Reform and Redemption Act, 2017-2018; Wheeler, 2018). Trump’s Prison Reform and Redemption Act, known as a back-end approach to prison reform, can be effective in rehabilitating prisoners before they reenter society (Malcolm, 2016). Backend approaches rely on our criminal justice system to truly reform prisoners prior to their release. These programs target modest offenders who have taken advantage of programming offered to them while incarcerated and allow prisoners to earn credit towards early release (Malcolm, 2016). However, critics of back-end reform argue such approaches may increase the racial disparity among prisoners. For example, the criteria used to determine eligibility for such programs and for early parole often favor white-collar offenders, who are more likely to be White than Black or Latino, thus inadvertently disadvantaging prisoners of color (Malcolm, 2016). Critical Race theorists argue that such policies continue to marginalize and exclude Blacks and Latinos within our criminal justice system and fail to provide equal opportunities for release for all deserving prisoners, regardless of race. Though the Prison Reform and Redemption Act may help prisoners leave the criminal justice system early, it does nothing to address the problems that initially land individuals in prison. These issues, as previously discussed, include such things as mandatory minimums and heavier, militant-like policing in communities of color. Conversely, rather than working to improve the experience of racial minorities, the Trump administration has rolled back many of the Obama era policies that attempted to resolve some of these issues (Brennan Center for Justice, 2018). The Trump administration has also engaged in rhetoric that sensationalizes crime in city neighborhoods, though crime rates are actually decreasing in this country (Brennan Center for Justice, 2018; Van Cleve & Mayes, 2015; Vazquez, 2017). When considering this reality, combined with the knowledge that back-end approaches tend to favor White prisoners, Critical Race Theory calls into question whether the Trump administration truly is devoted to prison reform. If the administration is committed, it begs the question: prison reform and redemption for whom?

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Recommendations for Future Prison Reform Policy Makers Education is the first place to start when considering solutions to mass incarceration. School districts should work to avoid zero-tolerance policies when dealing with misconduct and reduce police presence in schools (Berlowitz, Frye, & Jette, 2017; Kim, Losen & Hewitt, 2010). Students of color should be treated as students first and afforded the same rights as their White peers, especially those who are not participating in criminal behavior. Administrators should have appropriate evidence and reasoning prior to getting law enforcement involved with its students. As is the law outside of the classroom and in regular society, law enforcement should not conduct police-like raids and searches without probable cause. Minimizing the use of police tactics in a school setting could go a long way toward keeping students out of the School-to-Prison Pipeline; students should not be made to feel like criminals as soon as they set foot over the threshold of their school entrance. Alternative schools and programs are needed for students who are unable to thrive in a traditional school setting and who require additional services to succeed and pursue higher education or viable job opportunities upon graduation. Critics of these schools cite inadequate funding and substandard learning environments as potential pitfalls of alternative schools that could still lead students into the pipeline (Kim, Losen & Hewitt, 2010). Thus, school districts need to ensure that alternative programs and institutions are reaching their goals of serving at-risk youth and are not doing more harm than good (Berlowitz, Frye, & Jette, 2017; Kim, Losen & Hewitt, 2010). Such programs should incorporate appropriate mental health, social work, and counseling services to deal with students who need assistance beyond the qualifications of their teachers (Berlowitz, Frye, & Jette, 2017). Furthermore, alternative schools should not be used to further ostracize and marginalize at-risk youth and should avoid victim blaming (Berlowitz, Frye, & Jette, 2017). Teachers, administrators and counselors should recognize that such behaviors are a product of the environment from which these students come but are not the fault of the student and should institute a compassionate approach with dealing with students (Berlowitz, Frye, & Jette, 2017). In contrast to back-end approaches to prison reform, front-end prison reform seeks to reduce the amount of time prisoners are sentenced to begin with and to reform the policies surrounding mandatory minimums and sentencing (Malcolm, 2016). To combat the over criminalization of people of color in our criminal justice system, Critical Race scholars take a front-end approach to criminal justice reform and propose solutions that take race into account when examining why someone ends up in a courtroom and appropriate sentencing. One proposal is the use of jury nullification in cities that have larger Black and Latino populations. In cases of nonviolent crimes, jury nullification grants juries more power to decide if racism was a contributing factor in the defendant's arrest (Delgado & Stefancic, 2017; Van Cleve & Mayes, 2015). Such practices allow juries to determine if the defendant is better served returning to his or her community rather than spending time in jail, which can aid in reducing the disproportionate number of young people of color who are incarcerated (Delgado & Stefancic, 2017; Van Cleve & Mayes, 2015). CRT also can help those working in the criminal justice system read between the lines of why a defendant keeps returning to their courtroom. For example, judges may see that prior offenses on a defendant's record were the result of racial profiling and thus determine that a harsh penalty or sentence would be an inappropriate response (Delgado & Stefancic, 2017). These are just a few examples of how CRT and front-end 67

