Mr. Thompson, of the Council of State Governments, said one of the study’s most important findings was how demographically similar schools disciplined students differently. Although Texas law requires suspension or expulsion for certain offenses, Mr. Thompson said that 97 percent of suspensions were discretionary, and that suspension rates might say as much about administrators’ discipline philosophy as about student behavior.
“Schools are making very different uses of school discipline,” he explained. “And they can have an impact on how often a kid repeats a grade or graduates. We need to recognize that it’s something we need to improve upon.”
Many ideas swim in my head when I read about this study. It would be interesting to update studies done in the 80′s that examined felony prisoners. Those studies demonstrated a real connection between school disciplinary programs and incarceration. (Most intriguing in those studies was the finding that prison populations had a higher per capita IQ than standard populations in society.)
Did this current study track IQ rate or only mandatory testing scores? Did it bother to track these kinds of indicators or only disciplinary sentencing?
Also, we often hear about how school systems find ways to have certain students not have to take mandatory assessment exams. This is done when it is thought that such kids will lower the overall performance report. Are students who are troubled and often expelled the kinds of kids who get excuses to not be counted in the mandatory test scores?