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Black Students Disproportionately Suspended In North Carolina

An image of Shaun Harper from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
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Note: this is a rebroadcast from August 27, 2015

Across the South, black students have a higher rate of being suspended or expelled than white students, according to a new study from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. The study singled out 13 southern states for comprising 55 percent of the nation's black student suspensions.

In North Carolina, black students make up 26 percent of the students enrolled in the state's public schools, but they account for 51 percent of the state's suspensions. The report comes months after the board of Wake County Public Schools presented a plan to reduce suspensions, as President Obama encourages schools to adjust zero tolerance discipline policies.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Shaun Harper, co-author of the study and executive director of the Center of the Study for Race and Equity in Education at the University of Pennsylvania, about the study's impact and how schools can change the way they discipline students.

Charlie Shelton-Ormond is a podcast producer for WUNC.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.