Reconsidering Exclusionary Discipline

The Efficacy and Equity of Out-of-School Suspension and Expulsion

Authored by: Russell J. Skiba , M. Karega Rausch

Handbook of Classroom Management

Print publication date:  September  2014
Online publication date:  September  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415660051
eBook ISBN: 9780203074114
Adobe ISBN: 9781135106843


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Effective school disciplinary systems—the philosophies, policies, and practices used to create safe schools that are maximally conducive to learning for all students—are necessary to ensure that schools maximize student opportunity to learn. In the first edition of this handbook, Skiba & Rausch (2006) identified four core goals of any school disciplinary system. First, discipline is intended to ensure the safety of students and teachers, preventing incidents that could threaten the safety of students or staff. Second, effective discipline creates a climate conducive to instruction and should improve academic outcomes by increasing the amount and quality of time teachers can spend teaching, rather than responding to behavioral disruptions (Brophy, 1988; Wang, Haertel, & Walberg, 1997). Third, from a purely behavioral perspective, a discipline system can be called effective only if it actually creates a change in student behavior over time, reducing rates of negative behavior and hopefully increasing prosocial behavior toward peers and adults (Alberto & Troutman, 2013). Finally, systems of discipline teach students the skills they need to succeed in schools and society.

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