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The Atlantic Philanthropies’ School Discipline Reform Portfolio

Resource type: Evaluation

Philliber Research & Evaluation |

Between  2009 and 2016, Atlantic invested $47 million in efforts aimed at ending unfair and excessively punitive discipline policies in U.S. schools that put many students—especially children of color— at risk of ending up on a pathway to prison. Atlantic focused its efforts on raising awareness of the problem of excessive expulsions and suspensions and advocated for alternative practices that would keep vulnerable children in school and on track to graduation and college. Findings from an evaluation conducted by Philliber Research & Evaluation for  Atlantic shows how the foundation’s reform efforts “experienced success beyond the initial hopes.”

Over two years, evaluators conducted more than 80 interviews with Atlantic staff, grantees and stakeholders in school discipline reform and reviewed documents, academic literature and media coverage. Researchers concluded that Atlantic provided incomparable funding, vision and strategy in a movement that made enormous gains in the span of six years. Much of the success was in raising visibility of the issue, creating momentum for reform, and promoting collaboration among grantees, the federal government and other funders. 

Atlantic commissioned this evaluation.


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Related Resources


Children & Youth, School Discipline Reform

Global Impact:

United States


racial equity