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ERIC Number: EJ1206891
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0046-1520
Tail, Tusk, and Trunk: What Different Metrics Reveal about Racial Disproportionality in School Discipline
Girvan, Erik J.; McIntosh, Kent; Smolkowski, Keith
Educational Psychologist, v54 n1 p40-59 2019
There are substantial racial disparities in school discipline but little agreement on how best to measure them. The choice of metric can influence conclusions about the magnitude of racial discipline disproportionality and intervention effectiveness. This article describes 2 common (risk ratio, risk difference) and 3 relatively novel (standardized effect size, raw differential representation, discipline rate) approaches to evaluating racial disproportionality, with illustrations of their strengths and weaknesses. Its concludes with a discussion of the metrics and a recommendation that researchers and policymakers consider the raw number of students of color differentially disciplined, as among the easiest to understand, the most stable, and capturing the widest range of information. Even so, no metric captures all relevant aspects of disproportionality. Accordingly, researchers and policymakers should be deliberate in their specific aims in measuring discipline disproportionality and select a combination of metrics that provides information most responsive to their goals.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: R324A170034