OSPI Releases New Round of Data to Improve Equity in Discipline
OLYMPIA — December 7, 2015 — The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) today released new data that will help districts identify the root causes of discipline disparities so they can evaluate their policies, practices and procedures to ensure they are applied fairly. OSPI is partnering with districts and Educational Service Districts in this important work.
In May, OSPI
released data that answered the questions, “How many students are suspended or expelled?” and “Who is suspended or expelled?” This time, the data answer the following questions:
- “How many times were students suspended or expelled?”
- “How long were they removed?” and
- “For which behaviors?”
“My hope is that this information will help districts think about ways to prevent discipline problems from happening in the first place,” State Superintendent Randy Dorn said. “Sometimes you can’t, so then what steps can they take to avoid removing students from the classroom through alternatives to suspension or expulsion? And if removal is the only appropriate option, districts should keep students engaged while they’re out of the classroom to make sure their learning stays on track—and reengage them when they return.”
All school districts have access to their own data to guide decision-making. However, discipline 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
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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