Schoolhouse Beat

Disparity in school suspensions worries Connecticut officials

A report by the Connecticut Department of Education shows huge racial disparities in the rates of school suspension and expulsion, as well as higher rates at charter schools, technical high schools, and in troubled districts in the midst of education reform. The Hartford Courant reports that 8.6 percent of students — 47,528 pupils — were suspended or expelled during the 2011-12 school year. That number has declined by 14.6 percent over the past five years. But State Board of Education members were concerned by how much the rate varies across some groups of students, districts and schools. Black and Hispanic males were suspended or expelled at two to three times the rate of their white counterparts; black and Hispanic females were suspended or expelled at three to five times the rate of their white counterparts. The figures include in-school and out-of-school suspensions.

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