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May 6, 2015

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Black students 3 times more likely to be expelled in CCSD

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Dwight Jones, superintendent of the Clark County School District, talks during a meeting at the College of Education at UNLV in Las Vegas Thursday, August 25, 2011.

If you're a black student in the Clark County School District, you are three times more likely to be expelled from school than your nonblack peers.

Furthermore, your odds of getting suspended are more than double those of your nonblack peers.

These are the startling facts that have surfaced in a Vanderbilt University report on student discipline in Las Vegas. The study, which was commissioned by the School District, prompted Superintendent Dwight Jones to begin rethinking school conduct policies that disproportionately impact black students.

Schools across the nation are suspending and expelling black students at a higher rate than any other ethnic student group, resulting in hundreds of days of lost instructional time.

That has been particularly true in Clark County. Although black students constitute just 12 percent of the student population, they accounted for 43 percent of all high school student expulsions during the 2009-10 school year. Last school year, nearly a third of all behavior school referrals at the high school level were of black students.

At some Clark County schools, administrators are suspending students at alarming rates. Many of these schools serve students who are predominantly from minority backgrounds.

An Education Week report released in January found two schools in Clark County that issued nearly as many suspensions as their student enrollments during the 2009-10 school year.

At Del Sol High School, administrators issued 1,970 suspensions. Its student enrollment is 1,990.

At Brinley Middle School, administrators issued 735 suspensions. Its student enrollment is 795.

In response to these shocking figures, Superintendent Jones tasked a 24-member committee this past July to study this problem and come up with solutions. On Thursday, the Superintendent's Educational Opportunities Advisory Council released 10 recommendations to mitigate the overrepresentation of minority student groups in school suspensions and expulsions.

The committee recommended that the district impose a moratorium on suspensions and expulsions, except for what the district calls the "big five" offenses. These are the most severe offenses outlined under the Federal Guns-Free School Act of 1994: arson, weapons, drug distribution, battery or assault that results in injury and inappropriate sexual relationships.

Instead of issuing suspensions and expulsions, the district should investigate alternative disciplinary policies, the committee said. The new models should be tiered to match escalating poor behavior and include parent notification policies.

One such alternative that is being considered is the Baltimore model, popularized in Baltimore public schools.

Under this model, there are four levels of student offenses, corresponding to its seriousness, the degree of harm caused and the impact on the school community. Each level has its own set of school punishments.

For every level, parents are expected to receive prompt notification by phone, email or text.

The committee also recommended that the district provide mandatory cultural diversity training for all new teachers and administrators, and that one professional development day each year will focus on understanding cultural diversity.

The School District should invest in early childhood and literacy education for at-risk students between kindergarten and third grade, the committee said. That way students will remain engaged in their studies, instead of falling into problem behaviors.

Lastly, the committee recommended that the district collect better data on student discipline and appoint an administrator who is responsible for monitoring and publicly reporting the data four times a year.

The School Board is expected to weigh in on these recommendations at its March 6 meeting. Afterward, a smaller committee will work on specific guidelines and proposals to be brought forward to the School Board for input and approval.

"This is just the beginning," Jones told the School Board. "This is the start of the work we have to do."

School Board members commended the committee's work. They argued the time is now to correct a long-standing inequity in the district.

"We have some wrongs that need to be righted in this district," said School Board member Chris Garvey, choking back tears. "This is the first step in making this right in our district."

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  1. "We have some wrongs that need to be righted in this district," said School Board member Chris Garvey, choking back tears...


    Black students disproportionately do poorly on standardized tests, so we MUST assume that the test is written specifically for white children.

    Young, black men are disproportionately represented in our prison system; we MUST assume that they are singled out by law enforcement for punishment.

    I could go on, but the point is this...

    As long as we ignore the ginormous elephant in the room and instead tiptoe around using political correctness & pandering to placate those that refuse to recognize the elephant for what it is, we will continue to FAIL all involved.

  2. How much did the taxpayers spend to commission this Vanderbilt study? What a waste of money.

  3. Well duhhh....Public schools are repositories and disseminators of white middle class knowledge, skills and values. The overwhelming majority of teachers and administrators are white or minorities who aspire to and model white middle class values. It's certainly no surprise that minority kids, especially those from poor families, will be the focus of attention. Up here in the rural reaches it is Native American and Hispanic kids who receive the attention. It would be interesting to correlate the race of the administrator who imposes suspension or expulsion with the race of the student receiving such punishment.

    Gmag exaggerates his points. Tests are not written specifically for white children but they are written for middle class knowledge, skills and values thereby biasing tests towards middle class white children. If you review data from areas of the country with significant populations of poor, uneducated whites you'll find white failure rates similar to those for minorities.

    Notwithstanding the platitudes about equality and no child left behind and anyone can be president, the United States is a society with a foundation and practice of class division.Capitalism doesn't work without cheap, disposable goods and cheap, disposable labor. It's no surprise that our public institutions accommodate that need.

  4. And this proves what? That some people have too much time on their hands and waste it with nonsensical and (costly) studies? "Schools across the nation are suspending and expelling black students at a higher rate than any other ethnic student group." Gee whiz, think that might have to do with out-of-control gang bangers in the "hood" more than it does with "racism?" Or stupid Rap "music" that glorifies violence, misogyny and drugs? When I read or hear black kids call other black kids "acting white" because they understand the value of education and the role it plays in becoming self-sufficient, I cringe. Time for the black "community" to stand up to these morons and say, "Enough is enough. It's way past time to blame our problems on 'outsiders' and do something about it ourseleves." Among others, the Irish did it and the Jews did it. They didn't wait around for some "village" to do it for them when they were fighting bias. It comes from within and not from without. Others are too busy with their own lives and many couldn't care less. Fixing the problem of out-of-wedlock births, functional illiteracy, crime & poverty will only come when blacks change their attitude that everything bad that happens is because of "racism" and begin to take control of their own lives & destiny. Quit listening to "progressives" who tell you that you are to stupid to fend for yourselves and you need "Big Daddy" to get you through life. Look to positive role models such as Colin Powell, Juan Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Herman Cain or, beter yet, the 1,000,000s of "ordinary" black folks who have made successful and rewarding lives for themselves and their children. Enough of the self-pity. It doesn't help!

  5. Chunky says:

    What Mr. GMAG said!


    "Although black students constitute just 12 percent of the student population, they accounted for 43 percent of all high school student expulsions during the 2009-10 school year"

    It is a meaningless statistic unless we know what the ratio and number of original offenses are that RESULTED in expulsion.

    Are non-blacks committing the same high proportion of incidents but not getting expelled? Or is it that the black students are committing a high proportion of the incidents which result in expulsion?

    People and reporters can put forth statistics in the most convenient manner that suits them.

    Mr. GMAG is right that we are ignoring the elephant in the room. Testing should be uniform and standard; you either make the cut or you don't.

    There may have been times when minorities had an excuse that they didn't have the opportunities afforded others but those days are over. Somehow our President got a good enough eduction despite a broken family to climb the ladder of success.

    Quit coddling, quit making excuses, get your own cultural and parenting issues straightened out, suck it up and work harder if that is what it takes to succeed!

    That's what Chunky thinks!

  6. who is reading this?

  7. What gmag and Chunky said.

    Standardized tests are "white"? Give me a break. They are ridiculously elementary and have been worked over for years to be neutral. Unless, of course, "3+x=4, solve x" is somehow "white".

  8. 'Dwight Jones to begin rethinking school conduct policies that disproportionately impact black students.'

    Really - you mean Dwight Jones isn't rethinking how he can reach out to a demographic that is problematically showing to have issues within a fair and balanced system where all kids are treated equally?

    Maybe it's time he read Bill Cosby's pound cake speech and help teach these kids how to behave at school so when they reach the real world they wont be shocked when they wind up being in trouble with the law instead of their teachers.

    It's not about color, it's about how children are being raised and their values.

  9. Fan - there is no such thing as 'reverse racism' racism goes in all directions. If a white man can be racist toward a black, trust me a black man can be racist toward a white man.....or a yellow, tan, etc man.

    There is no such thing as reverse racism.

    For the straight A black student's staying out of trouble and being good - I'm so sorry that the world thinks you're getting expelled from school because of articles like this. What an awful stereotype to put on those great children.

  10. This is not a racial issue - it is more of a cultural issue.

    What you have is a group of individuals who have adopted/grew up in a corrupt culture that leads them on the wrong path - by choice.

    This applies to that group of carefree kids exposed to daily drug/gang (really just a fantasy) culture portrayed by the entertainment industry.

    This also applies to that typical group of trailer park kids that you commonly see in Henderson or other small rural towns - drug/heroin toothless addicts, etc.

    Then you have the parasites of society that generalize and focus on a person's skin color instead of focusing on the cultural/social issues.

    The idiot's logic - the color of skin will determine the content of a person's character. Imbeciles.

    Ultimately, yes it is an INDIVIDUAL CHOICE - that is absolutely correct. But that individual choice is not determined by the person's skin color - instead it is a choice of character.

