Zero tolerance policies were born out of fear and even desperation. After the 1999 school shootings in Colorado, some educators and public figures adopted a tough law-and-order stance; but, instead of deterrence, we got a discipline regime of mass suspensions. In this blog post, AIR's Peter Cookson argues that zero tolerance discipline and other failed, counter-productive policies should disappear into the void.
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21 Dec 2015
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.
15 Dec 2015
Charter schools were created to give parents more options for their children. With greater freedom to innovate than traditional public school classrooms, some charter schools may hold particular promise for students with disabilities, who by law are entitled to receive an education tailor-made to their needs. Zena Rudo tells the stories of three charter schools where students with disabilities exceeded district achievement averages for reading and math.
13 Dec 2015
How can we better support young people as they develop the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in school, work, and life? That is the question facing in-school educators, afterschool providers, families, policymakers, and the general public. This brief covers the policy context reflecting a growing interest in social and emotional learning and how afterschool and in-school educators can work together.
11 Dec 2015
Forty years ago, President Gerald Ford signed the Education of All Handicapped Children’s Act, now known as IDEA: the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Three waves of legislative reform since then have continued to strengthen access and emphasize academic success for all students. In this blog post, AIR expert Louis Danielson discusses the law's evolution and its continued commitment to greater educational accountability, inclusion, and quality for all students.
10 Dec 2015
In this blog post, AIR Managing Director Tracy Gray explains how the 2016 National Education Technology Plan (NETP16) shows how far schools and out-of-school programs have come and offers resources and recommendations to encourage educators to reimagine how technology can enhance learning.
4 Dec 2015
For educators and employers, understanding the knowledge, attitudes, and skills that ultimately contribute to success in school, work, and life is a priority. Over the past decade, afterschool programs have focused on preparing young people for the workforce by developing good work habits and a strong work ethic; this brief addresses the importance of those programs also teaching social and emotional learning competencies.
3 Dec 2015
The second in a series about income share agreements, this brief addresses the likely impact of ISAs on how campus financial aid offices will award student aid and the implications of ISAs for campus reporting on student aid, drawing on expertise from financial aid officers and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.
3 Dec 2015
As Purdue University and other schools prepare to offer income share agreements (ISAs) to students, these new programs could put students in a sticky situation. AIR researcher Audrey Peek explains that if they don’t understand the tradeoffs of loans versus ISAs, students could end up replacing their federal loans with much more expensive ISAs.
1 Dec 2015
Transitional kindergarten—the first year of a two-year kindergarten program for California children born between September 2 and December 2—is intended to better prepare young five-year-olds for kindergarten and ensure a strong start to their educational career. The goal of this study was to measure the success of the program by determining the impact of transitional kindergarten on students’ readiness for kindergarten in several areas. This brief outlines the results of the study, Impact of California's Transitional Kindergarten Program, 2013-14, and suggests next steps for further research.