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 “Exclusionary discipline is applied disproportionately to children of color and students with disabilities. Educationally, and morally, that status quo is simply unacceptable.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan January 8, 2014


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The Equity Project at Indiana University in the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy:
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Discipline Disparities Updates
CSG Justice Center Releases School Discipline Report
On June 4th, The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center released the School Discipline Consensus Report, a massive catalog of promising strategies for reforming school discipline.
Based upon feedback from more than 700 stakeholders, the report examines how to improve the conditions for learning for all students, responses to students’ behavioral health needs, and school-police partnerships and juvenile justice outcomes. The strategies are practical, innovative and emphasize the importance of data-driven responses. For more information about the School Discipline Consensus Project and related resources, visit:
http://csgjusticecenter.org/youth/projects/school-discipline-consensus-project

SB 2793 Passes the Illinois Legislature
Senate Bill 2793 addresses the overuse of exclusionary discipline by requiring from all Illinois schools discipline data transparency. Under the provisions of the bill, data about suspension and expulsion will have to be made public in order to reduce the discipline disparities in Illinois that disproportionally affect students of color, students with disabilities, LGBT students, and ELL students. More info: http://voyceproject.org/campaigns/campaign-common-sense-discipline

Roundtable about the Achievement Gap
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan met with educators and students of color in May 9, 2014 to discuss race, discipline policies, and the achievement gap in communities of color, as part of the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative. The initiative was launched by President Obama earlier this year to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and men of color. More info: https://padresunidos.ourpowerbase.net/civicrm/mailing/view?reset=1&id=113

Plan of Action to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Young Men of Color
Eleven philanthropic organizations have announced a new report entitled “A Time For Action: Mobilizing Philanthropic Support for Boys and Young Men of Color”. It identifies barriers to success for young men of color in four key areas (health, education, employment, and the juvenile and criminal justice systems). It also offers recommendations and cross-sector strategies for promoting youth leadership, changing harmful stereotypes about boys and young men of color and building a “pipeline” of data, research, and innovation towards effective solutions. More info:
http://boysandmenofcolor.org/mbk/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/A_Time_for_Action_Executive__Summary.pdf

Educating African-American Boys
A panel of education experts, including Indiana University research associate, Karega Rausch, participated in the weekly call-in radio program No Limits, a local program on the Indiana affiliate of NPR based in Indianapolis, to discuss the challenges of educational equity for African-American boys. Among the needs discussed include the importance of teachers establishing meaningful connections with students, and the importance of cultural competency among teachers to teach all learners. More info: http://www.wfyi.org/programs/no-limits/radio/educating-african-american-boys-may-27-2014

New Reports
"Beyond Bullying: How Hostile School Climate Perpetuates the School-to-Prison Pipeline for LGBT Youth" by Preston Mitchum and Aisha C. Moodie-Mills
This report examines the disparate impact of punitive school discipline and the policing of schools on students of color and LGBT youth, as well as the role that adults in schools play in perpetuating negative school climates for those youth. The report advocates for a shift towards discipline policies that are fair and supportive, and foster healthy learning environments in which all students can excel. Read more:
http://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/BeyondBullying.pdf


"Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children" by the Annie E. Casey Foundation
This policy report explores the intersection of children, race and opportunity. It highlights how many of our institutions, cultural norms, and beliefs continue to function in ways that hinder opportunities for children of color. The report features the new Race for Results Index, which compares how children are progressing on key milestones across racial and ethnic groups at the national and state levels. The index is based on 12 indicators that measure a child’s success in each stage of life, from birth to adulthood. Read more:
http://www.aecf.org/resources/race-for-results


Policy and Advocacy
NYC School Disciplinary Code Reforms Anticipated
New York City school officials are attempting to reduce race-based discipline disparities with a city-wide discipline code reform. Reports show that the most common charge for suspensions are misdemeanors, such as defiance for authority, which could be punishable with one to five days out of school. Advocates suggest moving toward a positive approach to discipline, school environment and restorative practices to address the situation. More info:
http://amsterdamnews.com/news/2014/jun/05/nyc-school-disciplinary-code-reforms-anticipated/#.U5E5bIMeu38.twitter

Two Laws Lead To Significant Drop In Student Ticketing At Texas Schools
According to a newly released report from the Council of State Governments, Texas Senate Bills 393 and 1114 are impacting the number of tickets students receive for misdemeanor. The number of misdemeanor tickets issued to students dropped by 71 percent in the past year. According to the report, however, students of color and LGBT youth remain overrepresented in school discipline decisions. More info:
http://tpr.org/post/two-laws-lead-significant-drop-student-ticketing-texas-schools#.U5E5734Rsrg.twitter

Grant Opportunities
Developing Knowledge About What Works to Make Schools Safe
Funds are available to local education agencies (LEAs), public charter schools that are recognized as an LEA and State educational agencies (SEAs) to develop knowledge about the effects of personnel, programs, and activities on school safety. See details at: https://ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/sl001122.pdf

Project Prevent Grant Program
Funding to LEAs to increase their capacity to identify, assess, and serve students exposed to pervasive violence, helping to ensure that affected students are offered mental health services for trauma or anxiety; support conflict resolution programs; and implement other school–based violence prevention strategies. See details at:
http://www2.ed.gov/programs/projectprevent/index.html?exp=0

Discipline Disparities in the News
Calvert school board adjusts code of conduct
The Calvert county school board (MD) changed its student code of conduct in an effort to follow the new discipline regulations adopted by the Maryland State Department of Education moving away from zero tolerance policy: http://www.somdnews.com/article/20140528/NEWS/140529274/1074/calvert-school-board-adjusts-code-of-conduct&template=southernMaryland

PPS says it will take steps to cut racial discipline disparities by half
Portland Public School District is committed to cut the number of PPS students suspended or expelled by 50 percent, and reduce in half the disparity in disciplinary rates between Black and White students: http://www.wweek.com/portland/blog-31695-permalink.html

Special to the spokesman-review: school discipline needs to keep students learning
Efforts have begun to eliminate discipline disparities in Spokane (Washington State), where there is an overrepresentation of African-American students and special education students in exclusionary school discipline:
http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2014/may/04/special-to-the-spokesman-review-school-discipline

First Oregon cross-district study highlights discipline disparities
Regional Educational Laboratories (REL) Northwest conducted a study to look at discipline information across six Oregon school districts, and found that students of color are more likely to be suspended than their White peers:
http://educationnorthwest.org/news/first-oregon-cross-district-study-highlights-discipline-disparities

Kennewick school district’s zero-tolerance policy phase-out plan
The Kennewick school board in the state of Washington voted in early April to reform its discipline policies so that student altercations do not result in time away from school. Zero-tolerance approaches are being stripped out of policies around the country, and Kennewick is leading this reform in their state:
http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2014/05/16/2976459/kennewick-school-districts-zero.html

If you have specific information on discipline disparities, please feel free to email us at: equityiu@indiana.edu

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