Tag Archives: Council of State Governments

Council of State Governments Justice Center report: Little State Oversight of Educational Services Provided to Incarcerated Youth

15 Dec

Sophia Kerby wrote in the Center for American Progress report, The Top 10 Most Startling Facts About People of Color and Criminal Justice in the United States: A Look at the Racial Disparities Inherent in Our Nation’s Criminal-Justice System:

  1. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime. Individuals of color have a disproportionate number of encounters with law enforcement, indicating that racial profiling continues to be a problem. A report by the Department of Justice found that blacks and Hispanics were approximately three times more likely to be searched

  2. While people of color make up about 30 percent of the United States’ population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned. The prison population grew by 700 percent from 1970 to 2005, a rate that is outpacing crime and population rates. The incarceration rates disproportionately impact men of color: 1 in every 15 African American men and 1 in every 36 Hispanic men are incarcerated in comparison to 1 in every 106 white men.

  3. during a traffic stop than white motorists. African Americans were twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police.

  4. Students of color face harsher punishments in school than their white peers, leading to a higher number of youth of color incarcerated. Black and Hispanic students represent more than 70 percent of those involved in school-related arrests or referrals to law enforcement. Currently, African Americans make up two-fifths and Hispanics one-fifth of confined youth today.

  5. According to recent data by the Department of Education, African American students are arrested far more often than their white classmates. The data showed that 96,000 students were arrested and 242,000 referred to law enforcement by schools during the 2009-10 school year. Of those students, black and Hispanic students made up more than 70 percent of arrested or referred students. Harsh school punishments, from suspensions to arrests, have led to high numbers of youth of color coming into contact with the juvenile-justice system and at an earlier age.

  6. African American youth have higher rates of juvenile incarceration and are more likely to be sentenced to adult prison. According to the Sentencing Project, even though African American juvenile youth are about 16 percent of the youth population, 37 percent of their cases are moved to criminal court and 58 percent of African American youth are sent to adult prisons.

  7. As the number of women incarcerated has increased by 800 percent over the last three decades, women of color have been disproportionately represented. While the number of women incarcerated is relatively low, the racial and ethnic disparities are startling. African American women are three times more likely than white women to be incarcerated, while Hispanic women are 69 percent more likely than white women to be incarcerated.

  8. The war on drugs has been waged primarily in communities of color where people of color are more likely to receive higher offenses. According to the Human Rights Watch, people of color are no more likely to use or sell illegal drugs than whites, but they have higher rate of arrests. African Americans comprise 14 percent of regular drug users but are 37 percent of those arrested for drug offenses. From 1980 to 2007 about one in three of the 25.4 million adults arrested for drugs was African American.

  9. Once convicted, black offenders receive longer sentences compared to white offenders. The U.S. Sentencing Commission stated that in the federal system black offenders receive sentences that are 10 percent longer than white offenders for the same crimes. The Sentencing Project reports that African Americans are 21 percent more likely to receive mandatory-minimum sentences than white defendants and are 20 percent more like to be sentenced to prison.

  10. Voter laws that prohibit people with felony convictions to vote disproportionately impact men of color. An estimated 5.3 million Americans are denied the right to vote based on a past felony conviction. Felony disenfranchisement is exaggerated by racial disparities in the criminal-justice system, ultimately denying 13 percent of African American men the right to vote. Felony-disenfranchisement policies have led to 11 states denying the right to vote to more than 10 percent of their African American population.

  11. Studies have shown that people of color face disparities in wage trajectory following release from prison. Evidence shows that spending time in prison affects wage trajectories with a disproportionate impact on black men and women. The results show no evidence of racial divergence in wages prior to incarceration; however, following release from prison, wages grow at a 21 percent slower rate for black former inmates compared to white ex-convicts. A number of states have bans on people with certain convictions working in domestic health-service industries such as nursing, child care, and home health care—areas in which many poor women and women of color are disproportionately concentrated. http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/news/2012/03/13/11351/the-top-10-most-startling-facts-about-people-of-color-and-criminal-justice-in-the-united-states/

The question becomes is there anything that can be done to stop individual involvement in criminal activity and/or violent crime.

Denisa R. Superville wrote in the Education Week article, In Many States, Prospects Are Grim for Incarcerated Youths:

The quality of schooling for tens of thousands of incarcerated juveniles falls far short of the education their peers receive in public schools, advocates say, raising major concerns about the prospects of one of the most vulnerable groups of students.

Even as the number of incarcerated juveniles dropped significantly over the past decade, only 13 states provide students who are behind bars with the same types of educational and vocational services, including GED preparation, credit recovery, and postsecondary courses, that students in schools receive, a survey of juvenile-corrections agencies by the Council of State Governments Justice Center shows.

In a report released last month, the council found that many states do not hold schools inside juvenile correctional facilities—which can be run by the states, private companies, or nonprofit organizations—accountable for providing students with curricula aligned with a state’s college- and career-readiness standards. And many do not have rigorous oversight of educational programs at those facilities as they do for regular public schools.

While the number of juveniles in state custody has dropped in the past decade and a half, from more than 75,000 in 1997 to just under 36,000 in 2013, the proportion of juveniles in privately run and locally run facilities grew from 46 percent to 61 percent. That trend makes it harder to ensure that all students have access to programs of the same quality. (The council’s survey did not include all facilities where juveniles are locked up, including those in adult prisons.)

And students are not just shortchanged educationally when they are incarcerated, the report says. A number of states do not provide transition services to help juveniles re-enter the community, leaving it up to students, their parents, schools, and communities to figure out what to do once they are released, according to the report….

Related Stories

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/12/09/in-many-states-prospects-are-grim-for.html

Citation:

The Council of State Governments Justice Center, “Locked Out: Improving Educational and Vocational Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth” (New York: The Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2015).       https://csgjusticecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/LOCKED_OUT_Improving_Educational_and_Vocational_Outcomes_for_Incarcerated_Youth.pdf

Here is the press release from the Council of State Governments:

Study Highlights Little State Oversight of Educational Services Provided to Incarcerated Youth

November 5, 2015

By the CSG Justice Center Staff

A first-of-its-kind report released today by The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center found that most incarcerated youth do not have access to the same educational services as their peers in the community, and little accountability exists to ensure educational standards are met in lock-up.

The report, “Locked Out: Improving Educational and Vocational Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth,” reveals that despite spending between $100,000 and $300,000 per incarcerated child in secure facilities, only 13 states provide all incarcerated youth with access to the same types of educational services that students have in the community. Meanwhile, only nine states offer community-equivalent vocational services to all kids in lock-up.

“On average, what states spend on these kids while they are locked up is at least three times the cost of a Harvard tuition,” said Michael Thompson (pictured left), director of the CSG Justice Center. “Policymakers making this level of investment should be asking what type of education they expect to be provided to these youth.”

While most youth incarcerated 10 years ago were in facilities operated by state government, nearly two-thirds of youth locked up in the U.S. today are held in facilities operated by local government agencies or nonprofit or for-profit organizations.

The survey, conducted by the CSG Justice Center and in partnership with the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators, asked leaders in each state: Who is responsible for educating kids incarcerated in this patchwork of institutions? The report found that in more than 80 percent of states, no single state agency is charged with this authority, leaving an absence of leadership and, ultimately, accountability for ensuring youth make sufficient progress towards college and career readiness. The report also found:

  • Fewer than one in three states is able to document what percentage of youth released from a juvenile correctional facility subsequently obtain a high school diploma;
  • In nearly half of the states, it is up to the parent or guardian of the youth, or perhaps a community-based organization advocating on his or her behalf, to get that young person enrolled in a public school or another educational setting after his/her release from a correctional facility;
  • In more than one-third of states, youth released from a facility are automatically enrolled in an alternative educational setting, which often do not meet state curricular and performance standards and suffer from lower graduation rates that traditional public schools.

“This report shines a light on a group of youth who, for most people, are out-of-sight, out-of-mind,” said Susan Burke (pictured right), director of Utah’s Juvenile Justice Services. “For the first time, it’s clear that more state oversight is warranted to ensure all youth receive the necessary educational services they need to succeed later in life. I’m looking forward to working with leaders in the education community to figure out what we do about this important problem.”

On any given day, there are about 60,000 youth incarcerated in the U.S. This report examines the more than half of these young people—two-thirds of whom are black or Latino—who have been committed to the custody of the state, on average for three to 12 months. Incarcerated youth overall tend to be several grade levels behind their peers, more likely to have an educational disability, and have been suspended multiple times and/or expelled from local schools.

“Measurement and accountability have been the hallmarks of the public education system,” said Kent McGuire, president and CEO of the Southern Education Foundation. “But those values haven’t been applied as rigorously to the education provided to kids who are incarcerated. Educationally, these kids have fallen way behind their peers. It’s hard to think of a group of youth more acutely in need of educational services.”

