Bridge Research Discussion – Dr. Francis Huang
the Bridge - 220 Townsend Hall
220 Townsend Hall
The racial suspension gap in K-12 schools: Investigating the differential involvement hypothesis
For several decades, Black students have been approximately 3-4 times more likely to be suspended compared to White students. This finding has been consistently found since the 70s using a variety of state and national datasets. Although there have been several suggested explanations, one hypothesis is that certain racial groups might exhibit certain types of behaviors more that warrant suspension. Recently, Obama-era disciplinary guidelines aimed at reducing disproportionality were revoked by the U.S. Department of Education and a key piece of research used to support that decision was that the use of suspensions was not really a result of racial bias but because different racial groups behaved differently. I investigate the differential involvement hypothesis using statewide and national datasets.