Disturbing Inequities: Exploring the Relationship Between Racial Disparities in Special Education Identification and Discipline
This study used negative binomial regression to investigate whether exposure to novice teachers and risk for identification for special education predicted suspension rates. Data from the 2009-2010 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) was used. The sample was comprised of 72,168 schools from nearly 7,000 school districts from nearly every state. Identification as having emotional disturbance and specific learning disabilities were found to predict an increase in suspension rates for some subgroups across some school levels. Conversely, identification as being autistic was found to predict a decrease in suspension rates for some subgroups across some school levels. Policy implications are discussed.
Key Take Away Points
- Recommendations for Policymakers
- Increase federal education resources for the monitoring and enforcement of civil rights laws
- Improve the enforcement of the IDEA’s provisions on school discipline disparities
- Improve procedural protections to eliminate unjust disciplinary exclusion
- Improve the enforcement of state obligations to ensure that poor and minority students have equitable access to experienced teachers
- Step up federal oversight and enforcement of current law
Daniel J Losen firstname.lastname@example.org
University of California, Los Angeles
Civil Rights Project, Center for Civil Rights Remedies
Cheri Hodson email@example.com University of California, Los Angeles Civil Rights Project, Center for Civil Rights Remedies
Jongyeon Ee University of California, Los Angeles Civil Rights Project, Center for Civil Rights Remedies
Tia Martinez University of California, Los Angeles Civil Rights Project, Center for Civil Rights Remedies
A special thank you to Atlantic Philanthropies and the Open Society Foundation. Further, we are grateful to Carolynn Peele and Dody Riggs who assisted with editing. A warm thank you to Laurie Russman, the administrative point person at the Civil Rights Project for the numerous ways her work supported these efforts. Acknowledgements would not be complete without a deep thank you to the Directors of the Civil Rights Project Gary Orfield and Patricia Gándara whose enduring support and wisdom is a constant source of inspiration for the work of the Center for Civil Rights Remedies.
Reprinted by permission of the Publisher. From Daniel Losen. Closing the School Discipline Gap: Equitable Remedies for Excessive Exclusion. New York: Teachers College Press. Copyright © 2015 by Teachers College, Columbia University. All rights reserved.
Losen, Daniel; Hodson, Cheri; Ee, Jongyeon; and Martinez, Tia
"Disturbing Inequities: Exploring the Relationship Between Racial Disparities in Special Education Identification and Discipline,"
Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk: Vol. 5:
2, Article 15.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/childrenatrisk/vol5/iss2/15