Disproportionality, School Discipline and Academic Achievement Chris Borgmeier Portland State University
Goals • Document the role of discipline disproportionality at multiple levels: • (a) referrals to the office, • (b) administrative decisions once a student is in the office. • Describe a role for school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports • Link discipline systems, academic achievement, disproportionality
Two levels of disproportionality in discipline systems • Likelihood of referral to the office • Likelihood of a “consequence” that results in loss of educational minutes. • NOTE: The single strongest predictor of academic gains is the number of minutes of effective academic engagement. • Removing a student from school is a serious decision.
Two levels of disproportionality in discipline systems • Race is not Neutral: Disproportionality in School DisciplineRussell Skiba, Robert H. Horner, Choong-Geun Chung Karega Rausch, , Seth L. May, and Tary Tobin • In press: Journal of School Psychology • Analysis of office discipline referral data from the school-wide information system (SWIS) • 436 elementary and middle schools • 205,932 students who received office discipline referrals • Referrals organized by student ethnicity, type of problem behavior, and administrative decision.
Two levels of disproportionality in discipline systems • First Finding: Students from Hispanic/Latino and African American backgrounds were more likely to be sent to the office than their white peers. • Logistic regression, odds ratios • (1.0 = same ; >1.0 = more likely; < 1.0 = less likely)
Elementary Schools:Compare proportion of students enrolled to proportion of students with an ODR % Enrolled % with an ODR
Middle Schools:Compare proportion of students enrolled to proportion of students with an ODR % Enrolled % with an ODR
Two levels of disproportionality in discipline systems • Second Finding: If students from Hispanic/Latino or African American backgrounds were sent to the office, they were more likely than white students to receive a consequence that resulted in their being removed from school (suspension/expulsion) • Odds Ratio for Consequence for all ODRs
Elementary Schools:Likelihood of out of school suspension or expulsion compared to white students (1.0 = equal).
Middle Schools:Likelihood of out of school suspension or expulsion compared to white students (1.0 = equal).
Moving from defining the problem to defining solutions • No simple fix. • The issues of disproportionality likely lie in multiple issues and deep societal challenges.
Moving from defining the problem to defining solutions • Practical steps that schools can do to address discipline disproportionality. • Establish a predictable, consistent, positive and safe school-wide culture by teaching school-wide behavioral expectations • Collect and use discipline data disaggregated by ethnicity/race. (Report monthly or quarterly… not just annually) • Provide staff with the opportunity for orientation to the role of culture in discipline decision-making. • Teach with precision, intensity and effect • Acknowledge appropriate behavior regularly • Skiba et al., In press, Vincent et al., In press, Tobin & Vincent In press Formal Research Support has yet to be documented for any of these strategies
PBIS and Discipline Disproportionality • If schools adopt school-wide PBIS do they demonstrate improved performance for children at risk for discipline disproportionality?
Preliminary Evidence:When PBIS is linked to reduction in ODRs does reduction occur for students from all ethnic groups? Main Messages: • Reduction in ODRs occurred for all ethnic groups • Racial disproportionality continued, however, just at a lower level of intensity. From: Vincent, Cartledge, May & Tobin, 2009
Preliminary Evidence:When PBIS is linked to reduction in ODRs does reduction occur for students from all ethnic groups? From: Vincent, Cartledge, May & Tobin, 2009
Preliminary Evidence:Illinois OSS for school using PBIS and beginning adoption Schools using PBIS Schools NOT using PBIS From: Eber et al., 2010 PBIS annual report
Early Conclusion… Nothing is inherently biased or culturally irrelevant about practices & systems of PBIS implementation. However, we definitely can improve kid outcomes by making enhancements that make those practices & systems more reflective of the norms, expectations, & learning histories of kids, family & community members, & school staff.
Equity & PBIS • Develop School-wide Expectations that fit local context • Challenge • School faculty/staff is often not representative of the community • How can we ensure that behavioral expectations are representative of the community?
Team Membership • Invite members of the community that represent the diversity to participate as PBIS team members • Identify customs representing the diverse membership of the community that can be actively built into PBIS implementation • SW Rules & Language • Behavioral Expectations • Acknowledgment System & Assemblies • Responses to problem behavior & Consequences
Representative Behavioral Expectations • Actively seek feedback and participation from community members that represent the diversity within the community • Provide an avenue for community members to provide feedback re: behavioral expectations and whether they represent the culture of community members • Hold events to seek feedback from community members • Send out expectations grids to seek feedback
Actively use Ethnicity Data for Decision Making The Ethnicity Report is the least used report within the School-wide Information System (SWIS) Use data regularly (monthly for whole faculty…. Weekly for team) Let the data guide what questions to ask… do not expect data to provide the answers. Always use the data for problem solving that leads to specific action plans. Expect different solutions in different locations.
The Ethnicity Report is the least used report within the School-wide Information System (SWIS) Use data regularly (monthly for whole faculty…. Weekly for team) Let the data guide what questions to ask… do not expect data to provide the answers. Always use the data for problem solving that leads to specific action plans. Expect different solutions in different locations. Proportion of Referrals vs Enrollment By Ethnicity
Examining • Provide opportunities for teachers and administrators to examine their own potential biases related to research on disproportionality • Know yourself • Know your students • Review your personal data • Referrals • Responses to problem behavior & likelihood to engage/escalate