Thursday, September 23, 2010

Racial Disparity in School Suspensions

The study analyzed four decades of federal Department of Education data on suspensions, with a special focus on figures from 2002 and 2006, that were drawn from 9,220 of the nation’s 16,000 public middle schools.

The study, “Suspended Education: Urban Middle Schools in Crisis,” was published by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil rights organization.

Throughout America’s public schools, in kindergarten through high school, the percent of students suspended each year nearly doubled from the early 1970s through 2006, the authors said, an increase that they associate, in part, with the rise of so-called zero-tolerance school discipline policies.

In 1973, on average, 3.7 percent of public school students of all races were suspended at least once. By 2006, that percentage had risen to 6.9 percent.

Both in 1973 and in 2006, black students were suspended at higher rates than whites, but over that period, the gap increased. In 1973, 6 percent of all black students were suspended. In 2006, 15 percent of all blacks were suspended.

Among the students attending one of the 9,220 middle schools in the study sample, 28 percent of black boys and 18 percent of black girls, compared with 10 percent of white boys and 4 percent of white girls, were suspended in 2006, the study found.

1 comment:

  1. If people actually READ the "report," (which, of course, nobody WILL), you'll see that the data was taken from a 2006 survey; it’s hardly up-to-date.

    Furthermore, though 9,220 schools were surveyed, the report is based on results from 18 hand-picked urban school districts where black students far outnumber whites. If you look at the numbers for ALL students in the 9,220 school sample, white males are actually MORE likely to be suspended than any other group, 28% vs 26% for black males.

    Boys were 3 times as likely to be suspended as girls, so the schools are obviously sexist. Asian girls, at 0.51% are the least likely to be suspended, meaning schools are racist/sexist in favor of them, right?

    You can twist statistics to say anything you want them to, something at which the fund-raiser propagandists at the SPLC excel.

    Any time you see a percent sign and the SPLC in the same paragraph, stop, drop and roll.

    The 1973 data came from a survey of 2,862 school districts, NOT the same 9,220 districts or even the 18 cherry-picked districts in the 2006 survey, so how can you compare the two data sets?

    And the last paragraph refers to numbers from ONE school out more than 9,000. THAT is statistically significant?

    Sadly, there may very well be racial bias in middle school suspensions, but quoting the fund-raising propaganda of the SPLC is a poor way to document it.