Suspension, Expulsion Data Cast Harsh Light on Some Schools
An Education Week analysis of data collected by the U.S. Department of Education illustrates the wide variation in how schools use out-of-school suspension and expulsion to discipline students. It also calls into question the validity of the data for some schools.
For the 2009-10 school year, the Education Department's office for civil rights collected data for more than 72,000 schools and nearly 7,000 school districts about school discipline practices, along with information on a variety of other data points, including students' access to advanced courses, student retention, and teacher salaries and attendance rates.
Education Week found that at some schools, the proportion of students suspended out of school or expelled was 100 percent or very close to that. The analysis, which looked specifically at data submitted by schools with 300 students or more— 69 percent of schools nationwide have an enrollment of that size , according to the National Center for Education Statistics—shows that hundreds of schools suspended more than half their students without disabilities in 2009-10. Such results indicate either high rates of disciplinary actions or substantial inaccuracies in the data reported...
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