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The Back-to-School Discount on Student Safety


by Billie Gastic — August 15, 2007

What does it mean to be safe at school? Not much under NCLB’s Unsafe School Choice Option (USCO). I argue that safety is complex and dynamic and ill-suited to a dichotomizing system like USCO in which schools are deemed either safe or not. I discuss how USCO’s treatment of safety as static lends credence to the misperception of school violence as a problem to which some schools – the “safe” ones – are immune. I contend that revisions made to USCO before NCLB’s reauthorization later this year should require that all schools demonstrate annual progress with respect to minimizing students’ risk of injury or harm and creating safe spaces for all students.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: August 15, 2007
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 14581, Date Accessed: 10/18/2017 5:35:46 AM

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About the Author
  • Billie Gastic
    Temple University
    E-mail Author
    BILLIE GASTIC, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Urban Education in the College of Education at Temple University. Her scholarship and research focus on the effectiveness and effects of educational policies and programs related to student safety and school violence. She is currently studying states’ implementation of NCLB’s Unsafe School Choice Option and its effect on student safety and achievement. Dr. Gastic is the Program Chair of the School Community, Climate and Culture SIG of the American Educational Research Association and Chair of the Educational Problems Division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems.
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