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Eliminating Excessive and Disparate School Discipline: A Review of Research and Policy Reform

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Abstract

Losen and Smith-Evans Haynes review the status and consequences of school discipline and how overly punitive practices have a negative and disparate impact. The authors describe policy efforts to curb excessive disciplinary exclusion that would help all students and decrease the harm to students of color and those with disabilities. Some of these harms have serious consequences in the long term, such as the impact on students’ opportunities for civic engagement and educational attainment and the high economic burden to society of prioritizing punishment given the higher associated risks for dropping out and juvenile justice involvement. Losen and Smith-Evans Haynes trace important recent policy reforms in school discipline at the federal, state, and district level, and recommend further reforms for more equitable disciplinary systems.

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