NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: ED562452
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 35
Schools or Students? Identifying High School Effects on Student Suspensions
Baker-Smith, E. Christine
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
Evidence is clear that discipline in high school is associated with negative outcomes across the life course. Not only are suspensions related to declining academic trajectories during high school in the form of attendance and academic achievement, students suspended once are also more likely to be suspended again and also substantially increase the likelihood of dropping out of high school (Balfanz, Byrnes, & Fox, 2013; Ekstrom, Goertz, Pollack, & Rock, 1987; Losen & Martinez, 2013; Marchbanks III et al., 2013; Morrison et al., 2001). Through their influence on high-school success and the related increased potential for involvement with the criminal justice system, many scholars identify suspensions as the beginning of a life-course trajectory of deviance and negative outcomes (Balfanz, Spiridakis, Neild, & Legters, 2003; Belfield & Levin, 2007; Pager, Western, & Sugie, 2009; Skiba et al., 2003). Additionally, adolescents as an age group in particular are sensitive to structural changes and environmental influences making such negative institutional experiences particularly salient during the high school years (Furstenberg, 2000; Harter, 1990; Mortimer, Oesterle, & Kruger, 2005; Roeser, Eccles, & Freedman-Doan, 1999; Seidman & French, 2004). The evidence highlighting negative impacts of suspension leaves little room for debate, however, with only a few studies explicitly examining the specific influence of schools on student discipline independent of student behavior itself, this problem presents the following questions: (1) Do students with greater behavioral problems drive greater use of discipline; or (2) does greater use of discipline simply belie larger institutional problems? Capitalizing on a recent, large urban administrative dataset, this analysis uses both analytic methods rarely used in the study of school discipline and exploits extensive information about schools and students to provide a deeper understanding of these more appropriately estimated school effects on student suspensions. Tables and figures are appended.
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208. Tel: 202-495-0920; Fax: 202-640-4401; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Grade 9; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)