Virtual School Meanderings

January 17, 2020

Inside Look: Restorative Justice

More on that National Education Policy Center report.

Inside Look

Great Lakes Center’s exclusive subscriber email featuring key points, information and social media content about reviews and research

Jan. 16, 2020READ IN BROWSER
Hello, Great Lakes Center subscriber, and Happy New Year!

We hope you had a restful holiday season. We’re excited to kick off 2020 with a new policy brief published this week by the National Education Policy Center.

The brief explores restorative justice in education (RJE) – an initiative that takes a proactive approach to nurturing healthy relationships, repairing harm, transforming conflict, fostering resilience and well-being, and promoting justice and equity in schools.

Over the last decade, schools have begun implementing RJE initiatives as an alternative to punishments such as out-of-school suspensions. Many RJE initiatives aim to strengthen social and emotional competencies, reduce gender and racial disparities in discipline, and increase access to equitable and supportive environments for students from marginalized groups.

The new NEPC brief summarizes research on RJE initiatives, provides a growing body of evidence on outcomes of RJE initiatives, and makes recommendations for implementing RJE models that result in more consistent positive outcomes. Read on for a summary of the brief.

Dr. Gretchen Dziadosz
Executive Director
Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice

SUMMARY

Anne Gregory of Rutgers University and Katherine R. Evans of Eastern Mennonite University published The Starts and Stumbles of Restorative Justice in Education: Where Do We Go From Here?

The brief summarizes the research on restorative initiatives, with a focus on implementation and outcomes in U.S. schools. Guided by a set of restorative values and principles (such as dignity, respect, accountability and fairness), RJE practices are proactive and responsive in nurturing healthy relationships, repairing harm, transforming conflict, and promoting justice and equity.

The report finds RJE is working in schools and that smart and thoughtful implementation is key. The authors present the accumulating evidence that restorative approaches can reduce the use of exclusionary discipline. They also describe promising evidence which shows RJE approaches can narrow racial disparities in discipline. Additionally, the authors consider some mixed findings related to improving school climate and student development in light of possibly faulty RJE models, such as narrow approaches focused on a single RJE practice or under-resourced RJE initiatives.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The authors make recommendations to help schools produce consistent, positive outcomes for RJE initiatives.

  1. It is recommended schools adopt principle-based, comprehensive and equity-oriented RJE.
  2. It is recommended schools implement with contextually sensitive, strategic and long-term implementation plans and practices.
  3. It is recommended policymakers and researchers examine change over a minimum of three to five years and focus on fidelity of RJE implementation using mixed-method designs.

Read the full policy brief on the Great Lakes Center website or on the National Education Policy Center website.

Read the review →

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE

Implementation of RJE practices has grown in the past decade in K-12 schools across the country. Many have adopted restorative initiatives as schools shift away from zero tolerance, punitive and exclusionary approaches to student misconduct. RJE aims to reduce gender and racial disparities in discipline, and increase access to equitable and supportive environments for students from marginalized groups.

Research shows RJE practices help promote a school climate where students and teachers feel heard and respected, discipline applied to students is more effective, and a culture shift occurs naturally due to collective buy-in from the community. RJE initiatives have been implemented to help reduce out-of-school suspension, which is known to increase the risk for dropout and arrest.

Policymakers and research should continue to examine RJE initiatives and invest in long-term research methods to help identify consistent opportunities for relationship-building, repair harm and promote justice and equity. Research is also needed to examine how RJE practices can foster achievement and social-emotional growth.

SOCIAL SHARES

Want to share this Think Twice Review with your social networks? We drafted some sample social media posts for your use.
Restorative justice in #education is working, but schools need to ensure they implement thoughtful strategies. Restorative justice in #education is working, but schools need to ensure they implement thoughtful strategies.
A new @NEPCtweet report finds restorative justice in education is working. Read more in a new policy brief. A new @NEPCtweet report finds restorative justice in education is working. Read more in a new policy brief.
Restorative justice in education builds nurturing relationships, promotes equity and justice, and supports the well-being of students. Restorative justice in education builds nurturing relationships, promotes equity and justice, and supports the well-being of students.
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Think Twice, a project of the National Education Policy Center, provides the public, policymakers and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. The project is made possible by funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.
Copyright © 2019 Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

Our mailing address is:
Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice
PO Box 1263
East Lansing, MI 48826-1263

January 16, 2020

Restorative Justice In Education Is Working, But Smart Implementation Is Crucial

Another release about that recent National Education Policy Center report.

January 14, 2020

Contacts:
William J. Mathis: (802) 383-0058, wmathis@sover.net
Anne Gregory: (848) 445-3984, annegreg@gsapp.rutgers.edu

Restorative Justice in Education is Working, but Smart Implementation is Crucial

A NEPC Policy Brief Funded By the GLC

Key Takeaway: Restorative justice practices are proactive and responsive in nurturing healthy relationships, repairing harm, transforming conflict, and promoting justice and equity.

EAST LANSING, Mich. (January 14, 2020) — Schools are implementing Restorative Justice in Education (RJE) initiatives across the United States, often to reduce the use of out-of-school suspension, which is known to increase the risk for dropout and arrest. Many RJE initiatives also aim to strengthen social and emotional competencies, reduce gender and racial disparities in discipline, and increase access to equitable and supportive environments for students from marginalized groups. Yet whether these benefits emerge depends on whether the reforms are well implemented.

NEPC released a policy brief today, The Starts and Stumbles of Restorative Justice in Education: Where Do We Go from Here?, authored by Professors Anne Gregory of Rutgers University and Katherine R. Evans of Eastern Mennonite University. The brief summarizes the research on restorative initiatives, with a focus on implementation and outcomes in U.S. schools.

Gregory and Evans view RJE as a comprehensive, whole school approach to shifting school culture in ways that prioritize relational pedagogies, justice and equity, resilience-fostering, and well-being. Each of these elements is important; schools cannot water down the reforms, implementing them in a half-hearted way, and realistically hope to see strong results.

Guided by a set of restorative values and principles (such as dignity, respect, accountability, and fairness), RJE practices are proactive and are responsive in nurturing healthy relationships, repairing harm, transforming conflict, and promoting justice and equity. Educators in schools and classrooms with well-implemented RJE work to ensure that the “vulnerable are cared for, the marginalized are included, the dignity and humanity of each person in the educational setting matters, and everyone’s needs are heard and met.”

The authors present the accumulating evidence that restorative approaches can reduce the use of exclusionary discipline. They describe promising evidence that such approaches can narrow racial disparities in discipline. They also consider some mixed findings related to improving school climate and student development in light of possibly faulty models and mis-implementation of RJE. Finally, they offer recommendations for comprehensive RJE models and strategic implementation plans to drive more consistently positive outcomes.

Find The Starts and Stumbles of Restorative Justice in Education: Where Do We Go from Here?, by Anne Gregory and Katherine R. Evans, at:
https://www.greatlakescenter.org/

This policy brief was made possible in part by the support of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice (greatlakescenter.org).

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), a university research center housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Visit us at: http://nepc.colorado.edu

About The Great Lakes Center
The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.  Visit the Great Lakes Center Web Site at: http://www.greatlakescenter.org.   Follow us on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/greatlakescent.  Find us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/GreatLakesCenter.

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The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.

Visit the Great Lakes Center website at http://www.greatlakescenter.org/

December 6, 2019

Inside Look: Fewer Children Left Behind

Another notice of this report review by the National Education Policy Center.

Inside Look

Great Lakes Center’s exclusive subscriber email featuring key points, information and social media content about reviews and research

Dec. 3, 2019READ IN BROWSER
Hello, Great Lakes Center subscriber:

Academic achievement for all students is what educators pursue day in and day out. The National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) exam – “the nation’s report card” – was implemented in 1969 in an attempt to track such achievement.

A new Fordham Institute report suggests declining poverty has led to historic academic achievement amongst black and Hispanic students taking the NAEP exam over the past two decades. However, what is happening is that while students are entering high school much better academically prepared (as measured by the NAEP exam) than their counterparts from 20 years ago, they are not better off academically by the time they graduate high school.

Dr. Gretchen Dziadosz
Executive Director
Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice

REPORT REVIEWED

Think Twice Reviewer Jaekyung Lee, professor at the Graduate School of Education at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, reviewed Fewer Children Left Behind: Lessons From the Dramatic Achievement Gains of the 1990s and 2000s. The report claims that over the past two decades, black and Hispanic students have improved their performance on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) exam mostly because of a reduction in poverty.

WHAT THE REVIEWER FOUND

Lee concludes the Fordham Institute’s report contains strong limitations.

Academic achievement cited in the report is undercut by “an offsetting slump” once the same black and Hispanic students reach high school and take the NAEP exam. Further, the racial gap in achievement persists despite gains made in at the elementary and middle school levels.

While there have been major reductions in poverty during this 20-year span, what Lee found puzzling were lags between poverty trends and achievement trends. He also questioned why high school scores suddenly don’t follow the poverty trend and scores actually decreased. However, the Fordham Institute report fails to answer these questions.

The interpretations made in the Fordham Institute report are not grounded in broader literature of educational and social equity, and in fact largely relies upon the NAEP data explorer. Additionally, it contains no bibliography nor citations.

Read the full review on the Great Lakes Center website or on the National Education Policy Center website.

Read the review →

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE

As educators, we know a number of factors contribute to the success of a student in the classroom. While the academic gains made by black and Hispanic students at the elementary and middle school levels over the past 20 years should be commended, we can’t ignore fact those students are regressing in achievement once they reach the high school level and that further interventions must be made to sustain and build off their prior achievements. The Fordham Institute report misses the mark by downplaying the persistent racial gaps and the phenomenon of the high school slump.

KEY POINTS

1. Despite academic gains made at the elementary and middle school levels among black and Hispanic students, “Fewer Children Left Behind” ignores a slump in high school NAEP scores.

2. Black and Hispanic students are graduating from high school no more academically prepared than their counterparts 20 years ago.

3. The Fordham Institute report downplays the the persisting racial gaps impacting student success.

SOCIAL SHARES

Want to share this Think Twice Review with your social networks? We drafted some sample social media posts for your use.
A new Fordham Institute report ignores the fact black and Hispanic students are graduating no more academically prepared than their counterparts 20 years ago. #education A new Fordham Institute report ignores the fact black and Hispanic students are graduating no more academically prepared than their counterparts 20 years ago. #education
Racial disparities in #education achievement persists, despite what a new Fordham Institute claims. Racial disparities in #education achievement persists, despite what a new Fordham Institute claims.
A new Fordham Institute report is not grounded in broader literature of educational and social equity, according to a @NEPCtweet review. #education A new Fordham Institute report is not grounded in broader literature of educational and social equity, according to a @NEPCtweet review. #education
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Think Twice, a project of the National Education Policy Center, provides the public, policymakers and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. The project is made possible by funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.
Copyright © 2019 Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

Our mailing address is:
Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice
PO Box 1263
East Lansing, MI 48826-1263

 

November 29, 2019

Report On Academic Progress Is A Worthwhile Conversation Starter

Another notice of this thinktank report review from the National Education Policy Center.

November 26, 2019

Contact:
William J. Mathis: (802) 383-0058, wmathis@sover.net
Jaekyung Lee: (716) 645-1132, JL224@buffalo.edu

Report on Academic Progress Is a Worthwhile Conversation Starter

An NEPC Review funded by the Great Lakes Center

Key Takeaway: Report emphasizes significant academic progress of Black and Hispanic students over the past two decades, but is incorrect in downplaying the persisting racial gaps or the phenomenon of the high school slump.

EAST LANSING, MI (November 26, 2019) – The Fordham Institute recently released a report highlighting the academic progress of Black and Hispanic groups over the past two decades at the elementary school level on the NAEP exam. From this, the report offers the major claim, based on its author’s eyeball test, that the academic progress of students of color is attributable “mostly” to poverty reduction. The report, however, also acknowledges that correlation is not causation and calls for systematic statistical analysis to test the author’s proposition.

Professor Jaekyung Lee of the University at Buffalo, SUNY, reviewed Fewer Children Left Behind: Lessons From the Dramatic Achievement Gains of the 1990s and 2000s, examining the validity of the report’s arguments around progress and causes. He looks to expanded data sources, including both family income and school expenditures.

Professor Lee notes the uneven patterns of achievement among grade levels and refutes the report’s claim that flat achievement trends among 12th graders are a result of dropout reductions. His analysis of additional data suggests that poverty reduction has indeed been important, as has increased school funding. Further, he raises critical questions about national progress towards both excellence and equity.

Overall, Lee concludes that the report helpfully brings attention to the significant academic progress of Black and Hispanic students over the past two decades, although it is incorrect to downplay the persisting racial gaps or the phenomenon of the high school slump.

