"No-racially-disparate-discipline" policies opposed by both teachers and general public.
What does the public--and what do teachers--think of "no disparate impact" disciplinary policies? And what do they think of federal efforts to mandate them? To find out, the 2015 Education Next poll asked a nationally representative sample of some 4000 adults and an additional sample of some 700 teachers what they thought about policies ensuring equal rates of suspension and expulsion across racial and ethnic groups. The poll randomly divided both the public sample and the teacher sample into two groups. We asked members of one group whether they support or oppose "school district policies that prevent schools from expelling or suspending black and Hispanic students at higher rates than other students?" Half of the public opposes "no disparate impact" policies, while just 19 percent back the idea, with the remaining 32 percent taking no position one way or the other. That division of opinion is essentially the same among the second group, which was asked about a federal "no disparate impact" policy. By a large margin, the public opposes "no disparate impact" policies, regardless of whether the federal government or the local school district formulates them.
The division of opinion within the teaching profession is broadly similar to that of the public as a whole. No less than 59 percent of teachers oppose "no disparate impact" policies, while only 23 percent are in favor, with 18 percent of teachers taking the neutral position.
Higher levels of support for a "no disparate impact" policy are observed among African Americans--41 percent are in favor, while 23 percent oppose it. Only 31 percent of Hispanic respondents like the policy, however, with 44 percent in opposition.
Given the opposition among both teachers and the general public, one suspects that federal efforts to impose racially equal suspension and expulsion rates will be tempered by political realities. But if the civil rights attorneys inside the departments of justice and education are eager to press forward, and if school districts resist such pressures, the latter are likely to find a sympathetic audience both within and outside the teaching profession.
MISSION STATEMENT In the stormy seas of school reform, this journal will steer a steady course, presenting the facts as best they can be determined, giving voice (without fear or favor) to worthy research, sound ideas, and responsible arguments. Bold change is needed in American K-12 education, but Education Next partakes of no program, campaign, or ideology. It goes where the evidence points.
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|Title Annotation:||from the Editors|
|Author:||Peterson, Paul E.|
|Date:||Sep 22, 2015|
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