The report also offers a host of recommendations focused on ensuring all incarcerated youth have access to the same educational and vocational services as their peers in the community, collecting and reporting student outcome data for youth incarcerated, and improving continuity of educational services after a youth is released from incarceration.

“With the progress we’ve already seen from states lowering their juvenile incarceration rates, it’s important that attention shift to improving services to help ensure these kids are not just reentering society, but succeeding in it,” said Michael Lawlor, undersecretary of Criminal Justice Policy and Planning for Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy and chair of the CSG Justice Center. “Every state can learn from this national report and the recommendations it provides.”

The report is a product of the National Reentry Resource Center, a project of the CSG Justice Center, and was made possible through funding from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, and developed in partnership with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency and Prevention.                                                                                                                                                               https://csgjusticecenter.org/youth/posts/study-highlights-little-state-oversight-of-educational-services-provided-to-incarcerated-youth/

It is going to take coordination between not only education institutions, but a strong social support system to get many of these children through school. This does not mean a large program directed from Washington. But, more resources at the local school level which allow discretion with accountability. For example, if I child is not coming to school because they have no shoes or winter coat, then the child gets new shoes and/or a coat. School breakfast and lunch programs must be supported and if necessary, expanded. Unfortunately, schools are now the early warning system for many families in crisis.

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School districts looking at ‘zero tolerance’ policies

2 Dec

In 2010 Council of State Governments Justice Center wrote a policy brief, Zero Tolerance Policies:
What are zero tolerance policies?

• Zero tolerance policies, which began as a way to approach drug enforcement, were widely adopted by schools in the 1990s. They mandate certain punishments for infractions regardless of the circumstances.1
• The most common reason for suspensions are fights, yet the majority of infractions are nonviolent, including:
•• Abusive language;
•• Attendance issues, such as tardiness;
•• Disobedience or disrespect; and
•• General classroom disruptions.2
Research is beginning to show there may be disparities in how zero tolerance policies are applied.
• Suspensions for students in kindergarten through the 12th grade have at least doubled since the 1970s for minority students.3
• Black students are more than three times more likely to be suspended than white students.4
• Looking at suspension data from 18 of the largest urban middle schools in 2002 and 2006, the greatest increase was among black females, which increased by more than 5 percent.
•• Black male suspensions increased by 1.7 percent.
•• Suspensions among white and Hispanic males and females either increased by less than half a percent or decreased.5
• In one study, 47 percent of elementary and middle school students, and 73 percent of high school students with emotional disabilities were suspended or expelled from school.6
• A Kansas study found that students with emotional disabilities were 12 times more likely to be suspended or expelled than all other students, including those
with and without disabilities.7
Whether zero tolerance policies improve the school environment and allow increased academic achievement is debatable.
• Studies show there is no evidence that connects student suspensions, which are perceived to improve the learning environment for other students by removing troublemakers, to improved academic outcomes for the school as a whole.8
• Students suspended in the sixth grade are more likely to receive suspensions in the eighth grade, indicating that suspensions are not a deterrent for future behavioral problems.
• A suspension is one of four indicators that point to an increased likelihood a student will not graduate from high school.9 The Council of State governments 1
1Rausch, M. Karega, and Skiba, Russell J. “Discipline, Disability, and Race: Disproportionality in Indiana Schools.” Center for Evaluation & Education Policy. Volume 4, Number 10, Fall 2006.
2Losen, Daniel J. and Skiba, Russell. “Suspended Education: Urban Middle Schools in Crisis.” http://www.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/downloads/publication/Suspended_Education.pdf
3Ibid.
4Ibid.
5Ibid.
6 Center for Evaluation & Education Policy.
7Ibid.
8Rausch, M. Karega, and Skiba, Russell J. “The Academic Cost of Discipline: The Relationship Between Suspension/Expulsion and School Achievement.” Center for Evaluation & Education Policy.
9 American Youth Policy Forum. “Improving the Transition from Middle Grades to High Schools: The Role of Early Warning Indicators.” Jan. 25, 2008. http://www.aypf.org/forumbriefs/2008/fb012508.htm
http://knowledgecenter.csg.org/kc/system/files/CR_FF_Zero_Tolerance_0.pdf

Moi wrote in Inappropriate discipline: The first step on the road to education failure:

Joan Gausted of the University of Oregon has an excellent article in Eric Digest 78, School Discipline:

School discipline has two main goals: (1) ensure the safety of staff and students, and (2) create an environment conducive to learning. Serious student misconduct involving violent or criminal behavior defeats these goals and often makes headlines in the process. However, the commonest discipline problems involve noncriminal student behavior (Moles 1989).

The issue for schools is how to maintain order, yet deal with noncriminal student behavior and keep children in school.

Alan Schwartz wrote a provocative article in the New York Times about a longitudinal study of discipline conducted in Texas. In School Discipline Study Raises Fresh Questions Schwartz reports:

Raising new questions about the effectiveness of school discipline, a report scheduled for release on Tuesday found that 31 percent of Texas students were suspended off campus or expelled at least once during their years in middle and high school — at an average of almost four times apiece. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/education/19discipline.html?_r=1&hpw

Donna St. George wrote a Washington Post article which elaborates on the Texas study.

In the article, Study shows wide varieties in discipline methods among very similar schools, St. George reports:

The report, released Tuesday, challenges a common misperception that the only way schools can manage behavior is through suspension, said Michael D. Thompson, a co-author of the report, done by the Council of State Governments Justice Center and Texas A&M University’s Public Policy Research Institute. “The bottom line is that schools can get different outcomes with very similar student bodies,” he said. “School administrators and school superintendents and teachers can have a dramatic impact….”
The results showed that suspension or expulsion greatly increased a student’s risk of being held back a grade, dropping out or landing in the juvenile justice system. Such ideas have been probed in other research, but not with such a large population and across a lengthy period, experts said. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/study-exposes-some-some-myths-about-school-discipline/2011/07/18/gIQAV0sZMI_story.html?wpisrc=emailtoafriend

Family First Aid has a good discussion about the types of behavior problems that result in suspension or expulsion. Dore Francis has a guide, which lists what parents should do if their child is suspended. The guide gives detailed instructions to these steps and other steps. Francis also lists what questions to ask after meeting with school officials. https://drwilda.com/2011/12/13/inappropriate-discipline-the-first-step-on-the-road-to-education-failure/

Lizette Alvarez reported in the New York Times article, Seeing the Toll, Schools Revise Zero Tolerance:

Rather than push children out of school, districts like Broward are now doing the opposite: choosing to keep lawbreaking students in school, away from trouble on the streets, and offering them counseling and other assistance aimed at changing behavior.
These alternative efforts are increasingly supported, sometimes even led, by state juvenile justice directors, judges and police officers.
In Broward, which had more than 1,000 arrests in the 2011 school year, the school district entered into a wide-ranging agreement last month with local law enforcement, the juvenile justice department and civil rights groups like the N.A.A.C.P. to overhaul its disciplinary policies and de-emphasize punishment.
Some states, prodded by parents and student groups, are similarly moving to change the laws; in 2009, Florida amended its laws to allow school administrators greater discretion in disciplining students.
“A knee-jerk reaction for minor offenses, suspending and expelling students, this is not the business we should be in,” said Robert W. Runcie, the Broward County Schools superintendent, who took the job in late 2011. “We are not accepting that we need to have hundreds of students getting arrested and getting records that impact their lifelong chances to get a job, go into the military, get financial aid.”
Nationwide, more than 70 percent of students involved in arrests or referrals to court are black or Hispanic, according to federal data.
“What you see is the beginning of a national trend here,” said Michael Thompson, the director of the Council of State Governments Justice Center. “Everybody recognizes right now that if we want to really find ways to close the achievement gap, we are really going to need to look at the huge number of kids being removed from school campuses who are not receiving any classroom time.”
Pressure to change has come from the Obama administration, too. Beginning in 2009, the Department of Justice and the Department of Education aggressively began to encourage schools to think twice before arresting and pushing children out of school. In some cases, as in Meridian, Miss., the federal government has sued to force change in schools.
Some view the shift as politically driven and worry that the pendulum may swing too far in the other direction. Ken Trump, a school security consultant, said that while existing policies are at times misused by school staffs and officers, the policies mostly work well, offering schools the right amount of discretion.
“It’s a political movement by civil rights organizations that have targeted school police,” Mr. Trump said. “If you politicize this on either side, it’s not going to help on the front lines.”
Supporters, though, emphasize the flexibility in these new policies and stress that they do not apply to students who commit felonies or pose a danger….
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/03/education/seeing-the-toll-schools-revisit-zero-tolerance.html?ref=education&_r=0

The whole child approach is useful in keeping many children in school.

