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Information Services - Statistical Reports

Student Exclusions 1995 - 1996

Letter from the Commissioner
Student Exclusions by District

Background

A student exclusion is defined as the removal of a student from participation in regular school activities for disciplinary purposes permanently, indefinitely or for more than ten consecutive days.

The 1995-96 school year was the third year in which the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education collected data on student exclusions at the individual rather than aggregate level. All schools were required to submit data on students excluded for more than ten consecutive days between July 1, 1995, and June 30, 1996.

All school districts submitted exclusion reports. The analysis below is based on data as reported by school districts. The data were returned to school districts for verification, which is why the report was not issued sooner. Also, simple editing of the data was done in cases for which data corrections were submitted.

Results

There were 1,482 student exclusions in the 1995-96 school year. A total of 1,357 students were excluded once, and 105 students were excluded two or more times during the year. The greatest number of exclusions for an individual student was six.

Table 1. Exclusions Over Time

 1992-931993-94
(Through 5/1/94)
1994-95
1995-96
Number of Exclusions98395814851482

The number of exclusions for the 1995-96 school year declined slightly from a number of 1,485 in the 1994-95 school year. It is important to note that 1993-94 data was collected as of May 1, 1994, and does not represent the entire school year. Therefore, the trend over this period is probably less dramatic than it appears, most likely with a steady increase between 1992-93 and 1994-95 followed by a leveling off between 1994-95 and 1995-96.

Table 2. Distribution of Districts by Number of Exclusions


Number of
Exclusions
1995-96
Number
of Districts
1994-95
Number
of Districts
1995-96
Percentage
of Districts
1994-95
Percentage
of Districts
021315661%47%
1-37410321%31%
4-9444713%14%
10-199123%4%
20-49561%2%
50-99130%1%
100 or more321%1%

Between 1994-95 and 1995-96, the number of school districts reporting no student exclusions increased from 47 percent to 61 percent. The number of districts reporting between one and three exclusions correspondingly decreased from 31 percent in 1994-95 to 21 percent in 1995-96. The number of districts reporting ten or more exclusions declined from 23 in 1994-95 to 18 in 1995-96. Eight districts accounted for 37 percent of the 165 permanent exclusions in 1995-96, and 20 districts accounted for 59 percent of the permanent exclusions for that year.

The tables below analyze student exclusions according to various characteristics of the students, the length of exclusion, the nature of the offense, and the provision of alternative education.

Table 3. Description of Student Exclusions

 1995-96
Number
1994-95
Number
1995-96
Percent
1994-95
Percent
1. Number
Number of exclusions
Number of individual students excluded
Number of students excluded more than once
1482
1357
105
1485
1390
85
 
2. Gender
Male
Female
not reported
1148
333
1
1232
248
5
77.5
22.5
0.1
83.0
16.7
0.3
3. Age
10 years old and under
11-13 years old
14-21 years old
not reported
37
330
1087
28
38
273
1147
27
2.5
22.3
73.3
1.9
2.6
18.4
77.2
1.8
4. Program Status
Regular education
Special education
Referred for special education
not reported
1162
305
4
11
1034
385
56
10
78.4
20.6
0.3
0.7
69.6
25.9
3.8
0.7
5. Race/Ethnicity
Asian
Black
Hispanic
White
Native American
not reported
54
336
584
490
11
7
18
320
510
628
3
6
3.6
22.7
39.4
33.1
0.7
0.5
1.2
21.5
34.3
42.3
0.2
0.4
6. Length of Exclusion
11-29 days
30-59 days
60-179 days
180-364 days
1 year
longer than one year
from date of exclusion to end of current school year
from date of exclusion to end of next school year
permanent
not reported
347
409
130
32
57
0
273
8
165
61
208
443
108
19
72
17
381
0
187
50
23.4
27.6
8.8
2.2
3.8
0
18.4
0.5
11.1
4.1
14.0
29.8
7.3
1.3
4.8
1.1
25.7
0
12.6
3.4
7. Type of Offense
Weapon
Illegal substance
Assault on school staff
Assault on student
Felony
Other
Weapon/combination
Combination
not reported
257
276
187
158
62
419
53
60
10
388
307
218
NA
65
396
62
42
7
17.3
18.6
12.6
10.7
4.2
28.3
3.6
4.0
0.7
26.1
20.7
14.7
NA
4.4
26.7
4.2
2.8
0.5
8. Weapon (percent is for exclusionsinvolving a weapon)
Knife
Gun
Explosive or incendiary device
Other
not reported
220
25
7
53
5
298
49
11
83
9
71.0
8.1
2.3
17.1
1.6
66.2
10.9
2.4
18.4
2.0
9. Type of Alternative Education Provided
Home tutoring
In-district alternative program
Alternative program in another district
Private alternative setting
Work/community service setting
not reported
181
586
16
142
1
3
268
590
30
43
1
69
19.5
63.1
1.7
15.3
0.1
0.3
26.8
58.9
3.0
4.3
0.1
6.9
10. Reason Altern Educ Was Not Provided
Student moved/transferred
Student refused/did not respond
Student was incarcerated
School chose not to provide it
not reported
31
153
21
186
93
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
6.4
31.6
4.3
38.4
19.2
 

