New York City School-Justice
Partnership Task Force
The Commission, with funding from The Atlantic Philanthropies and partnering with Advocates for Children of New York (AFC), convened a multi-disciplinary Task Force in June 2011, which included government officials, experts and key stakeholders to study the school-justice connection and make recommendations for systemic, attainable reform based on strategies that have been used in New York City, elsewhere in the state and across the nation regarding positive approaches that hold students accountable for their behavior while keeping them engaged in school. In order to establish recommendations, Task Force members and their representatives reviewed relevant data and information to increase their understanding of issues, policies and practices. This was followed by deliberation sessions to develop the recommendations. These recommendations consider policies and practices that promote safe, respectful and supportive learning environments; reserve the use of punitive measures – including school suspension, arrest and summons– for the most egregious cases; and address the over-representation of students receiving special education services and children of color who are exposed to exclusionary school discipline practices that can lead to court involvement.
Report and Recommendations
The recommendations set forth in the Report and Recommendations are intended to strengthen the efforts in New York City. As the next New York City Mayor sets the course for continuing education reform, these recommendations offer a roadmap of next steps for a City-wide effort to take advantage of emerging approaches to school discipline that are effective and fair as a means to improve outcomes for all of our children – to keep students in school and out of court.
The New York City Task Force work has been and continues to be generously supported by The Atlantic Philanthropies. All Task Force meetings took place at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (where Judge Kaye is Of Counsel), and we express our gratitude to the firm for facilities (and food) that enabled us to work comfortably and efficiently. The New York Community Trust is supporting activities to move forward with raising awareness of the Task Force’s Recommendations and Strategies.