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Mike Bergin
12,109 followers -
Educational Entrepreneur - Nature Publisher - Bon Vivant
Educational Entrepreneur - Nature Publisher - Bon Vivant

12,109 followers
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Mike's posts

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What is your favorite eraser?

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Loving the World All Over Again

That's what it takes to be a hero. Happy Valentine's Day to all the lovers!
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What a jarring depiction of national priorities.
This Is How Much the US Spends on Imprisoning vs. Educating People, in One Startling GIF

Hardly a day goes by without a member of the media or policy world pronouncing that America's education system is in dire straits.

There are constant laments over how poorly the U.S. fares by international standards, its failure to produce literate students and its unsightly levels of racial segregation. There's a massive debate over how to overcome these problems, but there's no doubt that at least one factor would help: more money. 

But where would the money come from? America's broken and bloated prison system might be a good start.

Keeping someone alive in prison is expensive — much more so than educating them. The GIF below uses data from the Vera Institute of Justice's 2012 "Price of Prisons" report and 2012 U.S. Census data on public school costs. You can see that average resources devoted to prisoners annually easily outpace resources for students:

Housing a prisoner costs roughly five times as much as educating a student in California, Washington and Utah. In dozens of other states, the cost of imprisoning someone is far more than double or triple the cost of educating a student.

Mass incarceration is costly — and it doesn't work: Comparing the housing of prisoners to the education of students might seem like comparing apples and oranges. After all, a student is spending about a third of a day at school, while a prisoner is being kept alive 24/7. 

In light of that fact, there are two points worth noting:

First, the U.S. should simply not be spending any money on incarcerating many of the millions in prison all over the country. Since the 1970s, the U.S. has built a system of mass incarceration that is unrivaled the world over: About 25% of the world's prisoners are incarcerated in America, even though it hosts only 5% of the world's population. Brutal sentencing practices — lengthy minimum sentences, harsh penalties for minor drug possession, three strikes laws — have filled up our prisons at rates that outpace Russia and China. In other words, every state is spending huge sums of money on people who should either not be incarcerated in the first place or should at least be serving far shorter sentences. 

Second, the U.S. incarceration system is basically an inversion of its education system. As flawed as the public school system is in this country, children routinely emerge with knowledge and skills that allow them to contribute more effectively to society. By contrast, the voracious prison system systematically fails to rehabilitate its inmates. Nearly two-thirds of the inmates released every year return to prison. Those that manage to remain outside of it are often far worse off than before they were incarcerated, as they endure discrimination in housing, employment and political participation. 

Perhaps if more money were spent on creating and sustaining an education system that met all of its students' needs, we wouldn't need to spend so much money on putting people behind bars.

http://mic.com/articles/109340/this-is-how-much-the-us-spends-on-imprisoning-vs-educating-people-in-one-startling-gif

By Zeeshan Aleem January 28, 2015
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Coming in the next issue of Further: How to think like Einstein. Join us here - http://further.net
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Am I right?

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Did you know that willpower runs on sugar? That must explain why it's so hard to resist dessert ;)

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Via +Stacy Zemke in the Twitterverse this morning. I snorted my coffee: not just because of the great graphic but also because of someone else's tweet (who shall remain nameless) that was right before this one in my stream. Ah, the ironies of life!!!
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What if I told you that reading a PowerPoint aloud is not the same as teaching.
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If you're wondering what all the Christmas Bird Count fuss is about, check out just how many awesome freaking species can be found on one rainy December day in Costa Rica's Caribbean lowlands...

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