Proposal Title

Hidden History and Context: Explaining the Rates of and Disparities in School Discipline Outcomes

Presenter Information

Richard Welsh, UGAFollow

Location

Hamilton B

Proposal Track

Research Project

Session Format

Presentation

Abstract

In the past decade, school discipline policies have garnered increasing attention among researchers and policymakers due in large part to equity concerns. Disparities in exclusionary discipline outcomes (or the discipline gap) that range across all grades (starting as early as preschool) indicate a systematic problem and raise serious questions about educational equity in schools and school districts. Although disparities in disciplinary infractions are well-documented, relatively little is known about the underlying driving factors of the discipline gap. This paper examines the relationship between school discipline outcomes and school, district and neighborhood characteristics in Georgia. This study uses quantitative methods and school- and district-level data from multiple sources including the Georgia Department of Education, the National Center Education Statistics, the Civil Rights Data Collection, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations to examine how school-related and contextual factors may contribute to the rates of and disparities in the use of exclusionary discipline practices. This study’s intellectual merit lies in its contribution to interdisciplinary debates on the causes of the discipline gap and broader policy implications, namely alternatives to zero-tolerance policies.

Keywords

school discipline, zero-tolerance policies, disproportionality in discipline, suspensions, expulsions, neighborhoods

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Oct 7th, 10:30 AM Oct 7th, 12:00 PM

Hidden History and Context: Explaining the Rates of and Disparities in School Discipline Outcomes

Hamilton B

In the past decade, school discipline policies have garnered increasing attention among researchers and policymakers due in large part to equity concerns. Disparities in exclusionary discipline outcomes (or the discipline gap) that range across all grades (starting as early as preschool) indicate a systematic problem and raise serious questions about educational equity in schools and school districts. Although disparities in disciplinary infractions are well-documented, relatively little is known about the underlying driving factors of the discipline gap. This paper examines the relationship between school discipline outcomes and school, district and neighborhood characteristics in Georgia. This study uses quantitative methods and school- and district-level data from multiple sources including the Georgia Department of Education, the National Center Education Statistics, the Civil Rights Data Collection, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations to examine how school-related and contextual factors may contribute to the rates of and disparities in the use of exclusionary discipline practices. This study’s intellectual merit lies in its contribution to interdisciplinary debates on the causes of the discipline gap and broader policy implications, namely alternatives to zero-tolerance policies.