Moi wrote in The ‘whole child’ approach to education: Many children do not have a positive education experience in the education system for a variety of reasons. Many educators are advocating for the “whole child” approach to increase the number of children who have a positive experience in the education process. https://drwilda.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/

In order to ensure that ALL children have a basic education, we must take a comprehensive approach to learning.

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

See:

Education Law Center http://www.edlawcenter.org/ELCPublic/StudentRights/StudentDiscipline.htm

Discipline In Schools: What Works and What Doesn’t? http://www.eduguide.org/article/discipline-in-school-what-works-and-what-doesnt

Justice for Children and Youth has a pamphlet -I’m being expelled from school – what are my rights? http://www.jfcy.org/pamphlets.html

Related:

Report: Black students more likely to be suspended https://drwilda.com/2012/08/07/report-black-students-more-likely-to-be-suspended/

Johns Hopkins study finds ‘Positive Behavior Intervention’ improves student behavior https://drwilda.com/2012/10/22/johns-hopkins-study-finds-positive-behavior-intervention-improves-student-behavior/

Pre-kindergarten programs help at-risk students prepare for school https://drwilda.com/2012/07/16/pre-kindergarten-programs-help-at-risk-students-prepare-for-school/

A strategy to reduce school suspensions: ‘School Wide Positive Behavior Support’ https://drwilda.com/2012/07/01/a-strategy-to-reduce-school-suspensions-school-wide-positive-behavior-support/

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Important Miranda case involving schools: N.C. v. Kentucky, No. 2011-SC-000271 (Ky. Apr. 25, 2013)

4 Sep

Moi wrote in Inappropriate discipline: The first step on the road to education failure:
Joan Gausted of the University of Oregon has an excellent article in Eric Digest 78, School Discipline

School discipline has two main goals: (1) ensure the safety of staff and students, and (2) create an environment conducive to learning. Serious student misconduct involving violent or criminal behavior defeats these goals and often makes headlines in the process. However, the commonest discipline problems involve noncriminal student behavior (Moles 1989). http://www.ericdigests.org/1992-1/school.htm

The issue for schools is how to maintain order, yet deal with noncriminal student behavior and keep children in school.

Alan Schwartz has a provocative article in the New York Times about a longitudinal study of discipline conducted in Texas. In School Discipline Study Raises Fresh Questions Schwartz reports:

Raising new questions about the effectiveness of school discipline, a report scheduled for release on Tuesday found that 31 percent of Texas students were suspended off campus or expelled at least once during their years in middle and high school — at an average of almost four times apiece. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/education/19discipline.html?_r=2&hpw&

Donna St. George has written a Washington Post article which elaborates on the Texas study.

In the article, Study shows wide varieties in discipline methods among very similar schools, St. George reports:

The report, released Tuesday, challenges a common misperception that the only way schools can manage behavior is through suspension, said Michael D. Thompson, a co-author of the report, done by the Council of State Governments Justice Center and Texas A&M University’s Public Policy Research Institute. “The bottom line is that schools can get different outcomes with very similar student bodies,” he said. “School administrators and school superintendents and teachers can have a dramatic impact….”
The results showed that suspension or expulsion greatly increased a student’s risk of being held back a grade, dropping out or landing in the juvenile justice system. Such ideas have been probed in other research, but not with such a large population and across a lengthy period, experts said.http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/study-exposes-some-some-myths-about-school-discipline/2011/07/18/gIQAV0sZMI_story.html?wpisrc=emailtoafriend

Family First Aid http://www.familyfirstaid.org/expelled-teen.html has a good discussion about the types of behavior problems that result in suspension or expulsion. Dore Francis has a guide, which lists what parents should do if their child is suspended. The guide http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/education/19discipline.html?_r=2&hpw& gives detailed instructions to these steps and other steps. Francis also lists what questions to ask after meeting with school officials. https://drwilda.com/2011/12/13/inappropriate-discipline-the-first-step-on-the-road-to-education-failure/ Schools must balance the need for control and order with appropriate discipline.

Mark Walsh reported in the Education Week article, ‘Miranda’ Warning Needed in School Drug Case, Court Rules:

A high school student’s statements to an assistant principal about giving prescription pills to other students had to be suppressed in a criminal proceeding because the student had not been given a Miranda warning, Kentucky’s highest court has ruled.
The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that the student was in custody when he was questioned by the assistant principal in the presence of a sheriff’s deputy who served as the school resource officer. Thus, he should have been given the familiar warnings from the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1966 ruling in Miranda v. Arizona about the right to remain silent, the right to counsel, and that any statements he made could be used against him.
The student, a juvenile identified in court papers as N.C., made several incriminating statements to the assistant principal about possessing hydrocodone pills and giving two of them to another student. “I did something stupid,” the student said.
The assistant principal explained that the student had violated school rules and would be disciplined. (He was eventually expelled.)
The school resource officer, meanwhile, told N.C. that he had also violated state drug laws and would be charged in juvenile court. The student was charged with felony possession and dispensing of a controlled substance. After a juvenile trial court refused to suppress his statements, N.C. entered a conditional guilty plea and was sentenced to 45 days in jail.
The student’s appeal to the Kentucky Supreme Court argued that the admission of his statements to the assistant principal violated his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. In its April 25 decision in N.C. v. Commonwealth of Kentucky, the state high court agreed.
The court said that under the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2011 decision in J.D.B. v. North Carolina, in which the justices ruled that a suspect’s youth was an important factor in weighing whether he was in custody for purposes of delivering a Miranda warning, it was clear that N.C. was in custody when he was questioned about the pills. He was pulled from class by the SRO, who was present during the assistant principal’s questioning. The student had no reason to believe he was free to leave. However, he was under the impression that he was only facing school discipline, and not that his statements might be used against him in a criminal proceeding, the court noted.
“No reasonable student, even the vast majority of 17-year-olds, would have believed that he was at liberty to remain silent, or to leave, or that he was even admitting to criminal responsibility under these circumstances,” Justice Mary C. Noble wrote for the majority.
The court was troubled by the fact that the assistant principal and school resource officer had worked in “tandem” before in questioning students. “Clearly, the assistant principal and the officer had a loose routine they followed for questioning students when there was suspected criminal activity,” the court said.
The court also expressed concern that the adoption of zero-tolerance policies for student possession of drugs and other contraband was leading to “a dramatic shift away from traditional in-school discipline towards greater reliance on juvenile justice interventions.”
“To the extent that school safety is involved, school officials must be able to question students to avoid potential harm to that student and other students and school personnel,” Noble said. “But when that questioning is done in the presence of law enforcement, for the additional purpose of obtaining evidence against the student to use in placing a criminal charge, the student’s personal rights must be recognized.”
“A proper balance is struck,” Noble added, “if school officials may question freely for school discipline and safety purposes, but any statement obtained may not be used against a student as a basis for a criminal charge when law enforcement is involved or if the principal is working in concert with law enforcement in obtaining incriminating statements, unless the student is given the Miranda warnings and makes a knowing, voluntary statement after the warnings have been given.”
A concurring justice stressed the availability of the “public safety exception” to the Miranda requirement, a lesson many in the country have learned in the last week in the case of the suspected Boston Marathon bomber. Justice Lisabeth Hughes Abramson noted a 2007 Massachusetts state court ruling that the public safety exception applied in a case in which a 13-year-old found in possession of bullets was questioned about whether he had a gun without being given a Miranda warning.
Writing in dissent, Justice Bill Cunningham said the majority’s decision will tie the hands of school administrators. He said students “are always in custody” when they are in public schools and that school resource officers are more like school personnel than traditional police officers.
“In this day and age, we should not be impairing school safety by the enlargement of rights of the students,” Cunningham said.
In a separate dissent, Justice Daniel J. Venters said he did not think the “exclusionary rule,” in which evidence obtained in violation of a suspect’s rights may not be admitted in court, should apply to most juvenile proceedings.
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/school_law/2013/04/student_merited_miranda_warnin.html

Here is the case brief from Legal Clips:

