Giving Compass' Take:

• Four studies recently came up with the same correlations in which students are that are suspended do not perform as well as their peers and that suspensions are not a "one size fits all" solution. 

• There are other types of discipline that school districts are looking into such as restorative justice and social-emotional learning approaches. But until all schools can adopt alternatives to suspension, what can educators do for students who feel they can not catch up with their peers because of such intense disciplinary action?

• Read more about Chalkbeat's study on school suspensions. 

Four recent studies reveal more about how suspensions shape student performance, with one finding that suspended students in Philadelphia had lower test scores the same year of their suspensions, correlating longer suspensions with lower scores, and another in California finding that it took more than one suspension to lower a student’s test scores and that the drop was more substantial.

Additionally, Chalkbeat reports that an analysis of K-12 schools in Arkansas showed suspensions either had no effect or a slight positive one on suspended students’ test scores the year after, with this case showing that the longer the suspension, the greater the gain.

These studies are nowhere near the first analyses done on school suspensions and their effects on kids. Some of the results aren’t too surprising, but they continue to drive home a known point: School suspensions, in almost all cases, aren’t a “one size fits all” solution. If anything, the continued lack of alternatives is the biggest shocker.

There’s proof that suspensions hurt students, but they’re also subjective and disproportionately affect students of color.  That goes way beyond student performance, too — by suspending students for minor infractions like disrupting class, it feeds a cycle that leaves them unable to catch up to their classmates.

Some states have used legislation to try eliminating suspensions. Meanwhile, some school districts are looking for alternative forms of discipline. Restorative justice approaches look at a problem’s root and boost social-emotional learning efforts, and teachers can help each other through programs like using a “bounce buddy” who can take on a repetitively disruptive student.

Evidence shows these alternative methods are working: School districts that have worked to lessen suspensions saw better attendance rates and test scores.

Read the full article about school suspensions by Jessica Campisi at EducationDive