Educational CyberPlayGround

Literacy and National Reading Statistics
Teaching Reading: Educational CyberPlayGround

If you are using MLA citing, here is an example using the "Educational CyberPlayGround ®" site.

Ellis, Karen: "Educational CyberPlayGround ®" Internet.
Database available online.
Date accessed Month day, year.

Arizona Republic , September 15, 2004, cited in Educational CyberPlayGround® Internet Database.


2018 The Private Prison Project
The private correctional industry as we now see it grew out of eighties privatization fervor. Like so many corporate promises, the prospect of a quick fix has gotten many a government “partner” to sign on. In response to overcrowded state prisons, private operators promise to build up quickly, hire local people at below-government rates and benefits, and spend less to hold more people.

The Big Three are CoreCivic, Geo Group and the Management and Training Organization and now we have the immigrant detention centers.

Is Your Kid On

Grade Level?

probably not!

90% of all public school Parents are wrong, they think their Kids Read and do Math On Grade Level but they don't!
Parents believe this no matter their own income, education level, race or ethnicity.
Half of the white students are on grade level in math and reading by fourth grade; the percentages are lower for African-Americans and Hispanics.
Kids are passed on from grade to grade, and graduate high school on time so thats why parents think their kids are fine. The high school graduation rate is over 80%, and fewer than 2% of students are held back a grade, so perhaps parents can't be blamed for thinking their own kids are at least on par with their peers. Most state tests don't show 90% of kids performing on grade level.





OECD COMPARISON OF % of children living in poverty.

  1. Turkey - 25.3%
  2. Israel - 24.3%
  3. Spain - 23.4%
  4. Chile - 22.5%
  5. US - 20.5%
    - What are the benefits of the federal government's food stamp program?
    - The Darlene Chronicles 2009 A personal record of poverty in Rural Pennsylvania starting in 1970 by Penn State Univ Television.
    - A Hidden America: Children of the Mountains 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5

A study that tracked 1,000 people for 35 years reveals the case for giving kids a basic income Giving kids a monthly allowance isn't just good parenting — it could be good government. Giving families a set amount of money each month to use toward childcare — essentially a basic income for kids — could have profound implications for how disadvantaged children turn out as adults. Certain markers of early brain health can predict with startling accuracy which kids would sink deeper into poverty as adults, develop drug addictions, and commit crimes. If the kids' parents had been able to provide more secure households (like with a basic income), the research suggests, the subjects whose brain health declined might have been guided toward healthier, brighter futures. In at least 10 countries, including Canada, Sweden, and the Netherlands, the government hands out money to couples who have kids. They're known as "child allowances" or "universal child benefits." The money reflects an understanding that raising kids is tough, expensive work. And no one checks the parents' income to make sure they qualify for the allowances either. The benefit is universal.
STUDY: Comparing retrospective and prospective assessments of adverse childhood experiences in the prediction of adult health
The effects of early trauma and deprivation on human development Volume 57, Issue 10, pages 1103-1112, October 2016


2014 25% of Military Families Seek Food Aid. Miltiary Families forced to subsidize income with food banks. Tens of thousands of service members rely on food pantries to get by.

BASIC INCOME Why is it that more jobs haven't been automated given our technological ability to erase them for good?
" … There is another way of looking at it. Let's turn the question around for a moment. Isn't it surprising that more jobs haven't been automated given the technological leaps and bounds we have witnessed of late? I think there is a good reason for this. It is now cheaper to employ people rather than install/maintain machines in supermarkets, petrol stations and so-forth. That tells us how bad the world of work has become. Living, breathing people are undercutting robots"

Support among policymakers and the public waned in the 1980s and funding for education in prisons underwent significant cuts. A recent survey of leaders in the correctional education field suggests that attitudes are turning back from emphasizing punishment to rehabilitation. About half of federal and state inmates released on parole are reincarcerated within three years. The rationale for correctional education is that improving inmates' academic and occupational skills while in prison improves the likelihood that they will obtain employment or continue their education when they are released, reducing recidivism rates as well as fiscal and social costs.

Student debt is forcing tens of thousands of elderly Americans into poverty
When President Franklin Roosevelt designed the program in the 1930s, he didn't include a caveat for people with lots of debt. If you paid in, you got the check, and any issues between you and your creditors were your own affair, not the government's. Since 2005, the total student debt owed by Americans over the age of 65 has increased nearly fourfold. More than 110,000 senior citizens had their Social Security checks garnished in 2015 to pay off student loans they'd already defaulted on. Nearly 70,000 Americans over the age of 50 are living in poverty as their Social Security benefits are cut to pay off student loan debts. A full 68 percent of older borrowers living in poverty with Social Security garnishment are only seeing their benefit cuts devoted to interest and fees. Their overall debt burden is not diminishing. They will never stop making payments under the current system without a new source of income.


A closer look at schools with police but no school counselors: 1.6 million students attend public schools that have an on-site law enforcement officer but no school counselor.
"CRDC data also indicate that minorities experience different forms of school discipline: black K-12 students are 3.8 times as likely as white students to receive one or more out-of-school suspensions and 1.9 times as likely to be expelled. Research suggests that these disparities in discipline and support may have profound long-run consequences. One study finds that disparities in exclusionary discipline, or discipline which removes students from the classroom, may be an important driver of racial disparities in juvenile court referrals—a pattern that some have called the "school-to-prison pipeline." Other research suggests that discipline problems could be compounded when resources are diverted from guidance counselors, whose presence helps to reduce disciplinary incidents and also to raise academic achievement." ~ @evieblad

Trauma is a silent epidemic among children of color but these students face suspension or worse instead of counseling. Black and Hispanic students are more likely to be enrolled in schools that spend money on law enforcement but not counselors, who are often crucial to helping students, particularly low-income students, develop social-emotional skills, secure financial aid, and gain access to higher education. Hispanic students are more likely than their black and white peers to be enrolled in schools with neither an officer nor a counselor, and white students are the most likely to attend schools with counselors but not police, the analysis finds.

