Students don’t just drop out of school suddenly. Most often, disconnecting from school is a slow process, and there are warning signs along the way. Great work has been happening across the region to strengthen systems that provide real-time, actionable “early warning” data to school staff, parents and other partners. Early results from this system-building work are promising.
For example, the results for the Road Map Project’s Early Warning Indicator #2 (one or more suspension(s) or expulsion(s) in the 9th grade) are exciting: The region is only one percentage point away from hitting the 2020 target. However, there is also glaring disproportionality in this indicator: Black/African American students are nearly twice as likely to have one or more suspensions or expulsions in the 9th grade. It is also important to note that this indicator does not capture the prevalence of in-school suspensions or other alternative disciplinary practices.
Many districts are currently overhauling their disciplinary policies and practices to address racial disproportionality. This is one of the top advocacy priorities to be addressed in 2015 in the Road Map Project region.
SOURCES: OSPI student-level data, districts for 2009-10 through 2011-12; OSPI student-level data for 2012-13 through 2013-14