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Exposure to Same-Race Teachers and Student Disciplinary Outcomes for Black Students in North Carolina

Abstract

"Using student-level administrative data from North Carolina, we explore whether exposure to same-race teachers affects the rate at which Black students receive exclusionary discipline, such as out-of-school suspensions, in-school suspensions, and expulsion. We find consistent evidence that exposure to same-race teachers is associated with reduced rates of exclusionary discipline for Black students. This relationship holds for elementary, middle, and high school grade ranges for male and female students, and for students who do and do not use free and reduced-price lunch. Although we find reductions in referrals for a number of different types of offenses, we find particularly consistent evidence that exposure to same-race teachers lowers office referrals for willful defiance across all grade levels, suggesting that teacher discretion plays a role in driving our results."

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