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Implementing Policies to Reduce the Likelihood of Preschool Expulsion - This policy brief seeks to identify the program characteristics associated with higher pre-k expulsion rates and the policies that can lead to lower expulsion rates. It notes that having more children per teacher, longer class days, and teachers with higher stress levels are associated with greater expulsion rates. Rather than expelling children, the brief recommends better supports for teachers, including more access to early childhood mental health consultants. The author also recommends larger investments in data collection on pre-k expulsion and in research on how family involvement, teacher training, and programs supporting children with special needs before the pre-k years can help reduce expulsions. (Walter Gilliam, Foundation for Child Development, January 2008)...

Derailed! The Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track - This report examines the roots of the zero tolerance movement in the 1990s, and the data on juvenile arrests in such jurisdictions as Miami-Dade, Baltimore and Houston. The author also provides an in-depth look at the situation in Palm Beach County, Florida, including enrollment and suspension rates by race, arrests by offense, and stories of how some students in the district—particularly black students and students with disabilities—have been disproportionately impacted by the district’s policy shift. Recommendations are provided on ways policymakers can reduce the number of petty cases referred to the juvenile justice system. (Judith A. Browne, Advancement Project, May 2003)...

Violence-related Behaviors Among High School Students — United States, 1991-2003 - Researchers present 13-year national trends on the percentage of students who: (1) carried a weapon on at least one day during the 30 days before the survey or at least once during the 12 months before the survey; (2) participated in a physical fight or (3) were in a physical fight that resulted in injuries that had to be treated by a doctor or nurse. For the years 1993-2003, they also indicate the percentage of students who: (4) carried a weapon on school property on at least one day during the 30 days before the survey or (5) did not attend school on at least one day because they felt too unsafe or (6) were in at least one physical fight on school property in the 12 months before the survey or (7) were threatened or injured with a weapon on school property. Data on each of the seven areas are disaggregated by gender, race and grade (9-12). (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, July 2004)...

Teaching Interrupted: Do Discipline Policies in Today's Public Schools Foster the Common Good? - This report suggests that a handful of misbehaving students are making learning more challenging for everyone, and parents who threaten to sue schools that discipline their students are only making matters worse. Presenting the findings of surveys of 725 middle and high school teachers and 600 parents of middle and high school students nationwide, this report paints the picture of a modern-day school where teachers are disciplined or fear undergoing discipline for disciplining students. The results also cover respondents’ perceptions on the causes of student behavior problems, the best ways to discipline students and more. One finding: 82% of teachers and 74% of parents believe “parents’ failure to teach their children discipline” is the number one cause of students’ bad behavior in U.S. schools. (Public Agenda, May 2004)...

Behavior-Oriented Approaches To Reducing Youth Gun Violence - Advocacy groups on both sides of the gun issue frequently point to changing personal behavior – of both parents and children – as a key element in reducing gun violence among youth. Efforts to bring about these changes range from community-based campaigns, to laws and programs that encourage parents to store their guns safely, to educational initiatives that focus on keeping young children away from guns and encouraging youth to resolve disputes without violence. Unfortunately, these behavior-oriented programs have not shown great success in reducing youth gun violence. This article reviews the research surrounding behavioral approaches to gun violence prevention and highlights obstacles that hamper the effectiveness of these programs. (Marjorie S. Hardy, The Future of Children, vol. 12, no. 2, 2002)...


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