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Commentary: Minnesota’s New Commonsense Approach to School Discipline Policy Should Be a Model for Other States

The 74 Million – Lauren Morando Rhim

“The Minnesota Department of Human Rights recently announced collaborative agreements with five school districts and five charter schools to address practices that lead to disproportionate discipline of students of color and students with disabilities. The objective is to address “implicit bias that influences perceptions of student behavior.” Two districts in which the department was unable to develop agreements are most likely headed to court due to practices alleged to have resulted in educational discrimination.” (more)

Class clowns: Playful boys viewed more negatively than playful girls, study finds

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“New research shows that playful boys are viewed as rebellious and disruptive by their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade teachers whereas playful girls are not. As a result of observing teachers’ attempts to discourage the expression of playfulness, the boys’ classmates changed their view of these “class clowns” from initially positive to increasingly negative. The playful boys also developed more negative perceptions of themselves over time. The study, published in Frontiers in Psychology, indicates that teachers’ negative perceptions of playful boys in their early school years may forebode a longer-term negative trajectory for the boys as they continue through their formal school years.” (more)

Aiming for Discipline Instead of Punishment

Edutopia – Lori Desautels

“There are many perspectives on the topic of discipline in our classrooms and schools, and I’d like to explore the idea of using brain-aligned discipline with students who have adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Traditional punishment with these students only escalates power struggles and conflict cycles, breeding an increased stress response in the brain and body. Punishment is used to try to force compliance. The vast majority of school discipline procedures are forms of punishment that work best with the students who need them the least.” (more)

System of positive rewards to reduce student discipline takes off in California

Ed Source – Lee Romney

“Ten-year-old Ja’Vonie Morris sat in her school principal’s office on a recent day — not for the misbehavior that got her in so much trouble back in 3rd grade, but to show off her accomplishments under a schoolwide strategy that used positive reinforcement to help her turn things around.” (more)

Disproportionality in Student Discipline: Connecting Policy to Research

Education Next – Nora Gordon

“Major racial disparities in student discipline rates have been documented for decades. Most recently, the 2013-14 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) documented that black students, who make up 16 percent of enrollment, accounted for 40 percent of suspensions nationally. The Obama Administration made these disparities a major policy priority, expanding the CRDC and releasing policy guidance on discrimination in school discipline. Betsy DeVos told reporters just two months ago that she is “looking closely” at the rules, and advocacy efforts on both sides are heating up.” (more)