Kentucky Supreme Court rules student was entitled to Miranda warnings before questioning by assistant principal in the presence of school resource officer
N.C. v. Kentucky, No. 2011-SC-000271 (Ky. Apr. 25, 2013)
Abstract: The Kentucky Supreme Court, in a 4-3 split, rules that a high school student, who was detained in the school office for questioning by an assistant principal regarding giving prescription drugs to a classmate in the presence of a school resource officer, was entitled to Miranda warnings before the school official began the questioning. The court’s majority held “that any incriminating statements elicited under the circumstances of this case, with a school official working with the police on a case involving a criminal offense, the police failing to give Miranda warnings, and the juvenile being in custody, are subject to suppression under the Unified Juvenile Code and the Fifth Amendment.” It concluded that the student was in custody at the time of questioning and any statements made must be suppressed.
Facts: Issues: A teacher at Nelson County High School (NCHS) found an empty prescription pill bottle for hydrocodone with student N.C.’s name on it on the floor in the boy’s bathroom. An investigation was conducted before N.C. was questioned. Assistant Principal Michael Glass, having ascertained that N.C. had given some pills to a classmate, went with Steven D. Campbell, a Nelson County deputy sheriff assigned to NCHS as the School Resource Officer (SRO), to remove N.C. from class for questioning.
N.C. was taken to a room in the school office where he was subjected to closed door questioning by Glass in the presence of the SRO. After Glass informed N.C. that he had recovered the bottle, N.C. admitted to having given two of the pills to a classmate. N.C. explained that the medication had been prescribed after he had his wisdom teeth removed.
A.P. Glass told N.C. that he was subject to school discipline (in fact he was subsequently expelled). He then left to check on the other student while the SRO told N.C. that he would be charged with a crime and explained the criminal consequences. N.C. was charged with possessing and dispensing a controlled substance, a Class D felony, in a juvenile petition.
The SRO testified that he was present throughout the questioning, and participated in the discussion. He was either wearing his uniform or a shirt that said “Sheriff’s Office,” and was armed with a gun. He was assigned to the high school from the sheriff’s office, and had been there daily for the last four years. It was the SRO’s decision to file charges against N.C. At no time did the SRO tell N.C. that he was free to leave or give him any version of the Miranda warnings, though the officer obviously understood that the hydrocodone was a scheduled narcotic, as evidenced by the charges he filed in juvenile court. The charges read that N.C. “has admitted to the affiant to giving two (2) of his prescription pills (Hydrocodone, Schedule II drug for pain relief) to another student at Nelson County High School.”
The assistant principal testified that he knew how the SRO operated in criminal investigations, since this was not their “first go around” interrogating juveniles together. Clearly, the assistant principal and the officer had a loose routine they followed for questioning students when there was suspected criminal activity.
N.C. filed a motion to suppress the statements he made to A.P. Glass. The juvenile court denied N.C.’s motion to suppress. N.C. entered a conditional guilty plea to the charge, reserving the right to appeal the denial of his motion. He appealed to the Nelson Circuit Court, which affirmed the lower court decision. A motion for discretionary review was filed at the Kentucky Court of Appeals, which denied review. In February 2012, the Kentucky Supreme Court granted review.
Ruling/Rationale: A four justice majority of the Kentucky Supreme Court framed the issue as “whether a student is entitled to the benefit of the Miranda warnings before being questioned by a school official in conjunction with a law enforcement officer, the SRO, when he is subject to criminal charges.” The majority held that the statements N.C. made to the assistant principal should be suppressed under the Kentucky Unified Juvenile Code and the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. In addition to the majority opinion, there was one concurring opinion and two dissenting opinions.
According to the majority, the question “presents a nexus between the rights of a juvenile accused of a crime and the needs of school officials to maintain order in the schools and protection for the other children in their care on the school premises or during school activities.” Beginning with a discussion of whether Miranda applies, it looked to the two-part threshold that must be satisfied before the warnings are required. The two-step threshold requires both questioning by law enforcement and being held in custody.
The majority noted that when it is the police or other law enforcement officer who is doing the questioning, the first threshold is obviously met. Further, it pointed out that since Miranda, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that in some situations persons who are not law enforcement will be treated as such for Miranda purposes. The Supreme Court has noted that the law enforcement requirement in Miranda may be contextual. Kentucky followed this line of reasoning in Buster v. Commonwealth, 364 S.W.3d 157 (Ky. 2012), where the Kentucky Supreme Court held that a non-law enforcement person was acting on behalf of or in concert with police to obtain a confession and thus Miranda warnings were required. In Buster, police could not obtain a statement from a mentally challenged suspect, so they engaged a social worker, whom the suspect knew well and trusted, to question the suspect and turn the information over to police. This made the questioning “indistinguishable from the police investigation,” and therefore the social
http://legalclips.nsba.org/?p=20039

The National Association of school Boards has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case as reported in the article, School Boards urge U.S. Supreme Court to review Kentucky student “Miranda” case:

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) and the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Kentucky state supreme court decision that would force schools to issue Miranda warnings to students when questioned by school officials in the presence of school resource officers.
NSBA and KSBA are joined by 15 other education groups, including the American Association of School Administrators and the National Association of School Resource Officers, and local educational cooperatives in an amicus brief to the high court in Commonwealth of Kentucky v. N.C. The brief maintains a recent ruling by the Kentucky Supreme Court is too rigid and restricts school administrators’ ability to react quickly to dangerous situations. The ruling also mischaracterized the role of school resource officers, who perform numerous duties such as student counseling, instruction, and public safety and law enforcement functions, and it limits their abilities to keep schools secure.
“School officials must be allowed to use their professional judgment to handle student disciplinary matters and maintain safety in the unique and often complex school environment,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “School boards must be vigilant about protecting all students’ safety, and this decision by the Kentucky Supreme Court undermines their abilities.”
The case involves a student who had confessed to a school principal, with a school resource officer present, that he had given a banned substance to another student. Ignoring a lengthy list of other decisions regarding the role of school officials and the use of Miranda rights in the context of a K-12 school environment, the Kentucky high court ruled that the student was not read his Miranda rights and thus his confession could be suppressed.
It is particularly important for school administrators and school resource officers to build lines of communications with their students, who are usually their primary source of information about issues that impact school safety, such as drugs or weapons, so that they can preserve a safe school climate. By forcing school resource officers to read Miranda rights, this ruling would intimidate students and chill these important sources of information.
“School resource officers have become integral preventive safety tools in hundreds of Kentucky schools. They interact every day with administrators and students alike,” said David Baird, Interim Executive Director of KSBA. “Our members feel the court ruling unjustly drives a wedge in this process that could keep critical safety information from being shared by students with principals or security officers.”
http://schoolboardnews.nsba.org/2013/08/miranda-case/

The whole child approach is useful in keeping many children in school.

Moi wrote in The ‘whole child’ approach to education: Many children do not have a positive education experience in the education system for a variety of reasons. Many educators are advocating for the “whole child” approach to increase the number of children who have a positive experience in the education process. https://drwilda.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/
In order to ensure that ALL children have a basic education, we must take a comprehensive approach to learning.

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

See:

Education Law Center
http://www.edlawcenter.org/ELCPublic/StudentRights/StudentDiscipline.htm

Discipline In Schools: What Works and What Doesn’t?
http://www.eduguide.org/article/discipline-in-school-what-works-and-what-doesnt

Related:

Report: Black students more likely to be suspended
https://drwilda.com/2012/08/07/report-black-students-more-likely-to-be-suspended/

Johns Hopkins study finds ‘Positive Behavior Intervention’ improves student behavior
https://drwilda.com/2012/10/22/johns-hopkins-study-finds-positive-behavior-intervention-improves-student-behavior/

Pre-kindergarten programs help at-risk students prepare for school
https://drwilda.com/2012/07/16/pre-kindergarten-programs-help-at-risk-students-prepare-for-school/

A strategy to reduce school suspensions: ‘School Wide Positive Behavior Support’
https://drwilda.com/2012/07/01/a-strategy-to-reduce-school-suspensions-school-wide-positive-behavior-support/

Alternative discipline: Helping disruptive children stay in school
https://drwilda.com/2012/11/12/alternative-discipline-helping-disruptive-children-stay-in-school/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Rand study: Education programs lower prison recidivism

27 Aug

Moi has posted about the “school-to-prison” pipeline in The ‘school-to-prison pipeline’: Moi wrote about the “school-to-prison pipeline” in Inappropriate discipline: The first step on the road to education failure:
Joan Gausted of the University of Oregon has an excellent article in Eric Digest 78, School Discipline:

School discipline has two main goals: (1) ensure the safety of staff and students, and (2) create an environment conducive to learning. Serious student misconduct involving violent or criminal behavior defeats these goals and often makes headlines in the process. However, the commonest discipline problems involve noncriminal student behavior (Moles 1989).

The issue for schools is how to maintain order, yet deal with noncriminal student behavior and keep children in school.

Alan Schwartz has a provocative article in the New York Times about a longitudinal study of discipline conducted in Texas. In School Discipline Study Raises Fresh Questions Schwartz reports:

Raising new questions about the effectiveness of school discipline, a report scheduled for release on Tuesday found that 31 percent of Texas students were suspended off campus or expelled at least once during their years in middle and high school — at an average of almost four times apiece. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/education/19discipline.html?_r=2&hpw&

Donna St. George has written a Washington Post article which elaborates on the Texas study.

