Students of color are suspended at disproportionately higher rates than white students and, on average, perform more poorly on standardized tests. But no peer-reviewed nationwide research has documented a link between the two disparities—until now.
A new Stanford-led study published in AERA Open finds that an increase in either the discipline gap or the academic achievement gap between black and white students in the United States predicts a jump in the other. Similarly, as one gap narrows, so does the other.
“Prior research has suggested that achievement gaps and discipline gaps may be two sides of the same coin,” said Francis Pearman, an assistant professor at Stanford Graduate School of Education and lead author of the study. “This is the first study to document this relationship at the national level.”