Search publications by Leila Morsy
On any school day, one in ten African American children has a parent behind bars; African American children are six times as likely as white children to have had an imprisoned parent.
In a new report, Mass Incarceration and Children’s Outcomes, we argue that criminal justice policy is education policy, and should be high on educators’ lists of concerns.
Parental incarceration leads to an array of cognitive and noncognitive outcomes known to affect children’s performance in school. Therefore, the discriminatory incarceration of African American parents makes an important contribution to the racial achievement gap. Educators hoping to narrow the achievement gap should make criminal justice reform a policy priority.
Since the switch to Flint River water, the number of children in Flint with blood lead levels over 5 micrograms per deciliter has doubled. In some Flint zip codes, the numbers are even higher. And those are only the children we know about. The number of children who are lead poisoned is likely much higher.
Although employer demands for evening and night-time work will continue, reforms should create disincentives to schedule work that impedes employees’ ability to provide stable home lives for children.
Economists, sociologists, and developmental psychologists have consistently concluded that background characteristics strongly shape cognitive and behavioral outcomes. When school improvement is not complemented by policies to narrow social class differences, students’ chances of success are greatly diminished.