Monday, January 07, 2019

Restorative Justice Policies Have No Impact On Academic Outcomes.

























A major study showed that when restorative justice policies are properly implemented, it does reduce student suspensions but also results in lowers test scores for Black students. The study was done for the Pittsburgh public schools, a medium sized urban city, between 2015-17 and found that middle schools showed a worsening of academic outcomes when restorative justice practices were implemented.  The key findings from the study are as follows:

Effects of the Pursuing Equitable and Restorative Communities (PERC) program in Pittsburgh Public Schools

  • Implementation of restorative practices through PERC improved overall school climates, as rated by teachers.
  • Implementation of restorative practices reduced the average suspension rate: During the study period, average suspension rates decreased in both PERC and non-PERC schools, but rates decreased more in PERC schools.
  • Suspension rates of African American students and of those from low-income families also went down in PERC schools, shrinking the disparities in suspension rates between African American and white students and between low- and higher-income students.
  • Academic outcomes did not improve in PERC schools, and actually worsened for grades 6–8.
  • Arrest rates among PERC schools did not decrease.
In particular, Black male students saw significant reductions in test scores and middle school students showed lower academic outcomes when restorative justice practices were properly implemented at selected schools..

Does restorative justice work?  Yes. if the main goal is to reduce suspensions, especially,, when it comes to Black and low income students.  However, when it comes to improved academic outcomes, restorative justice polices have no impact and actually has a negative academic impact for middle schools and Black students.

Chalkbeat summarizes the report Here.


13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Three years ago they made a big noise about these 'restorative' circles and all that 'racial disparity' mumbo jumbo.

(I still don't understand how taking a kid who bullied another and making them 'talk it out' benefits the victim.)

We had so many trainings and for one year everyone was expected to have those circles, all the time, even during class.

Now no more word of it comes from admins, and only a few die-hard teacher hanger-ons still do circles, and mostly because they don't feel like teaching on those days.

Anonymous said...

" So Chang-lee, tell us how you felt when Duwayne threatened to cut your ass?"

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows Restorative Justice is a joke; the adults and the students. The students seem to be the only ones who are willing to publicly admit it.

A tremendous aspect about suspensions that people do not understand is that the point of a suspension is not to change or reform the offender, it is to show the others that there is a consequence to behavior that is detrimental to the learning process. Years ago, observing this consequence, kept many students from becoming unruly. Now, it seems to be every many for himself. When the "good" kids misbehave out of peer pressure, lack of consequence, frustration, or just to survive, there is a problem.

When there is no longer a consequence to unruly, violent, threatening behavior everyone who follows the rules suffers. The only winners here are the offenders and anyone that has anything to do with Restorative Justice because it gives them a job; an out of classroom job and that is a big cherry on top to many.

DOEvet said...

I am a veteran teacher with over 25 years of exp all in NYC schools and have always worked with struggling students. I have been doing mediation work with students for almost my entire career also, not in place of teaching but in addition to it, and often unpaid or a little per session.

I realize that many people pay lip service to restorative justice, or are against it. I would just like like to highlight a few issues for those that are still openminded. Let me say I have concerns with these processes too, I am also still openminded.

First, not all restorative practices have to be circles, and they do not have to happen in class. As a classroom teacher I would be upset to give up instructional time to run behavior circles, esp if there was no pressing reason for them. Restorative work can be one on one, or with a team, and it can be after school or at a convenient time.

Second, though it takes planning, teachers can use some of the strategies in purely instructional ways. Some of us have called this "socratic circles" etc, but the key element is to get the kids to discuss and listen at higher level. It can all be grounded in the text you are using in class, or the science or math problems. It is an engagement strategy.

Third, if a child is mentally ill, has a history of violence or true sociopathic behavior, there is nothing magic about these practices that will quickly solve any of that.

Fourth, it takes time for buy-in and trust to be established in a community, as well as expertise. It may make sense to start smaller and to do it well, get some wins, and not try to make it a big school-wide issue right away. Like anything, people who choose to do it and like it should take the lead, and get trained.

Fifth, successes will happen in schools that value relationships and build positive behavior all the time. If a school community doesn't do this, the circle is going to be seen as an easy way to avoid a worse consequence, and if there is no followup, the problems may continue and get worse.

