Closing the School Discipline Gap – National Conference

The Center for Civil Rights Remedies at UCLA’s Civil Rights Project along with the Discipline Disparities Collaborative commissioned sixteen new studies from leading scholars across the nation in an effort to refine the focus on disparities in school discipline and the feasibility of constructing alternatives to suspension that could help close the school discipline gap. The studies were featured at the Closing the School Discipline Gap National Conference, hosted by The Center for Civil Rights Remedies at UCLA’s Civil Rights Project, the Equity Project at Indiana University, Education Week, and Gallup. The one-day conference explored the impacts of exclusionary school-discipline practices, highlighted research-based approaches to reducing the discipline gap, and efforts to end the school-to-prison pipeline. The conference featured the studies commissioned from leading scholars.

CLICK HERE for a Summary of the New Research Presented at the Conference


See below for reports and presenters from the conference:

Why Education Policymakers should Attend to Disciplinary Exclusion

Sent Home and Put Off-Track: The Antecedents, Disproportionalities, and Consequences of Being Suspended in the Ninth Grade
Robert Balfanz, Johns Hopkins University

Racial Disparities in School Suspension and Subsequent Outcomes: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997
Tracey Shollenberger, Harvard University,

What Conditions Jeopardize and Support Safety in Urban Schools? The Influence of Community Characteristics, School Composition and School Organizational Practices on Student and Teacher Reports of Safety in Chicago
Matthew Steinberg, University of Pennsylvania

Where Should We Intervene? Contributions of Behavior, Student, and School Characteristics to Suspension and Expulsion
Russell Skiba, Indiana University


Unintended Consequences: How some Interventions do more Harm than Good

Misbehavior, Suspensions, and Security Measures in High School: Racial and Ethnic and Gender Differences
Jeremy D. Finn, The University at Buffalo – SUNY

Reconsidering the Alternative: The Relationship Between Suspension, Disciplinary Alternative School Placement, Subsequent Juvenile Detention, and the Salience of Race
Judi Vanderhaar, Jefferson County Public Schools


Assessing the Costs of Suspension in Dollars and Civic Sense

The Economic Effects of Exclusionary Discipline through Grade Retention and High School Dropout
Miner P. Marchbanks III, Texas A&M University

Discipline and Participation: The Long-Term Effects of Suspension and School Security on the Political and Civic Engagement of Youth
Aaron Kupchik, University of Delaware


What Policymakers can Learn from Data on Disparities in Discipline

Reducing Suspensions by Improving Academic Engagement Among School-age Black Males
Ivory Toldson, Howard University

Towards Identifying School-Level Factors Reducing Disciplinary  Exclusions of American Indian/Alaska Native students
Claudia Vincent, University of Oregon


Can Lift-all-Boat Strategies Address Racial/Ethnic Gaps?

The Effectiveness of School-wide Positive Behavior Support for Reducing Racially Inequitable Disciplinary Exclusions in Middle Schools
Jeffrey R. Sprague, University of Oregon

A Mixed Methods Approach Examining Ethnic Disproportionality in Exclusionary Discipline
Pamela Fenning, Loyola University Chicago

Examining Disproportionality in School Discipline Practices for Native American Students in Canadian Schools Implementing PBIS
Kent McIntosh, University of Oregon


Promising Gap-Closing Interventions

Dignity, Disparity, & Desistance: Effective Restorative Justice Strategies to Plug the School-to-Prison Pipeline
Mara Schiff, Florida Atlantic University

The Promise of a  Teacher Professional Development Program in Reducing the Racial Disparity in Classroom Exclusionary Discipline
Anne Gregory, Rutgers University


Systemic Action and Overcoming Obstacles to Change

Avoid Simple Solutions and Quick Fixes: Lessons Learned from a Comprehensive Districtwide Approach to Improving School Safety
David Osher, American Institutes for Research

Student Threat Assessment as a Method of Reducing Student Suspensions
Dewey Cornell, University of Virginia