In the News: One Ohio School’s Quest to Rethink Bad Behavior

In the Atlantic, Katherine Reynolds Lewis takes a step back from the current debate over school discipline to profile a school that is trying something new.

She recounts how the “zero tolerance” approach to school discipline of the 1990s was followed by the Obama administration’s official guidance to schools on minimizing suspensions, issued in 2014, and notes

[…] discipline has become the subject of one of the most polarizing and entrenched debates in education: Opponents of the Obama guidance argue that it has handicapped schools from ensuring schools are safe and productive learning environments; proponents assert the rules promote equity and prevent educators from resorting to punitive discipline practices that are ineffective at best and pernicious at worst.

She visits an elementary school in Columbus, Ohio, where the principal “is trying something different, pushing the school to be more experimental and use whatever methods will meet children’s needs.”

Earlier this year, Dan Losen and Mike Petrilli took a close look at the evidence on different approaches to discipline, in a forum, “Debating Obama- Era Guidance on School Discipline.”

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