The Recovery School District (RSD) and the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) announced the results of the first year of the new expulsion policy for public schools in Orleans Parish.
- There were 272 expulsions in the 2012-13 school year, for an expulsion rate of .57%
- In comparison, the state had an expulsion rate of .7%
- New Orleans’ expulsion rate is 20% below the state
Not only is New Orleans leading the state in academic gains, we are doing so while expelling fewer students than the state average.
What did New Orleans do differently in the 2012-13 school year?
- Common expulsion process and definition: Charter and traditional school leaders across the RSD, OPSB, and Type 2 charter schools worked together to establish a joint policy and coordinate a centralized process for student expulsions.
The 2012-13 school year was the inaugural year, with 90 of the 91 public schools in New Orleans participating. These schools agreed that all expulsion hearings would be administered by the RSD’s Student Hearing Office and agreed to limit the reasons a student could be expelled.
- Limited causes for expulsion: Schools can no longer expel a student for minor offenses like uniform violations or the vague offense of “willful disobedience” or for simply being suspended multiple times.
- Timely process: Expulsion hearings were held no more than eight days from the date of the offense, ensuring that students spent minimal time out of school awaiting a hearing.
- Conference hearings: The Student Hearing Office also conducted 192 conference hearings with students, parents, the hearing officer, and school representatives. A conference hearing is a way for schools to proactively address significant challenging behaviors, including both expellable and non-expellable offenses, in an effort to avoid an expulsion at that time or in the future. Of the 192 students who received a conference hearing, only 3 were later expelled, demonstrating that the practice is an effective intervention that leads to reduced rates of expulsion.
- Data reporting: With this new centralized process, New Orleans now has some very accurate base line data. One challenge in the past has been the unreliability and inconsistency of how schools reported expulsions.
Congratulations to the schools and educators across the city for this effort.