Advertisement

The Urban Review

, Volume 51, Issue 5, pp 699–723 | Cite as

The Impact of Race, Gender, and Socioeconomic Status on School Counselors’ Alternative Learning Program Placement Decisions: An Experimental Study

  • Merry Leigh DameronEmail author
  • Sejal Parikh Foxx
  • Claudia Flowers
Article
  • 212 Downloads

Abstract

As a form of exclusionary discipline, student placement into an alternative learning program (ALP) may lead to negative outcomes for students (e.g., lower academic achievement, attrition, involvement in the juvenile justice system; Anderson and Ritter in Educ Policy Anal Arch 25(49):1–33, 2017). School counselors are called to address inequitable policies, procedures, and conditions that may limit students’ personal/social and academic development, college access, and career readiness (ASCA, The ASCA national model: a framework for school counseling programs, 3rd edn. American School Counselor Association, Alexandria, VA, 2012). Additionally, school counselors should be unbiased in their decision-making (ASCA, Ethical standards for school counselors. American School Counselor Association, Alexandria, VA, 2016). The researchers utilized a true experimental design to examine the impact of student race (African American or White), gender (male or female), and socioeconomic status (SES; economically advantaged or disadvantaged) on practicing school counselors’ (N = 334) decisions to place students in ALPs for disciplinary reasons. A factorial analysis of variance revealed no statistically significant differences in school counselors’ likelihood of placing students in ALPs for disciplinary reasons based these student demographic factors. The study also revealed a statistically significant positive relationship between school counselors’ belief in a just world, as measured by the Global Belief in a Just World Scale (GBJWS; Lipkus in Personal Individ Differ, 12(11): 1171–1178.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0191-8869(91)90081-L, 1991), and likelihood of referring students to ALPs for disciplinary reasons. Implications for school counselors and educational stakeholders are discussed.

Keywords

School counseling Discipline disproportionality Alternative education School discipline Belief in a just world Advocacy 

Notes

References

  1. Aikens, N. L., & Barbarin, O. (2008). Socioeconomic differences in reading trajectories: The contribution of family, neighborhood, and school contexts. Journal of Educational Psychology,100(2), 235–251.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.100.2.235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. American School Counselor Association. (2012). The ASCA national model: A framework for school counseling programs (3rd ed.). Alexandria, VA: American School Counselor Association.Google Scholar
  3. American School Counselor Association. (2016). Ethical standards for school counselors. Alexandria, VA: American School Counselor Association.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, K. P., & Ritter, G. W. (2017). Disparate use of exclusionary discipline: Evidence of inequities in school discipline form a U.S. state. Education Policy Analysis Archives,25(49), 1–33.Google Scholar
  5. Anyon, Y., Jenson, J. M., Altschul, I., Farrar, J., McQueen, J., Greer, E., et al. (2014). The persistent effect of race and the promise of alternatives to suspension in school discipline outcomes. Children and Youth Services Review,44, 379–386.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2014.06.025.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bandura, A. (1977a). Social learning theory. New York, NY: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  7. Bandura, A. (1977b). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review,84, 191–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Basque, M., & Bouchamma, Y. (2016). Predictors of mathematics performance: The impact of prior achievement, socioeconomic status and school practices. International Studies in Educational Administration (Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration & Management (CCEAM)),44(1), 85–104.Google Scholar
  9. Bellibaş, M. Ş. (2016). Who are the most disadvantaged? Factors associated with the achievement of students with low socio-economic backgrounds. Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice,16(2), 671–710.  https://doi.org/10.12738/estp.2016.2.0257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bemak, F., & Chung, R. C. Y. (2005). Advocacy as a critical role for urban school counselors: Working toward equity and social justice. Professional School Counseling,8, 196–202.Google Scholar
  11. Blake, J. J., Butler, B. R., Lewis, C. W., & Darensbourg, A. (2011). Unmasking the inequitable discipline experiences of urban Black girls: Implications for urban educational stakeholders. Urban Review,43, 90–106.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11256-009-0148-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bodenhorn, N. (2001). Development of the school counselor self-efficacy scale. Dissertation Abstracts International,62(03), 922.Google Scholar
  13. Booker, K., & Mitchell, A. (2011). Patterns in recidivism and discretionary placement in disciplinary alternative education: The impact of gender, ethnicity, age, and special education status. Education and Treatment of Children,34(2), 193–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bradshaw, C. P., Mitchell, M. M., O’Brennan, L. M., & Leaf, P. J. (2010). Multilevel exploration of factors contributing to the overrepresentation of black students in office disciplinary referrals. Journal of Educational Psychology,102(2), 508–520.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0018450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Brantlinger, E. (1991). Social class distinctions in adolescents’ reports of problems and punishment in school. Behavioral Disorders,17(1), 36–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Bruce, M., & Bridgeland, J. (2012). 2012 national survey of school counselors: True north-charting the course to college and career readiness. New York: College Board Advocacy & Policy Center.Google Scholar
  17. Bryan, J. (2005). Fostering educational resilience and achievement in urban schools through school-family-community partnerships. Professional School Counseling,8, 219–227.Google Scholar
  18. Butler, B. R., Lewis, C. W., Moore, J. L., III, & Scott, M. E. (2012). Assessing the odds: Disproportional discipline practices and implications for educational stakeholders. The Journal of Negro Education,81(1), 11–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Caroleo, M. (2014). An examination of the risks and benefits of alternative education. Relational Child and Youth Care Practice,27(1), 35–46.Google Scholar
  20. Carter, P. L., Skiba, R., Arredondo, M. I., & Pollock, M. (2017). You can’t fix what you don’t look at: Acknowledging race in addressing racial discipline disparities. Urban Education,52(2), 207–235.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0042085916660350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Carver, P. R., & Lewis, L. (2010). Alternative schools and programs for public school students at risk of educational failure: 2007–08 (NCES 2010–026). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  22. Children’s Defense Fund. (1975). School suspensions: Are they helping children?. Cambridge, MA: Washington Research Project.Google Scholar
  23. Curtiss, K. N., & Slate, J. R. (2014). Differences in disciplinary consequences and reasons for Texas elementary students by gender. Journal of Education Research,8(4), 203–210.Google Scholar
