Health and Safety Initiative in the New Orleans Public Schools.Report as inadecuate

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The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between suspensions and expulsions of African American students, teacher effectiveness, and school safety in New Orleans (Louisiana) public schools. Preliminary evaluations for the 1995-96 school year are presented. The initial phase of data collection focused on focus group interviews with groups of 10 school personnel, 10 parents, and 20 students at each of 10 public middle and high schools with the highest rates of suspensions and expulsions. A total of 310 people participated in these focus groups (163 students, 58 parents, 89 teachers). Questionnaires were prepared for each of the participant groups. Principals at the target schools stated that they have experienced problems with a small cadre of teachers who account for a large percentage of "inappropriate" disciplinary referrals that could otherwise be handled in the classroom. It is also found that the prevalence of violence in the surrounding community continues to have a significant effect on the overall safety of schools. These violent behaviors negatively affect students' ability to resolve conflicts nonviolently, as evidenced by an increase in fighting among females at the middle school level and the problems of large schools that are difficult to secure and vulnerable to intrusion by outsiders. (Contains 1 table and 10 references.) (SLD)

Descriptors: Black Students, Elementary School Teachers, Expulsion, Focus Groups, High School Students, Intermediate Grades, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Minority Groups, Parents, Public Schools, School Safety, Secondary Education, Secondary School Teachers, Suspension, Teacher Effectiveness, Urban Schools, Violence

Author: Garibaldi, Antoine; And Others


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