Do School Discipline Policies Treat Students Fairly? A Second Look at School Discipline Rate Disparities

36 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2015 Last revised: 3 Apr 2017

See all articles by Kaitlin Anderson

Kaitlin Anderson

Michigan State University

Gary Ritter

Saint Louis University School of Education

Date Written: March 31, 2017

Abstract

Much work has documented that African-American students are more likely to receive expulsions and suspensions than their white peers. These disparities are troubling, but researchers and policymakers need more information to fully understand this issue. We use three years of student level discipline data for an entire state to assess whether non-white students are receiving different disciplinary consequences from their white peers in the same schools, for similar infractions and with similar behavioral history. We find that Black students received more severe (longer) punishments than their White peers in the state for the same types of infractions. These differences are due primarily to school-level differences, but even within the same schools, Black students receive slightly longer punishments than their White peers.

Keywords: at-risk students, black education, disparities, educational policy, race

Suggested Citation

Anderson, Kaitlin and Ritter, Gary, Do School Discipline Policies Treat Students Fairly? A Second Look at School Discipline Rate Disparities (March 31, 2017). EDRE Working Paper No. 2015-11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2700707 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2700707

Kaitlin Anderson (Contact Author)

Michigan State University ( email )

201H Erickson Hall
620 Farm Lane
East Lansing, MI 48933
United States

Gary Ritter

Saint Louis University School of Education ( email )

220 North Grand Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63103
United States
314-977-3290 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.slu.edu/education/faculty/gary-ritter.php

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