  24. Dameron, M. L. (2017). An investigation of referral processes for alternative learning programs in North Carolina. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  25. Downs, L. (1999). The educational counselor’s role in alternative education. Clearing House,73(2), 118–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Evans, S. C., Roberts, M. C., Keely, J. W., Blossom, J. B., Amaro, C. M., Garcia, A. M., et al. (2015). Vignette methodologies for studying clinicians’ decision-making: Validity, utility, and application in ICD-11 field studies. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology,15, 160–170.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijchp.2014.12.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fabelo, T., Thompson, M. D., Plotkin, M., Carmichael, D., Marchbanks, M. P., & Booth, E. A. (2011). Breaking schools’ rules: A statewide study of how school discipline relates to students’ success and juvenile justice involvement. New York, NY: Council of State Governments Justice Center Retrieved from http://knowledgecenter.csg.org/kc/content/breaking-schools-rules-statewide-study.
  28. Field, J. E., & Baker, S. (2004). Defining and examining school counselor advocacy. Professional School Counseling,8(1), 56–63.Google Scholar
  29. Foley, R. M., & Pang, L. Z. (2006). Alternative education programs: Program and student characteristics. High School Journal,89(3), 10–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ford, J. E. (2016). The root of discipline disparities. Educational Leadership,74(3), 42–46.Google Scholar
  31. Girvan, E. J., Gion, C., McIntosh, K., & Smolkowski, K. (2017). The relative contribution of subjective office referrals to racial disproportionality in school discipline. School Psychology Quarterly,32(3), 392–404.  https://doi.org/10.1037/spq0000178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Goldsmith, S. K. (2011). An exploration of school counselors’ self-efficacy for advocacy of gifted students (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing. (3494154).Google Scholar
  33. Gonzalez, M. (2017). Advocacy for and with LGBT students: An examination of high school counselor experiences. Professional School Counseling,20(1a), 38–46.  https://doi.org/10.5330/1096-2409-20.1a.38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Gravetter, F., & Wallnau, L. (2014). Essentials of statistics for the behavioral sciences (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.Google Scholar
  35. Gregory, A., Skiba, R. J., & Noguera, P. A. (2010). The achievement gap and the discipline gap two sides of the same coin? Educational Researcher,39(1), 59–68.  https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X09357621.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hannon, M. D. (2016). Professional development needs of urban school counselors: A review of the literature. Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision,8(2), 139–154.  https://doi.org/10.7729/82.1171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hilberth, M., & Slate, J. R. (2014). Middle school Black and White student assignment to disciplinary consequences: A clear lack of equity. Education and Urban Society,46(3), 312–328.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0013124512446218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Holcomb-McCoy, C. (2005). Professional school counseling in urban settings: Introduction to special issue. Professional School Counseling,8(3), 182–183.Google Scholar
  39. Human-Vogel, S., & Morkel, J. (2017). Teacher and learners’ belief in a just world and perspectives of discipline of Grade 4–8 learners in South African schools. Educational Studies,43(3), 343–353.  https://doi.org/10.1080/03055698.2016.1277136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Johnson, L. V., Ziomek-Daigle, J., Haskins, N. H., & Paisley, P. O. (2017). An investigation of school counselor self-efficacy with English language learners. Professional School Counseling,20(1), 44–53.Google Scholar
  41. Jones, S. J. (2013). Investigate the relationship between belief in a just world, multicultural knowledge, multicultural awareness, and social justice advocacy attitudes of practicing school counselors (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest LLC. (ED553851).Google Scholar
  42. Katsiyannis, A., & Williams, B. (1998). A national survey of state initiatives on alternative education. Remedial and Special Education,19, 276–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Kim, J. H., & Taylor, K. A. (2008). Rethinking alternative education to break the cycle of educational inequality and inequity. The Journal of Educational Research,101(4), 207–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Kinsler, J. (2011). Understanding the black-white school discipline gap. Economics of Education Review,30, 1370–1383.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.econedurev.2011.07.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Kiselica, M. S., & Robinson, M. (2001). Bringing advocacy counseling to life: The history, issues, and human dramas of social justice work in counseling. Journal of Counseling and Development,79, 387–397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Lassiter, P. S., & Sifford, A. M. (2015). Perceptions of a gay-straight alliance club ban: School counselors and advocacy for LGBTQQ students. Journal of School Counseling,13(10), 1–41.Google Scholar
  47. Lee, C. C. (2005). Urban school counseling: Context, characteristics, and competencies. Professional School Counseling,8(3), 184–188.Google Scholar