In the article, Study shows wide varieties in discipline methods among very similar schools, St. George reports:

The report, released Tuesday, challenges a common misperception that the only way schools can manage behavior is through suspension, said Michael D. Thompson, a co-author of the report, done by the Council of State Governments Justice Center and Texas A&M University’s Public Policy Research Institute. “The bottom line is that schools can get different outcomes with very similar student bodies,” he said. “School administrators and school superintendents and teachers can have a dramatic impact….”
The results showed that suspension or expulsion greatly increased a student’s risk of being held back a grade, dropping out or landing in the juvenile justice system. Such ideas have been probed in other research, but not with such a large population and across a lengthy period, experts said.http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/study-exposes-some-some-myths-about-school-discipline/2011/07/18/gIQAV0sZMI_story.html?wpisrc=emailtoafriend

Family First Aid has a good discussion about the types of behavior problems that result in suspension or expulsion. Dore Francis has a guide, which lists what parents should do if their child is suspended. The guide gives detailed instructions to these steps and other steps. Francis also lists what questions to ask after meeting with school officials.https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/inappropriate-discipline-the-first-step-on-the-road-to-education-failure/
https://drwilda.com/2012/11/27/the-school-to-prison-pipeline/

Sarah D. Sparks reported in the Education Week article, Education Lowers Prison Recidivism, Study Finds:

Finally, some good news in the so-called school-to-prison pipeline: It goes both ways.A new study by the RAND Corp., a Washington-based policy research group, finds that inmates who participate in prison education programs are more likely to find a job and less likely to return to prison after being released. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2013/08/education_lowers_prison_recidi.html?intc=es

Here is the press release from Rand:

FOR RELEASE
Thursday
August 22, 2013
Prison inmates who receive general education and vocational training are significantly less likely to return to prison after release and are more likely to find employment than peers who do not receive such opportunities, according to a new RAND Corporation report.
The findings, from the largest-ever meta-analysis of correctional educational studies, suggest that prison education programs are cost effective, with a $1 investment in prison education reducing incarceration costs by $4 to $5 during the first three years post-release.
“We found strong evidence that correctional education plays a role in reducing recidivism,” said Lois Davis, the project’s lead researcher and a senior policy researcher at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. “Our findings are clear that providing inmates education programs and vocational training helps keep them from returning to prison and improves their future job prospects.”
Researchers found that inmates who participate in correctional education programs have a 43 percent lower odds of returning to prison than those who do not. The estimate is based on studies that carefully account for motivation and other differences between correctional education recipients and non-recipients.
Employment after release was 13 percent higher among prisoners who participated in either academic or vocational education programs than those who did not. Those who participated in vocational training were 28 percent more likely to be employed after release from prison than who did not receive such training.
The findings also suggest that prison education programs are cost effective. The direct costs of providing education are estimated to be from $1,400 to $1,744 per inmate, with re-incarceration costs being $8,700 to $9,700 less for each inmate who received correctional education as compared to those who did not.
While the results consistently demonstrated the benefits of prison education programs, researchers say there is not yet enough evidence to determine which educational programs performed the best.
“Our findings suggest that we no longer need to debate whether correctional education works,” Davis said. “But we do need more research to tease out which parts of these programs work best.”
The study, which was supported by the U.S. departments of Justice and Education, should be of interest to corrections officials and state lawmakers as they cope with operating prisons during difficult budget times.
There long has been debate about the role prison-based education programs can play in preparing inmates to return to society and keeping them from returning to prison. Recidivism remains high nationally, with four in 10 inmates returning to prison within three years of release. While most states offer some type of correctional education, surveys find no more than half of inmates receive any instruction.
In general, people in U.S. prisons have less education than the general population. In 2004, 36 percent of individuals in state prisons had less than a high school diploma, compared to 19 percent of the general U.S. population older than 16.
In addition, ex-offenders frequently often lack vocational skills and a steady history of employment. Researchers say the dynamics of prison entry and re-entry to society make it hard for ex-offenders to find work and build an employment history.
RAND researchers conducted a comprehensive review of the scientific literature of research on correctional education and performed a meta-analysis to synthesize the findings from multiple studies about the effectiveness of correctional education programs. A meta-analysis is a comprehensive way of synthesizing findings from multiple studies to develop scientific consensus about the efficacy of a program or an intervention.
The analysis was limited to studies published about education programs in the United States that included an academic or vocational curriculum with a structured instructional component. The analysis focused on recidivism, but also examined whether education improved labor force participation and gains in academic achievement test scores. The study did not assess life skills programs.
Programs that offered instruction toward a high school diploma or general education development (GED) certificate were the most common approach. Studies that included adult basic education, high school diploma/GED, postsecondary education and vocational training all showed reductions in recidivism.
Because of overlaps in curriculum and a lack of detail about the duration of instruction, researchers could not determine what types of programs worked best.
Researchers also examined the relationship between computer-assisted instruction and academic performance, which is important in prisons because the technology allows self-paced learning that can be delivered at a lower cost than traditional instruction.
The study found some evidence that computer-assisted instruction further improved math and reading achievement among inmates, but the findings were not strong enough to reach a final conclusion.
“As corrections officials struggle to cope during a period of constrained government spending, prison education is an approach that may help save money in even the short term,” Davis said.
Funding for the study was provided by the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance. Other authors of the study are Robert Bozick, Jennifer Steele, Jessica Saunders and Jeremy Miles.
The project was conducted within the RAND Safety and Justice Program, which conducts public policy research on corrections, policing, public safety and occupational safety.

Citation:

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Correctional Education: A Meta-Analysis of Programs That Provide Education to Incarcerated Adults — 2013
A Meta-Analysis of Programs That Provide Education to Incarcerated Adults
• by
• Lois M. Davis,
• Robert Bozick,
• Jennifer L. Steele,
• Jessica Saunders,
• Jeremy N. V. Miles
• Save to My RAND
• Citation

• Abstract

After conducting a comprehensive literature search, the authors undertook a meta-analysis to examine the association between correctional education and reductions in recidivism, improvements in employment after release from prison, and learning in math and in reading. Their findings support the premise that receiving correctional education while incarcerated reduces an individual’s risk of recidivating. They also found that those receiving correctional education had improved odds of obtaining employment after release. The authors also examined the benefits of computer-assisted learning
Key Findings
Correctional Education Improves Inmates’ Outcomes after Release
• Correctional education improves inmates’ chances of not returning to prison.
• Inmates who participate in correctional education programs had a 43 percent lower odds of recidivating than those who did not. This translates to a reduction in the risk of recidivating of 13 percentage points.
• It may improve their chances of obtaining employment after release. The odds of obtaining employment post-release among inmates who participated in correctional education was 13 percent higher than the odds for those who did not participate in correctional education.
• Inmates exposed to computer-assisted instruction learned slightly more in reading and substantially more in math in the same amount of instructional time.
• Providing correctional education can be cost-effective when it comes to reducing recidivism.
Recommendations:
• Further studies should be undertaken to identify the characteristics of effective programs in terms of curriculum, dosage, and quality.
• Future studies should incorporate stronger research designs.
• Funding grants would be useful in helping further the field, by enabling correctional educators to partner with researchers and evaluators to evaluate their programs.
• A study registry of correctional education evaluations would help develop the evidence base in the field, to inform policy and programmatic decisionmaking.
http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR266.html
In Who says Black children can’t learn? Some schools get it, moi said:
People want an education for a variety of reasons. Some have a love of learning. Others want to attend a good college or vocational school. Still others, see an education as a ticket to a good job. Increasingly for schools, the goal is to prepare kids with the skills to attend and succeed at college. In order to give children the skills to succeed, schools need teachers who are effective at educating their population of kids. There are many themes in the attempt to answer the question, what will prepare kids for what comes after high school. What will prepare kids for what comes after high school is a good basic education. The schools that provide a good basic education are relentless about the basics.https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/who-says-black-children-cant-learn-some-schools-gets-it/

See:

Education Law Center
http://www.edlawcenter.org/ELCPublic/StudentRights/StudentDiscipline.htm

Discipline In Schools: What Works and What Doesn’t?
http://www.eduguide.org/article/discipline-in-school-what-works-and-what-doesnt

Related:

A strategy to reduce school suspensions: ‘School Wide Positive Behavior Support’
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/a-strategy-to-reduce-school-suspensions-school-wide-positive-behavior-support/

Single-sex classrooms should be allowed in public schools
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/single-sex-classrooms-should-be-allowed-in-public-schools/

Boys of color: Resources from the Boys Initiative
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/boys-of-color-resources-from-the-boys-initiative/

U.S. Education Dept. Civil Rights Office releases report on racial disparity in school retention
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/u-s-education-dept-civil-rights-office-releases-report-on-racial-disparity-in-school-retention/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Study: Gender behavior differences lead to higher grades for girls

7 Jan

Moi wrote about gender differences in Boys are different from girls despite what the culture is trying to say

Joan Gausted of the University of Oregon has an excellent article in Eric Digest 78, School Discipline

School discipline has two main goals: (1) ensure the safety of staff and students, and (2) create an environment conducive to learning. Serious student misconduct involving violent or criminal behavior defeats these goals and often makes headlines in the process. However, the commonest discipline problems involve noncriminal student behavior (Moles 1989).

