Found in Education: Discipline in Schools

Last year the  Civil Rights Project  out of UCLA reported that students of color are more likely to be suspended than  White students.  Last year, 3 million students were suspended in a year. White students were suspended at a lower rate than African-Americans and Latinos.  Latinos were suspended at a lower rate than African-Americans.   While higher suspension rates among non-White students is not new, it is sad that it continues.
But along with this story there are some positive changes in discipline going on. 

The restorative justice program is meeting with decent success at reducing suspensions and keeping students in school.  Oakland Unified School District in California began implementing the program district wide in 2011.  The percentage of students suspended dropped by half from 2011-2012 to 2013-2014.  The restorative justice program which puts talking things out before kicking out students is also taking root in districts around the U.S. such as in Portland in Denver.

Addressing student suspensions is important.  Students who are least engaged are most likely to be suspended. By being taken out of the classroom, students are likely to fall behind. When students return, they are less likely to know what's happening and therefore less engaged which means they are more likely to act out and maybe be suspended. And the cycle continues.  As The Atlantic reported, studies show a negative relationship between suspension and school achievement.  

Engaging students is the number one goal in the classroom, and when students aren't engaged there need to be better solutions than suspension. Restorative justice is just one idea that seems to be doing well in some schools.

Found in Education (F.I.E.) is a weekly blog post on education policy, teaching tips, products, and stories related to education that I find over the week.  See something I should know about? Please send your ideas.  Comment here or leave me a message on Facebook, on Twitter, on Pinterest, or at the store.



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