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  • Writer's pictureNBWJI

National Trends in School Pushout

Black girls were the only group of girls to be overrepresented in every type of disciplinary action.



Across the United States, schools use various punitive discipline practices that result in students being removed from class, such as suspensions, expulsions, transfers to an alternative education setting, or referrals to law enforcement. These practices weaken students’ connection with school by depriving students of valuable learning time and creating an environment that erodes students’ well-being and sense of safety at school. These students often end up pushed out of school altogether, as research shows that punitive discipline practices are associated with poor student achievement and a failure to complete school.[1]

 

This kind of disconnection from school creates pathways to contact with the juvenile and criminal legal systems. These school-to-confinement pathways disproportionately affect students of color, especially Black girls. To disrupt school-to-confinement pathways, schools must address the disciplinary practices that drive school pushout.

 

Our new factsheet—National Trends in School Pushout — provides a snapshot of national disciplinary trends among girls in public schools, broken down by race and ethnicity, between 2011 and 2018.



Black girls were the only group of girls to be overrepresented in every type of disciplinary action.


Black Girls

For example, despite a relatively stagnant enrollment share among female students of about 15% across all four years of data, Black girls accounted for more than three times their enrollment share in transfers and corporal punishment and more than two times their enrollment share in expulsions in the 2017-18 school year.


We must reduce and eliminate these school-to-confinement pathways that disproportionately impact Black girls. To disrupt these pathways, schools must address the disciplinary practices that drive school pushout.

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