A Closer Look at Suspensions of African American Males in OUSD

Released: May 22, 2012

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African American males were suspended at a rate more than six times that of white males across the district and over three times the rate of other students.

One of three reports that Urban Strategies Council has produced for the African American Male Achievement Initiative based on data from the 2010-11 school year, this report examines data, literature, and policy around suspensions of African American male students to uncover and better understand the disparities between this group and all other ethnic and gender groups.

This report analyzes one year of suspension data from the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD, 2010-11), looking at suspensions by demographics, grade level, school level, and types of offenses (See Part I). We also look to the literature to illuminate the causal factors driving disparities in suspension and identify a number of recommendations based on this research (See Part II).

Finally, we do an extensive analysis of the California Education Code, the OUSD Board Policies, the Oakland Education Association contract, the Voluntary Resolution Plan with the Officer of Civil Rights and the OUSD Parent Guide to understand how policies and practices are contributing to or addressing disparities (See Part III). We also offer a series of recommendations based on our data, literature and policy analysis (See Part IV).