After the successful publishing of his "Inside the Work of a Rookie Principal Coach: Tackling Equity in Disciplinary Practices", Olayinka Alege presents "Policy Brief: Educational Policy Information Center" in cooperation with J. Howard Johnston. In this publication, they embark on a good and brief discussion about zero-tolerance discipline policies initiated in U.S. schools. These policies were meant to decrease the violence rate, narcotic products usage, and other dangerous types of behavior, thus yielding hard-fast results. Olayinka Alege uses documented, authentic facts & figures to substantiate his writings, which depict his grasp of the subject matter.
He cited the recent research of 2014, in which researchers documented that Hispanic and dark-skinned high school students were significantly more being a target of out-of-school suspensions for the same misconduct as compared to their white classmates. It pointed to the high degree of racism present in many educational institutes.
He also discussed the factors that not only initiate, but also accelerate these practices. A significant reason for these exclusionary practices at schools is the mindset of school administrators and teachers in charge of such decisions, as well as the make-up of and the student body's diversity. Furthermore, he stated that gender was also a significant factor in such decision-making practices in schools and is directly proportional to the race of the students.
If we read between the lines and try to grasp the writer's point of view, we can see that racism was widely practiced in schools in past years. The thing that can surprise us the most is that male students were more likely to get tough treatment at school. And, after delving a little deeper into the facts, the researchers found that black male students were getting harsher treatment than white male students. Unfortunately, the same was the case with female students: Dark-skinned female students were getting poorer treatment at schools than white females. This was all due to the racism that was prevalent at a dangerously high level!
Now, what did these factors and exclusionary practices lead to?
· Low student overall achievement.
· Lasting, often devastating effects on students and, by extrapolation, on the community
Considering all these factors and the genral negative impact of exclusionary practices at educational institutes, the writers concluded that the discipline focus should be shifted from a deficit-based view of students to an academic developmental approach. Shunning racism can get us closer to achieving equity in student discipline, student achievement, and thus overall scholastic performance will ultimately improve.