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School Suspension Rates and Racial Disparities in Urban and Suburban Districts

Sun, April 15, 10:35am to 12:05pm, Sheraton New York Times Square, Floor: Second Floor, Metropolitan East Room


Students of color are also dramatically overrepresented among those receiving harsh discipline at every level of schooling. Yet among relevant studies, few examine how suspension rates and disproportionalities may vary across school contexts. In response, this project examines suspension rates nearly 60 urban and suburban school districts in a metropolitan area to determine: 1) differences in absolute suspension rates across districts; 2) racial differences in suspension rates; and 3) whether suspensions predict academic success for schools independent of student backgrounds. Results suggest that while overall suspension rates are much higher in urban districts, racial disparities are more pronounced in mostly White suburban settings. Also, higher suspension rates were uniformly associated with lower achievement at the district level across all analyses.