When it comes to the issue of institutional change, many school leaders feel as if they are caught between a rock and a hard place. On one side, administrators know that they have to hold staff accountable for their actions and behaviors. On the other, they know that 75% of all claims brought against school systems are raised by employees – many of whom allege some form of improper treatment before, during, or after disciplinary action.

Whether they ultimately result in disciplinary action or not, the research is clear: Instances of substandard performance and cases of employee misconduct can negatively impact student achievement on either a direct or an indirect basis. In fact, these kinds of issues are often found to be undermining school improvement or reform initiatives in buildings rated as persistently “underperforming” or “non- performing” by their respective state departments of education (and even in some otherwise “performing” schools struggling to demonstrate consistent year-over-year student achievement gains).


“UpSlope helped us develop employee discipline guidelines and regulations tailor-made for our district after having trained all of our administrators and supervisors in employee management techniques. I watched as their approach to the management of conduct issues changed from punitive to more consistent and fair. Our documentation is now aligned with district policies, state and federal law, and we know where our focus will be for future policy development.”

Robert Harris
Asst Superintendent
Parkersburg, WV