ERIC Number: ED571124
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Aug
Reference Count: 8
Authorizers Are Not Monolithic on School Discipline: How Charter School Authorizers Differ in School Discipline Engagement
Rausch, M. K.; Conlan, S. K.
National Association of Charter School Authorizers
In theory, authorizers play an important role in decisions regarding charter schools and student discipline, as they are the bodies responsible for protecting the public interest, while balancing school autonomy and accountability. Within public education, a rigorous debate is occurring about student discipline practices, particularly suspensions and expulsions. The practices of charter schools are part of this debate, yet little is known about what is currently happening on the ground. Are they too heavy handed, or are they currently not doing enough? As the nation's only organization that collects data on authorizers' practices and perspectives the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) is tracking this debate and authorizers' practices closely. This year, for the first time, NACSA's annual survey of charter school authorizers included questions related to how authorizers view their role when it comes to student discipline, and what, if anything, they are doing in their day-to-day work. This report further examines NACSA's recently released data on authorizer perspectives and practices on school discipline. While the big picture information demonstrated a range of approaches and perspectives, inspection of the data within each authorizer's individual responses appeared to reveal some patterns. The analysis found that all authorizers do not approach school discipline in the same way. There appears to be two distinct groups of authorizers: one group--termed the Monitor & Report group--uses a range of monitoring, collecting, and discipline reporting practices more frequently compared to the other group--termed the Hands Off group--comprised of authorizers that are much less likely to use those same practices. Analysis of the two groups found: (1) When it comes to school discipline, the vast majority of authorizers are using transparency-based practices; (2) A smaller group of authorizers are not actively monitoring and overseeing the school discipline practices of their schools; (3) Currently, most authorizers are not heavy-handed in their approach to student discipline; and (4) There is no clear link between the size, type or number of schools an authorizer manages and its student discipline practices. Appended are: (1) Study Method Description; and (2) School Discipline Survey Questions.
Descriptors: Charter Schools, Discipline, School Administration, Surveys, Multivariate Analysis, Differences, Methods
National Association of Charter School Authorizers. 105 West Adams Street Suite 3500, Chicago, IL 60603. Tel: 312-376-2300; Fax: 312-376-2400; Web site: http://www.qualitycharters.org
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Association of Charter School Authorizers