Why do disparities by race and disability persist despite a sharp drop in school suspensions?
Civil Rights Data and closing the achievement gap
spite a sharp decline in school suspensions, stubborn inequities remain in how discipline is administered in school.
That’s the bottom line on the U.S. Department of Education’s release this week of new data from the 2013-14 school year on how the nation’s schools measure up in protecting students’ right to an equal education. The Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) now requires every school district in the country to report a wealth of data on educational opportunity every two years.
The good news? School suspensions are down a full 20 percent over the previous two years. More recent data from the nation’s largest school districts suggests that national rates of suspension have likely declined even further since 2013-14. Out-of-school suspensions dropped a whopping 53 percent inLos Angeles Public Schools between 2013 and 2015. In New York City, suspensions declined by 17 percent and school arrests by 27 percent between 2014 and 2015.
Educators are clearly heeding warnings from researchers that suspension does grave harm to student outcomes.