Data Show Overall Student Discipline Rates are Decreasing, but Gaps Persist

From OSPI:

OLYMPIA—August 4, 2017The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) today released data analytics on student discipline in Washington state school districts.

The data show the 2015-16 school year saw decreases from the previous school year in the number of suspensions and expulsions statewide. 

In the 2014-15 school year, the overall rate of suspensions and expulsions was 3.9 percent. In the 2015-16 school year, the rate dropped to 3.7 percent, which represents 1,804 fewer students being excluded from school. The largest decreases were in long-term suspensions and expulsions.

“Our discipline rates are decreasing, which we should celebrate,” said Chris Reykdal, Superintendent of Public Instruction. “But that does not mean we should turn a blind eye to the gaps that persist – in fact, we should do quite the opposite.”

 “In many school districts, students of color and students with disabilities appear to be suspended and expelled at a higher rate than their peers,” Superintendent Reykdal continued. “These trends are troubling and they warrant serious attention: We must analyze why disparities exist and determine what approaches may be most effective in addressing them.”

Data overview
The analytics show:
  • how many students were suspended or expelled, including discipline rates;
  • who was suspended or expelled, separated by student groups;
  • how long the students were removed from class; and
  • which behaviors students were disciplined for.
OSPI’s data analytics tool allows districts and the public to filter district demographics to view “like” districts, break out data by type of exclusion, and view student discipline rates at a rate proportionate to their representation in the total student population.

Today’s release is part of OSPI’s “Performance Indicators – Data and Analytics” work designed to help the state and school districts make data-informed decisions. As new data analytics are released, they are posted on the OSPI Data and Analytics webpage.

Next steps
School districts must evaluate their discipline policies, procedures, and practices to ensure they are fair and applied equally to all students. All school districts and public charter schools are required to at least annually review data on student discipline within each school, separated by student groups.

In reviewing this data, if a school district or public charter school finds that its discipline was disproportionate by student groups, they must take prompt action to ensure the disproportion is not the result of discrimination.

With substantial stakeholder involvement, OSPI is in the process of carefully revising the student discipline rules, and the new rules are anticipated to be effective in the 2018-19 school year. 

OSPI is also currently developing training modules to support implementation of discipline policies and procedures. These are anticipated to be released in the 2017-18 school year.

For more information
OSPI is available to help schools and communities use data to recognize disparities, understand underlying equity and civil rights issues, and identify evidence-based practices that improve equity in student discipline.


NNE Mom said…
It's wonderful to see change on this in the right direction. Now if only the police could improve when dealing with adults...

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