Addressing the School to Prison Pipeline


Individual Presentation

First Presenter's Institution

Walden University

Second Presenter's Institution

Walden University

Third Presenter's Institution


Fourth Presenter's Institution


Fifth Presenter's Institution



Harborside East & West

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills


This session is relevant and timely. Schools are experiencing ever increasing discipline and behavior issues among students. This reality has lead to the School to Prison Pipeline phenomenon. This session will reveal strategies aimed at addressing many of the emotional and behavioral issues among students.

Brief Program Description

The school to prison pipeline has become one of the major issues concerning public schools; particularly those that serve poor, minority communities. There is a need for practical approaches for addressing this issue.


In addressing the issue of the school to prison pipeline school need to reinforce pro-social behavior school-wide. Therefore an effort such as the School Wide Positive Behavioral interventions and supports Model may provide much needed answers. The underlying theme is to teach behavioral expectations in the same manner as core curricular subjects. With a team of about 10 representative members of the school will receive specific training by experience d trainers. The tam should be comprised of administrators, teachers, coaches, counselors, special educators. The primary focus will be on three to five behavioral expectations that are positively stated and easy to remember. In other words, the program can be successful when the focus is not on telling students what to do, but rather reinforcing the preferred behaviors. For example, themes may include Respect for Yourself, Respect Others, and Respect Property. Another theme might be to reinforce Safety and Personal Responsibility. Yet another theme could be to exhibit respect for relationships and respect for responsibility. One the behavior expectations have been established the team will present a detailed plan to the entire school. The goal will be 80% staff buy in of the program. Consistency from class to class and adult to adult is critical to changing the overall culture of the school. The team will then create a matrix of what behavioral expectations look like, sound like, and feel like in all classroom and non-classroom areas alike.


Similar pro-social programs have had a significant impacts upon student behavior among all student demographics. These same strategies can now be leveraged to begin to address the problem of the school to prison pipeline. Data from programs that have been implemented has been very positive. Data collected regarding suspensions, expulsion, disciplinary actions, and calls to parents indicate a dramatic decrease in school wide behavioral issues among all students. Individual schools and districts have reported as much as a 70% decrease in suspension over the course of a single school year. The effect upon school climate and culture cannot be denied. This approach may hold some of the keys for schools as they attempt to address the behavioral issues giving rise to the school to prison pipeline phenomenon.

Biographical Sketch

Alfonzo Porter

Al Porter is a popular national speaker on contemporary educational issues, trends, legislative policy, reforms, and initiatives. As a education columnist with the RootDC (Washington Post) he covers a wide spectrum of issues pertaining to schools, students, and teachers. His radio show entitled "Say What??" w/Alfonzo Porter challenges conventional pedagogy and is broadcast on WOL AM1450 in Washington DC. Al is currently the Managing Partner of Vertex Learning, an Educational Publishing and Consulting firm located in the Washington DC Megalopolis. He is the past President/CEO of Porter Education & Communications, Inc. (PE&C). From 1999 thru 2010, PE&C served as a national education management and development company specializing in a full portfolio of services to students, families, government agencies, and school systems. He has also been a public school teacher and principal.

Porter is a highly charged, dynamic speaker in the areas of business motivation, education, personal growth, and inspiration for both youth and adults groups. He is also perfect for corporate, government, and national association events. Porter is a former award winning CEO, journalist, educator, author, trainer and youth advocate.

He is a highly sought after trainer and presenter on the academic achievement gap and its impact upon the American Workforce, Global Competitiveness, Economic Development, Teacher Training, and Student Preparedness from Kindergarten through College Graduation.

His most recent book, “More Like Barack, Less Like Tupac: Eradicating the Academic Achievement Gap by Countering Decades of the Hip Hop Hoax,” (PE&C, Inc. 2010), addresses the decline in performance of public education in America; and how this reality directly effects the bottom line of every industry in our nation. He is also the author of “The X Stands for Excellence,” (Kendall-Hunt Publishing, 1996), a motivational text for middle and high school teens.

Dr. Mary Jane Kirby

Dr. Kirby is a faculty member at Walden University Online. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Methodist University in Fayetteville, NC. She later attended Fayetteville State University where she earned dual masters in Elementary Education and Middle Level Education and a Master of Administration degree. Dr. Kirby received her PhD in Education with a specialization in Educational Administration from Capella University. She has spent 25 years in public educational field. She was inducted in Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society and Alpha Pi Omega Dramatic Honor Fraternity. She is also a Golden Life Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and a Life Member of the Ladies Auxiliary of Veterans of Foreign Wars. She published her dissertation, “The Advantages of Parental Involvement in Closing the Achievement Gap”, in 200

Keyword Descriptors

Pro-Social Behavior, Positive Behavior Reinforcement, School Culture

Presentation Year


Start Date

3-7-2017 4:00 PM

End Date

3-7-2017 5:30 PM

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Mar 7th, 4:00 PM Mar 7th, 5:30 PM

Addressing the School to Prison Pipeline

Harborside East & West

The school to prison pipeline has become one of the major issues concerning public schools; particularly those that serve poor, minority communities. There is a need for practical approaches for addressing this issue.