"Study: Racial disparities in middle school discipline escalate early in the year and dip ahead of breaks"

child writing in notebook in school

A new study finds that daily discipline rates in middle school escalate quickly in the first days of school and fluctuate throughout the year in predictable ways — often dipping ahead of breaks.

These escalations are most acutely felt by Black students, the data shows. By November, the Black student discipline rate is 10 times higher than it was at the beginning of the year and 50 times higher than the white student rate at the beginning of the year.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, demonstrated that discipline dipped ahead of breaks, including Thanksgiving, winter break and spring break, and then it escalated rapidly in the days after the break. Researchers also translated the data affecting Black students into sound to convey how the constant barrage of discipline might feel to them.


Faculty Referenced by this Article

Sean Darling-Hammond
Sean Darling-Hammond
Biostatistics Community Health Sciences
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