ERIC Number: EJ1179439
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Abstractor: As Provided
Inequitable Compliance: Implementation Failure of a Statewide Student Discipline Reform
Anderson, Kaitlin P.
Peabody Journal of Education, v93 n2 p244-263 2018
Researchers and others in the education community are concerned about over-reliance on exclusionary discipline such as out-of-school suspension (OSS) and expulsion. Exclusionary discipline is associated with lower student achievement, higher risk of drop-out or grade retention, and involvement in the juvenile justice system. In response, many schools, districts, and states are moving toward less exclusionary consequences. In 2013, the Arkansas state legislature passed a bill prohibiting the use of OSS as a consequence for truancy. Yet, even after 3 school years, there has not been a complete elimination in the use of OSS for truancy. In this article, I use 8 years of student achievement, demographic, and disciplinary data from all Arkansas public schools to assess which school-level factors are associated with the use of OSS as a consequence for truancy in the year the law was passed, and which are associated with policy compliance in the following 3 years. I find schools that served more minority students, had higher rates of truancy, and higher rates of OSS were less likely to comply with the policy, all else equal. Combined, these results suggest that the types of schools likely targeted by this policy are the same ones not fully complying with it. As a result, the impact of policy reforms, which sound beneficial "prima facie," may be limited if changes are not communicated well to schools, if there is not accountability to ensure compliance, and if there is not school capacity to handle discipline effectively.
Descriptors: Educational Change, Discipline Policy, Truancy, Suspension, Dropouts, Academic Achievement, Expulsion, Grade Repetition, State Legislation, Public Schools, Institutional Characteristics, Minority Group Students, Racial Differences, Compliance (Legal), Elementary Secondary Education, Statistical Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arkansas
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A