Gender. Exclusions were three times more likely to be male students than female students, with 77.5 percent of the exclusions reported to be male and 22.5 percent of exclusions reported to be female. The percentage of male exclusions decreased from 83.0 percent in 1994-95, and the percentage of female exclusions increased from 16.7 percent the prior year.

Age. Almost three-quarters of the exclusions were students age 14 to 21 years old. Nearly one quarter were students age 11 to 13 years old, and 2.5 percent of the exclusions were students age 10 years old and under. The percentage of exclusions age 14 to 21 years old decreased by about four percentage points from the year before, and the percentage age 11-13 years old increased by the same amount.

Program Status. Nearly four-fifths of the exclusions were regular education students, and approximately one-fifth were special education students. The percentage of regular education exclusions increased from 69.6 percent in 1994-95 to 78.4 percent in 1995-96, and the percentage of special education exclusions decreased from 25.9 percent to 20.6 percent.

Race/Ethnicity. Approximately two-thirds of exclusions were students of color, who comprised slightly more than one-fifth of the statewide total student enrollment. Hispanic students accounted for 39.4 percent of exclusions, followed by white students at 33.1 percent, black students at 22.7 percent, and Asian students at 3.6 percent. White students made up 78.5 percent of the total student enrollment, followed by Hispanic students at 9.3 percent, black students at 8.2 percent, and Asian students at 3.8 percent. The percentage of minority student exclusions increased from 57.2 percent in 1994-95 to 66.4 percent in 1995-96, with Hispanic students accounting for the majority of the increase.

Length of Exclusion. Slightly more than 50 percent of exclusions were for a length of 11 to 59 days. Nearly 15 percent of exclusions were for a length of 60 days to a year. Close to 20 percent lasted from the date of exclusion to the end of the 1995-96 school year, and eight exclusions lasted from the date of exclusion to the end of the 1996-97 school year. A full 11.1 percent, or 165 students, were permanent exclusions.

There were more short term exclusions in the 1995-96 school year than in the prior year, and fewer long term exclusions. In the 1994-95 school year, 43.8 percent of exclusions were for a length of 11 to 59 days. Slightly more than one-quarter lasted from the date of exclusion to the end of the 1994-95 school year (no exclusions lasted until the end of the 1995-96 school year, although 17 exclusions were for longer than one year). A full 12.6 percent, or 187 students, were permanent exclusions in the 1994-95 school year.

Type of Offense. More students (28.3 percent) were excluded for an offense reported as "other" than for any of the offenses specified in state law as actions for which school principals are authorized to expel students. The same was true in the prior school year, when 26.7 percent of students were excluded for an offense reported in this category. In the 1995-96 school year, 18.6 percent of exclusions were for possession of a weapon, 17.3 percent were for possession of an illegal substance, 12.6 percent were for an assault on a school staffperson, 10.7 percent were for an assault on a student, and 4.2 percent were for a felony. Another 3.6 percent of exclusions were for a combination of offenses including a weapon, and 4.0 percent were for some other combination of offenses.

