How Effective are Interventions to Reduce Discipline Disproportionality?

August 25, 2021

Disproportionality reduction in exclusionary school discipline: A best-evidence synthesis. Disproportionality in the application of school discipline policies has been well documented over the years (Skiba, et al. (2011), and has been resistant to change.  In a systematic review of the evidence of the effectiveness of programs and practices to reduce disproportionality, Cruz, Firestone, and Rodl (2021) found that the positive effects of individual programs such as School Wide Interventions and Support, and Restorative Justice, were either mixed or not evident.  More promising were results from combining practices from different programs and including a specific equity framework for training educators.  The most promising results were obtained when in-class coaching was a component of the training approach.  The challenge of implementing a coaching model was identifying the necessary human and time resources, as well as the financial resources, to effectively implement coaching.  This paper touches on several important aspects of the Active Implementation Frameworks including the identification of effective practices (usable innovations) and implementation drivers (professional development, leadership, and enabling contexts).  The absence of any one of these features will limit the overall impact on efforts to reduce disproportionality.

Citation: Cruz, R. A., Firestone, A. R., & Rodl, J. E. (2021). Disproportionality reduction in exclusionary school discipline: A best-evidence synthesis. Review of Educational Research91(3), 397-431.