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OSPI Initiative Uses Data to Improve Equity in Discipline
Suspension and expulsion rate has decreased across all student groups during the past two years, disproportionality remains a concern

OLYMPIA — May 19, 2015 — Washington state now has a clearer picture of how suspension and expulsion rates vary by student group, according to data shared by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) at today’s Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee (EOGOAC) meeting. The data release is part of a major initiative to address disparities and improve equity in student discipline across Washington.

As school districts look at their data from a statewide perspective, they can now more accurately measure their results as they improve equity in discipline for all students.

“Gathering and sharing this information is an important step in ensuring every student has access to a fair, equitable student experience,” State Superintendent Randy Dorn said. “Attaching data to what we’ve known, anecdotally, for a long time will help us measure our progress over time. We will use this information to help school districts improve their student discipline practices.”

What do these data show?

  1. How many students are suspended or expelled
  2. Who is suspended or expelled (by race, sex, program)

What don’t they show?

  • How many times is each student suspended or expelled
  • For how long
  • For which behaviors
  • From which schools

OSPI will share this additional information as it becomes available.

All school districts have access to their own data to help them identify the root causes of disparities and guide decision-making. However, data are not reported publicly for districts with fewer than 500 students, or 20 in a given student group. This allows a more consistent statewide analysis that isn’t skewed by shifts of one or two students in smaller districts or student groups.

OSPI is available to help schools and communities use data to recognize disparities, understand the underlying equity and civil rights issues, and identify evidence-based practices that improve discipline equity and keep students in school. As this project progresses, OSPI will continue to share resources and tools to assist schools with their student discipline efforts.

For more information


About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.

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Kristen Jaudon
Communications Specialist
(360) 725-6032 |

Nathan Olson
Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015 |

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015


   Updated 5/19/2015

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