The effects of abuse, neglect, poverty, violence, imprisonment, homelessness, and loss come at a serious cost to their health and educational attainment. Their traumatic experiences impair their ability to learn, alter their brain chemistry and development, prompt feelings of isolation and helplessness, and may even catalyze the onset of a mental health disorder.

NUMBER FOUR STOP CORPORAL PUNISHMENT and expelling these children from school.

There is a nationwide shortage of school-based mental health programs, and it disparately harms students of color.


In 38 seconds Steve Prattor, Sheriff of Caddo Parish in Louisiana, tells you why he REALLY likes keeping "good" Black men in jail.

THIS is why a President's conflicts of interests matter. Largest private prison company in US moves annual meeting to Trump golf club. He is after all the President of the New Confederacy and private prisons are after all the new Plantations. Emoluments Clause litigation is pending!

Private Prison contracts are designed to be easy to sign - and nearly impossible to get out of: The Private Prison Primer: What are we really signing on for? Part 1 Taking a look across the contract landscape of private prisons in America. President Obama and the United States still holds the dubious honor of having the highest incarceration rate in the world, with 2.2 million people behind bars.

In 38 seconds Steve Prattor, Sheriff of Caddo Parish in Louisiana, tells you why he REALLY likes keeping "good" Black men in jail.

$$$ Private prison exec assured investment bankers profits! that U.S. will continue to "attract crime."
"The reality is, we are a very affluent country, we have loose borders, and we have a bad education system," said Shayn March, the VP and treasurer of the Geo Group. "And all that adds up to a significant amount of correctional needs, which, thankfully, we've been able to help the courty out with and states with by providing a lower cost solution."

This Is How Much the US Spends on Imprisoning vs. Educating People

“Don't tell me your values,” Vice President Joe Biden has said.

“Show me your budget and I will tell you your values.”
How we value education versus incarceration. Growth in states investment in corrections has outpaced P-12 over the last three decades.

Correctional Spending 1980 - 2013
P-12 Education increase 107%
Corrections increase 324%
Over the past three decades, state and local budgets for prisons and jails, adjusted for inflation, grew more than twice as fast as did spending on public elementary and secondary education. Between 1989 and 2011, state and local budgets for corrections expanded 11 times as fast as did the amounts allocated to public colleges and universities.

2013 The number of Americans who have had contact with the criminal justice system has increased exponentially.
It is estimated that about one in three adults now has a criminal history record - which often consists of an arrest that did not lead to conviction, a conviction for which the person was not sentenced to a term of incarceration, or a conviction for a non-violent crime. On any given day, about 2.3 million people are incarcerated and each year 700,000 people are released from prison and almost 13 million are admitted to - and released from - local jails.

2016 U.S. imprisonment rate falls to lowest since 1997: Justice Department The U.S. prison population fell the most in almost four decades to 1.53 million inmates in 2015, resulting in the lowest rate of incarceration in a generation.


One proven way to reduce crime and incarceration rates and their related costs is by investing in proven strategies to keep students in school, make sure they graduate, and are ready to succeed after high school. More than two-thirds of state prison inmates are high school dropouts. Young black men between the ages of 20 and 24 who lack a high school diploma or a GED are more likely to be in jail than they are to have a job. Children with incarcerated parents often exhibit behavior problems and are more likely to struggle in school. Researchers have estimated that a 10-percent increase in high school graduation rates results in a 9-percent decline in criminal arrest rates. The same increase in graduation rates would reduce murder and assault rates by 20 percent. Even a 1 percent increase in male graduation rates would save up to $1.4 billion in the social costs of crime and incarceration. Our schools suspend roughly 2.8 million students, the vast majority of them for non-criminal activities, and refer a quarter of a million students to police each year. Students of color and students with disabilities are suspended at disproportionate rates. And we know these students can become trapped in a cycle from which they sometimes are never freed: a school-to-prison pipeline that begins with exclusionary discipline, like suspensions and expulsions, and ends with jail time.

2015 NAEP TUDA the best assessments for understanding student performance in (and comparing the results of) America's biggest urban districts.
6 Headlines Educational haves & have-notes in big cities. #punchline No matter what Black kids can't get on grade level. "Across participating districts, there's been meager progress in both subjects & both grades for more than a decade"

2015 How Local Governments Got Burned by Private Prison Investments Counties fell for a pitch on tax-free bonds for prisons and got nailed with millions in IRS fines.
In September, Parkey traveled to Cleveland, Texas, almost 60 miles northwest of Anahuac, where he met with business leaders at the Lions Club, according to a report in the Cleveland Advocate. “Not one tax dollar of yours goes into this,” he told the group. As of July, eight detention center deals were being investigated over their tax-exempt financing, according to an IRS document. Several other counties in Texas and Arizona have settled with the government, paying as much as $1.9 million and refinancing their prisons with taxable debt, including at least three developed by Parkey and his network. In most cases the deals were “basically snake oil,” says Bob Libal, executive director of Grassroots Leadership, a nonprofit in Austin opposed to private prisons.The bottom line: The IRS is going after counties that issued tax-free bonds to build jails used by federal agencies.

The Secretive World of Selling Phone Calls to Inmates and their families.
Securus Technologies, a billion-dollar prison technology company based in Dallas which charges about $10 for a phone call and about $8 for a video visit. The prison phone business has become a scandalous industry, characterized by lawsuits, exorbitant fees, high phone rates and monopolistic relationships between public jails and private companies that openly offer kickbacks to local sheriffs. In May 2015, Foster Campbell, the Louisiana Public Service commissioner, described the prison phone business in his state as “worse than any payday loan scheme.” The company employs 1,000 associates in 46 states, contracts with 2,600 jails and prisons across North America, and provides service to more than 1 million inmates and their families. About 400,000 phone calls are placed each day, according to company statements.

Don't Read?
Go to Jail



How Congress Double-Crossed Taxpayers and Created a Corrupt Private Prison Empire
by Ben Cohen Become a fan Co-Founder, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and Head Stamper,

These prison firms, with the help of political ties forged through campaign donations and armies of lobbyists, can regularly snag windfalls in government contracts and unduly expand their businesses by incarcerating more people for a greater amount of time. The Center for Responsive Politics has tracked a total of $2.3 million in political contributions by Corrections Corporation of America and almost $1.2 million by GEO Group. And that doesn't count dark money. Unsurprisingly, both of these giants in the for-profit prison industry have a long history of hiring former government officials as lobbyists. These lobbyists have successfully pushed legislators to "get tough on immigration" so a new influx of immigrants can occupy prison cells and help expand their profit-turning penal enterprise. And they have carved out loopholes in programs meant to provide inmates with real-life work experience that allow private companies to rent-out prisoners to do backbreaking work for about 50 cents an hour.

1/16/15 Almost half of US states have contacts with a @CorrectionsCorp private prison: cca private prison contract map

10/12/11 Alexander, the author of "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness," reportedly claimed there are more African American men in prison and jail, or on probation and parole, than were slaves before the start of the Civil War.

2011 K12 prison system employs convicts one in every 178 U.S. residents will live in prison.


Cost of Harvard for a year vs. cost of jail for a year.


7/18/14 The black-white gap in incarceration rates skyrocket in recent decades. Pew Chart!

4/2/14 The United States in effect operates two distinct criminal justice systems: one for wealthy people and another for poor people and minorities. At every level, from arrest to trial to sentencing, the report found that poor minorities were treated more harshly than their wealthier counterparts. August 2013 year the Sentencing Project, a non-profit devoted to criminal justice reform, released a comprehensive report on bias in the system. Bias permeates every aspect of the criminal justice system, from arrests to sentencing and beyond. Unsurprisingly, this bias works in favor of wealthy (and white) defendants, while poor minorities routinely suffer. America incarcerates more people than any other country on the planet, with over 2m currently in prison and more than 7m under some form of correctional supervision. The people who make up this outsize correctional population do not typically come from the Delaware trust-fund-creep demographic: more than 60% are racial and ethnic minorities, and the vast majority are poor.

2/4/14 Kids For Cash: Inside One of the Nation's Most Shocking Juvenile Justice Scandals The former Luzerne County judges, Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan, were arraigned in Scranton. Robert K. Mericle, becomes the 11th person charged in a Luzerne County corruption inquiry that has brought down two judges, a schools superintendent, a court administrator and others. The shocking story of how thousands of children in Pennsylvania were jailed by two corrupt judges who received $2.6 million in kickbacks from the builders and owners of private prison facilities. Luzerne County Court Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. guilty of racketeering in one of the nation's worst judicial scandals, a crime in which prosecutors said the former judge used children "as pawns to enrich himself." Now serving a 28-year sentence. Ciavarella guilty of "honest services mail fraud" and of being a tax cheat for failing to list that money and more on his annual public financial-disclosure forms and on four years of tax returns. In addition, they found him guilty of conspiring to launder money. Ciavarella, 60, now stands convicted of conspiring with Conahan, 58, in a scheme related to the construction of two juvenile-detention centers in the region. Conahan pleaded guilty last year and awaits sentencing. The judges' prosecution has been a key chapter in a mushrooming investigation targeting public officials in Northeastern Pennsylvania.The private juvenile-detention companies in the scandal settled a civil lawsuit for $2.5 million. Kids for Cash, a new documentary years in the making, features interviews with the children, with the parents and two judges at the heart of the scandal. video kickback money

10/12 Feds: Mississippi officials violate juveniles' rights: Prosecutors Sue Mississippi for "School to Prison Pipeline": The Justice Department is suing state and local officials in Mississippi for allegedly violating the rights of children — especially black and disabled — with routine and unjustified arrests. A federal complaint accuses officers in Meridian, Mississippi, of operating a "school to prison pipeline," in which youth are consistently arrested after being suspended from school for infractions such as dress code violations or talking back to teachers. It is the first time the Justice Department has used a 1994 federal anti-discrimination law on behalf of youths.
Third Grade Reading Guarantee law -- 3313.608 [Effective Until 9/24/2012] Fourth grade reading capability.

2015 US police kill more than two people a day, a report suggests
Currently there is no reliable standardised tracking system for recording shooting deaths across the country's thousands of law enforcement agencies. The government relies on self-reported figures from the nation's 17,000 law enforcement agencies. The figures exclude killings deemed not to have been justified.
Data collected by the Washington Post newspaper suggests that the number of people shot by US police is twice as high as official figures claim. The paper said that during the first five months of this year, 385 people - more than two a day - were killed.

When the State of Arizona projects how many prison beds it will need, it factors in the number of kids who read well in fourth grade ~Arizona Republic (9-15-2004). Evidence shows that children who do not read by third grade often fail to catch up and are more likely to drop out of school, take drugs, or go to prison. So many nonreaders wind up in jail that Arizona officials have found they can use the rate of illiteracy to help calculate future prison needs.

Low literacy is strongly related to crime.
70% of prisoners fall into the lowest two levels of reading proficiency
(National Institute for Literacy, 1998).

Low literacy is strongly related to unemployment.
More than 20% of adults read as or below a fifth grade level - far below the level needed to earn a living wage.

Profiting From a Child's Illiteracy By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF 12/7/12 America's antipoverty programs are not a total failure. On the contrary, they are making a significant difference. Nearly all homes here in the Appalachian hill country now have electricity and running water, and people aren't starving. We end up paying for poverty one way or another, and early childhood education is far cheaper than adult incarceration. - intellectual disability - THIS is what poverty sometimes looks like in America: parents here in Appalachian hill country pulling their children out of literacy classes. Moms and dads fear that if kids learn to read, they are less likely to qualify for a monthly check for having an intellectual disability. “The kids get taken out of the program because the parents are going to lose the check,” said Billie Oaks, who runs a literacy program here in Breathitt County, a poor part of Kentucky. “It's heartbreaking.” Most wrenching of all are the parents who think it's best if a child stays illiterate, because then the family may be able to claim a disability check each month. A $698 monthly check per child from the Supplemental Security Income program goes a long way — and those checks continue until the child turns 18.

"If you do better in school, you threaten the income of the parents. It's a terrible incentive." About four decades ago, most of the children S.S.I. covered had severe physical handicaps or mental retardation that made it difficult for parents to hold jobs — about 1 percent of all poor children. But now 55 percent of the disabilities it covers are fuzzier intellectual disabilities short of mental retardation, where the diagnosis is less clear-cut. More than 1.2 million children across America — a full 8 percent of all low-income children — are now enrolled in S.S.I. as disabled, at an annual cost of more than $9 billion.
Those kids may never recover: a 2009 study found that nearly two-thirds of these children make the transition at age 18 into S.S.I. for the adult disabled. They may never hold a job in their entire lives and are condemned to a life of poverty on the dole — and that's the outcome of a program intended to fight poverty.

Literacy statistics and juvenile court

Read or
go to jail

Mentoring and tutoring kids (especially in reading) can directly lead to a decrease in crime over time.




The United States incarcerates more people than any country in the world, including the far more populous nation of China. 2012 the American penal system held more than 2.3 million adults.

Kids Ready to learn by 3rd grade
Monitor and respond to chronic absenteeism in pre-K and kindergarten. The Kids most at risk are the ones missing 25 to 30 days a year. If we don't intervene, those are our future dropouts.

13 States fail students who cannot pass 3rd grade reading level test.


School to Prison Pipeline


The deepest down turn in the educational process occurs in the fourth grade.

THIS MEANS if YOU HAVE FAILED to give children confidence that they can learn to read by the time they are 8 or 9 years old you will have lost them for life. They cannot recover.

Parents and educators only have a relatively few days - a fraction of the child's whole life to get them set up for success.
A school year is approximately 30 weeks and that equals around 150 days in a year, minus about 10 days for holidays or sickness and all that is left is 140. Kindergarten through the end of third grade is 4 years x 140 days = 560 days total. Your average life span is around 70 years = 25,550 days.

All we have is the .02 percent of a child's lifetime to give them reading skills that will have an impact on them for the remaining 98% of their lives!

PBS's 'Frontline', First aired the show 'A Class Divided'
Twenty years ago, its about a teacher in a small Iowa town who decided to modify her lesson plan the morning after Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed, and what later ensued. See for yourself why this universal lesson about racial discrimination is so unforgettable. The producers of 'Frontline' have made available new material about the show by way of an modern day interview with the teacher, Jane Elliot, who discusses the effects of the incident on her life.


60% of Urban School Children do not graduate from High School. Forty % of those who do -- read at only at a 4th grade level.

Link between literacy and prison.

"Read or go to jail."

Privatizing Prisons and Private Enterpri$e.

Isn't It Bad?

Building Prison Cells is Big Busine$$ The Word - Jail Sweet Jail
Colbert's comment on private prisons. The Word - The Green Mile If you have an extra bedroom, you could be the proud owner/operator of a charming private prison.
Why privatize just prisons, he asks, when we can privatize the whole criminal justice system? What's more "efficient" than a cop working on commission?


90-minute documentary that challenges one of Americans' most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery in this country ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. The film tells how even as chattel slavery came to an end in 1865, thousands of African Americans were pulled back into forced labor with shocking force and brutality.

The 13th ammendmend abolished slavery but NOT PEONAGE which is getting and keeping someone in debt and making it compulsory for them to work for you.

Peonage practiced today in Prisons by arresting everyone and making it compulsory for prisoners (cheap labor) to work for the corporations that hire them.

The Prison Industrial Complex: Putting Inmates to Work: 1930s - the 2010's Factories with Fences: Slave Labor that produces products the U.S. Government and private companies.

Slave Labor - Koch Links to Greenberg Traurig, Palin and the theft of our jobs!

Meridian, Mississippi Schools Sending Children To Prison As Punishment For Misbehavior
August 13, 2012
School principals and teachers punish students in Meridian, Mississippi, and should be ashamed of themselves. They are targeting minority and disabled students who should be treated with dignity.
According to ABC, a Department of Justice letter details the constitutional and moral violations committed by the school district, the police department, the youth court, and the juvenile detention center of the city of Meridian. "The system established by the City of Meridian, Lauderdale County, and DYS to incarcerate children for school suspensions 'shocks the conscience,' resulting in the incarceration of children for alleged 'offenses' such as dress code violations, flatulence, profanity, and disrespect.
By policy and practice, [the Meridian Police Department] MPD automatically arrests all students referred to MPD by the School principals and teachers have in the District. The children arrested by MPD are then sent to the County juvenile justice system, where existing due process protections are illusory and inadequate. The Youth Court places children on probation, and the terms of the probation set by the Youth Court and DYS require children on probation to serve any suspensions from school incarcerated in the juvenile detention center. The school is basically forcing students to serve their suspensions in prison with individuals who are there for real reasons such as assault, murder, theft and other crimes.
The Department of Justice has been investigating the school system in the city for allegedly having students arrested and placed in juvenile detention. Feds: Authorities in Meridian, Miss. Violated Rights of Black Children
The Justice Department alleged in its findings letter that two Youth Court Judges have consistently denied civil rights investigators access to information about the policies and practices of the Youth Court." The Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department is attempting to negotiate with the city to solve this case, but if the city refuses to cooperate, the federal government will sue the city for violating the fourth and fourteenth amendment rights of the students being arrested and imprisoned.

America's Lost Boys - {source}
American Journal of Orthopsychiatry argues that the conditions that contribute to a high representation of African American males among incarcerated youth (60%) begin early in life, and are often exacerbated by experiences in school. The report projects that by 2029, prisons will house almost 30,000 of the 600,000 African American four-year-olds now living in the country. According to study author Oscar Barbarin, African American males come to school with fewer skills than their Caucasian or female counterparts at this age, who generally have better developed language, literacy, and self-regulation. Boys' limitations are often not properly recognized or addressed as they progress though school, and this is can be compounded by behavioral issues, as well as by racial segregation within schools. Barbarin agrees that programs such as Head Start, Boys and Girls Clubs, and state-funded early childhood programs have tried to address these issues. However, Barbarin feels that the principle of the "three Xs" -- "Expose, Explain, Expand" -- can go a long way toward engaging children and encouraging pride by way of a caring, responsible, and ethical philosophy. Barbarin writes, "Once the juveniles enter the justice system, the repeat offender rate is 60%. This research calls for optimism in spite of a vicious downward cycle experienced by many young males, which marginalizes them at school, at work, at home, and in their communities."

