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Regional Educational Laboratory Program


Suspension, Expulsion, and Achievement of English Learner Students in Six Oregon Districts

Region:
Northwest
Description:
States and districts are increasingly concerned about how exclusionary discipline (i.e., suspensions and expulsions) and lost instructional time impacts student outcomes. Also, there is concern about whether there are disparities in exclusionary discipline rates between students from different subgroups and their peers. This study examines data from six Oregon school districts to discern patterns of exclusionary discipline and the association of exclusionary discipline with achievement on state assessments in reading and mathematics for English language learner (ELL) students, who are a large, growing, and challenging population in Oregon schools. The districts will use the results to develop specific plans for making their disciplinary practices both fair and effective.

The "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the results of another report of the same name. This study examines the rates of exclusionary discipline (i.e., suspensions and expulsions) among English learners and non-English learners in six diverse Oregon districts that serve a third of the state's English learner students. Using 2011/12 databases from the Oregon Department of Education, the study found that differences in suspension and expulsion rates between English learners and non-English learners were much larger in middle school and high school than in elementary school. Approximately 3 percent of English learners and non-English learners were suspended or expelled in elementary school. In middle school, 18 percent of English learners and 11 percent of non-English learners were suspended or expelled, while in high school 14 percent of English learners and 8 percent of non-English learners were suspended or expelled. In addition, English learners in high school were suspended for almost a full day more than non-English learners. Overall, the findings suggest that educators, parents, and community members should examine discipline policies and practices to see if they are being applied inequitably and consider extra supports for any student who is expelled or suspended.
Publication Type:
What's Happening
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Publication Date:
August 2015
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