The number of students in New York City public schools suspended for inappropriate behavior dropped last year amid a push to change school discipline practices, according to the state Education Department.
Suspensions fell by more than 30 percent during the last six months of 2015, compared with the same period a year earlier, the agency said.
City officials attribute the drop to efforts by Mayor de Blasio's administration to modify policy on school discipline. The city has provided training for alternatives to traditional punishments.
The changes were a response to complaints by advocates that suspensions deprived students of instruction, increased drop-out rates and hurt poor minorities and special education students.
Schools saw an 81-percent drop over the last six months of 2015 in suspensions for insubordination. Critics say those suspensions have historically been subject to inconsistent application by administrators.