Writing in the New York Daily News, WILL Research Director Will Flanders and Research Fellow, Natalie Goodnow, note our review of Obama-era school discipline policies:
The Obama Administration coerced schools nationwide to overhaul their discipline policies. Former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said the racial disparity in school suspensions wasn’t a reflection of problems in our society, but the result of “racial discrimination” in our schools.
So he issued a threat: Even if your school rules are totally fair and administered totally fairly, we may come after you if your discipline numbers aren’t racially balanced.
The Department of Education opened investigations into hundreds of school districts serving millions of students, leaving schoolhouse chaos in its wake.
Duncan thought he had a universal replacement for traditional discipline: “positive behavioral intervention supports” (PBIS). Rather than punish misbehavior, teachers should take a softer feel-good approach. A new paper by the Wisconsin Institute of Law and Liberty compares academic performance in Wisconsin schools that implemented PBIS with those that didn’t. The results don’t look good.