I found this infographic chilling in the starkness with which it presents a common picture that readers in the US and the UK would recognise.
Whilst the education system is designed as a quality control system to winnow out the school population to those suitable to attend university, then there will always be those who are failed by the system and are left without legitimate ways to make their way in society.
Whilst the emphasis in schools is on compliance and not growth and development then so much young potential will be lost to society and those pupils will be a cost to society when they are incarcerated, rather than making a full and useful contribution to their family and community.
Unfortunately, the graphic bore out my experience of teaching in an inner city school, where for those most disillusioned, attending the local Youth Offenders Institution (YOI) was seen as an aspiration to prove that they had graduated to being someone feared or respected in their community.
Until we undertake a fundamental reappraisal of the purpose of education and learning and the outcomes and aspirations wanted for all those passing through it, this situation will persist, as it has done for generations.
To quote Sir Ken Robinson: ‘It isn’t that the education system performs poorly. It is highly effective at doing the wrong things.’
This infographic originally appeared in an article written by Sabrina Jones, CEO and founder of Say It With Your Chest (SIWYC), and you can find it here: Diverting pupils from the school to prison pipeline | Say It With Your Chest. Alternatively, you can access the article in the September-October 2021 issue of Educate magazine here (page 50).