School Discipline Research

Zero Tolerance Policies

Zero tolerance policies likely contribute to high attrition rates of Black students and Hispanic students in Texas public schools. In an additional analysis to IDRA’s annual attrition study released in 2016. IDRA compared the trend lines for attrition rates to those of discipline data for the state of Texas. The historical high attrition rate for each race-ethnicity group parallels the period when zero tolerance policies gained momentum in Texas. Lower attrition rates for each group coincide with Texas’ legislative attempts to relax zero tolerance approaches under specific circumstances.

IDRA’s eBook, Resources on Student Discipline Policy and Practice, points to several tools and best practices for educators.

See interactive graphs and tables at our story site.

Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs in Texas

IDRA gave voice to the thousands of Texas public school students who were being criminalized, ostracized and stigmatized for “offenses” that were formerly managed by a simple timeout or even a visit to the principal’s office with its seminal assessment of Texas DAEPs. Read the 1999 policy brief, Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs in Texas – What is Known?

IDRA’s policy update released March 2009, shows that in the last decade, more than three quarters of a million students have been sent to DAEPs. Four out of five students of them are not there because of serious offenses. Put simply, DAEPs are a mess. They don’t work for kids, they don’t work for schools, and they don’t work for Texas. Read Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs in Texas – A 2009 Update.