When it comes to preventing the School-to-Prison pipeline,
Ohio Schools are failing!
In collaboration with the Dignity in Schools campaign, 7th Annual National Week of Action to stop school push out, Racial Justice Now! will be hosting a press conference at the Northwest Dayton Library to release the 2nd Ohio statewide school discipline report card. This statewide school discipline report card assigns a grade to public school districts, community (charters )schools, joint vocational schools, and educational service centers in the state of Ohio. The grade is determined using data from the Ohio Department of Education- 2014-2015 statistics. While this report is being released two years after the first report, it is based on data one year after the first report: 2014-2015 data. That data was just released Summer, 2016.
The school discipline report card is a tool that will educate the community, provide a tool as to how a school district is performing on the school to prison pipeline, and it will allow the community to compare one school against others.
The school to prison pipeline starts with the suspension and dismissal of students who are often times sent home from school for non- violent and subjective offenses. Students are suspended as early as pre-school and unfortunately suspensions are being handed out in a racially biased way.
The Ohio Department of Education produces an annual report card with numerous measurements, but school discipline is not one. A school discipline report card is an important measurement to have because parents need to be informed about this performance factor when choosing a school to place their child in. In addition, policy makers need access to this information so that they can make changes in the operation and practices of their schools.
“Blacks who dropout have a 70% chance of going to prison. Students who have one suspension in 9th grade are only half as likely to graduate. The school-to-prison pipeline has been clearly demonstrated.” Professor Emerita Vernellia Randall , The University of Dayton School of Law.
The Ohio school discipline report card evaluates 1110 different school entities.
Of the schools graded 90.3% received a failing grade (F) with only 6.4% receiving a grade of B- or higher. http://racialjusticenow.org/index.php/overall-grade-2016?showall=&start=2
The overall grade for the Ohio School Discipline Report Card is based on 3 components: expulsions, subjective behavior, racial disparity and disability disparity.
Exclusion Grades: Exclusion is the combined rate of out of school suspensions plus expulsions plus a penalty for suspension in pre-kindergarten through 3rd grade, as well as 9th grade. Grades were assigned based on exclusion score. Grades were assigned to encourage less overall exclusion rate, no preschool to 3rd grade exclusion and lower 9th grade exclusion. The average exclusion grade was 48. The median grade was 50. The maximum grade was 100. The minimum grade was 0. 126%. (128) school districts earned a A or B grade and 64.2% (713) school districts earned a D or F. A greater portion of charter schools (23.4%/389) were graded 100 than public schools (4.8%/614). That is, charter schools were 5 times more likely to have little or no exclusions. Urban schools graded lower than other public school district types. For more information, http://bit.ly/2e9EEPL
Subjective Behavior Discipline Grade: Schools received a grade if they had a large portion of exclusions for inappropriate discipline and non-violent behavior that is subject to individual comfort level and biases. The subjective behavior grade was based on the percentage of exclusions that was for disruptive/disobedient behavior”, “unwelcome sexual conduct” and “harassment/intimidation”. plus a penalty for exclusions for truancy and use of tobacco. There were 1110 schools. On a scale from 0 to 100, half the schools had a grade at or below 6. The average grade was 13.1. The minimum grade was 0 and the maximum grade was 100. Only 1.6% of the school districts received an “A” and 91.8% of the school districts received an “F” with 48.2% (537) receiving a zero. When it comes to not disciplining based on subjective behavior – Ohio Schools fail. Since subjective behavior discipline is open to cultural misinterpretation and implicit bias, it is not surprising that Ohio has a high rate of racial disparities. For more information see, http://bit.ly/2elQcx2
Racial Disparity Grade: Racial disparity is the difference in exclusion based on race. In this report it is measured by dividing the rate of the racial group with the highest exclusions by rate of the racial group with the lowest exclusions. There were 1114 school. Of the 1114, 151 were single race schools and was not graded. On a scale from 0 to 100, half the schools had a grade at or below 30. The average grade was 31.5 The minimum grade was 0 and the maximum grade was 100. Only 6.6% of the school districts received an “A+” and none received and “A”. 83.5% of the school districts received an “F” with 26.9% (300) receiving a zero. When it comes to eliminating racial disparity in Discipline – Ohio Schools failed. For more information see: http://bit.ly/2eaE9VJ
The grades from the first report are not comparable because of significant changes in the grading formula including the addition of disability disparity. With this said, the overwhelmingly majority of school districts in the state of Ohio are strong contributors to the school to prison pipeline. That is, they start student on the road to failure as early as pre-school, with ever increasing rates.