Perhaps you live in a free country.
In the U.S., the prison population is the largest of any country on earth. We also lock up a larger fraction of our population than any country on earth. South Africa under Apartheid exceeded us, but no longer. In the state where I live, the largest single political contributor is the labor union of the prison guards (the Correctional Officers' Association), which uniformly advocates for more crimes and longer sentences, since that makes more work for their members. Lawyers estimate that each citizen commits three felonies every day, according to the laws on the books, which means that everyone is at risk of prosecution, and means that WHO goes to prison is at the discretion of the cops and prosecutors. Many prominent citizens of my country have served prison terms for no good reason. ~ John Gillmore

Jailed for $280: The Return of Debtors' Prisons By Alain Sherter Apr 23, 2012 Although the U.S. abolished debtors' prisons in the 1830s, more than 1/3 of U.S. states allow the police to haul people in who don't pay all manner of debts, from bills for health care services to credit card and auto loans.
LOOPHOLEUnder the law, debtors aren't arrested for nonpayment, but rather for failing to respond to court hearings, pay legal fines, or otherwise showing "contempt of court" in connection with a creditor lawsuit. That loophole has lawmakers in the Illinois House of Representatives concerned enough to pass a bill in March that would make it illegal to send residents of the state to jail if they can't pay a debt. The measure awaits action in the senate. "Too many people have been thrown in jail simply because they're too poor to pay their debts. We cannot allow these illegal abuses to continue."
Illinois isn't the only state where residents get locked up for owing money. A 2010 report by the American Civil Liberties Union that focused on only five states -- Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Washington -- found that people were being jailed at "increasingly alarming rates" over legal debts.
According to the ACLU: "The sad truth is that debtors' prisons are flourishing today, more than two decades after the Supreme Court prohibited imprisoning those who are too poor to pay their legal debts. In this era of shrinking budgets, state and local governments have turned aggressively to using the threat and reality of imprisonment to squeeze revenue out of the poorest defendants who appear in their courts." Some states also apply "poverty penalties," including late fees, payment plan fees, and interest when people are unable to pay all their debts at once, according to a report by the New York University's Brennan Center for Justice. Alabama charges a 30 percent collection fee, for instance, while Florida allows private debt collectors to add a 40 percent surcharge on the original debt. Some Florida counties also use so-called collection courts, where debtors can be jailed but have no right to a public defender.

Gross negligence doesn't mention reading!

$$$ CCA Corrections Corporation of America Investors Relations
Arizona outsourced it's entire Corrections system to CCA.

2007 One of America's top prison companys CCA Corrections Corporation of America made a 35 million dollar profit.

$$$ CCA

2011 America will have more than 1.7 million men and women in prison, an increase of more than 192,000 from 2006. That increase could cost taxpayers as much as $27.5 billion over the next five years BEYOND what they currently spend on prisons.

Business contracts with the prison system to underpay inmates for jobs like answering the company phone. It is very very cheap labor. For the first time ever, in five states, more is spent on prisons than on colleges, according to a new report from the Pew Project on the States. Last year alone, states spent more than $49 billion on corrections, up from $11 billion spent 20 years earlier. However, the recidivism rate remains virtually unchanged, with about half of released inmates returning to jail or prison within three years. A close examination of the most recent U.S. Department of Justice data found that while one in 30 men between the ages of 20 and 34 is incarcerated, the figure is one in nine for black males. For black women in their mid- to late-30s, the incarceration rate has hit the one-in-100 mark. Pew also found that in the last 20 years, inflation-adjusted general fund spending on corrections rose 127 percent while higher education expenditures rose just 21 percent. Most Unusual Prisons.

Imprisonment Authority is given to a private-prison company

Public Private Prison Complex Staggering Profits

Illegal immigrants and even noncitizen permanent residents may be jailed and deported for committing crimes or other offenses, whether violent or not. DHS and the Justice Department are not only combing the criminal justice system for legal and illegal immigrants to be detained and deported, but the departments are also working together to transfer illegal immigrants into federal courts and prisons.
"Local governments typically do not have anyone to keep track of the complex prison business - a high-finance enterprise involving tens of millions of dollars in bonds (more than $130 million in Reeves County) and millions of dollars in annual federal payments. Not only had contracts seemingly disappeared in the counties I visited, none could locate a full accounting of prison-related expenses and income." Public-private prisons are being built to hold immigrants both legal and illegal. These prisons are publicly owned by local governments, privately operated by corporations, publicly financed by tax-exempt bonds, and located in depressed communities, says journalist Tom Barry, who reported on a new trend in dealing with immigrants in a recent issue of the Boston Review. Project revenues are the per diems paid by the feds - BOP, USMS, or ICE - or by the corrections departments of the state governments. In the case of ICE, these per diems now average $87 for every “man day.” But since the bondholders own the prison, the payments go not to the county but to a trustee established to manage the payments to the bondholders and all other parties in the prison project - county, consultants, builders, and prison operator. County governments see a new revenue stream from the federal per diem - usually a mere $1-2 a day per inmate, depending on the terms of the agreement with the prison operator - but only after the bondholders and private operator have been paid. The privates receive hefty operating fees (normally $500,000-$750,000 a month) and salaries for their administrative team of wardens and assistants, while assuming none of the capital, operating, or maintenance costs. Because the prisons are public facilities, communities receive no property or sales tax revenue (from construction and maintenance) but are expected to provide the water and sewage services. The immigrants held at these prisons are dubbed "criminal aliens" by the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Customs and Border Protection Agencys have teamed with local police to target immigrants — legal and illegal — who have criminal records for deportation. NPR Story

In Hudspeth County, Texas Judge Becky Dean-Walker signs the agreements and contracts that have, since 2003, made Sierra Blanca an immigrant prison-town.
Situated 90 miles from El Paso, Sierra Blanca, population 650, hosts the West Texas Detention Facility, a 500-bed immigrant prison with another 500 still-unoccupied beds in three adjoining structures awaiting overflow. The prison, a public-private complex, is owned by bondholders until 2025. In establishing the prison on the edge of town, Hudspeth, where one in three families survives under the poverty line, incurred a $23.5 million debt in revenue bonds. Six years after the prison opened for business, the county still has a debt of $21.8 million. According to the Texas Bond Review Board, the remaining principal on the prison bonds translates into a per capita debt ratio—debt divided by population—higher than the county's annual per capita income of $9,549, which is one of the lowest in the nation.

