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The History of

The History of "Zero Tolerance" in American Public Schooling

Edition: Reprint
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 12/18/2013
Publisher(s): Palgrave Macmillan
Availability: This title is currently not available.


The History of "Zero Tolerance" in American Public Schooling looks back at the historical roots of "zero tolerance" school discipline policies. Through a case study of the Los Angeles city school district from the 1950s through the 1970s, Judith Kafka explores the intersection of race, politics, and the bureaucratic organization of schooling. Kafka argues that control over discipline became increasingly centralized in the second half of the twentieth century in response to pressures exerted by teachers, parents, students, principals, and local politicians - often at different historical moments, and for different purposes. Kafka demonstrates that the racial inequities produced by today's school discipline policies were not inevitable, nor are they immutable.

Author Biography

Judith Kafka is Associate Professor of Educational Policy and History of Education at Baruch College School of Public Affairs at the City University of New York (CUNY), USA. Her work has appeared in a range of journals, including History of Education Quarterly and Teachers College Record. She holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, USA.

Table of Contents

1. Zero Tolerance and the Case of Los Angeles
2. Discipline before Zero Tolerance, 1800-1950
3. Bureaucratizing Discipline in the Blackboard Jungle
4. Struggle for Control in the 1960s
5. The Death of in Loco Parentis
6. Reclaiming School Discipline

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