Suspension Rates Decreasing, Study Says

Santa Barbara Reports 10 Percent Drop from Last Year

Thursday, June 26, 2014
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California kids are staying in class and off the streets, according to a study released last week from the UCLA Civil Rights Project. In fact, two-thirds of all K-12 districts in the state reported suspension decreases for every racial group ​— ​with the largest drop among blacks and Hispanics ​— ​which may indicate a consistent downward trend, though experts say it’s too soon to tell.

The Santa Barbara Unified School District suspended 678 students in 2013, a 10 percent drop from the previous year, according to the study. The most notable results can be seen at Santa Barbara Junior High School (SBJHS), said Aaron Harkey, a teacher on special assignment, at a recent board meeting. The school piloted the new discipline program called Restorative Approaches in 2012. In the 2012-2013 school year, there were 60 suspensions at SBJHS, which is approximately half the number from the previous year and a 74 percent decrease from the annual average over the past four years. Of the 60 suspensions, 38 were Hispanic students, which is a 23 percent decrease from the previous year.

The UCLA study coincides with school districts’ finalization of the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), which documents goals and expenditure justifications for the next three years. At Tuesday night’s board meeting, applause rang in the board’s approval of the revised LCAP. Among a long list of goals, the district seeks to decrease suspension rates by 5 percent each year and spend $30,000 in training staff in Restorative Approaches. In the fall, restorative approaches will be implemented at Dos Pueblos and San Marcos high schools.

Also Tuesday, the board approved a $106 million budget, which should increase by several million dollars over the next seven years. Notably, the district is just shy of receiving an additional half a million dollars because its unduplicated pupil count of low-income, foster youth, or English learners is currently 54 percent; more than 55 percent is required by the state to collect the extra funds.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Wow, so less kids are being suspended because.....they are deciding to suspend less of them??

"California kids are staying in class and off the streets, according to a study released last week from the UCLA Civil Rights Project."


I'll just leave this here:

"Pennsylvania woman jailed for truancy fines dies in cell

A woman sentenced to two days in jail for not paying $2,000 in fines after her kids skipped school - died in her cell."

loonpt (anonymous profile)
June 26, 2014 at 1:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Wow, so less kids are being suspended because.....they are deciding to suspend less of them??"

My thoughts exactly. I'm also wondering if it isn't because the schools lose money when kids don't attend school which would be a financial incentive to keep the Problem Children keeping seats warm.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
June 27, 2014 at 6:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes they changed the rules for suspending kids.
Yes they lose money if kids do not attend school.
Yes we continually lower the bar for these perpetually under performing groups after they continually under perform.

nomoresanity (anonymous profile)
June 29, 2014 at 6:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

gosh, BC, your negative cynicism is saddening, do you ever have anything positive to say about education, the Casino, or ...? I applaud the 10% decrease in suspensions and the application of Restorative Approaches -- do we not want these students IN school?! You are wrong Yesmoreinsanity, and supposedly the new Common Core curriculum will be more demanding.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
June 29, 2014 at 8:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Which point is incorrect? Are you debating that we have lowered the standards for these groups? Seriously? Look at the rates of failure in college.
How can you applaud, or not, the effectiveness of the euphemism Restorative Justice until we judge the results.
Common Core cannot be judged yet either as it was put together in an ad hoc fashion and is another version of new education. Let's wait and see first.

nomoresanity (anonymous profile)
June 30, 2014 at 5 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This is Orwellian double-speak at it's very best!

Suspensions are down because teachers and administrators have been ordered to suspend kids less to meet racially motivated "sensitivity" thresholds.

So there is higher disruption, less learning and more chaos in our public schools, (which is 90% committed by illegal aliens and their kids) which drives more white parents to take their kids out of public school and drive up more funding for LA RAZA, (the race), MALDEF, CAUSE and other racial polarizing racist based organizations so they can chant at City Hall meetings, hold "racial sensitivity meetings" inside our schools and fund staffers who would otherwise serve burgers at McDonalds because they themselves misbehaved in school.

realitycheck88 (anonymous profile)
June 30, 2014 at 7:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

DrDan: You're right, I AM cynical, and with good cause. While our society has been conditioned to never question our governmental educational authorities, I DO question them.

I have seen first hand the nonsensical politics of the public education system and as a separate issue, how the media can spin a story so I merely am raising the point as to *why* the rates are down?

You see, DrDan, I come out of the Old Hippie/Old School Liberal mindset of "question authority".

billclausen (anonymous profile)
June 30, 2014 at 7:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

C'mon clausen, the concept of questioning authority from an open point of view is for the old white guys/gals that drove the paradigm shift in the 60's...You are now a part of the evil ruling class and until you adopt race based myopic politics you are newly a part of the problem.
I remember Dan being very skeptical of Common Core, now he is using it's implementation as positive substantiation for an argument?

nomoresanity (anonymous profile)
July 1, 2014 at 7:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Less kids are being suspended because bad behavior is less punished these days.
What would get you sent to the office back then is NOTHING compared to how they act now: More brazen, confrontational, entitled, etc.

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
July 1, 2014 at 3:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Nomoresanity (assuming that's your real name) Y do U think Dr.Dan is embracing common core?

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 1, 2014 at 9:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

you are correct nomore about my prior criticisms of Common Core, of which I am very suspicious; I should've capitalized the SUPPOSEDLY in "supposedly the new Common Core curriculum will be more demanding". It IS purportedly more demanding, with the math questions very complex, and all requiring use of computers/screens to answer the questions. I continue to research it, and think it's mostly a huge mistake. It isn't a simple issue, I'm interviewing public school teachers using it, but I can't handle it in this limited format, but there will be a forthcoming in-print critique. While it isn't "Commie Core", it IS brazen corporate technology being rammed down teachers throats with little training, over-reliance on standardized test scores, and our low-income students with less tech in the home will have even lower scores than now and... more anon.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2014 at 3:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

dearest dolphin, because he wrote "You are wrong Yesmoreinsanity, and supposedly the new Common Core curriculum will be more demanding." as positive affirmation of a part of his argument that suspending more kids, contingent on unproven methodologies, i.e. Restorative Justice" is not just a further lowering of the standards for conduct and success.
So we have two HUGE variables: changing the standards for removal from the classroom based upon a theory that has not been tested in our unique environment AND changing our core curriculum without testing over time. Since the article infers that keeping the miscreants in the classroom is somehow a triumph it is reasonable for those of us not swayed by ideology to comment about our skepticism.
I actually applaud the concept of accountability in our schools. We used to have it: you act bad; you get suspended; your parents have a conference at school; the family gets shamed by the community. Now that we make excuses for the failings of kids and their parents: the family is working 27 jobs to support them; the family does not speak English; the culture is different; the kids are showing up without breakfast; you name it; we have zero accountability. Just don't tell me it is a triumph to simply stop suspending kids. Be honest enough to state "we are increasing short term disruption in the classroom by suspending fewer kids and it will take a few years to see if this is a good plan. Oh yea, in the interim the district gets more money so there is an incentive to suspend fewer kids even if there is more disruption.".
Finally, I support the concept of Common Core, even though we used to have the de facto same thing when I was in school in the 60's and 70's. There was a simple and direct method of teaching, with largely similar textbooks, and the U.S. was the leader in the world in engineering and the sciences. Even in parts of the country that were still teaching nutty creationism the sum total of their math and science were the same as everywhere else. And yea, except for that little math problem in their logic about the world only being a few thousand years old...

nomoresanity (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2014 at 9:33 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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