Viewpoint: Racial Differences in School Discipline Rates

, The Recorder

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A June 8 San Francisco Examiner article discussed measures at the California state and San Francisco local levels aimed at addressing large racial differences in public school discipline rates by generally relaxing the stringent discipline policies in effect in recent decades. The thinking underlying the measures accords with the near universal perception, promoted by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education and much commentary, that stringent discipline policies tend to cause large racial disparities in discipline rates. Exactly the opposite is the case. Stringent discipline policies tend to yield smaller racial differences in discipline rates than more lenient ones.

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