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Stats That Stick: October 6, 2011

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October 06, 2011 05:05 pm

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African-American male students in middle school who have been suspended: 28 percent

Black and Hispanic students are far more likely to be kicked out of school when they break the rules, including some that often have nothing to do with keeping students safe, according to a new report from a civil rights research and advocacy group. Education Week reported school discipline records are too often seen as a measure of how safe a school is and not often enough as a gauge of how healthy a school is academically. Analyzing 2006 data from the U.S. Department of Education’s office for civil rights, Mr. Losen found that more than 28 percent of African-American middle school boys had been suspended at least once, compared with 10 percent of white males nationwide. For girls, it was 18 percent of black students, compared with 4 percent of white students.


New York City classes with more students than the contract allows: 6,978

The Huffington Post reported on this year’s class size battle. According to the most recent national data available from the Education Department, student-teacher ratio declined from 22.3 in 1970 to 13.1 in 2008, when class sizes averaged at 20 in elementary schools and 23.4 in secondary schools. But since then, as the recession took its toll, reports from around the country point to a surge in class sizes. A survey conducted in September by the United Federation of Teachers found a spike in class size grievances in New York City, with nearly 7,000 educators teaching a number of students that exceeds their contractual limits.

Teaching jobs saved under the American Jobs Act: 400,000
Education Week reported the American Jobs Act proposed by president Obama last month would save nearly 400,000 teaching jobs if states spent all the money in one year, according to a report released today by the White House. The legislation is part of a nearly $450 billion package that would include $30 billlion to prevent teacher layoffs, and $25 billion for school modernization and repair.

High school dropouts who have missed more than 20 days of school: 90 percent

About 9 in 10 of high school dropouts were chronically truant, meaning they missed more than 20 days, school, before making the decision to leave school permanently, according to Robert Balfanz, a Johns Hopkins University researcher. Truant students often fall behind their classmates before dropping out. According to US News & World Report, most high school districts offer some sort of dropout prevention program. A new report released last week by the National Center for Education Statistics shows a majority of high schools (approximately 8 in 10) offer services such as tutoring and remediation classes for students who have fallen behind, but less than half of school districts offer an after-school program for high school students at risk of not graduating.

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