Banning Math Progress: The Academic Impact of California's Suspension Bans
39 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2018 Last revised: 22 Oct 2019
Date Written: May 7, 2019
A growing number of states and school districts have banned suspensions for all but the most serious offenses. While the literature generally expects bans to improve academics, this paper complements new studies that find unintended negative consequences of discipline reform. We exploit the exogenous introduction of bans to the California policy landscape (2013-2015) to compare growth before (2007-2013) and after (2016-2018) this ban-uptake period. We find a negative but sometimes non-significant impact on reading growth in grades four through eight as well as a consistently significant, negative impact on math growth (-0.09 standard deviations) in grades four through seven. The impact occurred each of the three years after districts adopted bans. Cumulatively, the impact was equivalent to a decline from 50th percentile before a ban to the 39th percentile three years later.
Keywords: Classroom Management, Policy Evaluation, Elementary Schools, Middle Schools, Math Instruction
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