How will CMS address the disproportionate suspension rate of its Black students?

Black students at Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools are being suspended disproportionately compared to others, according to a recent Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education Progress Monitoring Report. 

The report states that Black students represented 68% of all students with at least one suspension this school year, down one percent from the previous year.

“While our out-of-school suspension disproportionality rates for Black students is down compared to pre-pandemic rates, there is much more aggressive work that needs to be done,” Crystal Hill, CMS Interim Superintendent, said at a board meeting on Feb. 14.

Why it matters: Black students account for 36.2% of the CMS student body but make up double that in suspension rate, a 32.0 percentage point difference. This demographic is also faced with an academic achievement gap. 

Though the district isn’t satisfied with those numbers, progress has been made since the start of the 2022-2023 academic school year, according to Frank Barnes, chief accountability officer at CMS.

“At the end of the first quarter, we were at about 34 percentage points, not going in the right direction at all,” he told QCity Metro. “By the time we hit  December 31, we were at 32 percentage point difference.”

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