Suspending the Right to an Education or Preserving It? An Equilibrium Model of Student Behavior, Achievement, and Suspension

Abstract

Millions of students are suspended from public school each year in the United States. Critics argue that suspensions infringe upon a student’s right to an education, while schools insist that discipline is necessary to protect the educational rights of every student. Using a unique data set from North Carolina, I estimate an equilibrium model of student behavior, achievement, and suspension that captures the overall effect of out of school suspension. The results indicate that disruptive peer behavior negatively influences achievement and that suspensions deter students from misbehavior without harming student performance. Using the model, I evaluate two policies aimed at closing the racial gap in student discipline: rule based discipline codes and student integration. I show that while each of these policies closes the aggregate racial gap in suspension, they also have significant unintended effects on behavior and achievement.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Kinsler2008SuspendingTR, title={Suspending the Right to an Education or Preserving It? An Equilibrium Model of Student Behavior, Achievement, and Suspension}, author={Josh Kinsler}, year={2008} }