Schools must be places of safety and support for all students. And yet, in an effort to make our schools safe havens, districts have adopted zero-tolerance policies and increased school policing. The result, however, has driven some of our most vulnerable students out of school and into a judicial system often built for punishment rather than support: the school-to-prison pipeline. In this blog post, AIR’s Jeffrey Poirier and David Osher argue that re-evaluating zero tolerance policies, training staff to deal with non-threatening but disruptive student behaviors, and working to eliminate bias can go a long way to ending the school-to-prison pipeline.
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13 Nov 2015
Helping youth at risk escape the school-to-prison pipeline is a growing concern for educators, researchers, communities and providers. The School-Justice Partnerships Certificate Program, the first of its kind, brings together Georgetown University's Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, AIR experts, and educational and juvenile justice leaders to provide research-based solutions for those who work with youth at risk. In this video, experts speak to their experiences addressing the school-to-prison pipeline and how the program can help.
11 Sep 2015
While some students happily return to school in the fall, others face stress and disconnection. In this commentary, David Osher argues that criminalizing attendance problems is unproductive, and that we should instead be creating engaging and supportive school environments that meet student needs and address the unique cluster of factors that contribute to each student’s attendance problems.
31 Aug 2015
During the past two decades, there has been an increase in exclusionary and punitive discipline in US schools. These disciplinary approaches have been discriminatory in their impacts and have failed to improve school safety. Luckily, a growing body of evidence shows that changing discipline policies and practices can improve school climate and student achievement. This report focuses on how to address students’ behavioral issues while enabling them to succeed.
30 Jul 2015
Social and emotional learning is the process through which children learn the skills to handle themselves, their relationships, and their work effectively and ethically. This report presents findings about the outcomes of a complex eight-district demonstration project designed to learn about as well and show how and to what end school districts can make social and emotional learning an essential part of every student’s education.
29 Jul 2015
Research findings continue to point to the importance of social and emotional learning in children's lives. In this response to David Bornstein's 7/24/15 New York Times article, David Osher describes initiatives in Cleveland and other districts that have improved students' social and emotional competence and school test performance. The key, he notes, is building the capacity of teachers and schools to implement the programs.
24 Jul 2015
Recently experts from across the nation convened at the White House to discuss best practices that foster safe, supportive, and productive learning environments that keep kids in school and out of the juvenile justice system. A planning guide aimed at promoting positive school climates and ending disparities in administering student discipline, Addressing the Root Causes of Disparities in School Discipline, An Educator’s Guide, developed and written by AIR experts, was released at the event.
10 Jul 2015
What is social-emotional learning and what does it look like in practice? David Osher and Cleveland Public Schools' CEO Eric Gordon discuss.
4 Jun 2015
Bullying is on the decline, but evidence is mounting that it is even more toxic for children and adolescents than previously thought. In this commentary, David Osher suggests the need for an interim strategy until anti-bullying efforts are in full force, such as the infusion approach, which integrates anti-bullying initiatives into other school-wide activities.