Another school may simply require that all shirts have collars. In Toledo, Ohio, elementary school students have a limited palette of colors that they can wear: Toledo girls are allowed a fairly wide range of dress items, however: Boys have almost as many choices: Virginia Draa, assistant professor at Youngstown State University, reviewed attendance, graduation and proficiency pass rates at 64 public high schools in Ohio.
Her final analysis surprised her: At least at these schools, they do. I was absolutely floored. She was unable to connect uniforms with academic improvement because of such complicating factors as changing instructional methods and curriculum.
University of Missouri assistant professor, David Brunsma reached a different conclusion. A Symbolic Crusade , Brunsma reviewed past studies on the effect of uniforms on academic performance.
He also conducted his own analysis of two enormous databases, the National Educational Longitudinal Study and the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study. Brunsma concluded that there is no positive correlation between uniforms and school safety or academic achievement. Meanwhile, the movement toward uniforms in public schools has spread to about a quarter of all elementary schools. Experts say that the number of middle and high schools with uniforms is about half the number of elementary schools.
If uniforms are intended to curb school violence and improve academics, why are they not more prevalent in middle and high schools, where these goals are just as important as in elementary schools? In fact, most of the litigation resulting from uniforms has been located at levels of K that are higher than elementary schools. Of course, this uniform debate is also one regarding whether children have rights, too! This video is part of our high school milestones series about communication skills.
The students in this video discuss the pros and cons of school uniforms. After a school uniform policy was implemented in three Nevada middle schools in and , researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno, set out to find out what 1, seventh and eighth graders thought about the change. The vast majority — 90 percent of students — reported that they disliked wearing uniforms.
However, other data showed more nuanced results. For instance, 54 percent of students agreed that they still had their identity while wearing a uniform, and 50 percent agreed that uniforms saved their families money. But only 41 percent of students agreed that there was less gang activity at their school after uniforms were required.
A new trend is the mounting pressure to establish dress codes for teachers. Apparently the same casual mind-set toward revealing outfits is cropping up in the ranks of our teachers. The debate over uniforms in public schools encompasses many larger issues than simply what children should wear to school. A Symbolic Crusade, David Brunsma. Share on Pinterest Advertisement Get the GreatSchools newsletter - our best articles, worksheets and more delivered weekly.
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Please enter a valid email address. Females perceived or experienced more benefits than males. Based on grade level, more seventh-graders than eighth-graders reported agreement with statements about the benefits of wearing school uniforms.
Results also revealed that Latino students perceived more benefits from uniforms than Caucasian students perceived. Students' top-rated statements with responses of "Agree" and "Strongly Agree" were: I still have my identity when I wear a uniform 54 percent ; My family likes that I wear a uniform to school 53 percent ; I think uniforms save money on clothes 50 percent ; I worry less about how others look 42 percent ; and, There is less gang activity at school 41 percent.
At Sparks Middle School, discipline and school police records were also studied. Compared to the year prior, discipline referrals were reduced by about 10 percent the first year the uniform policy was implemented. Additionally, school police data showed a 63 percent reduction in police log reports during the first year of implementation. Other decreases were noted in reports of gang-related activities and student fights, along with graffiti, property damage, battery and administrative assists.
Since the uniform policy was implemented at Sparks Middle School in , and at the other two schools in , many other Washoe County School District middle schools have implemented a uniform policy, and the district is looking at the possibility of a comprehensive school uniform policy that will establish guidelines for schools interested in school uniforms. The researchers emphasized that the school uniform implementations were a collaborative and informative effort among school staff, district administrators and parents.
For more information about the school uniform study, contact Sanchez at or jesanchez unr. Since it was published in April , this story highlighting school-uniform research completed by University of Nevada, Reno College of Education faculty has received more than 60, unique page views on Nevada Today, the University's online news site.
The story currently ranks number one on Google, Yahoo and Bing for the search term "school uniform study," resulting in a large number of regular inquiries to one of the study's researchers, Jafeth Sanchez, assistant professor of educational leadership.
Below is a list of the most frequently asked questions Sanchez receives around the topic of school uniforms. People interested in accessing more data are also invited to review the complete study, " Uniforms in the Middle School: Uniform requirements often elicit strong reactions from parents, students, educators and scholars on both sides of the issue. Yet, research on current school uniform efforts is minimal, especially when considering students' opinions.
The purpose of this study was to give students a voice and to find out if students actually benefit from school uniforms, as originally intended by the school's leadership team and others involved in the policy implementation process. What do students think about school uniforms? If you ask students if they like to wear a uniform, 99 percent of them will say no. If you have them reflect on specific, possible benefits, their answers tend to change. Considering all students' responses, there were many responses against wearing school uniforms, but a substantial number of students indicated benefits to wearing school uniforms.
Are you for or against school uniforms? My personal opinion is that uniforms can be an effective tool for supporting a positive school climate and overall changes, but it will vary by school context. If uniforms are implemented, they need to be evaluated to identify the effectiveness of the policy. Uniforms are not a "silver bullet" solution to school improvement efforts.
I believe it requires holistic change in many areas. Consequently, I am not for or against uniforms, but I am for assessing the policy implementation of uniforms.
What is the correlation with academic grades? My data did not include academic ties, and the state testing framework was changed at the end of , so the data cannot be linked. My data only collected student perceptions, so I can only address questions related to those findings. What are the benefits of school uniforms?
Research on school uniforms is minimal, especially research on students' opinions about uniforms, and the use of student uniforms is a growing conversation across the country.
As local governments continue debating the merits of public school uniforms, journalists can use these research studies to fact-check claims.
Some of his historical research suggests, for example, that school uniforms originated in England in the 16th century as a way to signal the lower-class status of some children. What research says about school uniforms Virginia Draa, assistant professor at Youngstown State University, reviewed attendance, graduation and proficiency pass rates at 64 public high schools in Ohio.
a comparison research study on the use of school uniforms and graduation, attendance, and suspension rates in east tennessee by william elihue gouge. "After uniforms were adopted, girls in middle school and high school missed one day less of school annually," Imberman said. "That sounds like a modest improvement, but in terms of educational interventions, it is challenging to motivate a progression in this area.