Washington DC schools not reporting student suspensions

July 24, 2017, Washington Post: Undocumented suspensions persisted in D.C. schools despite repeated alerts Over the past seven years, city officials, teachers and attorneys for special-education students have repeatedly alerted D.C. Public Schools to cases of student suspensions that were not properly documented. And yet the problem has persisted. The Washington Post reported last week hat in 2016 and 2017, several DCPS high schools barred students from class without recording them as suspended. In response, DCPS officials said they would examine data for those schools but were confident that others were following the rules. School officials also told The Post that they quickly address any allegations of such unreported suspensions. But critics question the diligence with which the school system has moved to address informal — and thus hidden — suspensions, even as it boasted a 40 percent decline in suspensions from 2014 to 2016. Some teachers and discipline-change advocates say that principals have sent children home without documentation because the principals’ evaluations depend in part on reducing suspensions. They also say that central office officials have turned a blind eye because the officials are also under pressure to show progress. … In the past two years, at least seven high schools sent daily messages to staff listing students who had misbehaved and were not permitted to enter the building, according to emails The Post obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).