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criminal justice reform can work together to reduce the number of people of color who end up behind bars. When considering back-end approaches like the Prison Reform and Redemption Act, it is important to make sure that these programs are properly funded and equitable. The Reform Act also needs to ensure that inmates are adequately prepared to return to society once they have completed their programming and are granted early release. Programming should offer pathways not only into the job market but into higher education, as well. Those that are released with only a high school education or less are less likely to secure work that can improve their socioeconomic status and are more likely to reenter the prison system (Vazquez, 2017). States that have utilized back-end reform and reeducation programs for inmates have seen success with this approach (Malcolm, 2016). Critical Race scholars also have studied the profitability of our prison system and the problematic use of private institutions to house prisoners (Alexander, 2012; Delgado & Stefancic, 2017). This has led to a public outcry of why prison sentences in the U.S. are so long and why people of color suffer the most under current sentencing practices (Delgado & Stefancic, 2017). States, in turn, have worked to commute sentences of prisoners deemed to have paid their debt to society, which resulted in early releases to reduce overcrowding and to avoid further state monetary investment in prison systems (Delgado & Stefancic, 2017). Conclusion The issue of mass incarceration must be approached from all sides in order to truly make a difference in our criminal justice system. Rather than relying on policies that only help once individuals are in prison, the Trump Administration should aim to institute policies that address issues before, during, and after someone has been convicted of a crime. Thus, to truly reform our criminal justice system, we need policies that address both the front and back end of our criminal justice system and which, ultimately, support the communities of color being ravaged by mass incarceration. When future policy makers consider approaches to criminal justice reform, it is vital that they take race into account to ensure that people of color are not subjected to further marginalization and discrimination. Furthermore, it is not enough to address the issues prisoners face once they are incarcerated; policy makers need to do more to prevent and support the communities before they end up in the criminal justice system. __________ JENNIFER MDURVWA WOLCOTT, MA, MEd, is Graduate Enrollment Coordinator for the College of Arts and Sciences at The State University of New York at Buffalo (UB). She recently completed her Master of Education in Higher Education Administration at UB and also previously received her Master of Arts in Spanish Language and Literature from the same University. Her research interest includes the unintended consequences that policy has on underrepresented and marginalized groups.

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References Alexander, M. (2012). The new Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness. New York, NY: The New Press. Bennet, M. W. (2014). A slow motion lynching? The war on drugs, mass incarceration, doing Kimbrough justice and a response to two third circuit judges. Rutgers Law Review, 66(4), 873919. Berlowitz, M., J., Frye, R., & Jette, K. M. (2017). Bullying and zero-tolerance policies: The school to prison pipeline. Multicultural Learning and Teaching, 12(1), 7-25. doi: 10.1515/mlt-2014-0004 Brennan Center for Justice. (2018). Criminal justice year one into the Trump Administration. New York, NY: New York University School of Law. Cohen, L. (2014). When the law is guilty: Confronting the mass incarceration crisis in the United States. Rutgers Law Review, 66(4), 841-850. Collins, P. H. (2015). Science, critical race theory and colour-blindness. British Journal of Sociology, 66(1), 46-52. doi: 10.1111/1468-4446.12117_3 Delgado, R., & Stefancic, J. (2017). Critical race theory: An introduction. New York, NY: New York University Press. Federal Bureau of Prisons (n.d.). A storied past. Retrieved from https://www.bop.gov/about/history/ Johnson, C. C., & Hanegan, N. (2006). No Child Left Behind. Science Scope, 12-16. Kim, C. Y., Losen, D. J., & Hewitt, D. T. (2010). The School-to-Prison Pipeline: Structuring legal reform. New York, NY: New York University Press. Malcom, J. G. (2016). Criminal justice reform at the crossroads. Texas Review of Law and Politics, 20(2), 249-293. Martinez, A. Y. (2014). Critical race theory: Its origins, history and importance in the discourses and rhetorics of race. Frame - Journal of Literary Studies, 27(2), 9-27. Prison Reform and Redemption Act, H.R.3356 115th, Cong. (2017-2018). Ryan, J. E. (2004). The perverse incentives of the No Child Left Behind Act. New York University Law Review, 79(3), 932-989. Selman, D., & Leighton, P. (2010). Punishment for sale: Private prisons, big business, and the incarceration on binge. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Skiba, R. J., Arredondo, M. I., & Williams, N. T. (2014). More than a metaphor: The contribution of exclusionary discipline to a School-to-Prison Pipeline. Equity & Excellence in Education, 47(4), 546-564. doi: 10.1080/10665684.2014.958965 Schwartz, J., & Kremer, J. (2012) Sociology of white-collar crime. The social history of crime and punishment in America: An encyclopedia, 4, 1931-1936. The White House: President Barack Obama. (n.d.). Criminal justice reform. Retrieved from https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/ Van Cleve, N. G., & Mayes, L. (2015) Criminal justice through "colorblind" lenses: A call to examine the mutual constitution of race and criminal justice. Law & Social Inquiry, 40(2), 406432. doi: 10.1111/lsi.12113 Vazquez, Y. (2017). Crimmigration: The missing piece of criminal justice reform. University of Richmond Law Review, 51(4), 1093-1148. 69

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Wheeler, L. (2018, January 24). Prison reform gains new momentum under Trump. The Hill. Retrieved from http://thehill.com/regulation/370400-prison-reform-gains-new-momentumunder-trump

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Appendix U.S. Congressional members who signed the Prison Reform and Redemption Act include: Rep. Hakeen S. Jeffries (D-NY), Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA), Rep., Karen Bass (D-CA), Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-RI), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Rep. James F. Sensebrenner Jr. (R-WI), Rep. Tom Marino (RPA), Rep. Darrel E. Issa (R-CA), Rep. Mark Walker (NC), Rep. Mia B. Love (R-UT), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN), Rep. Fred Upson (R-MI), Rep. Carlos Cuberlo (R-FL) and Rep. (Karen C. Handel (R-GA) (H.R.3356, 2017).