In the 1994-95 school year, 26.1 percent of exclusions were for possession of a weapon, 20.7 percent were for possession of an illegal substance, 14.7 percent were for an assault on a school staffperson, and 4.4 percent were for a felony (no data were collected for assaults on students). Another 4.2 percent of exclusions were for a combination of offenses including a weapon, and 2.8 percent were for some other combination of offenses.

Long term exclusions were most likely imposed for an offense that involved a weapon, and short term exclusions were most likely for an offense reported as "other" followed by an offense involving some type of assault. Among the 165 permanent exclusions, 37.0 percent involved a weapon, 30.3 percent were for possession of an illegal substance, and 12.1 percent were for an assault on school staff. Only 4.8 percent were expelled for an offense reported as "other." Among the 57 exclusions which lasted one year, 56.1 percent involved a weapon, 19.3 percent were for an assault on school staff, and 15.8 percent were for possession of an illegal substance. Among the 273 exclusions which lasted from the date of exclusion to the end of the school year, 31.5 percent were for an illegal substance, 26.0 percent involved a weapon, 12.8 percent were for an assault on school staff, and 12.1 percent were for an offense reported as "other."

For short term exclusions, among the 347 exclusions which were for a length of 11 to 29 days, 52.4 percent were for an offense reported as "other," 24.2 percent were for an assault on a student, 7.5 percent were for an assault on school staff, and another 7.5 percent involved a weapon. Among the 409 exclusions which were for a length of 30 to 59 days, 39.4 percent were for an offense reported as "other," 16.1 percent involved a weapon, 15.2 percent were for an assault on school staff, 13.7 percent were for possession of an illegal substance, and 11.0 percent were for an assault on a student.

Weapon. Among the 310 exclusions that involved a weapon, 71.0 percent involved a knife, 8.1 percent involved a gun, 2.3 percent involved an explosive or other incendiary device, and 17.1 percent involved some other type of weapon. In the 1994-95 school year, when 450 exclusions involved a weapon, 66.2 percent involved a knife, 10.9 percent involved a gun, 2.4 percent involved an explosive or other incendiary device, and 18.4 percent involved some other type of weapon.

Type of Alternative Education Provided. The most prevalent type of alternative education provided to students who were excluded from school was an in-district alternative program. Among the 929 excluded students who were provided with alternative education, 63.1 percent were place in an in district alternative program. Another 19.5 percent were provided with home tutoring, 15.3 percent were placed in a private alternative setting, and 1.7 percent were placed in an alternative program in another district. In the 1994-95 school year, 58.9 percent of excluded students were placed in an in district alternative program, 26.8 percent were provided with home tutoring, 4.3 percent were placed in a private alternative setting, and 3.0 percent were placed in an alternative program in another district.

Reason Alternative Education Was Not Provided. The reason most often reported for why students excluded from school were not provided with alternative education was that the school exercised its right not to provide it. Among the 484 excluded students who were not provided with alternative education, 38.4 percent did not receive alternative education because the school chose not to provide it. Another 31.6 percent of exclusions either refused or did not respond to the offer for alternative education, 6.4 percent moved or transferred to another district, and 4.3 percent were incarcerated. No reason was given for 19.2 percent of the excluded students who were not provided with alternative education.

