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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Look At Tough Discipline In Chicago Charter School Network

A student at Noble Street College Prep in Chicago does classwork. (M. Spencer Green/AP)

A student at Noble Street College Prep in Chicago does classwork. (M. Spencer Green/AP)

We’ve been hearing about the push by civil rights groups and the Obama Administration to end so-called “zero tolerance” discipline policies in schools, which suspend and expel students for often minor infractions.

The critics say it cuts kids out of the education process and puts them in a “school-to-prison pipeline.” The schools say it raises standards.

One group of schools in particular is relying on discipline quite a bit. The Illinois state board of education found that in the publicly-funded Noble Network of Charter Schools, which has 14 campuses in Chicago, 23 percent of students were suspended in 2013. That’s compared to 9 percent suspended at area public schools.

Noble students received infractions for everything from being less than a minute late, to not sitting up straight. Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah has been writing about this in the Chicago Tribune and joins Here & Now’s Robin Young with details.

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