Debating Obama-Era Guidance on School Discipline

Should the Trump administration retain, revise, or rescind?

By and 03/07/2018

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Under President Obama, the federal education and justice departments aggressively directed school districts to modify disciplinary policies in response to concerns that black and Latino students are punished and suspended at disproportionate rates. Critics worry that the policy undermines school leaders and compromises school safety, while proponents consider it a long-overdue reset on discriminatory practices that hamper achievement among students of color. Should the Trump administration retain, revise, or rescind this guidance?

In this forum, Dan Losen of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA argues that the directive must remain in place in order to eliminate harm from unjustified discipline, and Michael Petrilli of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute makes the case that the directive is based on an inaccurate understanding of discipline data and amounts to an overreach of federal power.


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