SREE 2017 Spring Conference
March 1-4, Washington, DC
"Unintended Consequences: Does the Effort to Reduce Suspensions Harm Learning Environments?"
Author: NaYoung Hwang
In recent years, motivated by a well-documented association between school suspensions and a wide range of negative developmental outcomes for suspended youth, many schools have implemented policies attempting to reduce the use of suspension and other forms of exclusionary discipline. In this study, I use data from a large California school district to investigate the effects of suspension on the educational outcomes of non-suspended students. Student fixed effect models reveal that a non-suspended student exhibits higher achievement at the end of a quarter in which their classmate suspension rates are higher. This positive peer effect seems to be heightened for low-achieving students. These findings suggest that efforts to reduce schools’ use of suspensions may harm learning environments.