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

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

by Arthur Burke

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. The following are appended: (1) Connections to previous research; (2) Data sources and methodology; and (3) Supporting tables on number of instructional days lost to suspension.

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