Tag Archives: discipline methods

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/

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/

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/

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/

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/