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Journal Homepage: Texas Education Review Published online: December 2018 Submit your article to this journal

Avenues into the Street Economy: Childhood Trauma and the Unsuccessful Navigation of the Public Education System in the United States TARA-JENEIL S. FENTON University at Buffalo

To cite this article: Fenton, T-J. S. (2018). Avenues into the street economy: Childhood trauma and the unsuccessful navigation of the public education system in the United States. Texas Education Review, Fall 2018 Special Issue, 71-86. http://doi.org/10.15781/T2804Z489 __________

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Avenues into the Street Economy: Childhood Trauma and the Unsuccessful Navigation of the Public Education System in the United States TARA-JENEIL S. FENTON University at Buffalo The constituencies of the street economy (including itinerant labor, sex work, the selling and distribution of narcotics) serve as a suitable though non-ideal substitute to the formal economy (the macro, traditional, socially acceptable and politically approved labor market) for the purpose of acquiring monetary resources. The prerequisites for entry into the street economy are non-standardized, non-discriminatory, and inclusive of all individuals from varied racial and social backgrounds. However, an analysis of street economy demographics within the United States reveals that this population is predominately comprised of Black (African American) and Latino/a racial identities within an approximate chronological age range of 15-23 years. Factors contributing to participants’ initiation into the street economy are multifaceted and include past experiences of trauma, financial instability, as well as the inaccessibility or unsuccessful completion of public formal education. This research explores these and other factors, evaluates corporate responses to the effects of the street economy, and makes recommendations on how these issues may be addressed. Keywords: street economy, education, privatization, social justice, trauma-informed care The American street economy commonly refers to an alternately developed socio-economic system that provides tangible, social, emotional, and financial resources for the benefit of participants who face multiple barriers for entry into the formal economy. These barriers include but are not limited to educational deficiencies, homelessness, mental health problems, and histories of incarceration (Gwadz et al., 2009). As a result, the structure, function, and organization of the street economy makes it a direct contrast to the formal economy. Research shows that the street economy facilitates and promotes a precarious and marginalized liberal culture, pertaining to the nontraditional means of monetary accrual (Gwadz, et al., 2009). Youth, including children and young adults, are a disproportionately represented demographic within the street economy, and participation in the activities of the street economy are the result of numerous factors with varied degrees of severity (Gwadz, et al., 2009), including trauma. The neuroplasticity, heterogeneity, and multifactorial effects of trauma-reactive behaviors in their simple and most complex forms are direct contributors to participants’ entrance into the street economy (Braga, Fiks, Mari, & Mello, 2008; Gwadz, et al., 2009). In fact, trauma from a humanistic and experiential perspective is presented as a violent psychological shock capable of producing impact(s) that affected individuals cannot resist but respond to by developing adaptation mechanisms as part of their coping strategies (Braga et al., 2008; Fecser, 2015). For the youth demographic, being excluded from the formal economy can lead to trauma. For example, a lack of employment may result in homelessness which leaves the youth vulnerable to physical or sexual violence, unsafe environmental exposers, and social humiliation (Bentovim, Cox, Bingley-Miller, & Pizzey, 2009; Gwadz et al., 2009). Participation in the street economy can create conditions that make it difficult for later integration into the formal economy. Most prominently, youth participants of the street economy may 72

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lack functional literacy, professional aptitude, appropriate business acumen, and academic prowess (earning a high school diploma and/or post-secondary education degree) – all of which are basic requirements and standards for employment within the corporate world (Gwadz, et al., 2009). Additionally, victim-participants find ways to anesthetize their emotional and psychological pain and loss of social capital by indulging in the use of narcotics and/or alcohol, which can lead to addiction, sex work, and involvement in itinerant low paying labor that support a disempowered self-concept (Berk, 2012; Gwadz et al., 2009). Researchers surmise that the early childhood experiences of participants in the street economy may be a contributing factor to their entrance into and involvement in the varied activities associated with its culture and operations (Gwadz et al., 2009; Levenson, 2017). In support of these claims, scholars have long argued that the period of early childhood to adolescence (ages 0-18 years) include the most critical developmental stages of an individual’s life (Berk, 2012; Ritblatt, Hokoda, & Van Liew, 2017). A person’s biological, psychological, physical, and social stability are dependent upon passage through these developmental periods. These periods are crucial for successful transition through the anticipated stages of the human existence (Berk, 2012; Ritblatt, Hokoda, & Van Liew, 2017). The vulnerability of this population has led to the development of laws and policies focused on their protection. These policies are derived from state and federal legislative mandates and implemented by local authorities to achieve rational outcomes in the prevention of childhood maltreatment. Also, it can be inferred that the most influential entities for successful childhood development are those which promote and foster their multifaceted growth and health. These include the home and educational environments. However, further research postulates that exposure to childhood maltreatment may result in long-term social, emotional, and psychological damage (Levenson, 2017). This trauma may be the result of actions perpetrated by a stranger or by adults who, in many cases, share close relational interactions with victims, as some of these perpetrators are members of the victims’ family (Gibb, 2002). Furthermore, such exposure has the ability to increase the likelihood of victims resorting to criminal behavior or involvement in illegal activities in adulthood (Currie & Tekin, 2006; Gwadz et al., 2009). Additionally, children’s psychological, intellectual, and cognitive advancement also may be disrupted by this trauma. Research in child development and educational psychology strongly suggests that early developments include the initiation and maturation of their individual self-concept (Berk, 2012). Self-concept is defined as: the set of attributes, abilities, attitudes, and values that an individual believes defines who he or she is. This mental representation of the self has profound implications for children’s emotional and social lives, influencing their preferences for activities and social partners and their vulnerability to stress. (Berk, 2012, p. 365) Research also reveals that the development of unhealthy self-concepts has neurological and biopsychosocial implications on oppositional reactive disorders in children (Fecser, 2015; Taylor, Green, & Stout, 2006). These findings indicate that faced with the daily operations of the U.S. educational system, traumatized children are likely to experience a lessened capacity to learn and retain information, and may be unsuccessful at navigating academic challenges (Bell, Bayliss, Glauert & Ohan, 2018; Berk, 2012). Other findings reveal that the manifestation of trauma exposure is seen through affected children’s inability to focus on their learning objectives, which can be expressed behaviorally 73

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through consistent reflexive hyper-vigilance—a survival response by their body’s sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response) based on the anticipation of perceived danger within their learning environments (Fecser, 2015; Taylor, Green, & Stout, 2006). As time progresses, affected children’s lack of success in the academic setting may create opportunities for their entry into the street economy. As such, this paper explores the connection between early exposure to childhood maltreatment and entry into the street economy. It also looks at problems within the U.S. public education system and the connections between issues such as limited funding and the street economy. First, the street economy will be described. Then, the connection between early childhood maltreatment and the street economy is examined. After demonstrating this connection, this paper explicates a greater systemic issue, namely the street economy’s connection to the privatization of public education in the United States. It also addresses social injustice in this context and identifies the implications of trauma and its impact on participants of the street economy. Finally, the conclusion provides policy and practitioner recommendations to further address this issue. Defining the Street Economy Participation in the street economy often coalesce around life experiences that have resulted in their exclusion from the formal economy. This phenomenon can create a sense of commonality among participants, which, in some cases, may optimize the potential for peer pressure and subsequent peer acceptance, resulting in the uniformity of behaviors associated with alternative measures of survival. Researchers show that these survival strategies are socially rational, rather than economically optimal, as they create social and financial capital in the form of non-structured, nondiscriminatory, and non-regulated opportunities for economic profit (Gwadz, 2009; Sherman 2006). The aforementioned social, socio-political, economic, financial, and educational issues facing maltreated youth serve as a barrier to victims’ progression within the traditional labor markets, as these youth do not easily assimilate into the corporate social order—the macro, traditional, socially acceptable and politically approved labor market. Hence, these youth develop a reliance upon the alternate social order of the street economy. Researchers suggest that individuals of color, including those of Latino/a descent and those who identify as Black (African-American) are disproportionately represented within the growing street economy (Gwadz et al., 2009; Miller, 2015). The street economy involves the use and selling of narcotics, such as cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, sex work (prostitution or pimping someone in exchange for cash, drugs, food, or shelter), and misdemeanor activities, such as burglary or theft. These activities increase the likelihood of victimized youth falling prey to the criminal justice system or incarceration (Gwadz et al., 2009). Furthermore, homelessness is a major characteristic of the street economy due to its unstable socioeconomics. Homelessness may increase victimized youths’ experience with depression and anxiety, as well as other mental health problems. The worsening of the psychological condition of these youth can in turn lead to increased involvement with the variety of street economy behaviors outlined above in a vicious cycle (Gwadz et al., 2009). Many of the previously noted activities for survival come in response to the lack of fulfillment of victims’ basic human needs, which include physiological provisions such as food and physical security. Researchers elucidate this situation through use of a biopsychosocial model called 74

