SOURCE: Virtuoso Education Consulting

Virtuoso Education Consulting

April 09, 2015 07:15 ET

Virtuoso Education Consulting Helps Shrink Racial Discipline Gap at Fort Wayne Schools

FORT WAYNE, IN--(Marketwired - Apr 9, 2015) - A recent study reveals that the work Virtuoso Education Consulting (www.virtuosoed.com) is doing to help close the racial-discipline gap in Fort Wayne Community Schools is paying off.

The Indianapolis-based consulting firm began working with Fort Wayne schools in the 2009-10 school year, when the suspension rate for all middle and high school students was among the highest in the nation at 37.1 percent.

Also at that time, Fort Wayne was suspending black students at a rate of 55.7 percent, making it one of the 10 highest-suspending school districts for blacks in the nation.

But a recent report by the Civil Rights Project at UCLA showed that by 2011-12, the overall Fort Wayne suspension rate for middle and high schools had dropped 14.8 percentage points to 22.3 percent.

The suspension rate for black students at those schools had improved to 27 percent, the report said.

"We are thrilled to see that the results of this study validate the work we and the Fort Wayne schools have been doing to improve student behaviors and reduce the suspension rates," says Renae Azziz, founder and director of Virtuoso Education Consulting, which provides professional development training to teachers and school district leaders.

"But the job is not finished," she adds. "We continue to work with them to improve the discipline outcomes and further reduce the disparity in how minority students are disciplined."

About Renae Azziz

Renae Azziz is the Founder and Director of Virtuoso Education Consulting (www.virtuosoed.com). She and her team of consultants support educators nationally in the areas of Response-to-Intervention, Data-Based Decision Making, Assessment, Positive Behavior Support, and Culturally Responsive Practices. Before starting Virtuoso Education Consulting, Renae practiced as a school psychologist in Indiana. Renae also worked on grants funded by the Indiana Department of Education supporting Indiana's Initiatives on Response to Intervention, Culturally Responsive PBIS, and Minority Disproportionality in Special Education. She was also appointed by former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels to the Commission on Disproportionality in Youth Services, which resulted in several legislative outcomes.

Renae received her educational training at Indiana University earning an Ed.S. in School Psychology, an M.S. in Educational Psychology, and a B.A. with honors in Psychology and is working towards completion of her Doctorate in Education at The Johns Hopkins University specializing in Entrepreneurial Leadership in Education.

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