Reducing Chronic Absenteeism.
Policy Analysis for California Education provides examples of local efforts to improve student attendance
and steps to build the capacity of schools and communities to keep kids in school.
An Attendance Playbook
provides nearly two dozen practical strategies for improving attendance that have strong track records, many easy to introduce and simple to scale.
In a recent study, attendance awards backfired
, giving students a “license to miss more school” and actually driving absentee rates up.
A sense of belonging
is as a factor that may help curb bullying.
Being bullied may increase the risk of suicide attempts among young adolescents by approximately three times, according to a new worldwide study
Bullying and Substance Use.
A U.S. News analysis of data from the California Healthy Kids Survey
for the 2017-18 school year found that high school students who experienced bias-related bullying at school were more likely to engage in alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use. While overall rates of bias-related bullying are generally lower in California counties where residential segregation by race has been highest, bullying that does occur there may be more harmful in that it results in higher rates of substance use.
Teacher Attitudes Toward Suspensions.
New Thomas B. Fordham Institute research shows while teachers are supportive of new approaches to discipline
, and consider out-of-school suspensions racially biased and potentially harmful, both black and white teachers still think suspension is sometimes appropriate and have a role in controlling student behavior, with about half of teachers saying that schools should suspend students more often.
During the 2015-16 school year, more than 2.7 million public school students nationally received at least one out-of-school suspension, according to a new report
from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Students of color are overrepresented in punishments, including exclusionary discipline, but don't misbehave more frequently than their white peers. The Commission recommends reinstating guidance from the Obama administration on how to address disparities in school discipline.
National Discipline Data.
NCES 2017-18 survey data shows nearly half of schools are employing police but increasing numbers are engaging in more “restorative practices
” and alternative forms of discipline meant to keep students in schools.
Suspensions and Criminal Offenses.
School suspensions have been linked to an increase in subsequent criminal offending
, suggesting the suspensions had a negative, harmful effect.
Reports of cyberbullying increased
between 2015 and 2017 despite increased prevention efforts by educators, according to NCES.
Diversity and Equity
Nearly 40% of white principals say their school leadership preparation programs
did not fully equip them to support the needs of black, Latino, and low-income students, according to a RAND study.
In 2015, the average Latino student attended an elementary school with only 30% white students, compared to 40% in 1998, demonstrating an increased level of ethnic segregation
, according to a UC Berkeley analysis.
Cell Phone Ban.
San Mateo High School (CA) has become the largest public school in the country to ban cell phones
, providing students with locked pouches to store their phones.
Illinois has become the fourth state to mandate teaching LGBT history
(effective July 2020), after California, New Jersey, and Colorado. Nationwide, just under a quarter of students in a 2016 survey said that they have learned about LGBT-related topics in their classes.
Federal Complaint Actions. Students' discrimination complaints
related to sexual orientation and gender identity have been much less likely to lead to corrective changes in schools under the Trump administration than they did under the Obama administration, an analysis of federal records finds.
As part of a new California law, student IDs
for every secondary and college student will have suicide prevention information printed on the back.
Federal agencies have released an Informational Bulletin providing guidance for schools regarding options within and outside of Medicaid to provide mental health and substance use services
Child Trends discusses ways teacher training can be improved to build their capacity to more effectively address the mental health needs
Mental Health Sick Days.
Oregon now allows students to take “mental health days
” just as they would sick days, one of the first laws of its kind in the U.S.
See Upcoming Events.
Random Weapons Searches.
In over seven months, 39 newly-launched random searches using wand-type metal detectors at Clark County (NV) School District middle and high schools turned up no guns or knives
, although 36 firearms were confiscated through other means. Last month, Los Angeles USD stopped the practice as ineffective.
Riverside County (CA) government has settled a class-action lawsuit over a controversial school-based probation program
, highlighting potential pitfalls in how schools partner with law enforcement on campus. The program intended to divert "at-risk" students from juvenile justice.