High suspension rates in the Chicago district are driven by a cluster of schools with high concentrations of “extremely disadvantaged students,” a new report finds.
That means a Chicago student with the same ethnic background, family income level, and gender is less likely to be suspended in a school with low concentrations of extreme poverty than in a school with higher concentrations, says the study from the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research. Because schools with high concentrations of disadvantaged students largely enroll students of color, their high suspension rates create disparate rates of discipline between black and Latino students and their white peers districtwide, the study says. That suggests that school systems must tackle systemic issues as well as building-level policies to ensure fair discipline practices.
The report notes that about one-quarter of the city’s high schools, and 10 percent of schools serving the middle grades, assign out-of-school suspensions to a third or more of their students each year.
A version of this article appeared in the September 30, 2015 edition of Education Week as Discipline