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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)

What Happens to Student Behavior When Schools Prioritize Art

KQED News Mind/Shift – Sir Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica

“There’s more room to make changes within the current education system than many people think. Schools operate as they do not because they have to but because they choose to. They don’t need to be that way; they can change and many do. Innovative schools everywhere are breaking the mold of convention to meet the best interests of their students, families, and communities. As well as great teachers, what they have in common is visionary leadership. They have principals who are willing to make the changes that are needed to promote the success of all their students, whatever their circumstances and talents. A creative principal with the right powers of leadership can take a failing school and turn it into a hot spot of innovation and inclusion that benefits everyone it touches.” (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)

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)

Why Your School Should Be Implementing Trauma-Informed Practices

Education World – Jim Paterson

“From severe bullying, emotional abuse, or death of a parent at home to a classmate’s suicide or a school shooting, we now know trauma diminishes the performance and good behavior of students―and limits their health and happiness as adults. It is harder, however, to see how the many proposed approaches to combat it can be implemented consistently during a busy school day, but experts say professional development is a good start.”(more)