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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This model demonstrates that basic survival needs take priority over the accomplishment of self-actualization needs, or behaviors that support realizing one’s full potential (Huffman, 2012). If survival needs are consistently unmet, vulnerable youth may remain positioned within the street economy, as their inability to achieve the necessary qualifications for entry into the traditional economy intensifies. Connections between Childhood Maltreatment and the Street Economy Scholars hold that childhood maltreatment is the highest empirical and theoretical contributor to the development of negative childhood cognition (Gibb, 2002). Childhood maltreatment takes many forms, including but not limited to parental neglect, direct exposure to domestic violence, adult drug or alcohol abuse, and verbal, physical, psychological, and sexual abuse (the latter of which is the most commonly reported) (Levenson, 2017). Gibb (2002) suggested that when these negative events occur, children seek to understand the cause(s), as they are motivated by the intent to search for and to develop strategies to prevent its recurrence. Research in child psychology shows that children are prone to egocentrism and self-blame related to the onset of problems in their immediate environments (Berk, 2012). They tend to focus on their own behavior(s) as the cause and solution to the dysfunction around them. These detrimental tendencies and ideologies may lead to the experience of self-reproach and false hope—both of which are inimical to children’s development of a healthy self-concept (Berk, 2012). Parental neglect is one example of these dysfunctions as the effects of this neglect on the developing child may lead to multiple dysfunctionalities in their psychosocial states, especially if this neglect creates an opportunity for the experience of sexual abuse. Varied disciplines and organizations define sexual abuse in psychosocial, relational, and criminal terms. Psychiatrists state that sexual abuse occurs when a “sexually mature individual involves dependent developmentally immature children and adolescents in contact sexual activity, breast, oral, anal, or vaginal” (Glasser et al, 2001, p. 483). Sociologists, like Watts and McNulty (2013), have defined sexual abuse in relational terms, as “being touched in a sexual way, being forced to touch a parent or adult caregiver in a sexual way or being forced into sexual relations by a parent or adult caregiver” (p. 3030). Further, organizations such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) adds that forcible rape, which is also a type of sexual abuse, is defined as “the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim” (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2016, Rape, para. 1). Such abuse has important implications for education as research estimates that every 1 in 6 male children, and every 1 in 4 female children will be sexually abused prior to the of age 18 years (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2005). Developmental dysfunctions related to neglect and abuse may be manifested in victimized children’s inability to form close social familial bonds and secure social attachments throughout their adulthood stages. Levenson (2017) spoke about the fundamental need for established trust between parents or caregivers, as trust within the early stages of the relational context is fundamental for the establishment of healthy personalities in children, as well as the development and appreciation of personal values, norms, and mores. Consequently, the unsuccessful acquisition of this trust (based on exposure to sexual abuse, neglect, violence, and substance abuse within familiar settings) may 75

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compromise children’s subsequent development of competence, autonomy, initiative, and feelings of safety. These effects may increase feelings of low self-actualization and esteem, fear, depression, and anxiety—all of which are symptomatic responses to childhood maltreatment (Levenson, 2017). Social expectations of the home environment require that it stand as the first line of defense against all forms of childhood maltreatment. However, when there is a breakdown in the familial setting, then the educational institution usually becomes the alternative source of refuge through the involvement of educators, administrators, and other staff members to mitigate these negative experiences by providing immediate care and support. Unfortunately, public educational institutions currently are under a state of politically motivated re-evaluation mainly due to consistent neoliberal and neoconservative negative comparisons to private institutions. These policies threaten the critical social position of public schools within the framework of the general society. Connections between Public School Funding Cuts, Privatization, and the Street Economy Historically, school districts were divided into two major geographical groups: urban and rural. DeNisco (2015) stated that “funding cuts since the recession have drained the accounts of rural districts, which cannot rely on a resurgence in property tax as heavily as urban school systems can” (p. 22). Traditionally, urban school districts receive higher percentages of monetary investments in comparison to rural schools based on many contributing economic factors, including high real estate value and population density (DeNisco, 2015). Currently, the increased number of state government budget cuts to public education has resulted in the experience of harsh financial distress for many school districts. These budget cuts have resulted in drastic measures to lay off staff members including teachers, as well as the lack of recruitment of specialists such as school psychologists and social workers who are trained to provide clinical and social support to victims of childhood maltreatment. Leachman, Masterson, and Figueroa (2017) revealed alarming K-12 federal employment data that in the year 2012, cuts to local school district funding resulted in the loss of 351,000 education jobs nationwide. Wisconsin serves as an illustrative case of the detrimental effects of public education budget cuts. Here, state lawmakers eliminated nearly $800 million from public school funding in 2011 (DeNisco, 2015). In another example, Texas state legislators cut $5.4 billion from public school funding in 2011, which led to a drastic reduction of state aid invested in urban and suburban school districts, as well as reduced salary and health benefits for educators among others (Lemke, 2017). Educational budget cuts intensify school push-out rates. Sociologists like Bradley and Renzulli (2011) have preferred the term push-out versus drop-out, as drop-out implies personal and educational deficits while push-out refers to systemic factors that do not support student success. Additionally, the term drop-out is laden with negative social stigma as a defining identity. Many members of the street economy are burdened with this label (Bradley & Renzulli, 2011; Gwadz et al., 2009). Research indicates that there is a correlational relationship between low-income and racially minoritized groups and push-out of students from the traditional education system, versus that of their high-income and White counterparts. Data analysis of trends in high school push-out and completion rates from the National Center for Education Statistics (2018) demonstrated that between October 2013 and October 2014, of the 10.9 million students enrolled in grades 10-12 within the United States, approximately 567,000 of these students ages 15-24 exited the educational system 76

