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Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Education (also CAGS)

Year Degree Awarded

2016

Month Degree Awarded

May

First Advisor

Dr. Michael Krezmien

Subject Categories

Special Education and Teaching

Abstract

This paper presents the findings from two studies. The first study examined the individual and school level factors associated with the risk of suspension for specific groups of students. Results indicated that gender, race, and disability status were individual factors associated with an increased risk of suspension. Multiple school level factors were also found to be associated with an increased risk of suspension including school enrollment, attendance, mobility, the percent of highly qualified teachers, the percent of students receiving free and reduced priced meals, the percent of special education students, Title One status, the student to teacher ratio, English Language Arts scores, and the percent of White students in the school. The second study examined the odds of suspension alongside school policy factors. Results from this study indicated that students who were Black or African American and who had a disability were more likely to be suspended from school compared to students who were White and who did not have a disability. Policy factors indicated that the majority of school districts continue to utilize negative, rather than proactive, consequences for addressing a student’s failure to comply with school behavioral expectations. Odds ratios and the percent of students suspended by race and by disability status will be presented alongside data relative to school policy factors. Implications will be discussed.

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