Emerald Corrections, a Shreveport, Louisiana-based corrections management company, and its intermediaries promoted the prison as an economic-development project, promising jobs and income growth.
But only a few locals work at the facility, with most employees bused every morning from El Paso. When the bonds mature in 2025, the facility will be a badly depreciated investment, a community eyesore, and a reminder of the delusional dreams of prison-based economic development. This is true in many parts of Texas, such as Encinal, a town even poorer than Sierra Blanca, with its very own Emerald-operated prison thanks to an identical arrangement of consultancies, bond brokers, contractors, and county officials. IGS walked away with a reported $700,000 in consultancy fees.

Almost 10 Percent of Prisoners Are Serving Life Terms NYT May 12, 2004 By FOX BUTTERFIELD
Almost 10 percent of all inmates in state and federal prisons are serving life sentences, an increase of 83 percent from 1992, according to a report released yesterday by the Sentencing Project, a prison research and advocacy group. In two states, New York and California, almost 20 percent of inmates are serving life sentences, the report found.The increase is not the result of a growth in crime, which actually fell 35 percent from 1992 to 2002, the report pointed out. Instead, it is the result of more punitive laws adopted by Congress and state legislatures as part of the movement to get tough on crime, the report said. The jump in the number of inmates serving life sentences imposes large costs on states, about $1 million for each inmate who serves out his full sentence behind bars, said Marc Mauer, the assistant director of the Sentencing Project and an author of the study. This is a heavy burden on taxpayers at a time when most states are facing record budget deficits and many states are searching for ways to cut prison costs. The great majority of prisoners serving life sentences, now totaling 127,677, have been convicted of a violent offense, with 68.9 percent convicted of murder, the report found. In six states plus the federal system, a life sentence now automatically means life without parole, the report said. They are Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Pennsylvania and South Dakota

chronic absenteeism

Chronically overlooked

Everyone Graduates Center examines the issue of chronic absenteeism -- in which a student misses 10 percent of a school year for any reason -- and which differs from truancy or average daily attendance rates used for state and federal accountability. Very few state education departments, school districts, or principals can give chronic absenteeism numbers. Only Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Nebraska, Oregon, and Rhode Island track these data, and use varying metrics. These states reported chronic absentee rates from 6 to 23 percent, with high-poverty urban areas reporting up to one-third of students chronically absent, and in poor rural areas, one in four students missing at least a month's worth of school. Youngest and oldest students have the highest rates of chronic absenteeism, with third through fifth grades being most regularly attended. Chronic absenteeism rises in middle school and climbs through 12th grade, with seniors having the highest rate of all. The data also suggest that chronic absenteeism is concentrated in relatively few schools. Because students in poverty benefit the most from being in school, a key strategy to forge pathways out of poverty is to have students in school every day. This alone, even without improvements in the American education system, will drive up achievement, high school graduation, and college attainment rates.

Department of Education Rhetoric
Grade-Level Reading: Birth-through-8 years as a crucial underpinning to a goal that has consumed a large swath of the administration's rhetoric on education: college and career readiness. But Where is the Money?

The Farming Model School Calendar
Summer Learning Loss Summer off for Working the Farm an agrarian calendar when children no longer need to work the fields.

9/2006 The Inspector General of the Department of Education says the Bush administration's $4.8 billion dollar a year Reading First program ignored the law and ethical standards to steer money how it wanted and the conflicts of interest.


The slimy underside of the reading bu$ine$$ which doesn't care about this country.
This is why nothing changes.

Four major issues that should alarm educators and taxpayers alike. Roughly 6.3 million kids attend 9,553 oft-maligned K-12 public schools in California. Plus, 2.5 million students are enrolled at community colleges, writes George Skelton. Counting universities, half the state general fund ($102 billion) is consumed by education. ($50 billion). In all, kindergartens through community colleges are spending $55 billion -- 75% of it from the state, 25% from local property taxes -- under Proposition 98. So a lot is at stake: tax money and children's minds. Forced candidates to think more about how to better spend the taxpayers' billions. [1]

National Assessments of Educational Progress
figures show that the minority differential in reading achievement is a persistent problem that has not changed in the least since 1979 (NAEP1998)
Department of Education recent findings indicate that U.S. schools show little “significant difference” in the performance of kids in the early grades since 1992 and literally no differences in the math and reading scores of 17-year-olds over the past 34 years.

Improving Education for Every Child
by Nina Shokraii Rees
[ link no longer works]
"The need for action is desperate. Today, a stunning 40 % of America's 4th graders continue to read below the basic level on national reading assessments. On international tests, America's 12th graders rank last in advanced physics compared with students in 18 other countries. And one-third of all incoming college freshmen enroll in a remedial reading, writing, or mathematics class. These numbers are even bleaker in the inner cities and poor rural areas, where 68% of low-income 4th graders cannot read at a basic level. In fact, despite $120 billion in federal spending since 1965 to raise the achievement of poor children, a wide educational attainment gap remains between rich and poor students.


" Think 22nd Century Linguistic Rights"
What language should a nation officially call its own?
The "standard" is the variety of language used in business and academic writing and the mass media - the variety you need if you want to get a college education or a high-paying job. It is the variety of the powerful, unmarked by any features associated with a particularly powerless group. But people have come to believe the standard variety is inherently better for effective communication than other varieties - more logical, more precise, even more beautiful. The result is that society at large has stigmatized these other, nonstandard varieties rather than considering their contributions to effective communication, including their use in the teaching of standard English.



