School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy


Monica Huband


Behavior Management, ODR, Discipline, Urban, Elementary, PBIS, Strategies


Education | Urban Studies and Planning


Urban schools have struggled to overcome the achievement gap, including the most recent issue of inequity of discipline within the schools. A causal-comparative design was used to find whether the varying strategies alleged to successfully decrease discipline issues are as effective within urban elementary schools as in suburban schools. The sample included 790 public, elementary, urban or suburban schools within the state of Ohio that drew on ex post facto data of discipline incidents and enrollment from the school years of 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 acquired from the Ohio Department of Education. The large sample of schools in both urban and suburban groups allowed for stronger validity. The researcher used an independent samples t-test as the main analysis procedure, but there was a violation of Levene’s test of homogeneity of variance. For this reason, the Mann-Whitney U test was used to verify the t-test results. In both analyses, a comparison of the urban schools and the suburban schools was shown to have no statistically significant differences in the decline of discipline incidents per student between the two groups. From these results, the conclusion was that the urban schools have success similar to suburban schools using the state mandated PBIS strategies. Further research should include a closer examination of which strategies are the most effective.