According to a report released by The Center for Civil Rights Remedies at UCLA, 1 of every 4 black students in Illinois was suspended at least once during the 2009-10 academic year.
This is the highest suspension rate amongst the 47 states analyzed for the study.
Furthermore, Illinois – particularly the city of Chicago – had the widest gap in suspension rates between white and black students.
“In CPS, where social justice advocates have long fought to ease harsh discipline of minority students, the suspension rate for African-Americans was more than 30 percent in 2009-10. That was 24 percentage points higher than the rate for white students, the widest gap between black and white students of any large urban district in the report, including those in Houston, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
The suspension disparities between white and black students in Illinois was 21.3 percent, also tops among states surveyed. Charles Bergman of the Community Organizing & Family Issues advocacy group called the disparities highlighted in the UCLA report “shocking” but not surprising for organizations that have fought to curb suspensions.
CPS is working to seek alternatives to suspensions to reduce the time students spend out of class, said district spokeswoman Robyn Ziegler. The district recently eliminated mandatory 10-day out-of-school suspensions for even the most serious cases, and in June the school board approved giving principals the option to assign in-school suspension to students whose behavior previously would have merited suspension outside of school.”
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