Weekly roundup: Suspension trends, school nutrition standards, Lego vandals and more

Suspensions in California schools have dropped by nearly 50 percent over the last six years.

TypewriterAs 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:

  • 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. 
  • 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 Newsroomsubscribing for emailed updates or following us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.