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Test, Punish, and Push Out: How Zero Tolerance and High-Stakes Testing Funnel Youth into the School to Prison Pipeline

Abstract

This report provides an overview of zero-tolerance school discipline and high-stakes testing, how they relate to each other, how laws and policies such as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) have made school discipline even more punitive, and the risk faced if these devastating policies are not reformed. The report explores:
* The common origins and ideological roots of zero tolerance and high-stakes testing;
* The current state of zero-tolerance school discipline across the country, including local, state, and national data;
* How high-stakes testing affects students, educators, and schools;
* How zero tolerance and high-stakes testing have become mutually reinforcing, combining to push huge numbers of students out of school; and
* Successful grassroots efforts to eliminate harmful discipline and testing practices.

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