New federal data shows Black preschoolers still disciplined at far higher rates than Whites

By Valerie Strauss for The Washington Post

Years after the Obama administration attempted to end deep racial disparities in preschool discipline, new federal data shows that Black youngsters are still more likely to be suspended or expelled than their White classmates.

This post explains the data as well as why past efforts to change the dynamic have not worked and what kind of action the authors — Shantel Meek and Evandra Catherine — want to see the incoming Biden administration undertake. They write: “Taking a colorblind approach to racism has never worked to address inequity; it has only ever increased it.”

Meek (@ShantelMeek) is the founding director of the Children’s Equity Project and a professor of practice at Arizona State University who was a senior policy adviser for early childhood development in the Obama administration. Catherine (@evcatherine) is a postdoctoral research scholar at the Children’s Equity Project at Arizona State University.

By Shantel Meek and Evandra Catherine

In 2005, Yale researchers shocked the nation’s conscience with the findings from the first major study on preschool expulsions. Astonishingly, researchers found that young children were expelled at a rate far higher than their older peers in K-12. Worse yet, Black children were much more likely to be pushed out.

Nearly a decade later, in 2014, the U.S. Department of Education released federal data on preschool suspension and expulsion for the first time. Little had changed. As in 2005, there were stark racial disparities in preschool discipline, with Black children being about three times as likely to be suspended from preschool than their White peers.

And now here we are, in 2020. Any guesses as to what the latest round of preschool discipline data released from the Department of Education last month shows?

Read more here.

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