School Climate & Safety News in Brief

Federal Directive Hasn’t Changed Discipline Practices, Survey Finds

By Evie Blad — May 08, 2018 1 min read

A new survey by the AASA, the School Superintendents Association, reveals that few districts modified their discipline policies and practices as a result of guidance that came out of the Obama administration.

The survey of 950 district leaders in 47 states comes at a time when U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is considering revoking the guidance, which aims to drive down racially disparate rates of discipline.

Of those that made changes because of the directive, 4.5 percent of respondents, less than 1 percent of all respondents, indicated that it had a negative or very negative impact on staff members’ ability to address disciplinary issues. And 44 percent of respondents who’d made changes because of the guidance, 7 percent of total respondents, indicated that it has been a positive experience.

That’s not to say that schools haven’t changed their discipline policies, but most haven’t cited the guidance as the cause for doing so. Some instead pointed to more aggressive use of systemic investigations by the Department of Education’s office for civil rights that started in 2009.

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A version of this article appeared in the May 09, 2018 edition of Education Week as Federal Directive Hasn’t Changed Discipline Practices, Survey Finds

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