Table 4. Alternative Education

 1995-96
Number
1994-95
Number
1995-96
Percent
1994-95
Percent
All Students
Alternative education provided
Alternative education not provided
not reported
1482
929
484
69
1485
1001
411
73

62.7
32.7
4.6

67.4
27.7
4.9
Regular Education Students
Alternative education provided
Alternative education not provided
not reported
1162
669
433
60
1034
608
374
52

57.6
37.3
5.2

58.8
36.2
5.0
Special Education Students
Alternative education provided
Alternative education not provided
not reported
305
252
46
7
385
351
24
10

82.6
15.1
2.3

91.2
6.2
2.6
Referrals
Alternative education provided
Alternative education not provided
not reported
4
2
2
0
56
42
13
1

50.0
50.0
0

75.0
23.2
1.8

Note: program status was not reported for 10 students in 1994-95 and 11 students in 1995-96

Alternative Education. Among all exclusions, 62.7 percent were provided with alternative education, and 32.7 percent were not. More students were provided with alternative education in the 1994-95 school year, when 67.4 percent were provided with it; most of this difference is accounted for by a higher percentage of special education students who were provided with alternative education in 1994 95 over last year. Among regular education students, 57.6 percent of excluded students were provided with alternative education, and 37.3 percent were not. These figures are nearly the same as those for the prior year. Among special education students who were excluded from school, who under federal law are entitled to receive alternative education, 82.6 percent were provided with it, and 15.1 percent were not. More special education students were provided with alternative education in the 1994-95 school year, when 91.2 percent were provided with it.

Table 5. Regular Education Students Provided With Alternative Education, by Length of Exclusion


Length of Exclusion
1995-96
Number
1994-95
Number
1995-96
Percent
1994-95
Percent
11-29 days14071 48.446.7
30-59 days261266 83.789.6
60-179 days6560 69.174.1
180-364 days166 61.554.5
1 year305 73.211.9
longer than 1 year07 NA58.3
from date of exclusion to end of current
school year
100128 47.448.9
from date of exclusion to end of next
school year
30 60 NA
permanent2842 20.930.2
not reported2623 5260.5

Note: percentages are for regular education students excluded for indicated length of time

Regular Education Students Provided With Alternative Education, by Length of Exclusion. The likelihood that regular education students who were excluded from school were provided with alternative education varied greatly according to the length of exclusion. Regular education students who were excluded for a length of 30 days to a year were most likely to be provided with alternative education. Those who were excluded for a period of less than 30 days, from the date of exclusion to the end of the school year, or permanently were least likely to be provided with alternative education. Nearly one-half of regular education students who were excluded for a length of 11 to 29 days were provided with alternative education, while 83.7 percent of those who were excluded for 30 to 59 days were provided with it, 69.1 percent of those who were excluded for 60 to 179 days were provided with alternative education, 61.5 percent of those who were excluded for 180 to 364 days were provided with it, and 73.2 percent of those who were excluded for a year were provided with it. For regular education students whose exclusion lasted from the date of exclusion to the end of the school year, 47.4 percent were provided with alternative education, and for students who were permanent exclusions, 20.9 percent were provided with alternative education. A similar pattern existed in the prior year, with the exception that only 11.9 percent of those excluded for a year were provided with alternative education. A higher percentage of permanent exclusions were provided with alternative education in the 1994-95 school year, when 30.2 percent were provided with it.

Table 6. Districts With Ten or More Student Exclusions, 1995-6 and 1994-5


District
1995-96
Exclusions
1995-96
Alt. Ed.

District
1994-95
Exclusions
1994-95
Alt. Ed.
Springfield384214Springfield398372
Lawrence264210Lawrence169150
Holyoke11597Boston7247
Boston9069Holyoke5220
Worcester3938Worcester5029
Lowell3526Brockton3912
Cambridge2617Lowell3023
Dennis-Yarmouth2514Methuen2810
Framingham2322Lynn2518
Lynn178Fitchburg258
Fitchburg168Cambridge2313
Greater Lawrence Voc151Framingham1816
Woburn132Dracut186
North Brookfield1212New Bedford1616
New Bedford1110Weymouth1212
Stoughton118Waltham129
Northampton108Woburn125
Whittier Voc102Peabody116
 S Worcester Cnty Voc116
Fall River114
Plymouth112
Chicopee111
Dennis-Yarmouth107

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Last Updated: April 16, 1997
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