Vulnerable Decision Points for Disproportionate Office Discipline Referrals: Comparisons of Discipline for African American and White Elementary School Students

41 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2016 Last revised: 23 Jun 2016

See all articles by Keith Smolkowski

Keith Smolkowski

Oregon Research Institute

Erik James Girvan

University of Oregon School of Law

Kent McIntosh

University of Oregon - College of Education

Rhonda Nese

University of Oregon

Robert Horner

University of Oregon - College of Education

Date Written: March 23, 2016

Abstract

Racial disparities in rates of exclusionary school discipline are well documented and seemingly intractable. However, emerging theories on implicit bias show promise in identifying effective interventions. In this study, we used school discipline data from 1,666 elementary schools and 483,686 office discipline referrals to identify specific situations in which disproportionality was more likely. Results were largely consistent with our theoretical model, indicating increased racial and gender disproportionality for subjectively-defined behaviors, in classrooms, and for incidents classified as more severe. The time of day also significantly impacted disproportionality. These findings can be used to pinpoint specific student-teacher interactions for intervention.

Keywords: school discipline, disproportionality, racial disparities, implicit bias

Suggested Citation

Smolkowski, Keith and Girvan, Erik James and McIntosh, Kent and Nese, Rhonda and Horner, Robert, Vulnerable Decision Points for Disproportionate Office Discipline Referrals: Comparisons of Discipline for African American and White Elementary School Students (March 23, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2753698 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2753698

Keith Smolkowski

Oregon Research Institute ( email )

1776 Millrace Dr.
Eugene, OR 97403
United States
5414842123 (Phone)
5414841108 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ori.org/

Erik James Girvan (Contact Author)

University of Oregon School of Law ( email )

1515 Agate Street
Eugene, OR Oregon 97403
United States
541 346-8934 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.uoregon.edu/faculty/girvan/

Kent McIntosh

University of Oregon - College of Education ( email )

United States

Rhonda Nese

University of Oregon ( email )

1280 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403
United States

Robert Horner

University of Oregon - College of Education ( email )

United States

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