Blog: The Educated Reporter

Follow-Up Friday: Adopting New Rules for School Discipline, Embracing Hispanic Heritage Helps Students

Earlier this week, my EWA colleague Mikhail Zinshteyn looked at California’s recent revisions to campus discipline policy, as state lawmakers voted to prohibit K-12 schools from using “willful defiance” as a device for meting out suspensions and expulsions of students. 

California is the first state in the nation to take this step, Zinshteyn reports. Why does this matter? The most obvious reason is that where the Golden State goes on education policy, many others often follow. Even more importantly, it could help curtail the harmful practice of barring students from class for days, weeks, and even months for relatively minor, non-violent offenses. And, in the majority of those cases, the students affected are minorities.

For more on this issue, take a look at the recent EWA overview of how states are rethinking school discipline with an eye toward more equitable policies.

EWA’s Lori Crouch, meanwhile, looked at another first out of California – Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law this week defining “yes means yes” as the standard for consent in sexual encounters. The new law will have implications for the state’s colleges and universities, which are already struggling to balance protecting students, managing liabilities, and complying with federal mandates. For more on these issues at the national level, take a look at EWA’s Topics page on campus sexual assault and Title IX

And over at Latino Ed Beat, Natalie Gross – one of the newest additions to the EWA team — dug into a recent study on the effects of cultural awareness on student achievement and other outcomes. Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that Latino students who embrace their Hispanic heritage tend to have lower dropout rates, fewer instances of substance abuse, and other positive behaviors. Hispanic Heritage Month is underway now, so there’s still time to localize this story for your own readers. In her post, Natalie pulled together some terrific resources to help you get started.


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