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This first episode of Abstract, the podcast of the Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium, features a roundtable discussion with the study team for the Achieving Racial Equity in Disciplinary Practices and Policies MERC study. We discussed key definitions, evidence of racial disproportionality in school discipline, themes in the research literature, next steps for this study, local and national implications, and new policy directions in the upcoming presidential administration. This episode featured Adai Tefera, PhD, Jesse Senechal, PhD, William Noel, EdD, Evandra Catherine, and Rachel Levy. Enjoy!

Featured in this Episode

This episode featured perspectives from VCU and partnering school divisions who collaborate on this study team.

  • Adai Tefera, Assistant Professor, Foundations of Education at VCU
  • William Noel, Director of Student Support and Disciplinary Review Board, Henrico County Public Schools
  • Evandra Catherine, PhD Student, Special Education and Disability Policy at VCU
  • Rachel Levy, PhD Student, Education Leadership at VCU
  • Jesse Senechal, Director, Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium at VCU
  • David Naff, Host of Abstract and PhD Candidate, Educational Psychology at VCU


Don’t have time to listen to this whole episode of Abstract? We have broken it down into chapters so you can jump straight to the parts that interest you the most and fit into your busy schedule!

Chapter 1: What is abstract?

Chapter 2: Introducing the study team

Chapter 3: Defintions

Chapter 4: Study background

Chapter 5: Evidence of racial disproportionality in school discipline

Chapter 6: Long-term implications

Chapter 7: Literature

Chapter 8: Research questions

Chapter 9: Next steps

Chapter 10: Anticipated impact of this research

Chapter 11: New directions in policy

Chapter 12: Closing thoughts