Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Wake on suspensions: It could be worse

Wake County Public Schools are under fire for high suspension rates for African American students.  Superintendent James Merrill recently acknowledged that it's an issue that needs dealing with, but at least things aren't as bad as in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

"Putting things in perspective,  in 2012-13 a similarly sized North Carolina district had 35,800 suspensions when Wake was at less than half that at 15,000,"  Merrill said,  as quoted in a blog post by reporter T. Keung Hui.  As Hui notes,  Merrill didn't name CMS,  but he didn't need to.  Wake and CMS are the only two districts in the same size league,  and as I reported recently,  CMS' numbers are down but still much higher than Wake's.

I've heard that the CMS board will get a detailed report on racial inequities in suspensions and discipline in the near future.  Meanwhile,  read the state report on crime,  violence,  dropout rates and suspensions here.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/04/14/3782468/wake-county-superintendent-jim.html#storylink=cpy


Larry said...

I am glad we are getting to the free pass section of race today.

That way folks will understand when they wonder why some kids are allowed a free pass in disrupting school today.

Finally it can all come out and be a standard in our schools, without having to have so many stories and folks upset.

Once group just can not contain themselves and we are just going to have to expect that.

Anonymous said...

Be sure to look at African American suspension rates in schools in which they are a minority versus schools in which they area a majority. What usually is left out on this topic is that the majority of teachers and administrators in minority dominant schools are themselves African American.

Anonymous said...

This is all so absurd. The truth is, I don't know a single administrator who thinks of suspension first unless the offense either mandates it, or is the latest is a long series of infractions.
People are suspended for what they do, not who they are. When they get into the world, they'll be surprised when life holds them accountable in a way school is not allowed to.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous at 1:45 p.m.:


Anonymous said...

Will Ann ever do any reporting on the overcrowding of the suburban schools? Community House Middle averages 38 students per class.
I guess no one cares due to the demographics at that school. Imagine the outrage if that was Albemarle Road Middle.

Anonymous said...

Ann, do you think this is a legitimate issue? Or are you just race bating, trying to get people to write racially charged posts on your blog?

Wiley Coyote said...

Another ridiculous liberal bias story.

These statistics are repeated over and over again nationally by the same suspects but are never discussed any deeper as to whether the suspensions are actually warranted.

Liberals whine "18% of the student population in the US are Black but constitute 40% of the suspensions and expulsions".

So what? Disprove those suspensions are NOT warranted!

Here's another statistic:

Seventy-two percent of black babies are born to unmarried mothers today, according to government statistics.

Followed by:

Since 1970, out-of-wedlock birth rates have soared. In 1965, 24 percent of black infants and 3.1 percent of white infants were born to single mothers. By 1990 the rates had risen to 64 percent for black infants, 18 percent for whites.

Where are all the liberal hacks on these statistics? Whose fault is it? Why are Black mothers nearly 4 times more likely to be single parents than Whites when they makeup only about 13% of women in the US?

Anonymous said...

School suspensions that are dictated by policy are usually designed to preserve student safety. "Discretionary" suspensions are typically issued when a student is destroying the learning environment with their behavior. While it's easy to see how being suspended harms the education of the person serving the consequence, removing that person is calculated to directly enhance the learning of those that are not choosing to destroy the learning environment.

Research ethics would probably prevent a study comparing the instructional time lost across a group by suspending a single offender for disrupting school vs. not suspending anyone and letting the disruption continue indefinitely. My guess would be that suspending the single offender creates a net positive result on learning across the group.

The problem, though, is that the offender comes back, and the school continues to be responsible for their learning. The student will have missed the instruction, probably as someone who could already least afford it -- they act out in frustration or to save face, or whatever, they get suspended again, and round and round it goes....

Anyone pretending there's a simple answer to problems like that just doesn't understand the problem. Same with trying to explain the cause of the problem: the statistics cited seem to imply that race is a basis for suspensions. It's not. The numbers are based in the intersection of people destroying the learning environment, and those that are trying to protect it.