A group of 26 nationally recognized experts from the social science, education and legal fields – assembled three years ago with the backing of two large philanthropies – has compiled and analyzed a huge body of recent research that challenges virtually every notion behind the frequent use of disciplinary policies that remove students from the classroom. Two members of the group discussed the findings on Afternoons with Amos. What the group found was clear evidence that students of color, particularly African-Americans, and students with disabilities are suspended at hugely disproportionate rates compared to white students, perpetuating racial and educational inequality across the country. The research showed that there is no evidence to support the premise that “bad kids” should be removed from the classroom in order to ensure that “good kids” can learn. Karega Rausch, former head of Charter Schools for Mayors Bart Peterson and Greg Ballard and Leticia Smith-Evans, of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund talked about the groups findings in an interview with Amos and listeners. One major finding of the study said Rausch and Smith-Evans was that data from the U.S. Department of Education, research showed that more than 3 million students in grades K-12 were suspended during the 2009-10 academic year, reflecting a steady rise since the 1970’s when the suspension rate was half that level. According to the group, the increase has occurred because school leaders either are so overwhelmed with money and testing demands that they gravitate toward what they perceive as “easy” discipline solutions, or else they really believe that their school environment will improve if they can just get rid of trouble-makers. To read the research and data on disproportionality of suspensions and expulsions click the link here: STUDY ON DISPARITIES IN SCHOOL DISCIPLINE Click Arrow to Hear Our Full Interview. Runs 21 Minutes ©2014 WTLC/Radio One.