Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name



Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Janice E. Hale


A large, growing number of mis-educated American citizens are being produced by America's public schools. Many of these students are being funneled into the penal system shortly after dropping out of high school. This phenomenon is especially prevalent among African American male students, many of whom have withdrawn academically years prior to permanently dropping out of school. Additionally, to further underscore the importance of successfully educating African American students are the debilitating effects brought about after incarceration. About 4 million people in the United States, including 1.4 million Black men (13 percent of the adult male Black population) have currently or permanently lost their right to vote as a result of a felony conviction. In essence, more than a million poorly educated Black male individuals have lost their fundamental American right - the right of "one person, one vote". The denial of the right to vote subjects this population to a powerless status. They exist in society, but are politically powerless to influence their lives or the lives of their families. Consequently, the future of America's economic, political and social fabric is weakened as the number of well educated, self-actualized individuals diminishes.