Monday, April 7, 2008

Academic study says dress codes in schools don't work

S-burg considers tougher dress code- The Pocono Record

April 03, 2008

Similar arguments are often made in favor of school uniforms, but their impact may be neither so dramatic nor positive, said David Brunsma, associate professor of sociology at University of Missouri-Columbia, who has studied the issue.

Brunsma, author of "The School Uniform Movement and What it Tells Us About American Education: A Symbolic Crusade," said efforts to standardize dress over the past decade often were surface attempts to solve deeper problems in schools.

"They kind of resonate with the public," Brunsma said. "After all, if our differences are perceived as the core cause of the problems we see, then trying to eradicate that difference makes sense."

But his research found that uniforms have no direct impact on behavioral problems or attendance, and negatively affect academic success in public schools.

"The simple fact," he wrote in the Journal of Educational Research, "is that policymakers who are interested in raising academic achievement should not count on school uniforms to deliver an academic miracle."

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