Discipline Patterns Across the Public High School Landscape in a Large, Urban District

Arthur Paul Ernst, University of Pennsylvania


This quantitative study examines discipline patterns across four types of public schools in Philadelphia created by selective admissions policies. In addition to targeted discipline categories, specific school characteristics were evaluated for overrepresentation. Student populations were analyzed by gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and support services subgroups. Selected factors associated with increased contact with the juvenile justice system were used to measure disciplinary patterns. These variables included chronic absenteeism, dropout rate, out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, referrals to law enforcement, and school-based arrests. This data was analyzed to elevate patterns within and between school types to gain insight into the role of selective admissions policies. Two significance tests revealed significant differences between school type for multiple school characteristics and discipline factors. The largest differences were measured between Neighborhood and Special Admissions high schools, the least and most selective types of schools. The results of this study have implications for future research investigating the relationship between selective admissions policies and disproportionate discipline practices.

Subject Area

Education Policy|Secondary education

Recommended Citation

Ernst, Arthur Paul, "Discipline Patterns Across the Public High School Landscape in a Large, Urban District" (2021). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI28415091.