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Do Arizona Charter Schools Rely on Exclusionary Discipline Practices?

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Families of students with disabilities and those who are culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD), are looking for better educational opportunities. Charter schools offer promise as they were designed to promote

Families of students with disabilities and those who are culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD), are looking for better educational opportunities. Charter schools offer promise as they were designed to promote student learning with limited control from the state. Charter schools though, have been criticized for relying on exclusionary discipline policies that affect CLD students and students with disabilities disproportionately. This study was designed to understand how Arizona charter schools use exclusionary discipline practices, with a focus on students with disabilities and CLD students. Two participants, a fourth grade and fifth grade teacher from a Phoenix metropolis charter school completed surveys and interviews where they answered questions about their classroom and their school’s discipline policies. Teachers were asked how they have adapted and administered classroom discipline policies and to what extent have positive behavioral strategies been implemented in an online setting due to the COVID-19 pandemic when schools transitioned to virtual learning. The results showed that in a virtual setting, teachers retained the practice of removing students from the “classroom”, expectations had to be modified to meet the needs of the new environment, and the school counselor served in conflicting roles. The findings suggested that charter schools and teachers may be transferring and adapting their reliance on exclusionary discipline practices even for an online setting with classrooms that have students with disabilities and those who are CLD.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05