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Oakland Schools Allowing Feds to Monitor Disciplinary Procedures; Ensure Fair Treatment of Black Students

The Oakland, California School District will allow the U.S. Department of Education to monitor their disciplinary procedures, to ensure that Black students are not receiving harsher punishments than their white peers.

Black males were suspended at six times the rate of their white counterparts during the 2010-2011 academic year. According to NewsOne, “44 percent of suspensions were because of “defiance of authority,” and by middle school, 1 in 3 Black male students were being suspended.”

A resolution was passed unanimously by the Oakland School Board last week, allowing the federal probe.

From the LA Times:

“Last school year, African American students made up about 39% of the district’s total enrollment but accounted for 63% of students with at least one suspension and 61% of those who were expelled, said Russlynn Ali, the department’s assistant secretary for civil rights.

That disparity and the practices that led to them are found across the country, Ali said. “They are not unique to Oakland,” she said.

The district plans to try to address disciplinary issues without suspensions, revise discipline policies, provide services for students at risk of dropping out and provide training for teachers and staff, she said.”

Read more at latimes.com

Will these measures ensure fair treatment for Oakland’s African American students?

Should this probe expand to other major cities?

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