Challenge

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School Suspension and Racial Disparities in Achievement

While scholars have studied the racial achievement gap for several decades, the mechanisms that produce this gap remain unclear.
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Nature and Context

School discipline is a crucial, but under-examined, factor in achievement differences by race. We need to examine the impact of student suspension rates on racial differences in reading and math achievement. Studies reveal that school suspensions account for approximately one-fifth of black-white differences in school performance. This suggests that exclusionary school punishment hinders academic growth and contributes to racial disparities in achievement.

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