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Disparities In School Discipline

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - An article in Education Week points out that “zero tolerance” policies and other harsh school discipline practices unfairly target students from racial, gender and ethnic groups.

The overly-punitive practices resulted in recent demonstrations in many states for the National Week of Action on School Pushout and increased reports have federal education secretary Arne Duncan and US attorney general Eric Holder considering reshaping discipline policies that keep kids from pursuing education.

One example is the increase in suspensions, an indicator of whether or not a kid will drop out. Data from the Education Department’s civil rights office found that in 2006, 3.25 million students were suspended at least once.

It’s recommended that Congress, in the new elementary and secondary act, include incentives for districts to improve classroom and behavior management systems in places of high expulsion and that punishment rates for every school be published with a breakdown of students’ racial and ethnic information.

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio