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ERIC Number: ED550304
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 141
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2677-9568-7
The Association between Principal Beliefs on Student Discipline and School Suspension Rates
DeLoreto, Louis F.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Connecticut
School suspension lists produced at the state and national level, indicate an overrepresentation of students with identified learning disabilities and are from racial/ethnic minority and low socio-economic groups. The main focus of this study was to explore this phenomenon and the relationship between principal beliefs on the use of suspension and suspension rates in schools. Responses to an anonymous on-line "Principal Perceptions Survey" administered to high school principals and assistant principals in Connecticut were examined in relation to suspension rates in their schools. Analyses revealed two distinct clusters of administrators with conflicting belief systems on the use and effectiveness of traditional school disciplinary sanctions such as school suspension, the level of discretion administrators' believe they should have in issuing suspension, and the degree of responsibility schools have in teaching proper behavior to students. Comparisons between the two administrator clusters and student discipline data did not demonstrate a strong association with suspension rates in the survey respondents' schools. However, a regression model yielded a negative beta coefficient for cluster membership after controlling for other variables included in the model. This result indicates as administrators move closer to an "Alternative-behavioralist" approach to managing student discipline and away from a "Traditional-consequence" belief orientation, suspension rates decline. Individual student, administrator and school demographic characteristics were the variables used in the regression model to compare suspension rates in respondents' schools (race/ethnicity, school enrollment, district reference group (DRG), percent minority enrollment, administrator belief orientation (cluster group). Results showed DRG, percent minority, and cluster group were significant predictors of higher suspension rates in respondents' schools. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut