Replacing harsh discipline with positive approaches to improve education in New York City schools -- National Economic and Social Rights Initiative

The Foundation's Roadmaps to Health Community grants initiative was designed to identify, support, and disseminate models of cross-sector coalitions working to improve health by taking action to address the social and economic determinants of health, such as education, employment, income, community safety, and family and social support.The National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, in collaboration with Dignity in Schools Campaign-NY, seeks to replace punitive discipline policies with positive approaches that support students in the New York Public Schools. The approach will focus on mandating restorative justice and other practices in the schools resulting in a decrease in the use of suspensions or expulsions as the disciplinary methods in New York City public schools. This change will increase graduation rates and improve other educational outcomes, particularly in schools serving low-income youth of color. The collaborative will engage parents, students, teachers and advocates to promote grassroots leadership, will support continuation and expansion of school pilot programs, and will educate and collaborate with the New York City Department of Education and the New York Police Department. No legislative change is required to pursue these changes. No RWJF dollars will be used for lobbying. Deliverables include cutting the number of suspensions at three pilot schools in half over the year by mandating positive intervention before and in place of suspensions; monitoring and evaluating the use of suspensions, arrests, and positive interventions in all schools; publishing of a case study report; and trainings for teachers, parents, service providers, and youth.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $200,000.00

Awarded on: 11/5/2012

Time frame: 11/1/2012 - 10/31/2014

Grant Number: 70532


National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI)

90 John Street, Suite 308
New York, 10038-3243


Shoshi Chowdhury
Project Director


Liz Sullivan
Project Director