I know it is awful for a community when a disruptive student seems to get away with bad behavior. I have felt that way myself. The problem is schools are not set up to be places of punishment and there is no way to ship kids off to another place. Sometimes working with kids is very hard, and we have to do a gut check - are we in the right place? Is or school working well on discipline or behavior? I have left places when I could not say yes to those questions. And I push back to make sure my school takes things seriously. But the laws are being interpreted now in such a way that suspension is a no-no, and there is a huge body of evidence that kids benefit from a more nurturing school community. I read the full article/report on Pittsburgh - I would not jump to the conclusion that restorative justice did not work. I think a major take-away is that doing too many mandated circles in classes takes away too much time from instruction [and esp in our ridiculous environment of too much high stakes testing, another related issue]. Also, they said scores went down for African American boys - that is interesting and worth looking into. Maybe in prior years, this sub-category didn't even sit for the tests? But during the study they did, and results were poor? In any event, if a child has been misbehaving and suspended for years, one year will not produce a magic turnaround. But, if behavior and attendance improved, that is a start.

Nothing magic about trying to help kids cope with all the issues of trauma they have unfortunately been dealing with. Some stuff does work though, I have seen it with my own eyes, and I have seen it not work, and know how tiring it can be. Remember, we are also dealing with families and communities with pretty deep problems. I also always remember this is not an easy job and not everyone's idea of a good job, but if our nation is going to survive we have to educate our kids. The tough ones too. The really bad ones will still probably drop out.

Anonymous said...

Too many Black and Hispanic get suspended because all the White and Asian kids have left the public schools, except for the specialized schools. We only hear about murders inside the schools, everything else is no big deal to DeBlasio. The public has no idea how awful the schools are.

Anonymous said...

Restorative justice was originally created and designed for guidance counselors and social workers to implement in the schools. However with so many misinformed principals - and principals who insist they know what they are doing - also include APs who are literally clueless so many schools were using paras, teachers, school aides and just about anyone else to run the groups.

The reason that principals could not use guidance counselors or social workers to perform the restorative justice was because sadly now most schools NOW have one or maybe two guidance counselors. Social workerS in NYC now cover several schools and in many cases social workers travel to different schools to work with students and they are stretched to the gill. I am not going to even mention the atr pool which is filled with counselors and social workers who have not been assigned to a school.

Again, another idea that had potential but was rolled out like a rusty wagon similar to common core which was rolled out by martians.

Anonymous said...

what is REALLY the problem is everyone seems to know the what the problem is and has a solution yet NOTHING ever gets done. just great reading material when you need a good laugh!!

Anonymous said...

Suspend the motherfathers! If they don’t want to learn, throw them the fock out! Let Eva Moskowitz have them! I believe in teachers choice - retroactive abortion for all space fillers that assault, rape, rob and destroy the learning environment.

Anonymous said...

Suspending black and hispanic students is wrong. Restorative justice tells us blacks and hispanics do not know any better. We must excuse their behavior and try to talk to them. For example, when Tyrone tells you to suck his dick. You should not suspend him or hold him accountable. You have to talk to him and explain that you do not suck dicks. That your feelings are hurt and he should not speak to you like this. That's usually when Tyron turns around and says "white bitch stop fucking talking." You then have to explain to him that being called white bitch is not appropriate.

Anonymous said...

So true 8:03. But that fossil Ed notes guy will and has blamed teachers for being cursed out. Please sit down fuck you, please do the assignment fuck you. Please put your phone away suck my dick. Their behavior is disgusting and despicable and liberals like that fool of a mayor wants to expand restorative justice, lower the amount of suspensions and lower students behavioral accountability. Liberal fools your ruining our country shame on you all

Highly Effective King Clovis said...

Stands waiting for the elevator. Black student who reeks of marijuana looks to me. "Yo Racist Old White Nigga, look away." I turn and look in her direction. "Yo nigga, look over there, racist old white man." I still stand there, processing what she is trying to say.

This happened yesterday. I didn't take it. I let her know specifically that I "do not allow children to speak to me in that manner." She kept on with her tirade. Mind you, this wasn't even in a classoom. This was in the Lobby, after lunch, waiting for the elevator when I know full well she spent all lunch getting high off her ass. Which, this girl is super angry and if pot don't calm you down, you need to pick another drug.

I see value in Resto though. But kids from the hood expect you to step up and mete out consequences. This is what they know. This is what they expect. Is it right? Maybe, maybe not.

Anonymous said...

It’s only going to end with a civil war. It’s too late to put the radical progressive Jennie back in the bottle. 15 plus yrs of this radical progressive nonsense had ruined our country and nothing short of some sort of civil war/ uprising is going to correct it. Just to be clear to the simple minded politically correct portion of our society that’s reads this blog I am far from advocating said civil war, on the contrary I’m totally against using violence to solve our many social, economic and political differences and challenges. I hope I’m wrong but sorry to say that’s just my opinion. How else can we reprogram our society? Any intelligent ideas?

Anonymous said...

Sorry genie. I don’t want the spelling police to criticize my statement based on bad spelling lol