Examining the Impacts of Middle School Disciplinary Policies on 9th Grade Retention
36 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2017
Date Written: April 5, 2017
In this paper we estimate the impact of exclusionary discipline given in 8th grade on the probability of 9th grade retention. We use a rich seven year, student level, panel dataset from Arkansas. We use a novel approach by limiting our sample to students who switch schools between 8th and 9th grade. This movement gives each student a fresh start, and removes the potential confound of a student’s reputation as a “problem student” that could influence teachers to be harsher on students who already have a disciplinary record. We find that students who receive exclusionary discipline in 8th grade are more likely to be retained in 9th grade compared to students who received no exclusionary discipline. We find nominal evidence that the impact of exclusionary discipline is attenuated for students of color and students receiving FRL; however, the differences are not significant.
Keywords: school discipline, exclusionary discipline, grade retention impacts
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