An increase in the discipline gap or the academic achievement gap between black and white students in the US predicts a jump in the other, a new study shows. Similarly, as one gap narrows, so does the other.
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.
“Prior research has suggested that achievement gaps and discipline gaps may be two sides of the same coin,” says Francis Pearman, an assistant professor at Stanford University Graduate School of Education and lead author of the study in AERA Open. “This is the first study to document this relationship at the national level.”