For years, questions have been raised about the discipline policies at many public charter schools. Two and a half years ago, PCSB launched an initiative that addressed the use of discipline and suspensions, as well as increase the vitally important in-seat attendance rate at public charter schools in the District.
PCSB didn’t place new mandates on schools. We didn’t pass a new law. Rather we tried something new. We shared information. We let each school know where they stood in comparison to each other – and to the district average. And we helped schools share what works for them with schools looking for answers. The results have been excellent.
We’re pleased with the report finding --public charter schools in the District have made big improvements on all fronts.
First, expulsions overall have decreased by half over the past two years. The number of expulsions has dropped from 237 students in school year 2011-12 to 186 students in school year 2012-13 and now to 139 students in school year 2013-14. In 2012 0.8% of students were expelled. In 2014 that rate has been cut in half, to 0.4% We are now well within national norms for expulsion rates.
Second, suspensions have decreased by a fifth in just the last year. The percent of students with at least one out-of-school suspension went from 14.7% suspended in school year 2012-13 to 11.9% suspended in school year 2013-14.
Third, attendance has increased. In-seat attendance increased by nearly a full percentage point, from 90.7% in school year 2012-13 to 91.5% in school year 2013-14. This means every day about 300 additional charter school students are in school instead of absent!
Fourth, truancy has decreased. It’s down substantially from 18.8% in school year 2012-13 of public charter school students truant to 14.9% in school year 2013-14.
We’re proud of the progress we’ve made, but we recognize there is still more room to improve. This improvement happened because of the hard work of our charter school leaders.
SCHOOL BY SCHOOL DATA
View the raw data, here.