The Equity Project at Indiana University


The Civil Rights Project at UCLA


Equity-Related Websites:

Equity Resources:

Equity Recent Artifacts:

**New Webinar Scheduled**

Follow-up TA Webinar:

Addressing Disproportionality

Through Self-Assessment

Friday, October 17, 2014

8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

On this follow-up webinar (to the Addressing Disproportionality webinar on May 27th) the use of data to identify possible disproportionality will be discussed, as well as professional development approaches to help schools address the issue.

If you would like to participate on this webinar,



Robert Hawkins, IL PBIS Network; Cindy Larry, Hill Elementary School - SD 129:

Racial Disparity in Discipline

2013 Winter Leadership Conference:

Assessing and Impacting Disproportionality

2012 Summer Leadership Conference:

Assessing and Impacting Disproportionality

Handout 1: Culturally Responsive SW - PBIS Team Self-Assessment

2012 Winter Leadership Conference:

Assessing and Impacting the Issue of Disproportionality

Equity References and Research:

Prudence Carter, Michelle Fine, and Stephen Russell; Anne Gregory, James Bell, and Mica Pollock; Daniel Losen, Damon Hewitt, and Ivory Toldson; Russel J. Skiba, Mariella I. Arredondo, and M. Karega Rausch - Discipline Disparities Briefing Paper Series. Discipline Disparities: A Research-to-Practice Collaborative. March 2014

Claudia G. Vincent, Carla Randall, Gwendolyn Cartledge, Tary J. Tobin, and Jessica Swain-Bradway - Toward a Conceptual Integration of Cultural Responsiveness and Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 2011 13:219. Hammill Institute on Disabilities

Russell J. Skiba, Robert S. Michael, Abra Carroll Nardo, and Reece L. Peterson - The Color of Discipline: Sources of Racial and Gender Disproportionality in School Punishment. The Urban Review, Vol. 34, No. 4, December 2002

Russell J. Skiba, Robert H. Horner, Choong-Geun Chung, M. Karega Rausch, Seth L. May, and Tary Tobin - Race is Not Neutral: A National Investigation of African American and Latino Disproportionality in School Discipline. School Pscyhology Review, 2011, Volume 40, No. 1, pp. 85-107

George Sugai, Breda V. O'Keeffe and Lindsay M. Fallon - A Contextual Consideration of Culture and School-Wide Positive Behavior Support. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions 2012 14: 197 originally published online 23 November 2011 - Hammill Institute on Disabilities and Sage Publications

Daniel J. Losen and Jonathan Gillespie - Opportunities Suspended: The Disparate Impact of Disciplinary Exclusion from School. August 2012 - The Center for Civil Rights Remedies at The Civil Rights Project at UCLA

Illinois Principals Association - Building Leadership - A Practitioners Bulletin - Addressing Ethnic Disproportionality in School Discipline through Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), May 2010

Bollmer, J., Bethel, J., Garrison-Mogren, R., & Brauen, M. (March 2007). Using the risk ratio to assess racial/ethnic disproportionality in special education at the school-district level. The Journal of Special Education, 41(3), 186-198.

Newsletter Articles:

Published in the Illinois PBIS Network May 2013 Update Newsletter:

Schools Expand Efforts to Address Equity

The Illinois PBIS Network is piloting a Culturally Relevant PBIS (CR-PBIS) self-assessment tool. The tool was developed based on practices identified by Sugai, O’Keeffe, and Fallon (2012) to ensure that all students benefit equally from schoolwide PBIS. Overall consensus from teams using the tool (n=6 schools) indicated that it generated awareness of the importance of culture, and provided insight on how to integrate more diverse perspectives into PBIS implementation.

Examples of activities that were planned or implemented as a result of completing the CR-PBIS include:

  • Forming a student council to incorporate youth voice in PBIS at the building level.

  • Incorporating a cultural perspective into “Cool Tools.”

  • Sending letters home written in Spanish and following up with phone calls placed by Spanish-speakers to encourage parent involvement.

  • Translating the behavioral expectations into Spanish and posting in all public areas.

Sugai, G., O’Keeffe, B., Fallon, L. (2012). A contextual consideration of culture and school-wide positive behavior support. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions,14(4) pp. 197-208.

To download this story in the full Newsletter, click here

Published in the Illinois PBIS Network January 2013 Update Newsletter:

Addressing Disproportionality in Discipline Practices

In the third year of PBIS implementation, Fenton High School in Fenton CHSD 100 reached Tier 1 fidelity and experienced positive changes in their schoolwide culture with a 21% decrease in office discipline referrals (ODRs) between 2010-11 and 2011-12. For the first semester of 2012-13, they had a 12% decrease in ODRs compared to the same time period in 2011-12, (August 1–November 9). To increase awareness of inequities in the use of punitive discipline practices, also known as disproportionality, the Tier 1 team began reviewing ODR data by ethnicity during 2011-12, and have already seen a more proportionate percentage of ODRs for Hispanic students. During the first semester of the 2011-12 school year, Hispanic students represented 49% of the total school population but received 61% of ODRs (12% over representation). During the same time period of 2012-13, Hispanic students’ overrepresentation decreased by 3%. Staff cited sustained PBIS implementation with fidelity, including consistent use of data in team meetings, as factors leading to interventions that benefit all students.

To download this story in the full Newsletter, click here

Published in the Illinois PBIS Network FY12 End of Year Report:

Addressing Disproportionality through Schoolwide PBIS

It has been widely-documented that students of color are disproportionately impacted by punitive school discipline. African American students are over represented in suspension and expulsion data relative to their enrollment. African American, Hispanic, and Latino students are also more likely than their peers to be affected by school-related arrests (The Civil Rights Project, 2012). Encouraging results were shared in a 2009 Evaluation Brief from the National PBIS Center (www.pbis.org) indicating that SWPBIS results in equal levels of reductions in discipline referrals for all ethnicities. But because students of color have been historically over represented in discipline referrals, disproportionality persists, albeit at a lower rate.

The Illinois PBIS Network is developing a tool for schools to self-assess their cultural responsiveness based on practices recommended by Sugai, O’Keeffe, and Fallon (2012). This tool is currently being piloted in selected Illinois schools exploring ways to incorporate diversity and SWPBIS. The relationship between disproportionality and student achievement is summarized and directions for using the tool to self-assess and generate action plans are provided.

Sugai, G., O’Keeffe, B., Fallon, L. (2012). A Contextual Consideration of Culture and School-wide Positive Behavior Support. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions,14(4) pp. 197-208.

To download this story in the full Report, click here