ERIC Number: ED417528
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998
Schools for Disruptive Students: A Questionable Alternative? AEL Policy Briefs.
This policy brief discusses legislative efforts to create separate, alternative schools for students with behavior problems. The first section of the brief identifies the following three problems with placing disruptive students in alternative schools: (1) a focus on problem students may obscure or ignore real problems in the educational system; (2) programs that target individuals divert resources from everyone else; and (3) a focus on problem students may threaten system equity by segregating poor students, students with disabilities, and minority students in alternative programs. The second section of the paper examines the focus of three different types of alternative schools: educational, disciplinary, or therapeutic. The need for schools to understand what they are trying to accomplish in order to plan and implement program strategies is discussed. Practitioners are warned that a punitive purpose may cause schools to adopt ineffective models for improving learning or behavior and jeopardize system equity and excellence. A chart illustrating implementation issues by school type is provided. The final section of the paper discusses key criteria for developing a school climate that contributes to disciplined learning environments. Questions are provided to help clarify whether legislation is accomplishing intended goals. (Contains 44 references.) (CR)
Descriptors: Behavior Problems, Discipline, Educational Environment, Educational Legislation, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Models, Nontraditional Education, Policy Formation, Program Implementation, Special Schools, Therapeutic Environment
Appalachia Educational Laboratory, Inc., P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325-1348; toll-free telephone: 800-624-9120; telephone: 304-347-0400; fax: 304-347-0487; e-mail: email@example.com; World Wide Web: http://www.ael.org
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Appalachia Educational Lab., Charleston, WV.