ERIC Number: ED350680
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Keeping Children in School: Sounding the Alarm on Suspensions.
Commission for Positive Change in Oakland Public Schools, CA.
Issues in suspension reform are examined in this document, which identifies the need for reform in the Oakland, California, public schools and offers suggestions. Data was derived from the conclusions of educational researchers, experiences of educators and students, and analysis of local data. Following the overview, which asserts that the level of student suspensions in the district is too high, the next section describes the district's suspension process and how it negatively affects students. The next two sections describe the suspension policy's disparate impact on different populations, primarily African American males, junior and middle school students, and poor achievers. Three commonly held assumptions used to justify suspensions are refuted. The next sections present examples of suspension reform in East Augusta Middle School in Augusta, Georgia and in Melrose Elementary School, Oakland, California. Lessons learned from the stories of these two schools are discussed. The final section outlines recommended actions for board members, the superintendent, schools, parents, and community. Members of the Board of Education and the Superintendent should: set expectations, provide data and expertise, and report results. Schools should: (1) focus on good teaching and learning as key to good student behavior and academic outcomes; (2) hold high expectations for student behavior; (3) examine discipline referrals, suspension practices and their patterns of impact on students for indications of excessive use and/or discriminatory impact; (4) describe school progress in the School Accountability Report. Parents, caregivers and community members should: (1) know your school's discipline policy and ask about suspension practices; (2) make sure your child understands your expectations for appropriate behavior; (3) respond to early warning signals; (4) be alarmed if your child is suspended; (5) ask school to provide information on suspension practices; and (6) organize parents to work with school staff on strategies to reduce the use of suspension. Nine tables and 12 figures are included. Appendices contain statistical tables on suspension rates, student enrollment and suspended students by race in elementary, junior, and senior high schools. (Contains 15 references.) (LMI)
Descriptors: Academic Probation, Behavior Problems, Discipline, Discipline Policy, Discipline Problems, Elementary Secondary Education, Expulsion, Public Schools, Sanctions, Suspension
Urban Strategies Council, 672 13th Street, Suite 200, Oakland, CA 94612.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Commission for Positive Change in Oakland Public Schools, CA.