In EducationDive, Tara Garcia Mathewson describes efforts at a middle school in New York City to implement a new approach to student discipline. The principal reports that there are far fewer suspensions under the new approach, which involves closely tracking student behavior, rewarding good behavior, and encouraging reflection.
But an article in the Winter 2017 issue of Education Next warns that there is not yet much rigorous evidence on new approaches to school discipline. In “What Do We Know About School Discipline Reform?” Matthew Steinberg and Johanna Lacoe review the research and find that the evidence is relatively thin.
In part, this is because many discipline reforms at the state and local levels have only been implemented in the last few years. While disparities in school discipline by race and disability status have been well documented, the evidence is inconclusive as to whether or not these disparate practices involve racial bias and discrimination. Further, the evidence on alternative strategies is mainly correlational, suggesting that more research is necessary to uncover how alternative approaches to suspensions affect school safety and student outcomes.
— Education Next