    Some of the comments in here do point out important issues like the corrupt culture within certain communities. It has to change. There are simply no excuses. IT MUST CHANGE.

    From the School's perspective - they can't just sit around and wait for outside help - they need to implement programs that address issues involving disruptions in class for the benefit of all students involved.

    Otherwise, you end up curtailing the efforts of studious students in allowing the disruptions in class - it is so bad that teachers spend more time trying to discipline kids than they do teaching.

  11. Ok, something is seriously wrong here. I find myself agreeing with Lvfacts101. Who are the hero's for the current generation of students, regardless of race. It is the "gangsta" rappers who glorify violence, hatred of women, and disrespect of authority. It is not the black actors and actresses, the young business executives like the Zappos CEO, and the millions of other successful young adults who are contributing members of society.

    We, as a society need to begin to examine how we pass on morals and ethics to a younger generation.

  12. Well said Tanker - I will say the first step is to acknowledge and reject this fantasy culture that is passed on to youth - the childish "hiphop" nonsense and all that gibberish.

    It is all nonsense. Just a bunch of old as men/women capitalizing on the young minds of our youth.

    Funny how you NEVER see these grown as men/women show the true consequences of their stupidity. Case in point - look at those young kids who shot down that metro officer at his home.

    On the street, they were big tough guys. When in jail? They were crying like children and ratting each other out the moment they were apprehended.

    But you never see that version - no - all you see is this stupidity spewed by grown as men/women.


    That aside - those pointing out that it has to do with family/home - yes, absolutely that is a key factor in all of this. There must be efforts to remove your children from such filth - help them develop and mature.

    One of the biggest problems? These youngsters fail to mature - they never grow out of that mentality/fantasy - and, instead, continue that path - these are the kids that end up in jail/drug addicts etc.

    There is a role for ALL of us - and we must do our part.

    The bigots spewing their nonsense do nothing more than contribute and exacerbate the problem.

  13. The wording there isn't an accurate claim statistically. By saying it's more likely implies causation: because your black you're getting expelled (some might think that's the case, but statistics aren't about causation, it's correlation). The proper wording would be: on average, black students are expelled three times more often than other races. It's much less biased and lets the data speak for itself.

    Emotionally manipulating data is a cheap way of getting attention, I hope that's not the case here.

  14. Of course it would be the readers posting comments who would be inclined to post a comment on a story with this headline. Of course it would be Chunky, TomD , LVfacts101, truthserum and the other Angry Men who would be arrogant and delusional enough to believe that they have something that is true and important to contribute.

    The posted comments are so full of contempt and ignorance that it is shocking to see anyone put their name on them.

    These readers are PROFOUNDLY devoid of self-awareness. They have made a choice to remain WILLFUlLY IGNORANT to the struggles of others yet they are quick to assume victim identity when it suits them While I do not know the race of these priceless gems, it is clear they have lived with the benefit of white privilege .

  15. @loop52:

    Thanks for your comment. It's a very valid point. However, here's the exact wording from the study:

    "Black students were about 2.7 times more likely than other groups to be excluded (expelled) by action of the school board."

  16. I don't think it is a case of being black.

    I think it is a case of doing things to get expelled for.

    Mind your manners and stay in school.

    Should the correct wording be that in Clark County schools Black students are 2.7 times more likely to do things that will get them expelled?

  17. So wharfrat (pat hayes), I would ask from your post, what exactly is the definition "middle class knowledge"? Would that be the knowledge obtained by students that listen in class, show up on time, and are respectful? I think so and I don't see any mention of a student's race in there. An apple is an apple, regardless of race. 1 + 1 = 2, regardless of race. The first letter in a sentence is capitalized, regardless of race. Take drugs, commit a violent act, be disrespectful to other students or teachers, or bring a weapon to school is going to bring disciplinary action -- regardless of race. If the parents don't care and want to play a convenient race card, then this cycle will never break. Apples don't fall far from the tree. Regardless of race.

  18. Kids are expelled for nothing offenses these days, you know boys will be boys (we Hope) its become an overreaction wussy culture. Punish them hard but keep them in school, we need these kids to learn as much as they can.

  19. "Of course it would be the readers posting comments who would be inclined to post a comment on a story with this headline. Of course it would be Chunky, TomD , LVfacts101, truthserum and the other Angry Men who would be arrogant and delusional enough to believe that they have something that is true and important to contribute.

    The posted comments are so full of contempt and ignorance that it is shocking to see anyone put their name on them.

