Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Black Suspensions Mushroming EKU Prof Says

Concerns Raised in
Fayette and Jefferson Counties

Fayette County suspends African-American students at a rate higher than the statewide average.

A complaint filed against the Jefferson County school in May, asks the U.S. Department of Education to intervene.

This from the Herald-Leader:

Web page to address high percentage of Black suspensions
A group that includes African-American professors at Eastern Kentucky University is developing a Web page aimed at getting information to students and educators to help them reduce the disproportionate numbers of black students being suspended in Kentucky schools.

For the 2009-'10 school year, 26 out of every 100 students in Kentucky who were suspended for violations of board policies were African Americans, while eight of every 100 students were white, according to the Kentucky Safe Schools Data Project.

Superintendents, principals, teachers, and students will be able to go to the Web page and find information aimed at reducing suspensions and expulsions, said Sherwood Thompson, Assistant Dean in the College of Education at EKU.

"We want to lend our academic resources to a problem that is mushrooming," Thompson said.
A web presence is anticipated by fall, Thompson told H-L, and will provide information on programs being attempted by other school districts nationally, such as teacher training and creating student courts, to reduce the number of suspensions.

Apparently Jon Akers, executive director of the Kentucky Center for School Safety at EKU, and former PL Dunbar principal in Lexington got it started.

As the honcho at KCSS, Jon shares school safety information and ideas with all Kentucky school districts on a regular basis. Some of that data says...
For the 2009-'10 school year, 35 of every 100 students suspended in Fayette County were African-American, compared with 9 of every 100 students who were white.

In February, Fayette County Public Schools and the Equity Council — a group that advises the school board — joined with the non-profit Children's Law Center to try to cut high rates of suspensions and disciplinary actions involving African-Americans and students with disabilities.

The agreement required Fayette County to reduce the disproportionately large number of suspensions among such students. The Fayette district is implementing a system called PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) to help students and faculty members avoid disciplinary conflicts. The program will be used in five pilot schools.

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