The Role of Desegregation and Teachers of Color in Discipline Disproportionality
Scholars note the multitude of ways that the continual shifts in the racial composition of schools affect students, but fewer studies consider the implications of such shifts for teachers. This study uses 3 years of data from an original survey of the 1800 largest school districts to examine the effect of segregation on teachers and their implementation of discipline policies. Specifically, it asks “do teachers in desegregated districts implement policies differently from their colleagues in segregated school districts?” The findings reveal that Black and Latino teachers in segregated school districts implement discipline policies more equitably than teachers in desegregated school districts. However, White teachers in segregated and desegregated school districts do not differ substantively in their implementation of discipline policies. The research holds implications for understanding the salience of school desegregation in shaping teachers’ decisions and its role in contemporary discipline disproportionality.
KeywordsSchool desegregation Suspensions Teachers of color Policy implementation
I gratefully acknowledge the support received for the preparation of this research from the American Educational Research Association, NSF Grant # DRI-0941014 and the helpful feedback of John C. Thomas, Bettie Ray Butler, and two anonymous reviewers.
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