Study finds restorative justice reduces student achievement

February 19, 2019 | Las Vegas Review-Journal

Violence increased in the Clark County School District after officials implementated a “restorative justice” discipline policy. Now a study of a similar program in Pittsburgh finds that it hurts student achievement.

For years, minority students, especially African-American males, have been overrepresented among suspended students. That’s not unique to Clark County. But there has never been any evidence suggesting widespread bias among Clark County teachers and principals. A 2013 district report, however, concluded that “bias” was the No. 1 cause of the disparity.

The Obama administration shared a similar belief. In a 2014 “Dear Colleague” letter, it said that the mere presence of racial disparities among suspended students was evidence of discrimination. In response, the CCSD and districts around the country turned to “restorative” justice, which favors behavioral interventions and non-punitive measures over suspensions.

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