Exclusionary Disciplinary Consequence Assignments of Middle School Students as a Function of Ethnicity/Race and Economic Status: A Texas Multiyear Investigation
Schlitzberger, Shara B.
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Purpose The purpose of this journal-ready dissertation was to determine the extent to which differences were present in the reasons students were assigned an exclusionary discipline consequence (i.e., in-school suspension in study one, out-of-school suspension in study two, and Discipline Alternative Education Program placement in study three) by their ethnicity/race (i.e., Black, Hispanic, White, and Asian) and by their economic status (i.e., Not Poor, Moderately Poor, and Very Poor). Two years of Texas statewide data, over a 10-year period, were analyzed in all three articles to determine the extent to which trends were present in the reasons Texas middle school students were assigned to an exclusionary disciplinary consequence by their ethnicity/race and their economic status. Method A quantitative, causal comparative, non-experimental research design (Johnson & Christensen, 2012) was present in this study in which two years of Texas statewide data were analyzed and then compared over a 10-year period. Data were obtained from the Texas Education Agency Public Education Information Management System on all students who were assigned to an exclusionary discipline consequence in either the 2003-2004 or the 2013-2014 school years. Findings Results were remarkably similar across both school years for the reasons boys were assigned to all three exclusionary discipline consequences. Across this 10-year time period, violations of the local code of conduct were the most frequent reason middle school boys from all four ethnic/racial groups (i.e., Black, White, Hispanic, and Asian) and from all three economic groups (i.e. Not Poor, Moderately Poor, and Very Poor) were assigned to in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, or to a Discipline Alternative Education Program placement. Inferential statistical analyses revealed the presence of inequities in the reasons boys were assigned to one of these three exclusionary discipline consequences by student ethnicity/race and economic status. Results of the three articles in this journal-ready dissertation were congruent with the existing literature regarding the presence of inequities with respect to exclusionary discipline consequences.