During the 2022-23 school year, IDRA’s Youth Advisory Board student research team led a mixed-methods research project to examine the intersections of culturally responsive education and school discipline in Texas public schools. IDRA’s four student researchers: Manav Lund, Kennedy Moore, Josué Peralta de Jesús, and Shreya Selvaraju were members of IDRA’s Youth Advisory Board in 2022.
Grounded in youth participatory action research (YPAR) as the guiding framework, this study employed mixed-method research methodologies to assess student peers’ perspectives through a survey and focus group interviews at student researchers’ attending high schools in central and north Texas.
Student researchers recruited 47 students, grades 9-12, from their respective high schools to take the online survey and recruited 15 students to voluntarily participate in three 60-minute virtual focus group interviews. Additionally, students analyzed campus-level discipline data from the Texas Education Agency from 2021-22 to explore trends in punitive discipline at their respective campuses.
While the study “Culturally Responsive Education and School Discipline in Texas Schools: A Mixed-Methods Case Study” did not establish a strong causational or correlational link between these aspects, it has uncovered valuable insights through survey-based and interview-based research conducted across various Texas regions, including Austin, Frisco and San Antonio. By leveraging these insights, educators and policymakers can work collectively to foster a more inclusive, equitable, and supportive educational environment for all students.
The full report will be published in the fall of 2023. The student research team presented highlights from their study during IDRA’s virtual José A. Cárdenas School Finance Fellowship symposium in May 2023.