Giving Compass’ Take:
• Pedro A. Noguera and Joseph P. Bishop explain how school districts in California are reducing suspensions through collaborative and inclusive efforts.
• How can funders support districts that want to move away from suspensions? What can be done to improve the academic outcomes of students who are suspended?
• Learn about suspensions nationwide.
California suspends too many students. In 2016-17, more than 233,000 students were suspended at least once. Combined, those students missed an estimated 760,000 days of school according to new research from UCLA’s Civil Rights Project’s Center for Civil Rights Remedies.
As disturbing as these trends are, it is encouraging that these figures, from 2017, represent a significant improvement from just six years ago when the number of students suspended was 36 percent higher. The two largest districts in the state, Los Angeles Unified and San Diego Unified, have seen student suspensions decrease overall by 76 percent and 44 percent in the same amount of time, marking considerable progress.
Students who are more likely to be suspended are overwhelmingly the most disadvantaged: homeless youth, kids in foster care, students with disabilities, black young men and women, Native American youth, Pacific Islanders and Latino males. A variety of studies have shown that suspensions not only contribute to lower levels of student achievement but are also ineffective at reducing perceived behavior problems among targeted students.
For the next five years, Orange and Butte counties and our center at UCLA will lead a state pilot aimed at reducing suspensions and improving school climate through a training curriculum based on a multi-tiered system of support, or MTSS, model. Working collaboratively with students and educators, we plan to design, refine and implement training modules that will promote improved relationships with students, particularly across race, language and socio-economic differences.
Read the full article about reducing suspensions by Pedro A. Noguera and Joseph P. Bishop at EdSource.
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