Examining the Impacts of Middle School Disciplinary Policies on 9th Grade Retention

36 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2017

See all articles by Elise Swanson

Elise Swanson

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Heidi Holmes Erickson

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Gary Ritter

Saint Louis University School of Education

Date Written: April 5, 2017

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Swanson, Elise and Holmes Erickson, Heidi and Ritter, Gary, Examining the Impacts of Middle School Disciplinary Policies on 9th Grade Retention (April 5, 2017). EDRE Working Paper No. 2017-11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2952972 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2952972

Elise Swanson (Contact Author)

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Heidi Holmes Erickson

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Gary Ritter

Saint Louis University School of Education ( email )

220 North Grand Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63103
United States
314-977-3290 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.slu.edu/education/faculty/gary-ritter.php

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