Suspensions in California schools have dropped by nearly 50 percent over the last six years.
As EdSource reported this week, new data released by the state Department of Education show the total number of students suspended in California fell from 710,000 in 2011-12 to 363,000 last year. Suspensions in Orange County decreased by almost 52 percent, from 38,405 in 2011-12 to 18,543 in 2017-18.
EdSource attributes the statewide trend to the widespread curbing of so-called “defiance and disruption” suspensions.
African-American and Native American students represented the largest drops, percentage-wise, in suspensions over this span, but disparities remain. EdSource says African-American students are still three times more likely to be suspended than their white counterparts in California.
You can drill into data on suspensions, student demographics, school performance and an array of other topics at https://dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest.
And here are some other education stories from the week ending Dec. 14:
- A Saddleback High senior who has overcome homelessness and severe poverty now has his own apartment, a 4.4 GPA and big dreams of becoming an actor.
- Disguised as Santa Claus, the president of Chapman University passed out holiday gifts to elementary students in Santa Ana.
- For the second time in three years, OCDE’s Pacific Coast High School has advanced to the final round of the Orange County’s mock trial competition.
- Students and residents turned out for a community celebration to bid farewell to the Orange Unified School District’s beloved Fred Kelly Stadium, which is set to be rebuilt with a new field, bleachers, scoreboard and amenities. The new venue will open in 2020.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced plans to ease some nutritional standards on school meals that were put in place by the Obama administration.
- With the holiday season upon us, a Washington Post column examines religious expression on public school campuses to help clarify what is and isn’t permissible under the law.
- A recent report says childhood home-visit programs that reach out to new parents and low-income families have measurable health and educational benefits, but they’re often under-utilized.
- Peer Assistance Leadership (PAL) programs administered by OCDE tallied more than 3,200 kind acts on World Kindness Day.
- Mental health professionals say bullying is rarely the sole factor in a child’s decision to attempt suicide, but chronic victimization can contribute to depression and anxiety. Meanwhile, some experts are considering whether smartphones and social media might be contributors to the rising rates of depression among children and young adults.
- There’s talk that the union representing teachers in Los Angeles Unified might call for a strike in the next few weeks. The L.A. Times offers this primer for parents who could be impacted.
- Finally, the Concordia Elementary community is helping a veteran art teacher pick up the pieces after vandals smashed 125 Star Wars Lego sets that she had on display in the San Clemente school’s library. Many of the kits had been assembled by the teacher’s youngest son more than 30 years ago.
This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with our local education coverage by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroom, subscribing for emailed updates or following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.