School District Reduces Student Suspensions By Using Quality Improvement Process

April 3, 2017

This fascinating account of Baltimore City Schools’ creation of an networked improvement community to reduce student suspensions is among the top read Carnegie Commons Blog posts of 2016. In 2004, the student suspension rate was at its highest, reaching 26,000 suspensions in a district of 88,000 students. By embarking on an improvement journey that followed the six core improvement principles, administrators identified the main problem: a set of procedures that allowed teachers to suspend students for any reason, even minor infractions. After clearly identifying the problem in the system, administrators revamped the code of conduct, giving Baltimore principals a range of alternatives to suspension, including parent conferences, mediation, referral to a student-support team, development of behavioral intervention plans, and the like. To find out how the suspension rates fell and by how much, read more here.