Since so many readers commented on my last blog, I thought I'd revisit school suspensions one last time. Click here to read the previous blogs:
Here are three parting observations:
1). Again, I would like to stress that when it comes to the suspension numbers and rates, I'm looking for fairness and do not believe we must achieve sameness. And so what is fairness? Well, if black high schools represent 20% of the high school student population, then one might expect their share of suspensions to hover around 20%. An unfair situation would be a share of suspensions that hovered around 35% for black students.
2). A number of comments have underscored the reality that the causes of suspensions are way more complex than we think. I agree. What is played out in our classrooms--interactions between students and teachers--is driven by cultural norms--some bad and some good--that clearly influence outcomes. And some of what takes place is influenced by race and racial stereotypes. We would be naive to think otherwise.
3). I have always believed this and have always said it (it is worth repeating again and again and again)--when the Montgomery County Public Schools engages its black students--turns them into productive academic scholars--nothing but good things result. The academically engaged, including black students, on average, are less likely to be involved at school in negative stuff, including acts that warrant a discussion about suspensions. The academically engaged are not fighting. The academically engaged are not cursing out other students or their teachers. The academically engaged are not discipline problems. Enough said.