CSG Research & Expertise in the News: School Discipline; Surplus Lines; Canda-U.S. Relations; Population Growth

CSG Research & Expertise in the News: 7/17-23, 2011

The following compilation features published news stories during the week of July 17-23 that highlight experts and/or research from The Council of State Governments. For more information about any of the experts or programs discussed, please contact CSG at (800) 800-1910 and you will be directed to the appropriate staff.  Members of the press should call (859) 244-8246.

Cary Clack: Our role in what students become
July 23, 2011

Of the many memorable sentences written by the brilliant and prophetic essayist and novelist James Baldwin, one is used often in reports, papers, articles and speeches about children: “These are all our children and we benefit or pay for what they become.”

It's a quote that should hang in every school, home and house of worship. And it's a quote that should have hung in the Capitol during the past session of the Texas Legislature. More...

Analysis of Texas schools' disciplinary records shows uneven and disproportionate enforcement
July 23, 2011

Like school bells signaling a fire drill, a comprehensive new study on student discipline has sounded an alarm that should command attention.

When some 60 percent of Texas public school students have been suspended or expelled between seventh and 12th grades, it's clear the disciplinary system needs significant improvement. More...

Texas Study: Harsh Discipline For Students Is Back-Firing

Huffington Post
July 22, 2011

Over the past couple weeks we’ve covered the UC tuition hikes and the Atlanta teacher cheating scandal. It may be summer, but school is definitely still on the minds of many Americans. A study released this week brings more bad news—the Council of State Governments Justice Center released “Breaking Schools’ Rules,” a report that tracked one million 7th graders in Texas over six years, paying close attention to disciplinary action throughout the state. More...

Holder says Texas suspensions a “wake-up call”
Yahoo! News
July 22, 2011

The Justice Department and the Department of Education are starting a new program to prevent schools from calling the cops to deal with less-serious disciplinary issues. The new effort is called the Supportive School Discipline Initiative.

"Maintaining safe and supportive school climates is absolutely critical, and we are concerned about the rising rates and disparities in discipline in our nation's schools," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement. The program is supposed to halt what advocates call the "school-to-prison pipeline." When principals call the cops on students instead of disciplining them within school, students are more likely to drop out and eventually join the country's enormous prison population, advocates say. More...

California Enacts Surplus Lines Legislation
July 21, 2011

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill that allows the state to keep 100% of taxes on premiums generated by surplus lines insurers domiciled in California. That move largely follows the approach other states have taken, but the California law doesn't address whether the state plans to join one of the two proposed frameworks for regulating interstate surplus lines sales. More...

Study finds majority of middle, high school students suspended or
expelled at some point

The Washington Post
July 20, 2011

Almost 60 percent of Texas public school students received punishments ranging from expulsion to in-school suspensions of a single period at least once between seventh and 12th grades, according to a new study released Tuesday.

The report, from the national nonprofit Council of State Governments Justice Center, also found that Texas schools with similar student populations are disciplining students at different rates. And students who were disciplined were more likely to do poorly academically and be involved in the juvenile justice system. More...

Canada-U.S. relations: In praise of the ‘hidden wiring’
The Vancouver Sun
July 20, 2011

Words and deeds of prime ministers and presidents dominate the headlines in international affairs. But in the world of Canada-US relations, where the relationship is as much domestic as international, it is the “hidden wiring” of premiers and governors and legislators that merits more attention. Their behind-the-headlines efforts are where a great deal of problem-solving gets done. More...

Myths of school discipline challenged
Boston Globe
July 20, 2011

Here’s one myth of school debunked: Harsh discipline is not always a reflection of the students in a particular school. It can be driven by those in charge.

In a study of nearly a million Texas children described as an unprecedented look at discipline, researchers found that nearly identical schools suspended and expelled students at very different rates.

The report, released yesterday, challenges a common misperception that the only way schools can manage behavior is through suspension, says Michael D. Thompson, a coauthor of the report, done by the Council of State Governments Justice Center and Texas A&M University’s Public Policy Research Institute. More...

School Discipline Study Raises Fresh Questions
New York Times
July 19, 2011

Raising new questions about the effectiveness of school discipline, a report scheduled for release on Tuesday found that 31 percent of Texas students were suspended off campus or expelled at least once during their years in middle and high school — at an average of almost four times apiece.

When also considering less serious infractions punished by in-school suspensions, the rate climbed to nearly 60 percent, according to the study by the Council of State Governments, with one in seven students facing such disciplinary measures at least 11 times. More...

Legislator’s Log - Week of July 17, 2011
July 17, 2011

The U.S. population is growing faster than a blade of bluegrass in spring. But a larger population will not mean a younger population, for either our country or the Bluegrass State.

A decline in birth rates nationally and here in Kentucky mean that the largest population growth will be among the baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964), which means most population growth will be among older and the oldest Americans. State demographer Ron Crouch described the effect of the aging of America and Kentucky well in Frankfort last month. More...