    These readers are PROFOUNDLY devoid of self-awareness. They have made a choice to remain WILLFUlLY IGNORANT to the struggles of others yet they are quick to assume victim identity when it suits them While I do not know the race of these priceless gems, it is clear they have lived with the benefit of white privilege ."

    AND your solution to the problem IS??????????????

    Wake up and smell the coffee, take off the blinders, and look at the big picture!
    G-mag said it best @ 0458
    You do stupid things you get suspended / expelled

  20. The article doesn't say, and I would like to know. How many of the students had multiple suspensions? How many of the student's suspensions were the result of progressive discipline meaning they were suspended after having lunch detention, after school detentions, RPC's etc.

  21. Some of the comments above are disgusting. It's really clear that there's still a lot of racism out there. I'm not commenting on the study itself, just the comments that I'm reading below. Kind of sickening. Some of you need to just shut your mouths, stop typing, and die off quietly so that the rest of society can move on.

    It was only about 50 years ago that segregation was legal in parts of the country. And do you think everything changed overnight? Think about that the next time you complain about all of the "benefits" that the black community receives, or that society is too "politically correct" when it comes to talking about the black community. How much of what you know did you learn from your family? Now consider the fact that some families in certain parts of the country received a sub-par education, couldn't vote, and were blatantly given a lower priority in society, just because they were black. And it was legal to do so. I personally think that it's amazing that the black community has come as far as it has, in such a short amount of time. Don't take the few situations where black leaders make a mountain out of a mole hill, and make it seem like the entire cause is a sham. It's not. We still have a lot of work to do.

  22. Ask yourself how many black students are suspended from Bishop Gorman, Findlay Prep, Agasi, Meadows, Green Valley, and Boulder City and then give me a number and percentage. And yes there are black students attending these schools and slightly less than half of them should have been suspended. It is more of a cultural problem from teaching respect and discipline at an early age than a numbers issue. We are all creatures of our environment.

  23. Even after all the segragation/integration issues we faced as a country decades ago, what has resulted is a "it's mine and I want it" culture. You see it all the time in this community. Black women are especially intimidating lately. Is this the schools' fault? Doubtful. Black or white, students are expected to follow the same rules, sit in the same classrooms. There seems to be an aura of entitlement that presents itself in what we all see as a certain attitude. Bill Cosby himself says that it's time that we all step up to the plate and raise kids right.

  24. can research the issue and find plenty of examples of unconscious bias in testing. Reputable scholastic organization and testing companies routinely try to eliminate bias but it is present nonetheless. Can you use "regatta" properly in a sentence? How about "polo" or "lacrosse". Do you know the difference between " duckling", "gosling" and "cygnet"? How does a kid who has never heard those words or been exposed to the concepts put them in any context? You are correct in that math is math but only if the problems are stated purely in mathematical terminology. Kids [and adults] from low socio-economic classes have simply not been exposed to the breath and depth of skills and knowledge as have middle and upper class kids. They start off behind and, most often, stay behind yet the public school system expects them to function at their appropriate grade level. Unfortunately black kids are more likely to come from low socio-economic backgrounds, struggle in school, often act out like most kids and adolescents do when frustrated and get in trouble.

  25. ImproveLV has a point--it's hard for whites to imagine what it's like for some black families. In that docu "Weight of the Nation" on DVD they said that in some poor areas in NYC black kids start living on junk food from the day they are born. gross! Also check out "Pruitt-Igoe" on Netflix streaming. It's a monumental history of St. Louis from after the war and explains why it's so hard to eliminate poverty. The huge Pruitt-Igoe complex that was razed in 1976 reminds me of the "Peachtree" complex in the movie "Dredd".

  26. There are several deep rooted issues with gathering statistics, taking them at face value and applying a "moratorium" on suspensions to fix the problem. First, the state of Nevada has specific codes that apply to suspend-able offenses. Are the students committing suspend-able offenses or not? True equality means we don't ignore serious disruptions based on the color of your skin. However, this is a serious problem that goes well beyond the end consequence. If we stop the suspensions to satisfy the "bottom line", then we are reinforcing poor behavior and setting students up for failure as adults. Second, the "moratorium" is being mandated without any resources to deal with the serious behavior disruptions that are taking place in classrooms all over the county. Schools with at-risk populations are staffed with the same staffing ratios as those located in affluent areas. Teachers, ELL supports and administrative staffing at the building level were slashed while the demand to meet the needs of at-risk students has increased exponentially. Schools are criticized and called into question if a safe, bully-free environment is not maintained. Everyone wants results, they just don't want to pay a dime for them. If you are one of the idiots who cry that you aren't getting your fair share from public education, wake-up and check the property tax rates where districts have a 95-98% graduation rate. Then, compare the number of people who hold post-secondary degrees in those communities. Nevada has one of the highest juvenile incarceration and recidivism rates for juvenile offenders. Oh, and by the way, we also have a state government and general population who think Pre-K and Kindergarten are not worth the investment. It costs 10 times the amount to house a juvenile prisoner than it does to educate them early. Research indicates that early childhood education pays off on the back end. It's much easier to keep blaming schools and teachers than it is to invest in education and hold parents accountable for something beyond sperm donation and egg fertilization.

