Archive for the ‘Chicago Public Schools’ category

Discipline Practices in Chicago Schools: Trends in the Use of Suspensions and Arrests

August 24, 2015

Suspension rates in Chicago Public Schools have declined markedly but still remain very high, particularly among the system’s most vulnerable students. In the 2013-14 school year, 16 percent of CPS high school students received an out-of-school suspension (OSS), down from 23 percent in 2008-9. Still, 24 percent of high school students with an identified disability and 27 percent of high school students in the bottom quartile of achievement received out-of-school suspensions in 2013-14. Suspension rates for African American boys in high school remain particularly high, with one-third receiving at least one out-of-school suspension.

This report finds that at the same time out-of-school suspension rates have declined, students and teachers across the district report feeling safer. At the high school level, student perceptions of safety and teacher perceptions of order have been improving since the 2008-09 school year; this is also the period during which OSS rates declined in high schools.

The report tracks suspension and arrest rates in Chicago schools over a six-year period, as CPS implemented a number of policies intended to improve school climate and reduce the amount of instructional time lost to suspensions. The policies are part of a larger national push to move away from “zero-tolerance” discipline policies and reduce the use of practices that remove students from the classroom. A follow-up report will examine more closely the relationship between reductions in suspensions and school climate, particularly in schools that had the highest suspension rates.

Key findings from the report include:

Suspension rates are strongly related to students’ prior test scores, their race, and their gender. African American students are much more likely to be suspended than students of other races/ethnicities. Suspension rates are particularly high for African American boys in high school. About one-third of African American boys in high school (33 percent) received an OSS in 2013-14. In comparison, 13 percent of Latino boys in high school and 6 percent of white/Asian high school boys received an OSS in 2013-14. African American girls also have high OSS rates in high school, at 23 percent in 2013-14. This compares to high school OSS rates of 6 percent for Latina girls and 2 percent for white/Asian girls.

Students with low entering test scores are also much more likely to be suspended, and lose instructional time, than those who begin the year with high test scores. In high school, 7 percent of students with the highest test scores received an OSS in the 2013-14 school year. In contrast, about a quarter of high school students with the lowest incoming test scores received an OSS.

The decline in high school OSS rates has been accompanied by a doubling of in-school suspension (ISS) rates among African American high school students. In the 2013-14 school year, 15 percent of high school students received at least one in-school suspension, up from 11 percent in 2008-09. Thus, the rise in in-school suspensions is counter-balancing the decline in out-of-school suspensions. In-school suspensions are given more frequently to African American students than students of other racial/ethnic groups. ISS rates nearly doubled for African American high school students between 2008-09 and 2013-14, but remained the same for other student groups.

Most suspensions in high schools result from acts of student defiance rather than violence or illegal behavior. At the high school level, about 60 percent of out-of-school suspensions and almost all in-school suspensions result from defiance of school staff, disruptive behaviors, and school rule violations. While administrators interviewed for the study recognized fights as a primary concern in their schools, 27 percent of out-of-school and 7 percent of in-school suspensions in high school are for physical conflict or threats to safety. Most suspensions result from conflicts that involve no physical harm.

Read the full report. Read an article about the report here.

CPS Suspensions & Expulsions Preliminary SY13-14 Data

August 5, 2014

Trends in CPS Suspensions, Expulsions, Arrests (2010-2014)

August 5, 2014

On July 2, 2014, the Mayor’s Office, Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Police Department convened a roundtable with Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss improvements in school safety since the 2010-2011 school year. They provided media members and other assembled guests with a handout that listed student safety outcomes.

Compared to the 2010-2011 School Year, this school year (2013-2014) there were:

• Over 27,000 fewer out of school suspensions – a 33% drop in out of school suspension rate
• Nearly 1,300 fewer CPS students referred for expulsion – a 37% drop in referral for expulsion rate
• Over 1,000 fewer in-school arrests of CPS students – a 35% drop in the in-school arrest rate

You find the tables below in a document here (PDF).

