School Discipline and the New Orleans School Reforms
Mónica Hernández, Postdoctoral Scholar at Tulane University
Open to PhD students and faculty engaged in causal inference in education research.
The objective of the Causal Inference in Education Research Seminar (CIERS) is to engage students and faculty from across the university in conversations around education research using various research methodologies. This seminar provides a space for doctoral students and faculty from the School of Education, Ford School of Public Policy, and the Departments of Economics, Sociology, Statistics, and Political Science to discuss current research and receive feedback on works-in-progress. Discourse between these schools and departments creates a more complete community of education scholars, and provides a networking opportunity for students enrolled in a variety of academic programs who share common research interests. Open to PhD students and faculty engaged in causal inference in education research.
The post-Katrina school reforms led to a highly decentralized New Orleans school system where charter leaders have autonomy over what happens in their schools, including their discipline policies. Some argue that discipline is important to the school culture and that these decisions should be made by school leaders who know their students best. Others have expressed concern that charter control over discipline may have led to a rise in expulsions and suspensions. This study provides evidence on these various concerns by investigating how the New Orleans reforms affected expulsion and suspension rates. Using a difference-in-differences strategy that compares New Orleans schools with a matched comparison group of Louisiana schools, this study shows that expulsion rates increased sharply in the first years of the school reforms and later decreased to their pre-reform levels.