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Consistency Management & Cooperative Discipline®

Ages 3-18

Rating: Level 2


Consistency Management & Cooperative Discipline® (CMCD) is a research-based classroom and school reform model that emphasizes shared responsibility for learning and classroom organization between teachers and students. The model seeks to address the needs of students, teachers, and administrative staff in schools from prekindergarten through 12th grade. The target population is innercity youths. The consistency management component concentrates on classroom instructional organization and planning arrangement by the teacher (from seating arrangements, passing out papers, etc.). The teacher acts as an instructional leader. The cooperative discipline component expands the leadership roles to the students by giving each student multiple leadership opportunities. It incorporates five themes: prevention through classroom management, a caring environment, cooperation, classroom organization, and parental and community involvement activities.


The CMCD model has been tested many times. One evaluation compared students who were taught by teachers trained in consistency management and cooperative discipline with students who were not. Researchers obtained standardized math test scores for students in grades 4, 5, and 6 from seven elementary schools. The schools were all within two square miles. Three served as treatment schools (n=232), and four were control schools (n=311). Most students in the study were Latinos, and there were minorities of African-American and white students.


The results of this evaluation show that students taught by teachers trained in CMCD performed significantly higher than control students on math achievement tests. These findings are consistent with those from both qualitative and quantitative studies performed on CMCD, which include sustained gains in student achievement over 3 years (9–12 months’ greater achievement gain than the group of comparison schools), significant reductions in student discipline referrals (72 percent to 78 percent lower than other schools), and 36 minutes’ additional teaching time per day owing to fewer discipline problems and enhanced cooperation (equivalent to 3½ additional weeks of instruction).

Risk Factors


  • Anti-social behavior and alienation/Delinquent beliefs/General delinquency involvement/Drug dealing
  • Early onset of aggression and/or violence
  • Lack of guilt and empathy
  • Life stressors
  • Mental disorder/Mental health problem/Conduct disorder
  • Poor refusal skills
  • Victimization and exposure to violence


  • Family history of the problem behavior/Parent criminality
  • Parental use of physical punishment/Harsh and/or erratic discipline practices
  • Sibling antisocial behavior


  • Inadequate school climate/Poorly organized and functioning schools/Negative labeling by teachers
  • Low academic achievement
  • Negative attitude toward school/Low bonding/Low school attachment/Commitment to school


  • Social and physical disorder/Disorganized neighborhood


  • Association with delinquent and/or aggressive peers
  • Peer rejection

Protective Factors


  • Healthy / Conventional beliefs and clear standards
  • High expectations
  • Perception of social support from adults and peers
  • Positive expectations / Optimism for the future
  • Self-efficacy
  • Social competencies and problem-solving skills


  • Effective parenting
  • Good relationships with parents / Bonding or attachment to family
  • High expectations
  • Opportunities for prosocial family involvement
  • Rewards for prosocial family involvement


  • High expectations of students
  • High quality schools / Clear standards and rules
  • Opportunities for prosocial school involvement
  • Presence and involvement of caring, supportive adults
  • Rewards for prosocial school involvement
  • Strong school motivation / Positive attitude toward school
  • Student bonding (attachment to teachers, belief, commitment)


  • Clear social norms / Policies with sanctions for violations and rewards for compliance
  • High expectations
  • Presence and involvement of caring, supportive adults
  • Prosocial opportunities for participation / Availability of neighborhood resources


  • Good relationships with peers
  • Involvement with positive peer group activities


  • Department of Education


Brady, M.P.; Paul R. Swank; R.D. Taylor; and H. Jerome Freiberg. 1992. “Teacher Interactions in Mainstream Social Studies and Science Classes.” Exceptional Children 58(6):530–40.

Freiberg, H. Jerome. 1989. “A Multidimensional View of School Effectiveness.” Educational Research Quarterly 13(2):35–46.

Freiberg, H. Jerome, M.P. Brady, Paul R. Swank, and R.D. Taylor. 1989. “Middle School Interaction Study of Mainstreamed Students.” Journal of Classroom Interaction 24(2):23–42.

Freiberg, H. Jerome, M.L. Connell, and J. Lorentz. 2001. “The Effects of Consistency Management on Student Mathematics Achievement in Seven Elementary Schools.” JESPAR 6(3):249–70.

Freiberg, H. Jerome, Neil Prokosch, Edward S. Treister, and T.A. Stein. 1990. “A Study of Five At-Risk Innercity Elementary Schools.” Journal of School Effectiveness and School Improvement l(l):5–25.

Freiberg, H. Jerome, Neil Prokosch, Edward S. Treister, T.A. Stein, and K.A. Opuni. 1989. “Turning Around At-Risk Schools Through Consistency Management.” The Journal of Negro Education 58(3):372–82.

Freiberg, H. Jerome, T.A. Stein, and S. Huang. 1995. “Effects of a Classroom Management Intervention on Student Achievement in Innercity Elementary Schools.” Educational Research And Evaluation l(l):36–66.

Freiberg, H. Jerome, T.A. Stein, and G. Parker. 1995. “Discipline Referrals in an Urban Middle School: Implications for Discipline and Instruction.” Education and Urban Society 27(4):421–40.

Swank, Paul R., R.D. Taylor, M.P. Brady, R. Cooley, and H. Jerome Freiberg. 1989. “Grouping Students in Mainstreamed Middle School Classrooms: Desirable and Less Desirable Outcomes.” NASSP Bulletin 73(516):62–66.

U.S. Department of Education. 1998. “Tools for Schools: School Reform Models Supported by the National Institute on At-Risk Students.” Washington, DC: Office of Educational Research and Improvement.


H. Jerome Freiberg, Project Director
Consistency Management & Cooperative Discipline
4800 Calhoun Farish Hall, Room 442
University of Houston
Houston, TX 77204–5026
Phone: (713) 743-8663
Fax: (713) 743-8586
Web site: