A Lesson on Zero-Tolerance

When we punish students by kicking them out of school for nonviolent infractions, we’ve lost the opportunity to instruct them. But when discipline practices change, students’ outcomes change—for the better.

Lesson learned: key to more high school graduates may be fewer suspensions

We know from experience—and research—that using suspension as a primary discipline tool is a recipe for school failure. When children are suspended, they are not in school learning, they are not being coached to adopt new and better ways of responding to conflict, and they are not being required to make amends for their misdeeds.

Suspending judgment in favor of possibility

When I first met Ruth, she told me, “I was 16 and did a wrong thing and my parents put me out.” I never learned the wrong thing she did, but Ruth was now 27 and had been living in her car with her two children for almost six months. And she expected to be […]

Suspended before kindergarten? What’s wrong with this picture?

The Maryland State Department of Education recently released its data on suspensions, expulsions, and health-related exclusions for the 2009-2010 school year. As I was preparing an OSI-Baltimore factsheet using the numbers, an alarming data point arose: 75 pre-K students in Maryland received an out-of-school suspension or were expelled during the school year. The punished incidents […]