Racial Disparities in School Suspensions

Articles | April 6 2017

By Tom Loveless

The 2017 Brown Center Report (BCR) on American Education was released this week, and one of the report’s studies focuses on out-of-school suspensions. For the past several years, state education leaders in California have encouraged schools to reduce these exclusionary punishments. A major reason for doing so is that racial disparities associated with suspensions are glaring: Suspensions of African-American students occur at rates three to four times higher than the state average for all students.

Suspensions have declined dramatically. From 2012-2015, the number of suspensions in the state fell from 539,134 to 334,649, a decline of 37.9 percent. The decline has been evident among all major ethnic groups, so the racial disparities associated with this form of discipline have not disappeared.  (Read more)