By Michael Meehan
Getting “smart on crime” means we cannot focus solely on arrests and continue to look for upstream solutions. After 29 years in law enforcement, I’m concerned with the cycles of violence and poverty that threaten the future of our children.
We can do a better job preventing crimes before they occur and keeping kids in school and off the street is a good place to start. A high school diploma goes a long way towards steering kids down a crime-free path. But each year well over 200,000 California students are suspended from school, many for relatively minor misbehavior, and close to 100,000 California students fail to graduate from high school on time.
There are proven interventions we can use to address California’s dropout crisis. But we stand the best chance of success if we shine a light on the most significant contributors to dropping out, and incentivize schools to help high-need students before it’s too late, through a quality accountability system.