  48. Lehr, C. A., Moreau, R. A., Lange, C. M., & Lanners, E. J. (2004). Alternative schools. Findings from a national survey of the states. Research Report 2. Institute on Community Integration (NJ1).Google Scholar
  49. Lipkus, I. (1991). The construction and preliminary validation of a global belief in a just world scale and the exploratory analysis of the multidimensional belief in a just world scale. Personality and Individual Differences,12(11), 1171–1178.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0191-8869(91)90081-L.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Lipkus, I. M., Dalbert, C., & Siegler, I. C. (1996). The importance of distinguishing the belief I n a just world for self versus for others. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,22(7), 666–677.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Long, C. (2016). The far-reaching effects of implicit bias in the classroom. NEA Today, 1. Retrieved from https://webauth.uncc.edu/idp/profile/SAML2/POST/SSO?execution=e2s1.
  52. Lunza, M. L. (1990). A methodological approach to enhance external validity in simulation based research. Issues in Mental Health Nursing,11, 407–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. McCarthy, J. D., & Hodge, D. R. (1987). The social construction of school punishment: Racial disadvantage out of universalistic process. Social Forces,65, 1101–1120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Mcloughlin, C. S., & Noltemeyer, A. L. (2010). Research into factors contributing to discipline use and disproportionality in major urban schools. Current Issues in Education,13(2), 59–70.Google Scholar
  55. McNeal, L. R. (2016). Managing our blind spot: The role of bias in the school-to-prison pipeline. Arizona State Law Journal,48(2), 285–311.Google Scholar
  56. Mendez, L. M. R., & Knoff, H. M. (2003). Who gets suspended from school and why: A demographic analysis of schools and disciplinary infractions in a large school district. Education and Treatment of Children,26(1), 30–51.Google Scholar
  57. Mizel, M. L., Miles, J. N. V., Pedersen, E. R., Tucker, J. S., Ewing, B. A., & D’Amico, E. J. (2016). To educate or to incarcerate: Factors in disproportionality in school discipline. Children and Youth Services Review,70, 102–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Monroe, C. R. (2009). Teachers closing the discipline gap in an urban middle school. Urban Education,44(3), 322–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Monroe, C. R. (2013). Discipline and diversity in the suburban US South. Race, Ethnicity and Education,16(2), 182–202.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13613324.2011.645575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Mullen, P. R., & Lambie, G. W. (2013). School counseling in disciplinary alternative education programs. Journal of School Counseling,11(17), 1–33.Google Scholar
  61. Mullen, P. R., & Lambie, G. W. (2016). The contribution of school counselors’ self-efficacy to their programmatic service delivery. Psychology in The Schools,53(3), 306–320.  https://doi.org/10.1002/pits.21899.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Murphy, K. R., Herr, B. M., Lockhart, M. C., & Maguire, E. (1986). Evaluating the performance of paper people. Journal of Applied Psychology,71, 654–661.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Noltemeyer, A. L., & Mcloughlin, C. S. (2010). Changes in exclusionary discipline rates and disciplinary disproportionality over time. International Journal of Special Education,25(1), 59–70.Google Scholar
  64. O’Brien, E. R., & Curry, J. R. (2009). Systemic interventions with alternative school students: Engaging the omega children. Journal of School Counseling,7(24), 1–32.Google Scholar
  65. Owens, D., Pernice-Duca, F., & Thomas, D. (2009). Post-training needs of urban high school counselors: Implications for counselor training programs. Journal of School Counseling,7(17), 1–21.Google Scholar
  66. Parikh, S. B., Post, P., & Flowers, C. (2011). Relationship between a belief in a just world and social justice advocacy attitudes of school counselors. Counseling and Values,56(1/2), 57–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Pribesh, S., Gavigan, K., & Dickinson, G. (2011). The access gap: Poverty and characteristics of school library media centers. The Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy,81(2), 143–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Rocque, M. (2010). Office discipline and student behavior: Does race matter? American Journal of Education,116, 557–581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Russell, L., & Thomson, P. (2011). Girls and gender in alternative education provision. Ethnography and Education,6(3), 293–308.  https://doi.org/10.1080/17457823.2011.610581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Salvano-Pardieu, V., Fontaine, R., Bouazzaoui, B., & Florer, F. (2009). Teachers’ sanction in the classroom: Effect of age, experience, gender and academic context. Teaching and Teacher Education,25(1), 1–11.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2008.06.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Sanchez-Munoz, J. (2004). The social construction of alternative education: Re-examining the margins of public education for at-risk Chicino/a students. The High School Journal,88(2), 3–22.  https://doi.org/10.1353/hsj.2004.0025.