Quite often, children who are disciplined tend to be boys and more often than not, boys of color. The issue for schools is how to maintain order, yet deal with noncriminal student behavior and keep children in school.

Alan Schwartz has a provocative article in the New York Times about a longitudinal study of discipline conducted in Texas. In School Discipline Study Raises Fresh Questions  Schwartz reports about the Texas study conducted under the auspices of the Council of State Governments. Martha Plotkin reports at the Council of State Governments site in the article, Out of Class Into Court Discretion in School Discipline has Big Impacts, Groundbreaking CSG Study Finds:

The numbers are startling.

Nearly 60 percent of students in Texas received at least one disciplinary action—including in-school suspensions ranging from a single class period to several days, with no cap on how many suspensions they can receive in a school year;

More than 30 percent had out-of-school suspensions of up to three days, with no cap on the number in a year;

About 15 percent were sent to Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs for an average of 27 days;

Approximately 8 percent were placed in Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Programs, averaging 73 days.

Those are some of the findings from a recent report, Breaking Schools’ Rules: A Statewide Study of How School Discipline Relates to Students’ Success and Juvenile Justice Involvement. The study, released July 19, was a partnership between The Council of State Governments Justice Center and the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M….

Students who were repeatedly disciplined often experienced poor outcomes at particularly high rates. The Texas study found that 15 percent of Texas students had 11 or more disciplinary violations between seventh and 12th grades; about half of those frequent violators had subsequent contact with the juvenile justice system. Repeated suspensions and expulsions also predicted poor academic outcomes. Only 40 percent of students disciplined 11 times or more graduated from high school during the study period, and 31 percent of students disciplined one or more times repeated their grade at least once, compared with 5 percent of students who had not been disciplined.

Even students who were disciplined less frequently were still more likely to repeat a grade or drop out. A student who had experienced a discretionary disciplinary action was twice as likely to repeat a grade as a student who had the same characteristics and attended a similar school but was not suspended or expelled. The results were also troubling in regard to keeping students with disciplinary histories in school. Nearly 10 percent of students with at least one disciplinary contact dropped out of school, compared to just 2 percent of students with no disciplinary actions.

http://www.csg.org/pubs/capitolideas/sep_oct_2011/schooldiscipline.aspx

Some in the current culture do not want to recognize that boys have different styles, because to say otherwise is just not politically correct (P.C.). Being P.C., however, is throwing a lot of kids under the bus. https://drwilda.com/2011/11/02/boys-are-different-from-girls-despite-what-the-culture-is-trying-to-say/

Huffington Post is reporting in the article, Elementary School Bias Against Boys Sets Them Up For Failure: Study:

Academics from the University of Georgia and Columbia University think they have more insight into why girls earn higher grades on report cards than boys do, despite the fact that girls do not necessarily outperform boys on achievement or IQ tests.

Christopher Cornwell, head of economics at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, UGA’s David Mustard and Columbia’s Jessica Van Parys have published a study that they say shows “gender disparities in teacher grades start early and uniformly favor girls.”

The researchers analyzed data from 5,800 elementary school students and found that boys performed better on standardized exams in math, reading and science than their course grades reflected. The authors suggest that girls are truly only outperforming boys in “non-cognitive approaches to learning” — defined as attentiveness, task persistence, eagerness to learn, learning independence, flexibility and organization — leading to better grades from teachers. The study is published in the latest issue of The Journal of Human Resources. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/03/elementary-school-bias-boys_n_2404898.html

The University of Georgia highlights Professor Cornwell’s research in the following press release, Why girls are better students, even when they’re not:

Why do girls get better grades in elementary school than boys—even when they perform worse on standardized tests?

New research from the University of Georgia and Columbia University and published in the current issue of Journal of Human Resources, suggests that it’s because of their classroom behavior, which may lead teachers to assign girls higher grades than their male counterparts.

The skill that matters the most in regards to how teachers graded their students is what we refer to as ‘approaches toward learning,’” said Christopher Cornwell, head of economics at UGA’s Terry College of Business and one of the study’s authors. “You can think of ‘approaches to learning’ as a rough measure of what a child’s attitude toward school is: It includes six items that rate the child’s attentiveness, task persistence, eagerness to learn, learning independence, flexibility, and organization. I think that anybody who’s a parent of boys and girls can tell you that girls are more of all of that.”

The study, co-authored by Cornwell and David Mustard at UGA and Jessica Van Parys at Columbia, analyzed data on more than 5,800 students from kindergarten through fifth grade. It examined students’ performance on standardized tests in three categories—reading, math and science—linking test scores to teachers’ assessments of their students’ progress, both academically and more broadly.

The data show, for the first time, that gender disparities in teacher grades start early and uniformly favor girls. In every subject area, boys are represented in grade distributions below where their test scores would predict.

The authors attribute this misalignment to what they called non-cognitive skills, or “how well each child was engaged in the classroom, how often the child externalized or internalized problems, how often the child lost control, and how well the child developed interpersonal skills.” They even report evidence of a grade bonus for boys with test scores and behavior like their girl counterparts.

This difference can have long-reaching effects, Cornwell said.

The trajectory at which a kid moves through school is often influenced by a teacher’s assessment of their performance, their grades. This affects their ability to enter into advanced classes and other kinds of academic opportunities, even post-secondary opportunities,” he said. “It’s also typically the grades you earn in school that are weighted the most heavily in college admissions. So if grade disparities emerge this early on, it’s not surprising that by the time these children are ready to go to college, girls will be better positioned.”

Research about gender differences in the classroom and beyond has grabbed headlines recently. Titles like Hannah Rosin’s “The End of Men and the Rise of Women” and Kay Hymowitz’s “Manning Up” have spent months on best-seller lists and inspired countless discussions in the media.

We seem to have gotten to a point in the popular consciousness where people are recognizing the story in these data: Men are falling behind relative to women. Economists have looked at this from a number of different angles, but it’s in educational assessments that you make your mark for the labor market,” Cornwell said. “Men’s rate of college going has slowed in recent years whereas women’s has not, but if you roll the story back far enough, to the 60s and 70s, women were going to college in much fewer numbers. It’s at a point now, where you’ve got women earning upward of 60 percent of the bachelors’ degrees awarded every year.”

But despite changing college demographics, the new data may not be reflecting anything fundamentally new.

My argument is that this has always been true about boys and girls. Girls didn’t all of the sudden become more engaged and boys didn’t suddenly become more rambunctious,” Cornwell said. “Their attitudes toward learning were always this way. But it didn’t show up in educational attainment like it does today because of all the factors that previously discouraged women’s participation in the labor force, such as a lack of access to reliable birth control.”

What remains unclear, however, is how to combat this discrepancy.

The most common question we’ve gotten is whether or not the gender of the teacher matters in regards to grading students,” Cornwell said. “But that’s a question we can’t answer because there’s just not enough data available. As you can probably guess, the great majority of elementary school teachers are women.”

See, Girls Outpace Boys Mostly Due to Classroom Behavior http://www.educationnews.org/international-uk/girls-outpace-boys-mostly-due-to-classroom-behavior/

Sarah D. Sparks posted Report Points to Widening Gap In Boys’ Education Attainment at Education Week.

As the needs of global labor change and college readiness standards increase, American boys have been slower to adapt than girls, according to a report set to be released this morning.

Thomas Mortenson, a senior scholar at the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education, in Washington, has been arguing since the mid-1990s that American men are treading water economically as women gain ground. His latest report, Economic Change Effects on Men, presented at the Washington-based Boys Initiative meeting this morning, expands his workforce and higher education data to K-12 education.

Mortenson argues that teaching styles and discipline policies cause boys to disengage sooner than girls and drop out at higher rates. Among his findings:

In 2010, 72.8 percent of children lived with a father, down from 88.8 percent in 1960, when these data were first reported.

In 2010, 62.8 percent of young men who graduated from high school enrolled in college, up 7.6 percentage points from 1970, but far below the continuation rate for young women—74 percent in 2010, up 25.5 percentage points from 1970. “Each spring, the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts out its spring study on recent high school graduates, and I’ve been compiling that data since 1959,” Mortenson told me. “The gap between males and females is now greater than 10 percentage points, and it’s never been that wide before” favoring girls during his years of analysis.

