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Discipline
Single student being spoken to by a teacher

RELs work in partnership with states and districts to 1) conduct original high quality research, 2) provide training, coaching, and technical support, and 3) disseminate high quality research findings to better understand their disciplinary data, including research studies that examine issues of equity and disproportionality. A selected list of resources developed by the REL Program appears below.

Partnerships

Publications

  • Examining how student and school characteristics and the use of restorative practices in schools relate to student suspensions and expulsions (REL Midwest, Forthcoming). In response to a request from partners in Michigan, Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest is conducting a study focused on student discipline and the use of restorative practices in schools in Ingham Intermediate School District, which includes Lansing and a number of nearby school districts. First, REL Midwest will examine the association between student and school characteristics and the frequency and duration of suspensions and expulsions. Next, REL Midwest will examine how the reported use of restorative practices is related to the frequency and duration of suspensions and expulsions. These analyses will provide insights into the associations of student and school characteristics with student suspensions and expulsions and how the use of restorative practices in schools may be associated with these outcomes. The findings from this study will inform local and state policymakers as they consider the continued and future use of restorative practices in schools.
  • School and classroom discipline practices in Oregon: A descriptive study (REL Northwest, February 2021). In 2013, Oregon enacted a law that required districts to increase non-exclusionary discipline actions and eliminate disproportionality in exclusionary discipline. Two years later, legislators further limited the use of suspensions for students in grades Kâ€"5. This study will describe changes in both non-exclusionary and exclusionary discipline actions from 2011/12 to 2017/18 in Oregon elementary schools that have prioritized improving school discipline. Understanding the longitudinal trends of office discipline actions overall and by racial/ethnic group will help policymakers and practitioners make judgements about the state's progress toward reducing exclusionary discipline overall and eliminating disproportionality in discipline practices.
  • Examining the association between changes in state discipline policy and reductions in exclusionary discipline (REL Northwest, September 2020). This study will provide Oregon policymakers and school districts with information on changes in student discipline outcomes overall and by gender, race/ethnicity, free or reduced-price lunch status, and eligibility for special education or Section 504 services. In 2013, Oregon passed a law requiring districts to implement policies that reduce the overuse and disproportionate use of suspensions and expulsions. The findings should help Oregon policymakers identify areas that may need additional support to achieve desired school discipline outcomes. The study may also be of interest to other states that are considering changing their school discipline policies.
  • School discipline data indicators: A guide for districts and schools (REL Northwest, April 2017). This guide is designed to help educators use data to reduce disproportionate rates of suspension and expulsion based on race or ethnicity. It provides examples of selecting and analyzing data to determine whether racial disproportionality exists in a school or district's discipline practices.
  • Analyzing student-level disciplinary data: A guide for districts (REL Northeast and Islands, March 2017). This project will provide a guide to help districts analyze their student-level data and answer questions about the use of disciplinary methods; for example, whether these methods are disproportionately applied to certain student subgroups, and the relationship between disciplinary methods and student academic outcomes.
  • Suspension, Expulsion, and Achievement of English Learner Students in Six Oregon Districts. (REL Northwest, August 2015). This study examines data from six Oregon school districts to discern patterns of exclusionary discipline and the association of exclusionary discipline with achievement on state assessments in reading and mathematics for English language learner students, who are a large, growing, and challenging population in Oregon schools.
  • Suspension, Expulsion, and Achievement of English Learner Students in Six Oregon Districts (REL Northwest, August 2015). This study examines data from six Oregon school districts to discern patterns of exclusionary discipline and the association of exclusionary discipline with achievement on state assessments in reading and mathematics for English language learner (ELL) students, who are a large, growing, and challenging population in Oregon schools. The districts will use the results to develop specific plans for making their disciplinary practices both fair and effective.
  • Suspension and Expulsion Patterns in Six Oregon School Districts. (REL Northwest, May 2014). This study identifies how frequently students in six selected urban districts received exclusionary discipline during the 2011/12 school year, the most common reasons for such discipline, the percentage of students receiving multiple suspensions, and how many school days students lost to suspensions.
  • Disproportionality in School Discipline: An Assessment of Trends in Maryland, 2009–12. (REL Mid-Atlantic, March 2014) This study examines whether disproportionate rates of suspensions and expulsions exist for racial/ethnic minority students and special education students in Maryland during the period 2009/10 to 2011/12.

Videos

  • The OLN Research Alliance: Confronting Discipline Disproportionality. (REL Northwest). This video on confronting discipline disproportionality provides an overview of research alliances and how one such partnership—between researchers and school and district leaders who are part of the OLN Research Alliance—are using data and evidence to address discipline disparities in Oregon schools.

Archived Webinars

  • Analyzing Student-Level Disciplinary Data (REL Northeast and Islands, May 31, 2017) Research has shown that exclusionary discipline actions (e.g., out-of-school suspensions) are linked to negative outcomes for students. In addition, researchers have found that exclusionary discipline actions are sometimes disproportionately administered to subgroups of students, such as racial/ethnic minority students or students with disabilities. During this webinar, co-authors of the IES Applied Research Methods report, "Analyzing student-level disciplinary data: A guide for districts" present an overview of designing and carrying out analyses of student-level disciplinary data.
  • Bridge Event—Disciplinary Data Use and Research: Lessons from Syracuse (REL Northeast and Islands, June 14, 2016). The Urban School Improvement Alliance hosted this webinar on using data to inform school improvement, with a special focus on disciplinary data and Syracuse City Schools.
  • Key Activities to Reflect On Biases in Addressing Disproportionality (REL Mid-Atlantic, April 8, 2016). In this webinar, Dr. Patrick Jean-Pierre, Director at the Technical Assistance Center on Disproportionality at New York University, shared the Culturally Responsive Framework as a multicultural lens for changing systemic practices and policies in schools.
  • How to Look at Your Data to Address Disproportionality (REL Mid-Atlantic, March 4, 2016). In this webinar, Dr. Catherine Voulgarides, Senior Research Associate at New York University's Technical Assistance Center on Disproportionality, defined disproportionality in student discipline and then reviewed ways for educators to examine disproportionality data and root causes in their districts.
  • Identifying and Addressing Discipline Disparities (REL Mid-Atlantic, June 26, 2014). This webinar presents a discussion of findings on discipline disparities from two reports, REL Mid-Atlantic's Disproportionality in school discipline: An assessment of trends in Maryland, 2009–12 and REL Northwest's Suspension and expulsion patterns in six Oregon school districts

Infographics

For more resources in ERIC on the topic of Discipline, click here.