Invited Commentary on "Comparing Campus Discipline Rates: A Multivariate Approach for Identifying Schools with Significantly Different than Expected Exclusionary Discipline Rates" by Eric Booth and colleagues.

Key Take Away Points

  • Booth et al's study brings good news: when it comes to student discipline, schools are not 'doomed to their demographics.' The study reveals that, even among campuses that are struggling with high poverty rates and few resources, discipline rates vary significantly.
  • In order to effectively combat high exclusionary discipline rates, educators need access to the kind of comparative data analysis revealed by this study.
  • Access to the data, however, is just the beginning. Further research should be done to illuminate the reasons for differences between referrals rates for similar campuses.

Author Biography

Deborah Fowler is Deputy Director for Texas Appleseed, and is the primary author of Appleseed's reports on school discipline and school policing.

Mike Vitris is a Policy Analyst at Texas Appleseed, and works on a range of issues related to school discipline and juvenile justice.