Every week we highlight a few stories produced by PIN partner newsrooms informed by sources in the Public Insight Network.

New UCLA study posits positive link between decline in school suspensions and academic performance

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As California public schools have overhauled their suspension policies in recent years, a new study out Monday quantifies the effects.

Statewide, there were 709,580 suspensions in the 2011-2012 academic year. Two years later that number declined nearly a third, to 503,101. Los Angeles Unified School District’s suspensions dropped by nearly two-thirds.

African-American students saw the biggest suspension drop of any ethnic or racial group. The group dropped from 33 suspensions per 100 students in the 2011-2012 academic year to 25.6 per 100 students in 2013-2014.

This is the first study to link a drop in suspensions and an uptick in performance. How is that correlation calculated?

Erin Sopapunta is an 11th and 12th grade teacher at Francis Polytechnic Senior High in Sun Valley. She’s been teaching at the school since 2006. She is also a PIN source who joined our AirTalk conversation.

Longer sales, online deals stretch out Black Friday

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With fall sales numbers falling short of expectations, many major retailers have already launched Thanksgiving season sales in-store and online — a move that could shrink Black Friday crowds. Still, major malls including Aventura, Dolphin and Sawgrass Mills will again open on Thursday.

The Home Economist: Why cynics earn less

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When we’re cynical, we’re also more neurotic, less agreeable and less extroverted, says Ehlebracht, making us less likely to develop positive relationships with the people who can help advance our careers. We’re less likely to ask for feedback, build r…