Find the review, by Jaekyung Lee, at:
https://www.greatlakescenter.org/

Find Fewer Children Left Behind: Lessons From the Dramatic Achievement Gains of the 1990s and 2000s written by Michael J. Petrilli and published by the Fordham Institute, at:
https://fordhaminstitute.org/national/research/fewer-children-left-behind

NEPC Reviews (http://thinktankreview.org) provide the public, policymakers, and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. NEPC Reviews are made possible in part by support provided by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice: http://www.greatlakescenter.org

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), a university research center housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Visit us at: http://nepc.colorado.edu/

About The Great Lakes Center
The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform. Visit the Great Lakes Center Web Site at: https://www.greatlakescenter.org. Follow us on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/greatlakescent. Find us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/GreatLakesCenter.

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 Friend on Facebook

 Follow on Twitter

The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.

Visit the Great Lakes Center website at https://www.greatlakescenter.org/

November 26, 2019

Inside Look: Commercial Cash: How NY Schools Can Raise Extra Money Without Raising Taxes

Another notice about a National Education Policy Center report review.

Inside Look

Great Lakes Center’s exclusive subscriber email featuring key points, information and social media content about reviews and research

Nov. 25, 2019READ IN BROWSER
Good morning, Great Lakes Center subscriber:

As school districts across the country face tightened budgets, administrators continue to look for ways to add revenue. A new policy brief argues that schools in New York are leaving money on the table by not working around an informal State Attorney General opinion restricting the use of advertising in districts across that state. The National Education Policy Center reviewed, “Commercial Cash: How NY Schools Can Raise Extra Money Without Raising Taxes” – finding the brief advocates for advertising deregulation in schools while ignoring substantial scholarly and empirical literature detailing the harms of advertising and media messaging on children in general and the harms of advertising in schools specifically.

Dr. Gretchen Dziadosz
Executive Director
Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice

REPORT REVIEWED

Think Twice Reviewer William S. Koski, of the Stanford Law School & Stanford Graduate School of Education, reviewed Commercial Cash: How NY Schools Can Raise Extra Money Without Raising Taxes. The policy brief argues in favor of commercial advertising deregulation in New York school districts.

WHAT THE REVIEWER FOUND

Koski cautioned that while the policy brief makes a persuasive legal case that New York regulations severely restrict the ability of school districts to accept commercial advertising, it also ignores substantial scholarly and empirical literature detailing the harms of advertising and media messaging on children in general and the harms of advertising in schools specifically.

Advertising is intended to persuade, and students are more susceptible to believe they need a product being advertised in order to fit in.

Several studies have found that children are not yet equipped to respond with a critical eye to advertising, particularly when the advertising appears in a safe environment such as a school where adults are supposed to be protecting their welfare.

Because “Commercial Cash” does not provide a full cost-benefit analysis of commercialism in schools, and it ignores a wide body of research on the effects of advertising and cherry-picks its sources, Koski urges readers to approach the report with a great deal of caution.

Read the full review on the Great Lakes Center website or on the National Education Policy Center website.

Read the review →

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE

Nationwide, there is a patchwork of regulations regarding advertising in schools. While advertising seems like a silver bullet to budgetary problems, Koski encourages school administrators to consider the adverse psychological, health-related and educational effects advertising could have on children.

KEY POINTS

  1. “Commercial Cash” ignores substantial scholarly and empirical literature detailing the harms of advertising and media messaging on children in general and the harms of advertising in schools specifically.
  2. The policy brief found the possibility of only modest revenues for New York school districts while ignoring the psychological, health-related and educational harms opening the doors to advertising has on children.
  3. Advertising in schools is no silver bullet for districts faced with tightened budgets.

SOCIAL SHARES

Want to share this Think Twice Review with your social networks? We drafted some sample social media posts for your use.
New @NEPCtweet review finds #advertising in schools is no silver bullet for #education budgets. New @NEPCtweet review finds #advertising in schools is no silver bullet for #education budgets.
“Commercial Cash” brief only finds modest revenues for #NYschools without counting what’s in the best interest for kids. #education “Commercial Cash” brief only finds modest revenues for #NYschools without counting what’s in the best interest for kids. #education
Advertising to our kids in school may make cents but not sense. @NEPCtweet explains why.  #education Advertising to our kids in school may make cents but not sense. @NEPCtweet explains why. #education
Follow Us
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Think Twice, a project of the National Education Policy Center, provides the public, policymakers and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. The project is made possible by funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.
Copyright © 2019 Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

Our mailing address is:
Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice
PO Box 1263
East Lansing, MI 48826-1263

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