Study: Suspending students lowers achievement of non-suspended students

Elementary students in Elk Grove. Source: EGUSD

Elementary students in Elk Grove. Source: EGUSD

Some people say that if you remove classroom distractions by suspending misbehaving students, other students benefit. A just-published research study says the opposite is true.

The study found that high rates of school suspensions harmed math and reading scores for non-suspended students. Researchers at Indiana University and the University of Kentucky followed more than 17,000 Kentucky students over three years.

The study found that low-suspending schools had no impact on student performance. But schools that suspended many students saw scores fall across the board.

“When you are in a very punitive environment, you’re getting the message that the school is focusing on crime control and behavior control,” Edward W. Morris, a sociologist at the University of Kentucky, told the influential California journal Ed Source. “Schools should really be about relationships.”

“Suspending Progress: Collateral Consequences of Exclusionary Punishment in Public Schools” was published in the American Sociological Review in December 2014.

Click here to read an abstract and find a link to the study.

Click here to read about the study in EdSource.

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