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without obtaining a high school credential, such as a diploma. This population represented 5.2% of the total student enrolment nationwide. The National Center for Education Statistics (2018) data showed that 94.8% of this push-out population was comprised of 22.8% Black (African-American), 31.6% Latino/a, and 40.4% American Indian/Alaska Native students. Additional supporting statistics show that the low to middle household income earning bracket constituted 59.2% of the total number of students who left their secondary education systems without graduating (37.6% of lowincome and 21.6% of middle-income earnings) (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2018). High push-out rates can lead to privatization as a response to perceived public school inadequacy. For example, school districts within cities such as Chicago, Illinois, have experienced wide scale privatization of their public school system because of their volatile public school districts with low graduation rates (Ayers & Klonsky, 2006). In addition, the charter school movement has been motivated by a socio-political ideology which supports the use of school vouchers, sourced through public funding, to support schools with selective admissions. Thus, in this context, public funding is being used inequitably (Ayers & Klonsky, 2006; Smith, 2004). The socio-political actions, decisions, and philosophies of lobbyists, including corporate and conservative educational reformers in favor of the privatization of the American public educational system, pose numerous threats to social justice and the welfare of victims of childhood maltreatment—whom researchers suggest may include students who were pushed-out of the U.S. educational system (Ayers & Klonsky, 2006; Barry & Reschly, 2012; Smith, 2004). Privatization of public education inevitably and systematically excludes minoritized students and may perpetuate alienation from public schools and the formal labor economy. Consequently, researchers surmise that the street economy becomes a compensatory resource of social acceptance and economic sustainability for these vulnerable youth (Barry & Reschly, 2012; Gwadz et al., 2009). Students who are pushed-out of the educational system are more likely to become a part of the street economy and engage in behaviors typical of that economy such as substance abuse, criminal activity, and sex work which may lead them to succumb to mental health disorders (Barry & Reschly, 2012; Gwadz et al., 2009). Nationwide budget cuts within these public institutions have resulted in cuts to needed human resources such as teachers, mental health professionals, mentors, and advisers, as well as academic resources. Diminished educational and social supports add to the growing population of the street economy, which disproportionately is comprised of low-income and minoritized groups. Concerns about Social Injustice Social justice is defined as an endeavor to achieve equality among diverse communities through the provision of basic social services, which accommodate healthy living standards (Cortez, 2013). Cortez (2013) further elaborated that: public education is an entity that ideally enables communities to prosper culturally, intellectually, and economically. It is a public service that demands proper appropriation of resources, especially in disenfranchised communities. Its role to serve all communities is linked to the core principles of social justice-equality and solidarity. When local public schools lack proper resources to serve their students, they violate social justice values. (p. 8) 77

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Therefore, it is critical for U.S. public school districts to make provisions for social justice values to be implemented within the bureaucratic and fiduciary operations of these institutions. Additionally, Robertson and Dale (2013) provided anthropological support in identifying that the intrinsic power of education lies in the fact that it is the only institution within the general status of the society that all individuals are required to pass through. The powerful influence of corporate interests regarding the state of social justice within the United States’ public education system has resulted in indelible impressions of fear on those affected by their authority. Affected youth include those from low socio-economic and racially minoritized statuses (Cortez, 2013). Federal legislative actions taken to appease corporate interests have resulted in an increased focus on standardized testing in schools and also influenced enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002 under President George W. Bush (Cortez, 2013). This Act resulted in several pedagogical paradigm shifts to the educational curriculum of all public schools, as the federal stipulations regarding standardized testing mandated that educational institutions “face a decrease in federal funding if their students perform poorly on tests” (Cortez, 2013). The learning atmosphere resulting from continued reform renders at-risk students even more insecure in school settings. High stakes testing and the threat of not progressing with peers intensifies the cognitive vulnerabilities of maltreated youth. Student victims also may experience impairments to their emotional, linguistic, logical-mathematical, naturalistic, inter and intrapersonal intelligences and changes in their bioneurological learning process, which may potentially lead to re-traumatization effects (Gibb, 2002; Levenson, 2017). The educational and social consequences of these policy and funding trends only will exacerbate as time progresses. In 2015, 29 states were still providing less total school funding per student than they did in 2008, before the national recession (Leachman et al., 2017). Disenfranchised communities, especially those within rural districts of southern states, which are commonly populated with majority Black (African American) and Latino/a groups, are left to suffer the consequences of insufficient resources within their local public schools (Cortez, 2013). Thus, educators who are concerned with instituting socially just responses to youth victimization must find ways to engage in professional development. Such trainings will both assist in the early detection of childhood maltreatment and work to prevent student entry into local street economies. Even within an era of increased budget cuts and privatization, one area of needed educational professional development that must be continually advocated for is trauma-informed care. Trauma-Informed Care The American Psychiatric Association described trauma “as an exposure to an extraordinary experience that presents a physical or psychological threat to oneself or others and generates a reaction of helplessness and fear” (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013, p. 105). Clinical psychological and social work practice, specialized evidence-based practice, and therapeutic interventions are vital components of trauma-informed care. Levenson (2017) explained that the research structure and the clinical framework of trauma-informed care allow practitioners to understand, identify, and respond according to the signs and symptoms of the varied manifestations of trauma, including those resulting from childhood maltreatment. It is critical to note that, trauma-informed care intervention strategies help previously mentioned practitioners develop effective and appropri78

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ate relational approaches in identifying “what happened” to these victimized youth, rather than an exclusively behavioral approach to address “what’s wrong with them” (Trauma-Informed Toolkit, 2013). Gibb’s research (2002) on the effects of maltreatment on the developing child showed that trauma has a negative and direct impact on cognitive functioning, which inevitably affects the learning outcomes and academic performances of the victims. Hence, some victims face the reality of being pushed-out or voluntarily exiting the school system due to their failure to meet the scholastic expectations of the institution. As a result, some may potentially join the growing population of youth who are associated with the culture of the street economy, which, in many cases, may result in isolation from economic and social institutions. A knowledge of trauma-informed care practice also provides an awareness of youth vulnerability based on race, gender, or sexual orientation, as well as socioeconomic status to inform effective intervention strategies (Gibb, 2002). Researchers’ analyses of homeless youth belonging to the population of the 1.5 million documented affected youth of the street economy in the United States showed that Black (African American) youth contributed to the highest percentage at 38.8% of the street economy population, Latino/a individuals accounting for 35.0%, and biracial, multiracial and others contributing 26.3%. Additionally, 52.5% of these youth identify as heterosexual, 38.8% identify as bisexual and homosexual, and 13.8% identify as transgender youth in their association with the street economy (Gwadz et al., 2009). Gwadz et al. (2009) and Miller (2015) found that 79.0% of these youth reside in hotels, motels, shared single room occupancy, transitional housing arrangements, shelters, and other forms of homelessness. The majority of these living conditions, which reflect these victims’ low socioeconomic backgrounds, were shown to have resulted from inherited poverty or some who face mistreatment as a result of their family’s harsh financial constraints due to nationwide economic and banking defaults, such as the subprime mortgage crisis which occurred during 2007-2009 (Cohen & O’Byrne, 2011; Gwadz et al., 2009). Collectively, these situations further exacerbate the problems associated with trauma and its relations to victims’ poor academic performances, as acts of childhood maltreatment are most prevalent within these circumstances (Gibb, 2002). Therefore, it is critical to note that all academic environments, including rural and urban primary and secondary educational institutions, should have among their full-time faculty, school social workers, educational or counseling psychologists, nurses, or other clinical practitioners as part of their primary organizational structure. As previously alluded, the presence of these specialists serves as the first point of contact in identifying the physical and psychological signs and symptoms of trauma, which may also include experiences of poly-victimization. Lemke (2018) reiterated this recommendation and included educators in this group of specialists, articulating that the role teachers played within educational institutions and in the lives of students made their involvement fundamental in identifying childhood and adolescent traumatization, especially based on the consistent and close interactions they experience with students. The involvement of these specialists also creates the opportunity for them to advocate on behalf of the victims via means of the bureaucratic and fiduciary organizational structure of the education institution, as well as through private and government agencies that enforce child welfare policies (Gibb, 2002; Lemke, 2018; Levenson, 2017; Rafferty, 2013). Through their involvement in these cases, investigations for suspect apprehension 79

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may progress, and victims may experience needed protection, improved living arrangements, and psychological treatment (Gibb, 2002; Levenson, 2017; Rafferty, 2013). Unfortunately, many school districts across the United States are unable to respond to the needs of victims with trauma-informed care and also are incapable of implementing measures and resources for trauma-informed care practice. This inability is due to financial limitations, which are tied to conservative educational reform efforts that reduce educational funding (Barry & Reschly, 2012; Cortez, 2013; Gibb, 2002; Levenson, 2017). Therefore, the present public education system that should support the positive development of youth instead works to push youth, especially those already underserved, into the street economy. When schools lack basic educational and human resources necessary to address the immediate academic and emotional needs of its vulnerable student population, the resultant deficiency may further increase the proclivity of victim re-traumatization amongst other consequences due to the lack of direct action taken to address these critical psychological needs. Recommendations Need-based Treatment Methods Direct, active, and wide scale focus is needed to promulgate advocacy efforts that target the factors that contribute to youths’ entry into the street economy. These actions may be based on the development and diversification of intervention practices geared at measures of prevention and rehabilitation. Farran, Schwartz, and Austin (2011) and Sanabria (2006) reiterated that the accessibility of needed services that offer community-based housing to directly address homelessness, such as residential care facilities—with a focus on HIV and mental health treatment, as well as suicide and drug use prevention—are vital. Educational, counseling, employment, food, and clothing support services also are critical in addressing these issues. Coalition Campaigning Efforts Access to adequate funding sources are vital components of effective and long-term advocacy efforts. Advocacy support groups such as Larkin Street Youth Services in Buffalo, New York, and other local non-profit organizations require the assistance of specialized human resources and reliable sources of monetary support (Farran, Schwartz, & Austin, 2011). Therefore, strategies regarding the accessibility of funding should be based on efforts that include the involvement of effective grant writers, policy analysts, and local supportive legislators. The development of community-based partnerships with rapid response agencies, as well as the inclusion of active members of local, national, and international associations, such as The American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International USA, Project Equality and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), also are critical. These organizations support social justice initiatives through strong geo-political campaigning efforts. Such social justice campaigning efforts could include members of nationwide Local School Council (LSC), constituting school principals, teachers, parents, students, and community partners, such as psychological and medical associations in efforts to protect vulnerable student populations (Cortez, 2013). These efforts may aid in the prevention of 80

