Date Approved

7-19-2019

Embargo Period

8-9-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Special Education

Department

Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Shuff, Margaret

Second Advisor

Accardo, Amy

Third Advisor

Kuder, Sydney J.

Subject(s)

Student suspension; Charter schools--New Jersey

Disciplines

Secondary Education | Special Education and Teaching

Abstract

Researchers have found that being suspended is a strong indicator that a student will eventually drop out. Students who drop out are much more likely to end up in prison, becoming part of the "school to prison pipeline." This study will look to answer the question "Are Charter schools addressing the School to Prison Pipeline?" Camden, NJ, a city riddled with poverty, high crime rates, and high rates of incarceration is now a city with an all but dismantled public school system. Can Charter schools be the answer?

Researchers have gathered enough evidence to support various solutions including but are not limited to parental involvement, restorative justice, and increased teacher training. Continued research and practice on this matter will have great benefits for students, parents and teachers alike. This research integrates a mixed methodology using qualitative data and quantitative data. The setting was chosen because the school boasts a consistent suspension rate lower than its neighboring schools. The school is consistently working to lower the suspension and absentee rates on a year-to-year basis. In studying the school's climate, discipline policies and practices, further best practices may be identified and utilized.

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