To better evaluate the degree of institutional support for conflict resolution and social/emotional programming in New York City schools, the NYC Office of the Public Advocate and the National Center for Schools and Communities (NCSC) at Fordham University surveyed non-profit providers of conflict resolution education about their contribution to city public schools; the effect of DOE school safety and discipline policies on the services they provide; and their overall experiences working in New York City public schools. The full report is available online as a pdf.
The survey questions assessed the day-to-day experiences and opinions of staff at organizations providing conflict resolution and social/emotional programming in New York City public schools. The survey was emailed to 55 organizations and was available online at the NCSC website. Forty-three responses were returned from 35 different organizations. The 35 different organizations work with a total of approximately 55,000 students annually.
The survey resulted in the following findings:
· 85 percent of providers of conflict resolution and social/emotional programming in middle schools do not agree that DOE school discipline policies adequately address the social/emotional needs of the students;
· 85 percent of providers to middle schools do not agree that DOE school safety policies effectively address the root causes of violence and disruptive behavior.
· 86 percent of providers to high schools do not agree that the current DOE school discipline policies are sustainable in promoting long-term results in dealing with violent and disruptive students.
This report offers the following recommendations, among others, to improve the provision of conflict resolution and social/emotional programming in New York City schools and thereby improve student safety and achievement:
· Create a central Conflict Resolution and Social/Emotional Programs Office
· Establish a Conflict Advisor/Counselor Position in Select Schools
· Establish a School Safety Planning Committee
This report was prompted by the findings of a February 2007 Public Advocate report entitled “Between Policy and Reality: School Administrators Critical of Department of Education School Safety Policy.” The findings of the report, which were based on a survey of school administrators, suggest that the DOE is not doing enough to ensure that conflict resolution training and services are supported in city schools. Read more about it in our CRE Administrator’s Blog.