Discipline Policy Reform
A Review of Oakland USD following an OCR Investigation
Keywords:OCR Review, OUSD, African American, discipline disparity, discipline policy
Research demonstrates harmful effects of disparate discipline practices on outcomes for students of color. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR), under the Obama administration, significantly increased investigations under the mandate of Title VI. In this study, we examine OCR’s investigation of Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) to establish the district’s response following findings of disproportionality for African American students. Current OUSD discipline data indicates persistent discipline disparities remain, yet OUSD has undertaken significant reform initiatives. These initiatives include establishing Restorative Justice programs, an African American Male Achievement Program (AAMA), and extensive internal review and revision of data collection practices for disciplinary incidents. Our findings indicate that challenges to this disciplinary reform effort include data quality, training, and the district’s continuing commitment to reform following the conclusion of OCR oversight.
Copyright (c) 2022 Catherine Robert, Nathern S. A. Okilwa
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