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Research Support

CPR Seminar Series: Sarah Komisarow

December 1, 2022 at 3:30pm5:00pm

Eggers Hall, 060

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Sarah Komisarow (Duke University) will present “Ending
Exclusionary Discipline in the Early Grades: Effects and Implications” as part of the CPR Seminar Series.

Abstract: In this paper we investigate the beginning of the school discipline pipeline, using a natural experiment to measure the short- and medium-run effects of early grade suspensions on student outcomes. We take advantage of a policy change in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), a large district serving nearly 150,000 students in North Carolina. In 2017, CMS effectively banned out-of-school suspensions for students in kindergarten through second grades (we say “effectively” because out-of-school suspension was permitted in very limited cases when approved by the superintendent). We investigate effects of this near-ban on exclusionary discipline and academic achievement.  We find that the policy change in CMS reduced out-of-school suspensions by around 1.4 percentage points (56 percent). We examine two potential margins of substitution, but we do not find statistically significant effects on in-school suspension (unaffected by the policy chance) nor on special education placement.  We estimate a precise null effect on student test scores in reading. Our evidence suggests that this policy meaningfully reduces the use of exclusionary discipline in the early grades without generating negative spillover effects on peers.

For more information, please contact Alyssa Kirk.

This event was first published on November 17, 2022 and last updated on January 19, 2023.

Event Details