The Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG Justice Center) released the School Discipline Consensus Report on June 3. The report generated significant media attention, including articles and op-eds in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, among others.
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.
When I took the gavel as CSG’s Chairman, I announced our national initiative “State Pathways to Prosperity,” which looks at various strategies to boost states’ efforts to improve education and workforce development. One aspect of this national initiative focuses on keeping kids in school and out of the juvenile justice system.
In this webinar, hosted by American Institutes for Research, panelists from the CSG Justice Center and state and local practitioners explain how school discipline, climate, and safety data can be leveraged to promote sustained funding.
This webinar focuses on how juvenile and criminal justice policymakers and agency leaders can work to reduce recidivism and improve other outcomes for young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 who are involved in these systems. Presenters discuss young adults’ distinct needs, as well as the limited research available on what works to address these needs, and recommend potential steps that policymakers, juvenile and adult criminal justice agency leaders, researchers, and the field can take to improve outcomes for this group of young people.
This webinar highlights three checklists focused on reducing juvenile recidivism, which are now available on the CSG Justice Center website. These checklists can help state and local officials assess whether their juvenile justice system’s policies and practices are aligned with the research on “what works” to reduce recidivism, and to identify opportunities for improvement.
This online resource from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention contains information about evidence-based juvenile justice and youth prevention, intervention, and reentry programs.
This report from Girls for Gender Equity documents how girls and transgender and gender nonconforming youth of color are pushed out of school and offers policy and practice recommendations that school stakeholders can partake in to create schools that are holistic, safe, and affirming.
The brief summarizes key points related to how adolescents differ from adults, including that they have difficulty regulating their behavior in emotionally charged contexts and are more sensitive to external influences, such as the presence of peers.
The goal is to have school districts—with parental feedback—develop a graduated “positive discipline” system that leads to punitive punishment and lost school time only as a last resort. It would also require schools to factor in the role that formative traumatic stress plays on student behavior.
Susan Enfield, superintendent of Highline Public Schools, responded to criticism by seeking additional feedback from teachers and principals, ensuring that top officials from the district visit schools throughout the year to see firsthand the changes in progress. She plans to introduce tweaks along the way—by adding more opportunities for kids to work on social and emotional skills, for example.
Unlike most mentoring programs in the United States, which offer a few months or years of involvement, Friends of the Children offers kids 12 years of continuous mentorship from kindergarten to high school graduation.