Positive and inclusive school climates are essential to educational equity and student achievement. However, data show that students of color and students with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by overly punitive school discipline practices that push them out of school and often into the juvenile justice system. Students simply cannot learn if they are not in school. The new Elementary and Secondary Education Act—the Every Student Succeeds Act—includes several provisions that promote positive school climate and inclusive discipline practices, including professional development training on classroom management, schoolwide positive behavioral interventions and supports, and trauma responsive services. How can these provisions be implemented to promote equity and positive school climates? This session will address this question and how to work in partnership with parents and community stakeholder to promote equity and excellence through reforming discipline practices and promoting positive school climates.
Senior Education Policy Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.