A Comparison of Office Disciplinary Referrals Between Traditional and Charter Schools in a Texas Region

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Educational Administration

Date of Award

Fall 2012


Extensive research has compared the overrepresentation of exclusionary (suspension type) consequences of certain groups. However, research has not been conducted to compare institutions that work primarily with at-risk, minority racial groups and those with disabilities, to traditional public institutions. Educational leaders have created numerous educational initiatives to have students spend as much time as possible learning while in schools. Innovative and creative instructional strategies are constantly being revised, integrated curriculum and learning theories are developed and implemented, and behavioral strategies are tested and put into law (Marzano, 2003). One such intervention is Positive Behavioral Support (PBS); which was designed to prevent misbehavior and keep students from getting into trouble. However, research is needed to investigate the consequences once a student commits an infraction. Specifically, research must address beneficial administrative responses to decrease reoccurring negative behaviors. The second gap in this literature relates to charter schools. Specifically, little research has been conducted at the elementary level regarding behavior, and almost no research has investigated behavior in the charter school elementary setting. This research was designed and conducted to bridge this gap. Specifically, this research aimed to explore how traditional primary schools process the administrative portion of office referrals compared to charter primary schools. This research focused on the frequency and proportion of students who receive office disciplinary referrals, the top four student infractions that result in office referrals, the top four administrative consequences of office referrals, and the proportion of special education students who receive office referrals in traditional and charter primary schools. This study found statistically significant differences in the areas of student infractions, administrative disciplinary infractions, and special education related referrals; with every significant difference meeting the criteria of having a large effect size.


Maria Hinojosa

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Administration and Supervision