Over a half-million elementary-school students in New York City will have to adhere to a dress code by the fall of From Los Angeles to Louisiana, from Maryland to Miami, public schools are discussing, and in many cases adopting, the old private school idea. School uniforms are designed to help kids focus on algebra instead of high-tops; to make students compete for grades rather than jackets.
Do uniforms make schools better? Yes and no, say the experts. The heated debate over school uniforms shows no signs of cooling off. Print article For the past decade, schools, parents and students have clashed over the issue of regulating student attire.
Incases involving an anti-Bush T-shirt in Vermont, an anti-gay T-shirt in San Diego, and Tigger socks in Napa, California, made their way through the courts, causing many to wonder whether this debate will ever be resolved.
Meanwhile, researchers are divided over how much of an impact — if any — dress policies have upon student learning. A book makes the case that uniforms do not improve school safety or academic discipline. A study, on the other hand, indicates that in some Ohio high schools uniforms may have improved graduation and attendance rates, although no improvements were observed in academic performance.
Why do some public schools have uniforms? In the s, public schools were often compared unfavorably to Catholic schools. Noting the perceived benefit that uniforms conferred upon Catholic schools, some public schools decided to adopt a school uniform policy.
Generally, dress codes are much less restrictive than uniform policies.
Sometimes, however, dress codes are nearly as strict, as in the case of a middle school in Napa, California. In August ofthe district announced it would relax its dress code — for the time being — to allow images and fabrics other than solid colors.
The district superintendent, while admitting that banning images on clothes raises concerns about the restriction of political and religious speech, announced his intention to move soon toward implementing uniforms in the district. Uniforms are certainly easier for administrators to enforce than dress codes.
Consider two recent examples of students challenging dress codes through the courts. The school had suspended the student, not for the anti-Bush political statement, but for violating a dress code that prohibits drug and alcohol images.
The school argued that the T-shirt was hateful and inflammatory. Check with your school to see what the dress code is, as they can be fairly specific. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, for example, the dress code prohibits: One school might require white button-down shirts and ties for boys, pleated skirts for girls and blazers adorned with the school logo for all.
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: When Toledo students reach junior high, they are treated to one more color choice: 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.
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.The debate about school uniforms in public schools has been going on for years.
Let's see the pros and cons of the rule of wearing uniforms to school. Public school policies that require school uniforms have increased in the last 10 years. Here are arguments for and against the use of school uniforms. Most public schools with uniform policies are in poor neighborhoods, emphasizing the class distinctions that uniforms were supposed to eliminate.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 47% of high-poverty public schools required school uniforms, while . The Huntington School, a K-5 elementary school on Warren Avenue in Brockton, is the only school in the city’s public school system that requires uniforms.
The prevalence of uniforms in public schools continues to rise in the United States, as parents and school administrators exert efforts to keep our schools safe environments.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly 20% of all public schools have adopted uniform mandates. The number of public schools asking students to wear school uniforms is on the rise, with nearly one in five requiring them, so TODAY held a mini-debate Monday on the virtue of mandatory school.