Boys ages 6 to 14 are more than twice as likely as girls to have a developmental disability and three times as likely to be diagnosed with mental retardation.

Mortenson told me he thinks school format is partly to blame, with greater focus on writing and test preparation and fewer opportunities for active projects. As he puts it: “Boys have to be doing something: Things have to be blowing up or being built or going really fast. If you ask them to sit down and write and read, more physically passive activities will turn off boys before they turn off girls.”

There are some good information sources about helping boys to learn. PBS Parents in Understanding and Raising Boys advises the following strategies:

Let them play. Give boys lots of opportunities for physical activity and don’t expect them to sit still for long periods of time. “Play is the work of childhood, it’s how kids learn social skills and develop verbal skills, and it’s vanishing from the classroom. Kids are not being allowed to play enough in school, both indoors and outdoors,” says Jane Katch.

Create learning activities where boys use their bodies. “Boys learn best when learning is ‘hands-on.’ They learn by touching, moving, climbing on, and building things. They solve problems physically so if kids are handling real things, they will learn more effectively. This applies to kindergarten and throughout their school experience,” says Joseph Tobin.

Let boys read (and listen to) books that appeal to their interests. “Know your boys, know their passions, and know what books can speak to those passions. Boys are open to reading if they can make their own choices. We read to connect to interests we have and literacy piggybacks on those interests,” says Thomas Newkirk. “I tell my prospective teachers that they should have at least a thousand books in their heads possibilities for students to read. Unless we can build a base in reading thousands and thousands of words our students will never be able to read the classics. And by reading, I think we need to look at all kinds of reading — magazines, graphic novels, humor, etc. — and not just classical literature.”

Read aloud to boys and have them read aloud to you. “One practice that is critical is reading aloud to boys. This stops way too early in homes and in schools. Reading aloud is a bridge to reading the child might do later on, independently,” advises Newkirk.

Allow boys to write about what interests them instead of what interests you. “When children are learning to write, give them opportunities to write about subjects that are most meaningful to them — what they love, what they hate, what scares them and what excites them,” recommends Katch. “This way they will learn the power and significance of using the written word to communicate. If they write in a way that causes others to be disturbed, then talk about ways they can write what is important to them without disturbing others rather than prohibiting their expression. I personally think Pokemon is boring but I know a boy who wrote 27 books about it and went from being a non-writer to a terrific writer. Another”” practice is connecting writing to digital storytelling. I think we need to conceptualize reading and writing as multi-modal involving not only print but music, visuals, and more,” adds Newkirk.

Allow discussion of topics boys may want to talk about (but teachers and girls may not). “In a classroom that allows boys’ thoughts and fantasies to be expressed in their stories and their play, controversial issues will come up. In my class, some children did not want to hear any story that contained killing,” notes Katch. “But several boys complained that their stories of good guys and bad guys sometimes need to contain killing off the bad guy. When we discussed the problem, the children realized that everyone thought it was all right to kill the bad guys; there were objections only when a character was killed who was not clearly bad. So the boys agreed that they would only kill off evil characters. The children realized that by talking about what was important to them, they could communicate with each other and come to an agreement that felt right to everyone.”

Allow boys to express humor in appropriate ways and at appropriate times. “Include satire, parody, and humor in the curriculum, and don’t be too hard on boys who are class clowns. Instead, acknowledge the boy’s skill at being humorous. If the boy gets credit for this quality, he may not repeat the behavior. If you treat a clown as your biggest problem you are creating a conflict. Treat that boy with respect and respectfully ask him to make jokes at another time, if they get out of control,” advises Joseph Tobin. “Sometimes, you just have to have a sense of humor about the boy’s sense of humor. Most teachers I know admit that as annoying as boy humor can be, it can also brighten up the day,” adds Michael Thompson.

Remember, there are different approaches to educating boys than educating girls.

Resources:

Classroom Strategies to Get Boys Reading

Me Read? A Practical Guide to Improving Boys Literacy Skills

Understanding Gender Differences: Strategies To Support Girls and Boys

Helping Underachieving Boys Read Well and Often

Boys and Reading Strategies for Success

Where information leads to Hope. ©                 Dr. Wilda.com

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Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

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The ‘school-to-prison pipeline’

27 Nov

Moi wrote about the “school-to-prison pipeline” in Inappropriate discipline: The first step on the road to education failure:

Joan Gausted of the University of Oregon has an excellent article in Eric Digest 78, School Discipline

School discipline has two main goals: (1) ensure the safety of staff and students, and (2) create an environment conducive to learning. Serious student misconduct involving violent or criminal behavior defeats these goals and often makes headlines in the process. However, the commonest discipline problems involve noncriminal student behavior (Moles 1989).

The issue for schools is how to maintain order, yet deal with noncriminal student behavior and keep children in school.

Alan Schwartz has a provocative article in the New York Times about a longitudinal study of discipline conducted in Texas. In School Discipline Study Raises Fresh Questions  Schwartz reports:

Raising new questions about the effectiveness of school discipline, a report scheduled for release on Tuesday found that 31 percent of Texas students were suspended off campus or expelled at least once during their years in middle and high school — at an average of almost four times apiece.

Donna St. George has written a Washington Post article which elaborates on the Texas study.

In the article, Study shows wide varieties in discipline methods among very similar schools, St. George reports:

The report, released Tuesday, challenges a common misperception that the only way schools can manage behavior is through suspension, said Michael D. Thompson, a co-author of the report, done by the Council of State Governments Justice Center and Texas A&M University’s Public Policy Research Institute. “The bottom line is that schools can get different outcomes with very similar student bodies,” he said. “School administrators and school superintendents and teachers can have a dramatic impact….”

The results showed that suspension or expulsion greatly increased a student’s risk of being held back a grade, dropping out or landing in the juvenile justice system. Such ideas have been probed in other research, but not with such a large population and across a lengthy period, experts said. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/study-exposes-some-some-myths-about-school-discipline/2011/07/18/gIQAV0sZMI_story.html?wpisrc=emailtoafriend

Family First Aid has a good discussion about the types of behavior problems that result in suspension or expulsion.  Dore Francis has a guide, which lists what parents should do if their child is suspended. The guide gives detailed instructions to these steps and other steps. Francis also lists what questions to ask after meeting with school officials. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/inappropriate-discipline-the-first-step-on-the-road-to-education-failure/

Sarah D. Sparks reports in the Education Week article, Study: Student Arrest Leads to Push Out, Low College Attendance:

A minor student’s arrest record may be wiped clean at 18, but it may already have permanently blemished her chances of graduating high school and going on to college and funneled her into the school-to-prison pipeline, according to a new study at the University of Texas at Austin.

“Students may drop out of school or opt not to enter college following arrest because they assess, perhaps correctly, that the touted benefits of education are not likely to materialize given the stigma of a criminal record,” said David S. Kirk, an associate sociology professor and co-author of the study, in a statement. “Though they might not even be conscious of it, teachers and advisers tend to think of arrested teens as ‘problem students,’ and focus more of their time on the students with promising futures while alienating problem students.”

Kirk and co-author Robert J. Sampson, a social sciences professor at Harvard university in Cambridge, Mass., disentangled students’ arrest history from the load of other dropout risk factors—poverty, a minority background, school disengagement, and so on. Using individual student longitudinal data from local and national education and criminal databases in Chicago, the researchers tracked cohorts of 12-year-olds and 15-year-olds from 1990 to 2005, cross-referencing enrollment and dropout data with student arrests between 1995 and 2001. (About 12 percent of students studied were arrested at least once.)

The study, to be published in the January 2013 issue of Sociology of Education, finds that school discipline policies that heavily favor out-of-school suspensions and expulsions disproportionately “push out” students after an arrest. Although in Chicago as in the rest of the country, a teenager’s arrest is supposed to be under seal, school staff and administrators often find out about them—first and foremost because a quarter of the arrests of students in Chicago happened on campus. District rules also allow a student to be expelled from school for serious behavior problems off-campus, including arrests.

While 64 percent of Chicago students who were never arrested eventually earned a high school diploma, the graduation rate for students who had been arrested was only 26 percent. Similarly, only 16 percent of students with an arrest record eventually enrolled in a four-year colleges, compared with 35 percent of students with a diploma or GED who avoided the legal system. Arrested students were also more likely to have missed school, failed a grade, or been identified for special education, even though the researchers found little difference in the IQ of students arrested and not. In subsequent analyses, the researchers found that after arrest, students come back to campus with significantly worse support from friends, though they still felt attached to school.

