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Vol. 26, No.2

Winter 2011-2012

The School-to-Prison Pipeline

Editorial • Stop the School-to-Prison Pipeline

By the editors of Rethinking Schools

Schools and the New Jim Crow • An Interview with Michelle Alexander
By Jody Sokolower

Arresting Development • Zero Tolerance and the Criminalization of Children
By Annette Fuentes

The Classroom-to-Prison Pipeline
By Linda Christensen

Haniyah’s Story

Teaching Haniyah
By Jody Sokolower

Chicago’s Peace Warriors
By Kazu Haga

Teaching the Prison Industrial Complex
By Aparna Lakshmi


Candles in April
By Jamila Appleby

Plotting Inequalities, Building Resistance
By Adam Renner, Bridget Brew, and Crystal Proctor

Who’s Crazy? Students Critique The Gods Must Be Crazy
By Chris Hawking, with Cresslyn Clay and Colin Pierce


International Movement for Public Education
Gay-Straight Alliances Show Long-Term Benefits

ACTION EDUCATION • Occupy Movement Spurs Education Activism

REVIEW • Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters
By Beverly Slapin

GOOD STUFF • Ordinary Heroes
By Waahida Tolbert-Mbatha


Got an idea for an article? Got a letter to the editor? Contact Jody Sokolower, policy and production editor:

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Winter 2011-2012

International Movement for Public Education

Photo:© 2011 Reuters | Andrea Comas
Secondary school students in
Madrid demonstrate against
budget cuts and privatization,
October 2011.

Photo:© 2011 Reuters |Fredy Builes
A student tries to erase riot police at a
protest against government attacks on
public universities in Bogotá,
November 2011.

Privatization, standardized tests, funding cuts, attacks on teachers’ unions and contracts—the issues that are central to teacher activism in the United States are international. In country after country, teachers and students are fighting for the same things.

In Chile, university and secondary students have been protesting for six months against the privatization and high cost of education in that country. In September, demonstrations in Santiago drew as many as 90,000 students.

Meanwhile, teachers and students have been demonstrating and striking against education cuts across southern Europe—in Spain, Italy, and Greece. They are protesting the push by the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund to impose another round of budget cuts that would have disastrous effects on education in those countries. According to the website, Greek school students occupying their schools threw CDs, which they had been given instead of books, at the parliament building. In Italy, protesters carried banners saying “Save the Schools, Not the Banks!’”

As we went to press, teachers and students in Buenos Aires, Argentina, were striking against new laws that would base decisions about teacher hiring and promotion on a computerized rating system.

Information in this article from and

Secondary school students in Madrid demonstrate against budget cuts and privatization, October 2011.

Gay-Straight Alliances Show Long-Term Benefits

New research has found that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth who attend middle or high schools with gay-straight alliance organizations (GSAs) have better mental health as young adults, are less likely to drop out of high school, and are more likely to attend college. The study, which was based on a Family Acceptance Project survey of LGBT young adults and published in a recent issue of Applied Developmental Science, also showed that the benefits of GSAs diminish as levels of LGBT school victimization increase. In other words, GSAs are an important piece of creating an LGBT-supportive school atmosphere, but can’t be the only piece.

According to Caitlin Ryan, co-author of the study and director of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco St.University: “This new study on the benefits of GSAs to health and education adds to our growing understanding of the importance of social environments and the need to provide institutional support for LGBT youth to promote well-being in adulthood.”