Discipline Policies, Successful Schools, and Racial Justice

Posted on February 02, 2012

In the face of state cutbacks to early-childhood programs, clinic school districts might find themselves wondering whether to invest their own scarce funds in preschool or in full-day kindergarten. A study out today has a clear message: If you want to maximize the chances of strong 3rd grade reading results, preschool programs in combination with full-day kindergarten is the way to go. But if that’s not possible, it’s better to go with pre-K and half-day kindergarten than relying solely on all-day kindergarten.

The report, “Starting Out Right: Pre-K and Kindergarten,” uses a federal database that followed more than 21,000 students from kindergarten through 8th grade. The students’ progress was gauged by the National Center for Education Statistics with specially designed tests.

The reading tests given to the children defined five levels of achievement. Researchers from the National School Boards Association analyzed the relationships between the type of pre-K and kindergarten programs the children attended and their performance on the test. They found consistently that children who attended preschool and half-day kindergarten had substantially greater chances of doing better on the reading test than those who had attended only full-day kindergarten. The benefits were particularly strong for Hispanic and low-income students and those learning English.

Author: Catherine Gewertz, Education Week

Read more HERE>

This policy brief reviews what researchers have learned about racial disparities in school discipline, viagra 40mg including trends over time and how these disparities further break down along lines of gender and disability status. Further, cure the brief explores the impact that school suspension has on children and their families, viagra buy including the possibility that frequent out-of-school suspension may have a harmful and racially disparate impact.

Findings of this brief strongly suggest a need for reform. A review of the evidence suggests that subgroups experiencing disproportionate suspension miss important instructional time and are at greater risk of disengagement and diminished educational opportunities. Moreover, despite the fact that suspension is a predictor of students’ risk for dropping out, school personnel are not required to report or evaluate the impact of disciplinary decisions. Overall, the evidence shows the following: there is no research base to support frequent suspension or expulsion in response to non-violent and mundane forms of adolescent misbehavior; large disparities by race, gender and disability status are evident in the use of these punishments; frequent suspension and expulsion are associated with negative outcomes; and better alternatives are available.

Author: Daniel J. Losen, The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA

Access the complete research report HERE> (PDF Link)