Other characteristics being equal, a student who had been arrested was 22 percent more likely to drop out of school than his peers. For a frustrating look at how quickly things can spiral downhill, check out the American Civil Liberty Union’s school-to-prison game.

These results add fuel to a growing push-back against exclusionary discipline in schools. Civil rights advocates charge that “zero tolerance” discipline policies more frequently lead to police involvement, particularly for students of color. For more on how schools are finding alternatives to these practices, check out my colleague Nirvi Shah’s series Rethinking Discipline.

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2012/11/study_student_arrest_leads_to_.html

Citation:

Juvenile Arrest and Collateral Educational Damage in the Transition to Adulthood

  1. David S. Kirk dkirk@prc.utexas.edu
  2. Robert J. Sampson

Abstract

Official sanctioning of students by the criminal justice system is a long−hypothesized source of educational disadvantage, but its explanatory status remains unresolved. Few studies of the educational consequences of a criminal record account for alternative explanations such as low self−control, lack of parental supervision, deviant peers, and neighborhood disadvantage. Moreover, virtually no research on the effect of a criminal record has examined the “black box” of mediating mechanisms or the consequence of arrest for postsecondary educational attainment. Analyzing longitudinal data with multiple and independent assessments of theoretically relevant domains, the authors estimate the direct effect of arrest on later high school dropout and college enrollment for adolescents with otherwise equivalent neighborhood, school, family, peer, and individual characteristics as well as similar frequency of criminal offending. The authors present evidence that arrest has a substantively large and robust impact on dropping out of high school among Chicago public school students. They also find a significant gap in four-year college enrollment between arrested and otherwise similar youth without a criminal record. The authors also assess intervening mechanisms hypothesized to explain the process by which arrest disrupts the schooling process and, in turn, produces collateral educational damage. The results imply that institutional responses and disruptions in students’ educational trajectories, rather than social− psychological factors, are responsible for the arrest–education link.

This Article

  1. Published online before print May 22, 2012, doi: 10.1177/0038040712448862 Sociology of Education May 22, 2012 0038040712448862
  1. » AbstractFree
  2. Full Text (PDF)                                                                                                      http://soe.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/05/22/0038040712448862.abstract

In Who says Black children can’t learn? Some schools get it, moi said:

People want an education for a variety of reasons. Some have a love of learning. Others want to attend a good college or vocational school. Still others, see an education as a ticket to a good job. Increasingly for schools, the goal is to prepare kids with the skills to attend and succeed at college. In order to give children the skills to succeed, schools need teachers who are effective at educating their population of kids. There are many themes in the attempt to answer the question, what will prepare kids for what comes after high school. What will prepare kids for what comes after high school is a good basic education. The schools that provide a good basic education are relentless about the basics. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/who-says-black-children-cant-learn-some-schools-gets-it/

See:

Education Law Center

Discipline In Schools: What Works and What Doesn’t?

Justice for Children and Youth has a pamphlet                                        I’m being expelled from school – what are my rights?

Related:

A strategy to reduce school suspensions: ‘School Wide Positive Behavior Support’                                                                 https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/a-strategy-to-reduce-school-suspensions-school-wide-positive-behavior-support/

Single-sex classrooms should be allowed in public schools https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/single-sex-classrooms-should-be-allowed-in-public-schools/

Boys of color: Resources from the Boys Initiative https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/boys-of-color-resources-from-the-boys-initiative/

U.S. Education Dept. Civil Rights Office releases report on racial disparity in school retention                                                https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/u-s-education-dept-civil-rights-office-releases-report-on-racial-disparity-in-school-retention/

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Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

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Alternative discipline: Helping disruptive children stay in school

12 Nov

Moi wrote in Inappropriate discipline: The first step on the road to education failure:

Joan Gausted of the University of Oregon has an excellent article in Eric Digest 78, School Discipline

School discipline has two main goals: (1) ensure the safety of staff and students, and (2) create an environment conducive to learning. Serious student misconduct involving violent or criminal behavior defeats these goals and often makes headlines in the process. However, the commonest discipline problems involve noncriminal student behavior (Moles 1989).

The issue for schools is how to maintain order, yet deal with noncriminal student behavior and keep children in school.

Alan Schwartz has a provocative article in the New York Times about a longitudinal study of discipline conducted in Texas. In School Discipline Study Raises Fresh Questions  Schwartz reports:

Raising new questions about the effectiveness of school discipline, a report scheduled for release on Tuesday found that 31 percent of Texas students were suspended off campus or expelled at least once during their years in middle and high school — at an average of almost four times apiece.

Donna St. George has written a Washington Post article which elaborates on the Texas study.

In the article, Study shows wide varieties in discipline methods among very similar schools, St. George reports:

The report, released Tuesday, challenges a common misperception that the only way schools can manage behavior is through suspension, said Michael D. Thompson, a co-author of the report, done by the Council of State Governments Justice Center and Texas A&M University’s Public Policy Research Institute. “The bottom line is that schools can get different outcomes with very similar student bodies,” he said. “School administrators and school superintendents and teachers can have a dramatic impact….”

The results showed that suspension or expulsion greatly increased a student’s risk of being held back a grade, dropping out or landing in the juvenile justice system. Such ideas have been probed in other research, but not with such a large population and across a lengthy period, experts said. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/study-exposes-some-some-myths-about-school-discipline/2011/07/18/gIQAV0sZMI_story.html?wpisrc=emailtoafriend

Family First Aid has a good discussion about the types of behavior problems that result in suspension or expulsion.  Dore Francis has a guide, which lists what parents should do if their child is suspended. The guide gives detailed instructions to these steps and other steps. Francis also lists what questions to ask after meeting with school officials. https://drwilda.com/2011/12/13/inappropriate-discipline-the-first-step-on-the-road-to-education-failure/

Nirvi Shah has written the interesting Education Week report, Suspended in School: Punished But Still Learning about alternative discipline methods:

Some of the students at Success Academy here are doing International Baccalaureate-level work. Most of the classes have just five or six students. And every nine weeks, groups of students are required to make major presentations to their classmates and hand in thick binders full of even more- detailed reports.

But this Baltimore public high school isn’t for elite students. Admission depends on whether students have done something so serious a regular district school won’t have them anymore: assaulting classmates or staff members, possessing or distributing drugs, or wielding weapons.

The school, serving as many as 100 students at a time, costs more than $1.2 million a year to run, but the district, which houses the program at its headquarters, says keeping students learning and in school—somewhere—while they are serving out a suspension or have been kicked out of their own schools is far less expensive than the alternative.

“The idea of children being out of school makes no sense,” said Karen Webber-Ndour, Baltimore’s executive director of the office of student support and safety. But at the same time, the district acknowledges that students may have to leave their home school for some offenses.

School-based discipline options like this one are being tried in schools nationwide as a substitute for punishments that force students out of school, which have been shown to disproportionately affect black, Latino, and male students and those with disabilities.

While in-school suspension may be an old standby, schools seem to be putting their own stamp on it. Whether those spaces are staffed by certified teachers or aides varies, and some schools don’t have classroom space to spare for something that might be heavily used one day and not at all the next. Other disciplinary configurations include Saturday classes, evening programs, and lunchtime interventions. In some cases, behavioral-health specialists are available on demand to work with students, keeping them in school rather than suspending them. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/11/07/11inschool_ep.h32.html?tkn=OQXF4T7wRzd%2BfDTAENRdHmICQyIk7%2FNisjS1&cmp=clp-edweek&intc=es

The whole child approach is useful in keeping many children in school.

Moi wrote in The ‘whole child’ approach to education: Many children do not have a positive education experience in the education system for a variety of reasons. Many educators are advocating for the “whole child” approach to increase the number of children who have a positive experience in the education process. https://drwilda.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/

In order to ensure that ALL children have a basic education, we must take a comprehensive approach to learning.

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

See:

Education Law Center

Discipline In Schools: What Works and What Doesn’t?

Justice for Children and Youth has a pamphlet I’m being expelled from school – what are my rights?

Related:

Report: Black students more likely to be suspended https://drwilda.com/2012/08/07/report-black-students-more-likely-to-be-suspended/

Johns Hopkins study finds ‘Positive Behavior Intervention’ improves student behavior                                                   https://drwilda.com/2012/10/22/johns-hopkins-study-finds-positive-behavior-intervention-improves-student-behavior/

Pre-kindergarten programs help at-risk students prepare for school                                                                                    http://drwilda.com/2012/07/16/pre-kindergarten-programs-help-at-risk-students-prepare-for-school/

A strategy to reduce school suspensions: ‘School Wide Positive Behavior Support’                                                     https://drwilda.com/2012/07/01/a-strategy-to-reduce-school-suspensions-school-wide-positive-behavior-support/

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Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

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