Friday, November 6, 2015

Black students more likely to be suspended by MCPS than by Texas schools

Everything's bigger in Texas - except racial disparities in public school discipline policies, apparently. A new study by Texas Appleseed helps provide further context to a recent report that showed African-American students in Montgomery County Public Schools are 3 times as likely to be suspended from school as white and Asian students.

In Texas, there are also racial disparities in school discipline. But the Texas Appleseed report, titled "Suspended Childhood", found that black students in that state are less likely to be suspended than black students in Montgomery County. Black students in Texas are more than 2 times as likely to be suspended as whites - not laudable, but lower than in MCPS schools.

Montgomery County should consider this comparison, and some of the recommendations in this report, as it continues to struggle with a growing achievement gap. A 2014 County Office of Legislative Oversight report confirmed that MCPS had declined, and the achievement gap had widened, since 2010.

Now we know that Montgomery County students also fared poorly on this year's PARCC exams, the scores of which determined less than half of MCPS high school students are ready for college-level work.

And that superintendent search? Yeah, that search. They'll get around to it. Maybe some of the WMATA runners-up will give it go. The Montgomery County Council and Board of Education have made slouching a science.

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