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Simons, J. D., Hutchison, B., & Bahr, M. W. (2017). School counselor advocacy for lesbian, gay, and bisexual students: Intentions and practice. Professional School Counseling,20(1a), 29–37.  https://doi.org/10.5330/1096-2409-20.1a.29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Skiba, R. J., Chung, C. G., Trachok, M., Baker, T. L., Sheya, A., & Hughes, R. L. (2014). Parsing disciplinary disproportionality: Contributions of infraction, student, and school characteristics to out-of-school suspension and expulsion. American Education Research Journal,51(4), 640–670.  https://doi.org/10.3102/0002831214541670.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Skiba, R. J., Horner, R. H., Chung, C. G., Rausch, M. K., May, S. L., & Tobin, T. (2011). Race is not neutral: A national investigation of African American and Latino disproportionality in school discipline. School Psychology Review,40(1), 85–107.Google Scholar
  75. Skiba, R. J., Michael, R. S., Nardo, A. C., & Peterson, R. L. (2002). The color of discipline: Sources of racial and gender disproportionality in school punishment. The Urban Review,34(4), 317–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Skiba, R., & Rausch, M. K. (2004). The relationship between achievement, discipline, and race: An analysis of factors predicting ISTEP Scores. Children Left Behind Policy Briefs. Supplementary Analysis 2-D. Center for Evaluation and Education Policy, Indiana University.Google Scholar
  77. Smolkowski, K., Girvan, E. J., McIntosh, K., Nese, R. T., & Horner, R. H. (2016). Vulnerable decision points for disproportionate office discipline referrals: Comparisons of discipline for African American and White elementary school students. Behavioral Disorders,41(4), 178–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Snyder, T. D., & Dillow, S. A. (2015). Digest of education statistics 2013 (NCES 2015-011). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.Google Scholar
  79. Sparks, S. D. (2016). Fla district probes for biases in its student discipline practices. Education Week,36(10), 6.Google Scholar
  80. Sprague, J. R., Vincent, C. G., Tobin, T. J., & Pavel, M. (2013). Preventing disciplinary exclusions of students from American Indian/Alaska Native backgrounds. Family Court Review,51(3), 452–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Staats, C. (2016). Understanding implicit bias. Education Digest,82(1), 29–38.Google Scholar
  82. Sullivan, A. L., Van Norman, E. R., & Klinbiel, D. A. (2014). Exclusionary discipline of students with disabilities: Student and school characteristics predicting suspension. Remedial and Special Education,35(4), 199–210.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0741932513519825.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2013). Using multivariate statistics (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson.Google Scholar
  84. Tajalli, H., & Garba, H. A. (2014). Discipline or prejudice? Overrepresentation of minority students in disciplinary alternative education programs. Urban Review: Issues and Ideas in Public Education,46(4), 620–631.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau (2016). American Community Survey (ACS), 2010 and 2015. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cce.asp.
  86. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2016). Digest of education statistics, 2015 (NCES 2016-014), Table 204.30.Google Scholar
  87. Vavrus, F., & Cole, K. (2002). “I didn’t do nothin’”: The discursive construction of school suspension. Urban Review,34(2), 87–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Vincent, C. G., Sprague, J. R., & Tobin, T. J. (2012). Exclusionary discipline practices across students’ racial/ethnic backgrounds and disability status: Findings from the pacific northwest. Education and Treatment of Children,35(4), 585–601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Wallace, J. M., Jr., Goodkind, S., Wallace, C. M., & Bachman, J. G. (2008). Racial, ethnic, and gender differences in school discipline among U.S. high school students: 1991–2005. The Negro Educational Review,59(1–2), 47–62.Google Scholar
  90. Washington, S. (2008). Contextualizing risk and resiliency: Using narrative inquiry with female adolescents in an alternative high school program. Journal of Classroom Interaction,43(1), 14–25.Google Scholar
  91. Watson, M., & Lewis, C. W. (2014). The national status of alternative education report. Charlotte, NC: The Urban Education Collaborative at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Retrieved from: https://thecollaborative.uncc.edu/sites/thecollaborative.uncc.edu/files/media/files/2014%20NSAE%20Report.pdf.
  92. Westerberg, D. (2016). Understanding and dealing with implicit bias and discipline in early care and education. Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter,32(10), 1–6.  https://doi.org/10.1002/cbl.30155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Wu, S., Pink, W., Crain, R., & Moles, O. (1982). Student suspension: A critical reappraisal. The Urban Review,14(4), 245–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CounselingCarson-Newman UniversityJefferson CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of CounselingThe University of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA
  3. 3.Department of Educational LeadershipThe University of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA

Personalised recommendations