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DeVos To Rescind Obama-Era Guidance On School Discipline: NPR

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos                                                                        Win McNamee / Getty Images                                    hide caption toggle caption Win McNamee / Getty Images             U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Win McNamee / Getty Images                     A federal commission led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recommends rescinding Obama's guidance designed to reduce racial discrimination in school discipline. And, DeVos says, it urges schools to "seriously consider partnering with local law enforcement in the training and arming of school personnel." President Trump created the Federal Commission on School Safety following the mass shooting in February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. While student survivors rallied for gun control, DeVos said early on that would not be a focus of the commission's work. The final report highlights a single concrete gun control recommendation, relating to the expansion of extreme risk protection orders, "which allow household members or police to seek the removal of firearms from a mentally disturbed person. The recommendations on discipline form part of a broader effort by the Trump administration and DeVos to back away from Obama's policies aimed at reducing racial disparities in suspensions and expulsions. "Students are afraid because violent students were going unpunished," a senior administration official said. DeVos called instead for a holistic view of school safety. Civil Rights and Discriminatory Discipline The federal policies addressed in the report are from 2014, when the Education Department under President Obama issued detailed guidance on "how to identify, avoid and remedy" what it called "discriminatory discipline." The guidance promoted alternatives to suspension and…

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos



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U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

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A federal commission led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recommends rescinding Obama’s guidance designed to reduce racial discrimination in school discipline. And, DeVos says, it urges schools to “seriously consider partnering with local law enforcement in the training and arming of school personnel.”

President Trump created the Federal Commission on School Safety following the mass shooting in February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. While student survivors rallied for gun control, DeVos said early on that would not be a focus of the commission’s work.

The final report highlights a single concrete gun control recommendation, relating to the expansion of extreme risk protection orders, “which allow household members or police to seek the removal of firearms from a mentally disturbed person.

The recommendations on discipline form part of a broader effort by the Trump administration and DeVos to back away from Obama’s policies aimed at reducing racial disparities in suspensions and expulsions.

“Students are afraid because violent students were going unpunished,” a senior administration official said. DeVos called instead for a holistic view of school safety.

Civil Rights and Discriminatory Discipline

The federal policies addressed in the report are from 2014, when the Education Department under President Obama issued detailed guidance on “how to identify, avoid and remedy” what it called “discriminatory discipline.” The guidance promoted alternatives to suspension and expulsion, and opened investigations into school districts that had severely racially skewed numbers.

The guidance had its roots two decades earlier. Efter den passage af Gun-Free Schools Act i 1994 har flere skolere vedtaget “zero tolerance” -disciplinære politikker og lagt til flere politikker på campus, især til lavindkomstskoler med mange svarte og latinamerikanske studerende.

A growing body of research viste at være suspenderet, utvist eller arresteret i skolen er forbundet med højere dropout-priser og livslang negative konsekvenser. “Just one suspension can make a difference,” says Kristen Harper, director of Policy at Child Trends, a youth-oriented nonprofit. Statistieken laten zien dat deze negatieve gevolgen veel meer dalen op studenten van kleur, disproportionate to their actual behavior. Black girls, for example, were suspended at six times the rate of white girls.

In the wake of the 2014 guidance, more than 50 of America’s largest school districts instituted discipline reform. More than half the states revised their laws to try and reduce suspensions and expulsions.

And, a new analysis for NPR or federal data shows, suspensions indeed declined, especially for Hispanic students. Men de fremskridt har været stigende, og de svarte gymnasieelever er fortsatt dobbelt så trolige som hvite til å bli suspendert landsomfattende. So are students in special education.

School safety and school shootings

This conversation about discipline and civil rights ran headlong into a conversation about school safety when Nikolas Cruz killed 17 of his former classmates and school staff on Feb. 14. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting took place in Broward County, Fla., A district that had made a concerted effort to work with local law enforcement to reduce discriminatory discipline, cut suspensions and arrests and refer students to services instead of punishment. The program was called PROMISE. It went into effect before the Obama-era guidance, and was held up as a national model for discipline reform.

Emotions ran high when WLRN reported that Nikolas Cruz had been referenced to the PROMISE program in middle school, but with no record of his receiving services. On a local radio show, Andrew Pollack, who lost his daughter, Meadow, in the shooting, called PROMISE a “cancer.” “The leniency policy, the political correctness – that’s a cancer that led up to February 14th of non-reporting of criminals who go to the schools in Broward.”

The state’s own post-Parkland school safety commission issued recommendations recently as well . That commission focused on physical security, like requiring teachers to lock classroom doors.

A broader walkback

Nikolas Cruz was white. He was also suspended, repeatedly, and transferred to alternative school. There was an armed school resource officer on campus that day, who remained outside rather than confront the shooter.

This announcement on discriminatory discipline, then, in some ways is better understood less in relation to the Parkland shooting and more as part of

Under President Obama, the Education Department interpreted Title IX to protect transgender and gender-nonconforming students from discrimination. The department pushed campuses to take a stronger line in investigating sexual misconduct, also under Title IX, and issued guidance for schools’ voluntary efforts to achieve racial integration.

DeVos has pulled back the guidance in each case, sometimes pleasing critics of federal

A new era?

Some of the federal safety commission’s new recommendations, like directing resources towards mental health and social-emotional learning, actually echo the views of education experts who support discipline alternatives.

Anurima Bhargava, a former Justice Department official who was involved.

The question now is whether the government’s latest reversal in the direction of civil rights might bring a return to the days of zero tolerance. In het ontwerpen van de disciplinevoorlichting, zegt het dat het was geschreven om een ​​consensus te creëren, met een groot aantal overleg met schoolleiders en anderen. “So many people weighed in – there was nobody who was against it,” she says. By that token, Bhargava finds it unlikely that the tide of restorative and inclusive practices will fully reverse itself.

But during more than a dozen listening sessions, DeVos’ safety commission heard from people who thought the push for alternative discipline had gone too Father. Among them were Judy Kidd of North Carolina’s Classroom Teachers Association, who said:

“Daily fights, concealed weapons and teachers assaulted are being ignored to reduce the number of incidents reported. This is unacceptable.”

Without the federal government , there may be little pressure for change in places like Mississippi. That was the only state analyzed by Child Trends, which saw an increase in suspensions each year between 2012 and 2016. Or in Allegheny County, Pa., Where black students as of 2016 were suspended seven times more often than non-black students. [19659011] Activists like 18-year-old Nia Arrington, of the One Pennsylvania Youth Power collective, feel abandoned by this announcement. As a student at Pittsburgh Public Schools, in Allegheny County, she fought successfully against arming school safety officers.

“I do not think when these people talk about keeping students safe that they have all students in mind,” she says. “De tror ikke på den harsh virkeligheden, nogle studenter kan ha møtt med våldsbrott. En hel del studenter har blivit traumatiserade av guns i denna land – och vid handen av polisen.”

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