Improved Student Behavior in Classrooms

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Educators apply the strategies outlined in Ruby Payne's book, A Framework for Understanding Poverty, to reduce discipline referrals by up to 30%.

Every teacher and administrator wants to help kids learn. However, time spent on inappropriate student behavior and subsequent discipline referrals takes us away from our educational pursuits.

aha! Process, Inc., an educational training and publication company, has developed a proven method to reduce discipline referrals.

A questionnaire, commissioned by the author, surveyed more than 1,000 educators nationwide on student discipline referrals. Educators were asked if they had implemented the strategies outlined in Ruby K. Payne's book, A Framework for Understanding Poverty, and if implemented were those strategies effective in reducing discipline referrals.

In the on-line survey conducted April 20th -- May 18th, respondents who practices the discipline interventions reported these statistics:

·98.7% of respondents found them effective.

·83.8% of respondents reported a decrease in discipline referrals.

·Among teachers, 33.3% had a drop in the discipline referrals to less than 2 a week.

·More than 23% of principals, administrators, and other educators reported less than 2 referrals per day.

"Just by measuring prior discipline referrals to current, I've noticed significant changes in that fewer referrals are documented because of casual register," reported a

Secondary School Teacher from Florida.

"I have found the strategies to be effective in preventing situations from escalating. By changing my behavior, I can change the reaction of the students," stated a Principal from California.

At aha! Process, Inc., we acknowledge that teachers, principals, administrators, and other educators have a variety of tools to approach and handle discipline in schools. What we learned from this survey is that many educators believe that Dr. Payne's strategies for discipline work well with most of their students.

Ruby Payne has been writing and speaking about the economic class to corporations, associations, and schools since 1994. Articles about her have appeared on web journals such as,, and Education update. She has appeared on numerous national radio programs and is the author of the best-selling book, A Framework for Understanding Poverty, and the recent, Working with Students: Discipline Strategies for the Classroom. She is available for interviews.


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Ruth Weirich
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