At first glance, the consolidated data report released Thursday by the N.C. Department of Instruction seemed to be brimming with good news about improvements, with declines in the state’s dropout rate, long-term and short-term suspensions.
But troubling facts still remain.
Here are just a few of the statistics plucked from the 145-page report being submitted to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee.
- One out of every seven North Carolina high school students had a short-term suspension in the 2010-11 school year. The average length suspension was for 6 days.
- Boys were more than two times as likely to be suspended than girls, and black students had disproportionately high rates of suspension, followed by Native Americans.
- Two school districts – Robeson and Columbus – made up 60 percent of the 891 instances of corporal punishment statewide. (Only 17 school districts reported any instances of hitting as a form a discipline). Robeson had 40 percent of the total, and Columbus had 22 percent of instances of corporal punishment. (Most school districts have banned physically hitting children as acceptable forms of classroom punishment, according to a September report by N.C. Action for Children ).
- The bulk of physical punishment was metered out in elementary schools, with 3rd and 4th grades seeing the most. White students, followed by Native Americans, received the brunt of the punishment.
- Disabled children were the recipients of corporal punishment in one out of every five instances.
- 15,342 students dropped out of high school last year, a decrease of 9 percent from the year before and part of a four-year decrease in dropout rates.
- Hispanic students had the highest high school dropout rate (4.7 percent of all Hispanic students), followed by black (4.3%), Native American (4.12 %) and multi-racial students (3.14%). White students had a 2.9 percent dropout rate, while 1.4 percent of all Asian high school students dropped out of school.
Want to skim the numbers for yourself? The DPI report is available here .