  27. All black students have to do is stop doing things that can get them suspended and expelled. If they'd like to do better on tests, then all they have to do is study harder. Yep, it's as simple as that.

    North Korean children in the country side are eating tree bark and grass for meals. They have no computers and little paper. Yet if one were to have the opportunity to attend ANY school in the CCSD, how do you think they'd perform? Black (all) students as well as their parents should look at this model. It's time to wake up.

  28. @wharfrat... You do make valid points but they do not address the core issue the school districts response to misbehavior, disrespect, and violent actions. Educational / Testing bias is not the issue when a student directs the F-bomb at a teacher or chooses to bring drugs to schools. These actions demand punishment no matter the societal ill that has befallen the perpetrator. What we've lost is preceding generations hoping for their children to have better than they had. What we've replaced it with is "street cred" and the need for immediate self gratitude. And that knows no color lines either.

  29. I seriously doubt that most kids today benefit from schooling much past the 6th grade. Teach 'em to read, write,and do simple arithmitic. adding a row of numbers and subtraction and multiplication. No need for division problems , that's what calculators are for. Instead of all that other stuff teach 'em how to wash clothes and make beds and mow lawns and wash cars and serve burgers. The State of Nevada already has taken a big step in helping the sub-par children by increasing the minimum wage to a dollar over the Federal minimum. That insures your kids of making more money than their counterparts in all the other states. Lets be realistic. We can't all be Doctors, Lawyers, scientists or even crooked politicians. This country will always need workers that do the menial jobs. There is nothing wrong with that. Most folks know by the time their child is ready for school that he/she will be a menial worker and not some genius.

  30. Looks like nothing has changed, I graduated in 79 and they were more likely expelled back then. Most of em don't go to school to learn , and the parent factor is no help because most of the parents never graduated, I'm not being racist just telling it like it is. Too many distractions at home and no guidance is to fault.

  31. The world is becoming more automated as time goes on. Low level menial jobs are becoming less and less common. Highly specialized education is becoming more necessary than ever before. It is unwise to assume that jobs performing menial labor will always be consistently available given the large number of uneducated and low skilled people that already exist in this country. It is imperative that children get a good education in order to have a minimal chance at any economic success.

  32. Racism is the first "argument" and first insult by those who are unable to comprehend, unable to consider, unable to communicate the real issues, causes, needs.... I imagine there are still pockets of KKK and such but overall this nation is probably THE least racist in the world. Our gene pool is sooooo diverse.

  33. I would assume that there is racism in the CCSD of some some sort or another. So what. There is racism everywhere. But that doesn't mean you can't get an education in spite of it. There is much less racism now than there was 30 years ago. So why are Blacks getting booted out at a higher rate? Could it be that their parents have done a poor job in the home starting this avalanche of failure? Is that the first generational cause of ignorance for black students?

    There has to be some personal responsibility. Parents have to prepare their children for school by making sure they know the boundaries before they set foot on campus. The school will reinforce their teachings of boundaries by using various punishments, i.e. detention, suspension and expulsion.

    Black parents need to be particularly aware of the ubiquitous black culture of ignorance that exists in most urban schools. Even though your child might be well behaved at home, there are acquaintances in school that may influence their behavior in a negative way. I regularly see black children making fun of other black students that they consider smart. I've seen black adults do it as well. Small groups attempting to stop enlightenment and spread ignorance without reason. It's a sickening sight and something has to be done about it. Black parents should be advised, that the CCSD can help if they will. Or you can let LVMPD and the welfare department help later.

  34. Parents are a child's first and lifelong teacher. We have children in our schools who reflect their homelife.

    Taxpayer monies would have been better spent to identify precisely the actual causes of expulsions and suspensions, and THAT should have been reported!

    This is a case of "more studies" with NO answers at Taxpayer expense. We all should be angry about that.

    Blessings and Peace,

  35. Race and crime: -- which is a result of a history of -- Institutional racism:
    Fix poverty and you fix behavior.