Making Sense of Charter School Discipline Studies: A Reporter's Guide

September 2015

Fair use of exclusionary discipline is a rising concern in public schools. Research in this area is emerging and data compiled by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) now capture discipline practices from all public schools, allowing for comparison between the traditional public and charter sectors. However, because they are reported at the school-level, not at the individual student-level, these data paint an incomplete picture. Drawn from the recommendations of a panel of researchers who study discipline practices, this short brief provides guidance for education reporters seeking to interpret findings and draw conclusions about current school discipline research.