This evening President Obama will deliver his sixth State of the Union address. A Gallup poll shows a stark racial divide in Americans’ views on the current state of the country.
Overall, Americans are as likely to be positive (39%) about the current state of the country as they are to be negative (40%). However, the gap between whites' and nonwhites' views of where the country stands is wider than at any point in recent history, with nonwhites now almost twice as likely as whites to view the nation's situation positively.
It’s a pipeline that consumes some students more than others; students of color and disabled students are being suspended, expelled, and sent into the justice system at much higher rates than their white, nondisabled counterparts. Growing criticism of zero-tolerance policies has highlighted the way they ruin lives, burden the justice system and create more work for everyone, with experts like the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) noting that “research [on such policies] indicates that, as implemented, zero tolerance policies are ineffective in the long run and are related to a number of negative consequences, including increased rates of school drop-out and discriminatory application of school discipline practices.”
The chronic school funding crisis in Philadelphia is putting more students of color, particularly black boys, at risk. Meanwhile, the state Department of Corrections is constructing a $400 million prison complex in Graterford, which is located less than an hour from the headquarters of the School District of Philadelphia.