Title

Solving the School Discipline Dilemma: An Examination of the Effectiveness of Emerging Alternatives to Exclusionary Disciplinary Approaches

First Presenter's Institution

University of Georgia

Second Presenter's Institution

University of Georgia

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Session 3 (Westbrook)

Strand #1

Safety & Violence Prevention

Strand #2

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

Our study relates to the third strand “HANDS”: Safety and Violence Prevention, because it focuses on behavior management and school safety. The insights are relevant and helpful for educational practice in elementary and secondary schools as policymakers and educators navigate the balance between safety and behavior management in schools.

Brief Program Description

This study provides a comprehensive review of the extant literature on the effectiveness of emerging alternatives to exclusionary disciplinary approaches. This study provides a better understanding of what works and why. The target audience is policymakers and educators.

Summary

Although there is a large body of empirical evidence documenting and examining the disproportionalities in exclusionary discipline, there are no prior systematic reviews that provide a comprehensive analysis of the emerging literature that investigates the effectiveness of interventions designed to address disparities in exclusionary discipline. Our approach provides an opportunity to gain a richer understanding of whether the theory of action underlying the interventions counteracts the contributing factors to high rates of and disparities in disciplinary outcomes.

In our examination, we conduct a literature synthesis of the extant literature on K-12 school discipline in the United States published between 1990 and 2017. The review consists of peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, theses and dissertations, and reports from various sources. Our analysis is guided by the following research question: (a) To what extent have the alternatives to exclusionary discipline policies and practices reduced the rates of and disparities in disciplinary outcomes?

Our study compliments the recent work of Gregory et al. (2017) by further probing the alignment between the causes of discipline disparities and targeted mechanisms of the interventions and by providing an extensive review of the most current empirical evidence on alternative approaches.

Evidence

Several alternative approaches to exclusionary discipline have emerged; but the nascent empirical evidence suggests that policy- and program-based approaches have decreased the use of OSS and the number of ODRs, but discipline disparities appear somewhat impervious to these approaches. Even though suspensions have been trending downward for all groups, disparities in disciplinary outcomes still exist, and this is concerning. In other words, the interventions do not appear to have greater benefits for the traditionally disadvantaged groups most in need of reprieve (e.g., African Americans). The fact that alternative approaches to exclusionary discipline have not led to differential benefits for students who have been disproportionally affected by exclusionary discipline raises important conceptual and empirical questions about the complex path to reducing disparities in disciplinary outcomes.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: RICHARD O. WELSH is an assistant professor of educational administration and policy in the Department of Lifelong Education, Administration and Policy, College of Education, University of Georgia. His research focuses on the economics of education; K–12 education policy, such as school choice policies; and key mechanisms such as student mobility.

SHAFIQUA LITTLE is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Lifelong Education, Administration and Policy, College of Education, University of Georgia. Her research focuses on the intersection of market-based reforms, school discipline, and communities.

Presentation Year

March 2019

Start Date

3-4-2019 3:00 PM

End Date

3-4-2019 6:00 PM

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Mar 4th, 3:00 PM Mar 4th, 6:00 PM

Solving the School Discipline Dilemma: An Examination of the Effectiveness of Emerging Alternatives to Exclusionary Disciplinary Approaches

Session 3 (Westbrook)

This study provides a comprehensive review of the extant literature on the effectiveness of emerging alternatives to exclusionary disciplinary approaches. This study provides a better understanding of what works and why. The target audience is policymakers and educators.