CSG Justice Center Director Michael D. Thompson appeared on NPR’s “This American Life” on Sunday in a segment examining the state of school discipline in the United States.
The episode, entitled “Is This Working?,” catalogs a variety of stories of schools struggling with what to do with student misbehavior. A central focus of the piece is the stunning findings of the CSG Justice Center’s 2011 Breaking Schools’ Rules, a study that found that 60 percent of secondary school students in Texas had experienced at least one suspension or expulsion from school, with African American and Latino students also being disciplined at higher rates than their white peers.
Funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies and the Open Society Foundations, the report has been described as producing a watershed moment, when the often-debated belief that schools had been overusing exclusionary discipline practices that negatively impact students was finally confirmed.
“My instant reaction was this is going to give a whole lot more credibility to this conversation than we’ve ever had before,” Thompson told NPR’s Chana Joffe-Walt.