A recent HuffPo article reveals results of California’s efforts to reduce student suspensions for minor behavioral infractions. Spoiler: the results have been mostly positive.
Two important observations stand out:
- More efficient, less exclusionary discipline tactics result in increased instructional time for the students. These precious minutes of instruction translated into improved academic performances. The verdict: every little minute helps, especially for at-risk students most affected by these changes.
- To support the students, we must first support the teachers. A notable response from the study was that despite the many positive outcomes, classroom teachers were left with sometimes-rowdier classrooms and minimal guidance on alternative behavior management approaches. The verdict: always schedule PD to support teachers as a part of any change management plan.