Friday, July 30, 2021

Disciplinary Policies

We all know that black and Hispanic students, especially boys, are suspended from school at rates higher than Asian and white students.  Somehow, this is supposed to be a marker of racism rather than of cultural issues.  

Some view school suspensions as punitive, but any teacher can tell you that removing a disruptive student makes learning easier for everyone else, and there's a new study that demonstrates that:

To evaluate the net effects of classroom disciplinary practices, policy makers and educators must understand not only their effects on disciplined students but also their effects on non-disciplined peers. In this study, we estimate the link between peer suspensions and non-suspended students’ learning trajectories in a California school district where middle and high school students took up to twelve basic skills tests in mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA) over the course of the 2009–10, 2010–11, and 2011–12 school years. We find that Hispanic students, students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, English language learners, students enrolled in special education, and low-achieving students are disproportionately exposed to classmate suspensions (boldface mine--Darren). Analyses with student and classroom fixed effects show that student achievement in mathematics increases when their classmates receive suspensions, particularly suspensions attributed to disruptive behavior. We find no association between classmate suspension and ELA achievement. Because these results come from schools in which suspensions are relatively rare events, they may not generalize to settings with draconian disciplinary cultures. Nonetheless, our findings imply that suspensions, when used appropriately, can improve the academic achievement of non-suspended students, particularly for students from vulnerable populations.

Somehow it's racist to discipline minority students but not racist to make other minority students lose out on education because of disruptive students.  I do not understand the leftie thought process.


Anonymous said...

I taught HS for 35 years and hated when an administrator wouldn't remove a kid who disrupted and who wouldn't respond to any type of reasonable behavior expectations. The damage this type of behavior had on others in the room was obvious. It made me angry and frustrated in my goal to make my room a place where kids could mentally relax and learn and enjoy the class. I felt bad for the kids who had three or four classes daily with the disruptors- it's exhausting to be around those all day.

ObieJuan said...

Exactly. Kids good behavior is validated when they see a student disciplined for disruptive behavior. California ed code lists very specific reasons for suspending a student. Now, nowhere is it listed that you can suspend a student for running around your classroom the entire period and yelling, "Woo, woo, woo!"

Ellen K said...

The first day of the last year I taught, two young men of color bigger than me squared off to fight in my classroom. Before they could get beyond verbal invective I grabbed them by the wrist and marched them down the hall to the nearest administration office. In previous years, such behavior would be met with at least a day of in school suspension and a call home. Instead, 20 minutes later, they were brought back by the uber liberal AP saying "They are very sorry and they will behave." That was the signal to every other character in class that they could be disruptive and nothing would happen. That class was a zoo for the rest of the year. The sad thing is I had some very talented students who WANTED and had WAITED two years to take that class. I couldn't work with them because I was constantly putting out fires. Sadly, having seen how the students were allowed to act out in electives, four talented students decided to never take another art class. It didn't have to be like this,but PC narratives removed all options to keep order in class.