In California "if the child isn't reading on 4th grade level when tested they will plan to budget building another jail cell. “Based on this year's fourth-grade reading scores,” observes Paul Schwartz, a Coalition "Principal in Residence" at the U. S. Department of Education, said “California is already planning the number of new prison cells it will need in the next century.” from Democracy and Equity:
CES's Tenth Common Principle 1998 by Kathleen Cushman

Dr. Lynell Burmark, MultiMedia Schools January/February 2001: But the reality is that, in California at least, if you don't know how to read by the end of fourth grade, the state is building you a prison cell.

Terry Thornton with the California Department of Corrections (916-445-4950) says they have about 100 factors they use in determining how many prisons they will build and 3rd-4th grade reading levels are not on the list.


California will soon spend more on its prisons than on its public universities.

The Budget Crisis and the Prison Budget: the prison budget is slated for a 1.7% increase. Between 1978 and today, California's prison population has grown over 800% from 21,325 to 170,746. During that period California has built 23 new prisons & 16 community corrections facilities and expanded the state's 11 older prisons. California Prison Mandates

It has been projected that over the next five years, the state's budget for locking up people will rise by 9% annually, compared with its spending on higher education, which will rise only by 5%.
2012-2013 -- $15.4 billion will be spent on incarcerating Californians, as compared with $15.3 billion spent on educating the states citizens.

Indiana prison information and they base it on 2nd grade
The former governor of Indiana
has stated that determining the number of new prisons to build is based, in part, on the number of second graders not reading at second-grade level. Low literacy is the socio-economic factor prison inmates have most in common.

officials have found they can use the rate of illiteracy to help calculate future prison needs. Evidence shows that children who do not read by third grade often fail to catch up and are more likely to drop out of school, take drugs, or go to prison. So many nonreaders wind up in jail that (These statistics were provided by The Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Unified School District, and Every Person a Reader by Stephen D. Krashen.)

More than 40 percent of public school kids were illiterate, and half would drop out before graduation.
Federal auditors found that $70 million of the school budget couldn't be accounted for. The budget shortfall, graft and mismanagement resulted in the elimination of nearly 1,000 school jobs and the forced closing of five schools.

New Jersey
U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report Education and Correctional Populations January 2003, NCJ 195670
By Caroline Wolf Harlow, Ph.D. BJS Statistician
68% of State prison inmates did not receive a high school diploma.
About 26% of State prison inmates said they had completed the GED while serving time in a correctional facility.
For a quarter of State prison inmates, 1/5 of Federal inmates, 1/7 of jail inmates, and 1/10 of probationers as for about 4% of the general population,
** National Center for Education Statistics, National Adult Literacy Survey, 1992, "Adult Literacy in America, "table 1.1, page 18.
** passing the GED testing process was the highest level of education they attained.

About 41% of inmates in the Nation's State and Federal prisons and local jails in 1997 and 31% of probationers had not completed high school or its equivalent. In comparison, 18% of the general population age 18 or older had not finished the 12th grade.
An estimated 420,600 State prison inmates in 1997 and 293,000 in 1991 did not have a high school education or a GED -- over a third more in 1997 compared to 1991. In Federal prisons, almost twice as many, 23,500 in 1997 and 12,600 in 1991, fit that category.
Approximately 1 in 6 jail inmates dropped out of school because they were convicted of a crime, sent to a correctional facility, or otherwise involved in illegal activities.
Over a third of jail inmates and a sixth of the general population said the main reason they quit school was because of academic problems, behavior problems, or lost interest. About a fifth of jail inmates and two-fifths of the general population gave economic reasons for leaving school, primarily going to work, joining the military, or needing money. Three-quarters of State prison inmates did not earn a high school diploma.
Over 8 in 10 State prisons, almost all Federal prisons, about 7 in 10 private prisons, and over half of jails offered high school level classes. Next most common were classes in basic arithmetic and reading, with 8 in 10 State prisons, almost all Federal prisons, 6 in 10 private prisons, and 1 in 4 local jails offering basic education programs.


From Inmates to Entrepreneurs: The San Quentin Startup Accelerator
Redlitz, runs the KickLabs tech accelerator in San Francisco and got the idea of the Last Mile. “These guys will be getting out at some point,” he says. “We want them to come out of the program and be contributing members of society.” Startups created by the inmates must have a tech component, must be social and must be a passion business. Sessions are twice a week, with occasional appearances by mentors from the tech world and other industries. Program participants blog and tweet about the class as they go, writing blogs longhand on paper and filling out “tweet sheets” that are entered by an intern. Participants are chosen based on their interest and work ethic. No rapists or pedophiles are accepted.


Teach Reading and Literacy to Dialect Speakers
English-Language Learners Paper From Pew Center
On June 6, 2007, The Pew Hispanic Center announced the publication of a new report based on the 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the "Nation's Report Card." The report, “How Far Behind in Math and Reading are English Language Learners” is authored by Rick Fry. The report illustrates that nearly half (46%) of 4th grade students in the English language learner (ELL) category scored "below basic" in mathematics in 2005 - the lowest level possible. No Child Left Behind is due for congressional reauthorization in 2007 and in its current form the law requires that all students be proficient in math and reading by 2014 according to standards and testing programs developed individually by each state. Specific categories of students, including ELL students, must meet proficiency standards as a group.
A few key findings of the report include:

analysis shows that important changes in the composition of the limited English speaking population take place between the 4th and 8th grades, which help explain the decline in achievement from elementary to middle school.

Evidence Based Education Science and Learning to Read
David Boulton: We were interviewing Lesley Morrow, the Past-President of the International Reading Association, and she made a statement which flabbergasted me. She said this was a fact: that there are some states that determine how many prison cells to build based on reading scores.
Dr. Grover (Russ) Whitehurst: Yes. Again, the predictability of reading for life success is so strong, that if you look at the proportion of middle schoolers who are not at the basic level, who are really behind in reading, it is a very strong predictor of problems with the law and the need for jails down the line.
Literacy for societies, literacy for states, literacy for individuals is a powerful determinate of success. The opposite of success is failure and clearly, being in jail is a sign of failure. People who don't read well have trouble earning a living. It becomes attractive to, in some cases the only alternative in terms of gaining funds, to violate the law and steal, to do things that get you in trouble. Few options in some cases other than to pursue that life. Of course reading opens doors.

strategies for schools

Brookings Institution - Hugh Price examines the successful tactics the U.S. military uses to engage and train young people -- and offers provocative new strategies for schools. The United States military enjoys a well-deserved reputation for its ability to reach, teach, and develop young people who are rudderless, and for setting the pace among American institutions in advancing minorities. Young people receive military-style education and training in an array of settings, most typically in a branch of the military. Various branches also partner with public schools to operate programs that emulate the military atmosphere and methods. These military and quasi-military programs exhibit many attributes that appear to contribute to the young people's success and therefore might be appropriate to incorporate in a new approach to educating youngsters who are performing way below par, disengaged from school, or dropping out. Patterning the education of civilian youngsters after the military does raise legitimate anxieties and worrisome issues. The key is to embrace and customize those attributes that strengthen the education and development of adolescents, while eschewing the characteristics and methods that do not belong in a civilian enterprise.


Literacy | Reading Statistics


Learn your states grade and how it was graded. Find out the Strength of Each States Proficiency Standards 2005

Literacy Research and Best Practices - Government Agenda
Original Message -From: U.S. Department of Education
Sent: 2003 April 08, Tuesday Contact: David Thomas (202) 401-1576

NEW INTERNATIONAL STUDY COMPARES FOURTH-GRADE READING LITERACY IN U.S. AND 34 OTHER COUNTRIES For further information on International Comparisons in Fourth-Grade Reading Literacy: Findings from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2001, please visit NCES' web site at
The PIRLS Report can be
ordered by calling toll-free
(1-877-433-7827), TTY/TTD 1-877-576-7734;;
A new international study of reading literacy, International Comparisons in Fourth-Grade Reading Literacy: Findings from the Progress In International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) of 2001, was released today by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). This report compares findings about U.S. fourth-grade reading literacy with those from the 34 other countries that participated in PIRLS.
"The results from this study indicate that U.S. fourth-graders performed well on many reading tasks, but there is room for improvement," said Grover "Russ" Whitehurst, director of the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences. "In the United States there are significant gaps in reading literacy achievement between racial / ethnic groups, between students in high poverty schools and other public schools, and also between girls and boys."
International Comparisons in Fourth-Grade Reading Literacy provides information on a variety of reading topics, but with an emphasis on U.S. results: comparisons of average scores across the 35 countries on two reading subscales and a combined reading scale; and achievement broken out by sex internationally, and by race/ethnicity, by public and private schools, and by poverty levels of the school within the United States. The report also presents information on reading and instruction in the classroom and explores the reading habits of fourth-graders outside of school.

Key findings:

The 2003 Nation's Report Card
2002 - 68% of the nation's 4th graders are reading below proficiency. The same reports show that the problem extends throughout education: 64% of 12th graders never make it to the proficiency level.


African American
4th grade 60%
12th grade 46%

4th grade 56%
12th grade 39%

American Indian/Alaska Native
4th grade 49%
12th grade n/a

Asian/Pacific Islander
4th grade 30%
12th grade 27%

4th grade 25%
12th grade 21%

36% 4TH Graders
25% 8TH Graders
36% 12TH Graders




African American
4th grade 88%
12th grade 84%

4th grade 85%
12th grade 78%

American Indian/Alaska Native
4th grade 78%
12th grade 80%

Asian/Pacific Islander
4th grade 63%
12th grade 65%

4th grade 60%
12th grade 58%

68 % 4TH Graders
68 % 8TH Graders
64% 12TH Graders

Pa. ranks 49th of 50 in public school aid Private report gives state D-minus grade 1/6/04 By Jane Elizabeth, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Literacy evaluated for 64 major US cities 2003
A number of indicators of literacy were used, including educational attainment, library resources, newspaper circulation, the presence of bookstores.

The School District of Philadelphia is the seventh largest in the nation serving 208,170 as of 9/20/2000 including early childhood programs.

African-American 65.1%
Asian 4.8%
Hispanic 12.6%
Native American .2%
White 17.3%

Philadelphia Pennsylvania Education Empowerment Plan To improve the learning performance of Philadelphia's public school students by June 30, 2004, to ensure increased achievement of our students, such that the Philadelphia School District will be removed from the Education Empowerment List. Eleven school districts in Pennsylvania have been placed on the Empowerment List because of low average student performance. If District-wide student performance does not improve, a new team led by Pennsylvania's Secretary of Education can take control of Philadelphia's public schools. The District will provide extended time or summer programming to all students requiring additional support.
By June 2002, enroll 90% $16,390,200.
Million Dollar School Improvement Grant
for this year to partially fund certain programs identified in the Plan. Acting through the Secretary of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education has placed the District on the Education Empowerment List as a result of a combined average of 50 percent or more of the students in the District scoring in the bottom quartile in math and reading on the Pennsylvania System of Schools Assessment Test in the most recent two years. To be removed from the List and to qualify for the base annual grant provided for in the Act, the District must transmit to the Department an Improvement Plan that sets forth the manner in which the District, will, within three to four years, improve PSSA scores such that it can be removed from the List. Within 30 days after the Secretary placed the District on the List, the District, in accordance with the Act, established an 11-member Education Empowerment Team, which was formed to draft the Plan and furnish it to the District's Board of Education within the 120-day period required under the Act. The Empowerment Team is comprised of eleven members.

Literacy Statistics, Reading Statistics

Statistics PDF FILE
According to the National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS), 85 million adults in the United States - almost 35% . . . . etc.

National Research Council Committee on the Prevention of Reading Difficulties in Young Children (Snow etal., 1998) Describes problem does not offer solutions addressing minority differential in reading achievement.

Computer Technology and Instructional Reform
This site distributes research information from the national survey, Teaching, Learning, and Computing--1998, a study of teachers' use of computer technology, their pedagogies, and their school context. More than 4,000 teachers and related technology coordinators and school principals participated in the study. The study included schools and teachers from a national probability sample and also included purposive samples of schools and teachers because of their participation in major school reform programs or their unusually high amounts of computer technologies available.

Helping students at risk of failing, according to this 2001 report from the National Academies' Center for Education.

US vs Cuba Source