Nearly two-thirds of African-American boys with disabilities in St. Paul Public Schools were suspended from school at least once during the 2009-10 school year, according to a new study from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. That's nearly double the national average and more than seven times the rate for the general student body in the St. Paul schools.
"But district officials note that the data used in the study by the University of California-Los Angeles are nearly three years old," reports MPR News' Laura Yuen. "St. Paul has lowered its suspension rate significantly for that group by training teachers and funneling special-ed kids into mainstream classes, said Liz Keenan, the district's director of special education."
The Minneapolis Public Schools are dealing with similar issues. Yuen writes, "Nearly 14 percent of African-American students in the district were suspended last year, according to district data obtained by MPR News. That compares to just 2 percent of white students."
Michelle Walker, of the St. Paul Public Schools, and Daniel Losen, author of the UCLA study, join The Daily Circuit to discuss the findings.