When School-Discipline ‘Reform’ Makes Schools Less Safe
Excerpt: When School-Discipline ‘Reform’ Makes Schools Less Safe (Photo: Chad Mcdermott/Dreamstime) SHARE ARTICLE ON FACEBOOKSHARE TWEET ARTICLETWEET PLUS ONE ARTICLE ON GOOGLE PLUS+1 PRINT ARTICLE ADJUST FONT SIZEAA by FREDERICK M. HESS & MAX C. EDEN December 15, 2017 4:00 AM Progressive education experts don’t seem to care that the policies they advocate are hurting the students who need the most help. Last week, a new analysis of Philadelphia public schools found that the district’s move to reform school discipline by embracing “restorative justice” had led to a raft of unfortunate results. The decision to eliminate suspensions for classroom “conduct” led to skyrocketing truancy, serious misbehavior, and declining achievement. Truancy had been steadily declining, but increased sharply after the new policy was adopted. Compared with other Pennsylvania school districts and after controlling for demographics, the district’s math and reading achievement declined substantially after the adoption of the new policy. And, ironically, students were actually suspended more often, because even as suspensions for minor offenses fell, suspensions for major offenses rose. The progressive education wonks who championed Philadelphia’s school-discipline reforms were remarkably unbothered by these alarming results.