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Giving Compass' Take:
· According to Education Dive, recent data shows that suspension lengths in New York City have decreased an average of 30% due to a large public outcry.
· How do suspensions affect students' mental health? How do they affect students' grades? What are some alternative solutions to this practice?
· Here's more about New York City's suspensions.
Classroom management and school discipline are major areas of concern for educators because they are imperative to creating a setting conducive to learning. Students who disrupt class do themselves and their fellow students a disservice by stealing valuable instructional time. However, finding the right approach to dealing with these students has always been a challenge. While removing them from the classroom setting by suspending them solves one set of problems, it creates a host of others for the disciplined student, who most likely needs more support than his or her peers.
Suspension rates and lengths have been the focus of many discipline reform efforts as more studies examine the effects of such suspensions on the students affected by them. Higher suspension rates have been linked to lower attendance rates, test scores, and graduation rates and to increased drug use. These suspension rates, which often are higher for students of color, have also been linked to the school-to-prison pipeline because they set up a pattern of failure and limit opportunities. And some studies even suggest that unusually high suspension rates at school have a negative effect on academic achievement for well-behaved students, perhaps because of the school climate created in these situations.
The gathering and analysis of accurate data surrounding school discipline seems to one of the biggest factors in improving the situation. Because discipline can often be a stressful, emotional and reactive situation, data helps bring the situation in perspective by providing a quick review of past offenses by the student, past interventions (or lack of them), and average suspension sentences related to those offenses.
Read the full article about suspension lengths by Amelia Harper at Education Dive.