A Multilevel Analysis of Statewide Disproportionality in Exclusionary Discipline and the Identification of Emotional Disturbance

Aydin Bal, Jennifer Betters-Bubon, Rachel E. Fish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Racial minority youth are disproportionally removed from their learning environment due to school discipline and placed in special education for emotional disturbance. These disparities continue to trouble families, educators, and policy makers, particularly within urban schools. Yet there is a paucity of research on how behavioral outcome disparities occur in different states. This study addresses this gap examining the extent and predictors of behavioral outcome disparities in Wisconsin. Using the entire state’s data, we conducted multilevel logistic regression analyses. The analyses showed that African American students were seven times and Native American and Latino students were two times more likely to receive exclusionary discipline. African American students and Native American students were two to three times more likely to be labeled as emotionally disturbed. Students’ race, gender, income, language, attendance, and academic proficiency were related to outcome disparities while school characteristics were not substantively meaningful predictors, excepting the percentage of transferred students. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-268
Number of pages22
JournalEducation and Urban Society
Volume51
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

Keywords

  • Racial disproportionality
  • discipline
  • expulsion emotional disturbance
  • multilevel logistic regression
  • social justice
  • suspension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Urban Studies

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