Black students disproportionately suspended in Southern schools | Arkansas Blog

Monday, August 31, 2015

Black students disproportionately suspended in Southern schools

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 2:10 PM

click to enlarge HIGH DISCIPLINE: Black males are disciplined disproportinately, particularly in the South. In Arkansas, for example, the rate of suspensions was more than double the 21 percent black enrollment in public schools.
  • HIGH DISCIPLINE: Black males are disciplined disproportinately, particularly in the South. In Arkansas, for example, the rate of suspensions was more than double the 21 percent black enrollment in public schools.

Old news, but even more important in a world where Republican political correctness dictates that racial disparity is now a non-issue.

A new report says that federal figures show a disproportionate rate of discipline for black students, particularly in the southern states. Of 1.2 million suspensions and expulsions nationwide, 55 percent occurred in the 13 southern states. Though black students account for only 18 percent of the national student population, they accounted for 50 percent of out-of-school suspensions.

“The residual effects of segregation and slavery, and Jim Crow and underfunded schools, are certainly contributing factors,” said Harper, an associate professor and executive director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education. And these suspensions and expulsions have a lasting impact on black students, he added. “It disrupts the long-term learning and development of the student. Research has shown that students are more vulnerable to interactions with law enforcement and the criminal justice system after experiencing discipline like this.”

In 84 southern districts, blacks accounted for ALL suspensions. In 181 districts, blacks accounted for ALL expulsions. In Mississippi, where about half the students are black, they accounted for 74 percent of disciplinary actions.

This link takes you to the state-by-state report, including a list of the percentage of blacks in every Arkansas school district, their number of suspensions and expulsions and the ratio by which discipline exceeds population percentage.

The summary:

18,185 Black students were suspended from Arkansas K-12 public schools in a single academic year. Blacks were 21% of students in school districts across the state, but comprised 50% of suspensions and 33% of expulsions. 

The findings led to this:

The report’s authors suggest that teacher and administrator education programs bring more attention to racial disproportionality in discipline and teach aspiring educators about “implicit bias and other racist forces.” The authors also suggest that education schools focus on teaching aspiring teachers how to deescalate situations and provide alternative approaches to dealing with student behavior.

The evidence of racial motivation in discipline should not, of course, be used to support the notion that parents might choose schools or school districts on account of implicit bias or other racial forces.

PS — The earlier item about Blytheville transfers reminds me of the wish by white parents in Blytheville to put children in Armorel schools. The chart with this report shows that 15.6 percent of students in Armorel are black but they account for 43.5 percent of those suspended, or 2.8 times as much. In Little Rock. 66.6 percent were black, with a discipline rate 1.3 times as great, of 85.9 percent. A number of districts with very small black enrollments had discipline rates 10 times the enrollment percentage.

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