The U.S. Department of Education released data today showing that black students are more than three times as likely as white peers to be suspended or expelled.
The US DOE report relies on self-reported data, Part II of the 2009-10 Civil Rights Data Collection, which covers a range of issues including college and career readiness, discipline, school finance, and student retention.
“The power of the data is not only in the numbers themselves, but in the impact it can have when married with the courage and the will to change. The undeniable truth is that the everyday educational experience for many students of color violates the principle of equity at the heart of the American promise. It is our collective duty to change that,” said Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
According to US DOE:
African-American students, particularly males, are far more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than their peers. Black students make up 18% of the students in the CRDC sample, but 35% of the students suspended once, and 39% of the students expelled.
Students learning English (ELL) were 6% of the CRDC high school enrollment, but made up 12% of students retained.
Only 29% of high-minority high schools offered Calculus, compared to 55% of schools with the lowest black and Hispanic enrollment.
Teachers in high-minority schools were paid $2,251 less per year than their colleagues in teaching in low-minority schools in the same district.
Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali said that for the first time, this survey includes detailed discipline data, including in-school suspensions, referrals to law enforcement, and school-related arrests.
“These new data categories are a powerful tool to aid schools and districts in crafting policy, and can unleash the power of research to advance reform in schools,” Ali said.
Please click here to read an October Get Schooled entry on a report showing that there’s no evidence that students of color engage in more misbehavior than white students. And click here to read about a piece I did about a Georgia study that found African-American students, poor kids and children with learning disabilities are more likely to be disciplined.
The new U.S. DOE report draws on data for 72,000 schools serving 85 percent of America’s students. The U.S. DOE sent me a selected fact sheet on Atlanta Public Schools, which was part of the data collection for the study.
Among the facts in the sheet about Atlanta:
Average teacher salary: $94,068. I have a question pending with US DOE and Atlanta itself on whether this average — which seems high to me – includes benefits. APS got back to me this morning. According to a spokesman, “When we add 30 percent for benefits, the average APS teacher salary is $85,675.93.”
Student enrollment: 48,000
Student demographics: Black students, 80.9 percent/ white students, 11.3 percent/Hispanic, 3.4 percent/American Indian and Alaskan, 2.1 percent/Asian, 0.8 percent.
Percentage of students with disabilities: 9.1
Percentage of students on free and reduced lunch: 82. 1
Of the 4,375 students in the gifted and talented program. 51.3 percent are black, 40.9 percent are white, 1.9 percent are Asian and 1.7 percent are Hispanic
Of the 2,070 students who received in-school suspensions, 89.1 percent are black, 6.3 percent are Hispanic and 3.6 percent are white.
Of the 5,170 students who received out-of-school suspensions, 95.4 percent are black, 2 percent are Hispanic and 1.8 percent are white.
Of the 285 students expelled, 98.5 percent are black and 1. 8 percent are Hispanic. There are no white or Asian students expelled.
Percentage of teachers absent more than 10 days a year: 2.9 percent
Percentage of classroom teachers in second year of teaching: 5.6
Percentage of classroom teachers in first year of teaching: 5.4
Percent of classroom teachers fully certified: 98.8
Student to teacher ratio: 12.8 to 1
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog