We use risk ratios to compare the likelihood of children in different student subgroups.
Generally, a risk ratio of 1.0, or ‘‘1x,’’ indicates that Black children are no more likely than White children to be issued an out-of-school (OSS) suspension. A risk ratio greater than 1.0 indicates that the risk for Black children is greater than the risk for White children. Accordingly, a risk ratio of 2.0 indicates that Black children are twice as likely as White children to be issued an OSS; a risk ratio of 3.0 indicates that Black children are three times more likely as White children to be issued an OSS; etc. Learn more about risk ratios
To capture with-in group percentages we use absolute values to provide simple and valid comparisons of any student subgroup in any school, district or state.
The suspension rate is the percentage, or ‘‘rate,’’ of Black students issued an out-of-school suspension (OSS) within a particular school, district or state. It is a straightforward calculation that divides the number of students suspended in a student subgroup (e.g., Black students, White students, Black boys without disabilities, etc) by that same subgroups overall enrollment. For example, if a school serves 100 Black boys and 15 of them were suspended, the ‘”rate” for Black boys to be suspended would be 15 percent (15/100 = 15 percent).
Using both rate and ratio, our report cards provide a much clearer picture of educational equity.
Student rates (i.e., how many) and risk-ratios (i.e., how likely) are validated measures used by institutions like The U.S. Department of Education and The Center for Civil Rights Remedies at UCLA. By using both measures and applying them to all aspects of a students’ school life, our report cards provide a comprehensive picture of how equitable and just a child’s learning environment truly is.
By law, schools may not suspend students with disabilities for behavior that is caused by their disability. At first glance, the significant difference in suspension rates raises questions as to whether schools are failing to meet their legal and moral obligations to provide a free and appropriate public education to students with disabilities, in particular those who are frequently suspended.