Suspension Rate Remains High for Blacks in Des Moines Schools

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Disparities continue to exist in suspension rates among Des Moines elementary, middle and high schools as well as among the district’s racial groups despite educators’ attempts to tighten the gaps, district data shows.

African-American students are suspended at far greater rates than their peers, a concern the school board asked district administrators to find a way to address by next semester.

“It’s our number one concern,” Roosevelt Principal Kathie Danielson said. “We are doing everything we can to address it. It’s unacceptable. It can’t be that a student can’t get an education just because they are African-American. We have to provide, we just have to.”

Des Moines is Iowa’s largest public school district with more than 30,000 students. More than 16 percent of students are black.

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