On June 9, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan released a joint letter to every state school superintendent and attorney general to emphasize the commitment and efforts made by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education to improve educational outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system.
School Discipline Consensus Project
Supporting Schools to Improve Students’ Engagement and Juvenile Justice Outcomes
Millions of U.S. public school students in grades K-12 are suspended or expelled in an academic school year, particularly students in middle and high school. Research demonstrates that when students are removed from the classroom as a disciplinary measure, the odds increase dramatically that they will repeat a grade, drop out, or become involved in the juvenile justice system. These negative consequences disproportionately affect children of color as well as students with special needs. Policymakers and practitioners have a growing need to identify strategies for effectively managing students’ behavior and aligning schools’ policies in order to support student engagement and learning, and reduce poor academic outcomes and juvenile justice contact. Although some states and local governments have taken promising steps to address these issues, decision makers and front-line practitioners lack a comprehensive, multisystem approach to making school discipline more effective.
In response, the Council of State of Governments (CSG) Justice Center is launching a national consensus-building project that will convene experts in such fields as school safety, behavioral health, education, juvenile justice, social services, law enforcement, and child welfare. Youth, parents, and community partners will also play a critical and active role in the project to develop creative solutions.
The project will result in a comprehensive report that provides implementation guidance to minimize the dependence on suspension and expulsion to manage student behaviors, improve students’ academic outcomes, reduce their involvement in the juvenile justice system, and promote safe and productive learning environments.
The project is administered in coordination with the Supportive School Discipline Initiative launched by the U.S. Attorney General and the U.S. Secretary of Education in July 2011 and is supported by a public/private partnership that includes the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, NoVo Foundation, The California Endowment, and The Atlantic Philanthropies.
Multidisciplinary advisory groups have been convened to identify key issues related to academic success, juvenile justice concerns, and safe and engaging learning environments. Drawing on research, promising practices from across the country, and the expertise and experience of individuals affected by school disciplinary measures, these groups will reach agreement on recommended policies and practices that will make the most effective use of multiple systems’ resources.
The project team has also held focus groups and listening sessions with youth and professionals from various disciplines to ensure that all perspectives and voices are heard in developing recommendations for keeping children in the classroom and out of the juvenile justice system whenever possible.
To learn more about the large group convenings, click here.
The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center released today a comprehensive report providing school leaders and state and local government officials more than 60 recommendations for overhauling their approach to school discipline.
In February 2014, President Obama announced the historic My Brother’s Keeper initiative, an effort to provide greater opportunities to boys and young men of color, who as a group face disproportionate challenges and obstacles in school, with the criminal justice system, and within their communities and families.
Presenters in this webinar discuss key strategies for providing high-quality education for youth in confinement, and strategies for helping youth to successfully transition from confinement to schools in their community.
This webinar reviews a groundbreaking report released by the CSG Justice Center in June 2014, which provides 60 bipartisan field-driven policy and practice recommendations to provide students with safe, productive learning environments; effectively respond to students’ behavioral health needs; limit […]
This webinar provides an overview of the recommendations in the School Discipline Consensus Report and highlights promising approaches from across the country. The panelists engage participants in an interactive discussion on ways in which local jurisdictions and practitioners can move […]
This paper from the Discipline Disparities Research to Practice Collaborative highlights how interactions across racial lines can yield different outcomes in school discipline, often with devastating consequences for youth of color.
This publication from the Advancement Project offers concrete ways for the Rochester City School District to make improvements in the school-to-prison pipeline.
This report from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice analyzes Massachusetts’ most recent school discipline data and finds that students of color, students with disabilities, and charter school students in Massachusetts are disproportionately likely to be suspended, particularly for minor misbehavior.
New state data show a steep drop in suspensions and expulsions for California students, continuing a recent downward trend.
Overall, more than 72,000 of Louisiana’s 715,000 public school students received in-school suspensions last year, and more than 61,000 were sent home, according to the report.
The decline comes on the heels of a nationwide push to rollback zero-tolerance policies instituted after the deadly Columbine High School shootings that emphasize harsh discipline for even minor misbehavior in favor of support-focused alternatives.