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public school budget cuts, thereby facilitating an increase in educational resources, subsequent job maintenance, or recovery of teachers and academic staff, as well as the recruitment of clinical specialists within the schools’ organizational structure for the implementation of trauma-informed care practice (Cortez, 2013; Levenson, 2017). Educational and Relational Measures It is highly recommended that trauma-informed care intervention methods be applied across the U.S. educational continuum and designed with a multi-tiered system of supports, especially for public schools (Cavanaugh, 2016). As such, the development and implementation of school-based trauma-sensitive support groups are critical to address the symptomatic manifestations of traumareactive behaviors. As previously discussed, these behaviors are commonly expressed in the educational setting through overt pro-active aggression (impulsive behaviors that fulfil a need(s) or desire(s)) or reactive aggression (oppositional behaviors such as repeatable distracted focus, or lack of corporation), as well as feelings of rejection, detachment, fearfulness, and social isolation among peers (Berk, 2012; Gibb, 2002; Levenson, 2017; Lemke, 2018). The framework for these support groups may include age appropriate grief and distress counseling techniques, training, and coping strategies utilized by teachers and clinical specialists in the early detection of trauma and its re-enactments. One K-6 example of responding to the emotional onset of trauma symptoms within the classroom are calming techniques which include: deep breathing exercises, body movement, sensory massaging, rocking and rhythm, as well as dancing with scarves (Curriculum Review, 2016). From a direct interactive standpoint, teachers may encourage victimized children to form positive relationships with them. As a result, they are able to redirect the children’s attention to the safety of the classroom setting (Curriculum Review, 2016). By performing these actions, teachers are able to help these students to “attend to the sensations, images feelings, and thoughts that foster their curiosity and enthusiasm rather than those that trigger lethargy and despair” (Curriculum Review, 2016, p. 31). Additionally, the dimensions of the therapy relationship of the multi-tiered approach for school-based support groups may include Care-Based, Strengths-Based, and Individual to School Community Intervention methods (Breckenridge & James, 2010). The centrality of these intervention methods could create opportunities for increased classroom awareness of trauma and its effects. As a result, the positive therapeutic responses of inclusivity, encouragement, empathy, restoration, and reconciliation takes precedence. Through these interventions, affected students may receive the support needed to accomplish healthy emotional and behavioral regulation, and positively move toward academic resilience and rehabilitation necessary for the successful completion of their secondary education (Graig, 2016). Family-based approaches in public education initiatives can be a preventative measure and should be implemented within local schools and appropriate community-based organizations. Family-based approaches provide practical guidelines on effective parenting techniques, establishing healthy and progressive home environments, as well as educating parents and caregivers on local, state, and federal family law and its associated expectations of parental responsibilities for child welfare (Levenson, 2017). These measures may help to reduce trends of childhood maltreatment within households. 81

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Restorative Justice The normative acts of punishment as a societal response to crimes, disruptive incidents and the violation of zero-tolerance policies has moral and legal implications. In particular, the quality of life of victim-participants of the street economy is negatively affected. As a result, restitution through a practical restorative justice approach is beneficial for victim-participants of the street economy, especially those charged with minor criminal offenses. Theoretical frameworks associated with restorative justice focus on reflexivity and social justice in dismantling the effects of the street economy (Morrison & Vaandering, 2012; Mustafic, 2016). Restorative justice is “a distinct praxis for sustaining safe and just school communities, grounded in the premise that human beings are relational and thrive in contexts of social engagement over control (Morrison & Vaandering, 2012, p. 139). Restorative justice frameworks can be implemented in corporate and societal efforts to re-integrate victims of the street economy. These acts may lead to social inclusion and the applicable expungement of criminal records for misdemeanor crimes, such as petty theft and illegal sex-work on the basis of survival and desperation. Such methods help to improve their network relationships, which increases the likelihood of non-discriminatory employment and the use of appropriate socio-psychological intervention methods to aid in the reduction of recidivism, all of which are practical measures that can be taken toward establishing restorative justice (Mustafic, 2016). Conclusion The problem of childhood maltreatment along with its subsequent effects has the potential to create permanent harm to the lives of victims. It is critical that the protection of children and youth become the priority of all individuals, educational and corporate institutions, agencies, and organizations that have the ability to stand against effectual threats to their social status, including the unsympathetic nature of the American socio-economic strata, education reform, and adult violators. The establishment of competency-based trauma-informed care curriculum is vital for educators and practitioners who through intervention might better support student academic persistence and retention, amongst other efforts to prevent student entry into the street economy. The welfare of these children, especially those of disenfranchised racial, social, economic, and gender identity backgrounds, are important to the overall functioning of society, as the intrinsic value of the life of each child is infinite and incomprehensible. __________ TARA-JENEIL S. FENTON, EdM, is a graduate candidate at The State University of New York at Buffalo (UB) in the Higher Education Administration program. Tara’s undergraduate work included two undergraduate degrees, one of which is a BA in Psychology from UB. During her academic tenure, Tara was the recipient of 11 scholarships including the Arthur O. Eve (New York State sponsored) Graduate Education Opportunity Program Scholarship, as well as participated in service learning and internship programs, including those of the Interdisciplinary Science and Education Partnership (ISEP) within the Buffalo Public Schools system—sponsored by the National 82

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Science foundation (NSF). Tara’s research interests include clinical mental health practitioner engagement with the American public education system, as well as strategy leadership, management, finance, and policies in U.S. higher education.

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