New York State Department of Education Draft Discipline Code is a Letdown

A year after the Department of Education substantially revised its discipline code to favor less punitive responses to student misbehavior, advocates say a new round of revisions misses an opportunity to improve school climate further.

Last year, in sweeping changes, the department reduced penalties for minor misbehavior, introduced some alternatives to suspensions, and eliminated suspensions altogether for the city’s youngest students. The proposed changes to the discipline code for next year are more incremental, highlighting some discipline strategies that could replace suspension and clarifying that in-school discipline should not cause students to miss instructional time.