Texas Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs: An Empirical Basis for Effective Practices and Support Systems
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The use of exclusionary discipline practices, which involves the removal of the student from the educational environment, continues to be a response used by schools for addressing student misconduct or delinquency. A major concern of stakeholders is that these types of discipline approaches may end up producing more negative outcomes for students (e.g., involvement in the criminal justice system or dropping out). Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs (DAEPs), a type of exclusionary discipline, are one of the more widely used tools used by schools. However, limited research has been conducted to understand how these programs operate and impact students. The purpose of this study was to understand the types of practices and support systems that are being implemented in DAEPs in Texas. Further, this study examined the relationship between program characteristics of a DAEP and its impact on recidivism to a DAEP. A mixed-methods approach was conducted. Specifically, an online survey was administered to DAEP principals to gather information on the types of practices implemented and an examination of the relationship with the rate of student recidivism. Next, follow-up interviews were conducted with DAEP principals from campuses that were found to have the highest and lowest student return rates to their DAEP.