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Do Arizona Charter Schools Rely on Exclusionary Discipline Practices?

Description

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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Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Case studies of a behavior inclusion model in an elementary school district

Description

ABSTRACT

School discipline practices have traditionally been reactive and punitive in nature. Students violating a school district’s code of conduct were often met with exclusionary discipline policies such as out-of-school suspensions,

ABSTRACT

School discipline practices have traditionally been reactive and punitive in nature. Students violating a school district’s code of conduct were often met with exclusionary discipline policies such as out-of-school suspensions, long-term suspensions, and expulsions. Districts attempted to resolve these practices by creating alternative education schools to house students with high numbers of office discipline referrals, rather than have them withdrawn from school. This practice has created in some instances, a school-to-prison pipeline. In this study, for 2015-2016, there were 22 students previously enrolled in the district’s alternative education school, Spirit Academy ranging in third through eighth grades. The students were then transferred back to their home schools with supports via student behavior specialists, student behavior interventionists, and a research-based data tracking tool, Check In/Check Out, to determine the level of the model’s effectiveness. The six students out of the 22 were selected for this case study analysis because of the fidelity of the data collection at their school sites. Another factor was to include a broad cross-section of students rather than focus solely on a selected grade-level. The study showed three students who successfully passed Check In/Check Out due to higher scores in all three of their skills, while two students showed the exact opposite. Office discipline referrals (ODRs) also indicated mixed results as three students increased their number of ODRs and three showed decreases. Report cards were also mixed as only two of the students showed higher percentages in reading. For math, one student showed an increase. Finally, the school climate survey data was mixed as to meeting the district benchmark at two of the schools studied; one of the schools had lower-than-desired scores. The implications of this study showed that punitive measures were not necessarily the best for students. If suspensions, long-term suspensions, expulsions, or alternative education schools worked, then we would see less students being referred to these extreme measures of discipline. In fact, more students are being referred for punishment.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Starving the Beast: school-based restorative justice and the school-to-prison-pipeline

Description

National mandates to decrease suspension numbers have prompted school districts across the country to turn to a practice known as restorative justice as an alternative to removing students through suspension

National mandates to decrease suspension numbers have prompted school districts across the country to turn to a practice known as restorative justice as an alternative to removing students through suspension or referral to law enforcement for problematic behavior. This ethnographic case study examines school-based restorative justice programs as potentially disruptive social movements in dismantling the school-to-prison-pipeline through participatory analysis of one school’s implementation of Discipline that Restores.

Findings go beyond suspension numbers to discuss the promise inherent in the program’s validation of student lived experience using a disruptive framework within the greater context of the politics of care and the school-to-prison-pipeline. Findings analyze the intersection of race, power, and identity with the experience of care in defining community to illustrate some of the prominent structural impediments that continue to work to cap the program’s disruptive potential. This study argues that restorative justice, through the experience of care, has the potential to act as a disruptive force, but wrestles with the enormity of the larger structural investments required for authentic transformative and disruptive change to occur.

As the restorative justice movement gains steam, on-going critical analysis against a disruptive framework becomes necessary to ensure the future success of restorative discipline in disrupting the school-to-prison-pipeline.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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A perspective of Navajo adult prisoners on their experiences: from school to prison

Description

This dissertation discusses the intersection of schooling, justice systems, and educational achievements of American Indians. This dissertation is divided into three parts covering six sections; American Indians in the U.S.

This dissertation discusses the intersection of schooling, justice systems, and educational achievements of American Indians. This dissertation is divided into three parts covering six sections; American Indians in the U.S. as a political and racial group, current trends in Indian education and economic conditions with a discussion on the role of epistemological and ontological clashes between Indian ways of thinking and western education practices. Six policy eras are discussed that have shaped Indian education followed by a discussion on how and in what ways the justice system and schooling intersect with the educational achievement of American Indian students.

A qualitative case study explored the experiences of six Navajo prisoners, ages 24-35, in the Winslow State Prison in Arizona. Open-ended interviews inquired about their K-12 education, family, community, and institutional experiences with discipline. Findings revealed negative experiences with schooling had powerful impacts on participants in contrast to family, community, and other institutions. All participants reported experiences in school contributed to interfacing with the justice system. Second, teachers and principals were identified as powerful forces contributing to participants’ negative school experiences. Third, negative family impacts triggered participants’ dependency on the school for support. Findings from this study, evidence suggests that schooling plays a pivotal role influencing a Navajo man's life chances.

This type of research focusing on Indigenous prison inmate voices is needed to understand the experiences of Navajo male offenders who are within the criminal justice system and to then make policy recommendations to support healing and rehabilitation. I conclude by calling for a reimagining of schooling practices based on restorative justice that can mitigate negative disciplinary and violent schooling experiences and restore trust and success of American Indians in the education system.

Keywords: American Indian schooling, school to prison, federal boarding schools

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018