CPS Out of School Suspension Rate
School Year (Sept 1-June 30) Rate per 100 students % change
SY 10-11 22.9
SY 11-12 19.7
SY 12-13 20.6
SY 13-14 15.4 – 33% since SY 10-11
Source: Chicago Public Schools data analyzed by the University of Chicago Crime Lab


CPS Student Referral for Expulsion Rate
School Year (Sept 1-June 30) Rate per 100 students % change
SY 10-11 0.970
SY 11-12 0.882
SY 12-13 0.864
SY 13-14 0.613 – 37% since SY 10-11
Source: Chicago Public Schools data analyzed by the University of Chicago Crime Lab


CPS Student In-School Arrest Rate
School Year (Sept 1-June 30) Rate per 100 students % change
SY 10-11 0.812
SY 11-12 0.684
SY 12-13 0.697
SY 13-14 0.527 – 35% since SY 10-11
Source: Chicago Public Schools data analyzed by the University of Chicago Crime Lab


From: Improving Student Safety and School Climates in Chicago Public Schools (Handout from Roundtable with Attorney General Eric Holder & Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, 7/2/14)

CPS Suspensions and Expulsions Data Summary

June 2, 2014

We worked very diligently over the past of couple of years with our allies as part of the Chicago Student Safety Act Coalition to push the Chicago Public Schools to improve their discipline data transparency.

In late February 2014, for the first time ever, the District published school discipline data on its website.

Today, we are sharing a few summaries of CPS discipline data for public use.

1. Suspensions & Expulsions (Citywide SY12-SY14S1) – this is summary data that is available on the CPS website as an EXCEL document. You can also find discipline data for individual schools on the site.

2. CPS Suspensions and Expulsion Data Summary SY11-13 (PDF)- this is summary by the Office of College and Career Services (which we have reproduced).

3. CPS Suspensions and Expulsions SY12-13REV (PDF) — This is a fact sheet summary of discipline data that includes arrests.

New Data Snapshot: Juvenile Justice in Illinois

April 30, 2014

Today, we are releasing a new report that provides an overview of juvenile justice in Illinois. This is not a research report but is intended to offer a brief primer for those who want to better understand how many young people across the state come to the attention of the criminal punishment system.

Download the report HERE (PDF).

by Richard Ross (Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center)

by Richard Ross (Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center)

New Fact Sheets: Chicago School-to-Prison Pipeline

October 27, 2013

In advance of the Week of Action against School Pushout, Project NIA created a fact sheet including data about suspensions, school-based arrests, and other information.

You can find the complete fact sheet HERE (PDF).

Our volunteer Jacqui Shine generously created a set of visually appealing fact sheets based on the data. We are grateful for her contributions to our work.


One Page Fact Sheets:

1. Chicago School-Based Arrests (PDF)

2. Chicago Suspensions (PDF)

3. Dropouts and incarceration (PDF)

4. LGBT statistics and Restorative Justice Facts (PDF)

More Memes…

October 25, 2013

These are terrific memes that were created by a volunteer named Sherry Long for us during the week of action against school pushout a few weeks ago.


DOC 4287 arrested

Cook County Juvenile Detention Center

Fact Sheet: Youth School-Based Arrests at Chicago Public Schools (2012)

October 1, 2013

Special thanks to our supporter Jacqui Shine for designing this fact sheet based on our most recent data report about school-based arrests on CPS properties.


You can download a PDF of the fact sheet HERE.

Memes Based on CPS School-Based Youth Arrest Report

September 30, 2013

Our friends at the Native Youth Sexual Health Network created some memes for us based on findings from our recent report “Policing Chicago Public Schools 2” about youth arrests on CPS properties (2011 & 2012). We have been using the memes on social media to raise awareness during the National Week of Action Against School Pushout.




New Report: Youth School-Based Arrests in Chicago Public Schools, 2011 & 2012

May 29, 2013

Announcing the Release of “Policing Chicago Public Schools 2:” A New Report about School-Based Youth Arrests in Chicago 2011 and 2012

Project NIA ( has released a new report titled “Policing Chicago Public Schools 2: School-Based Arrests 2011 and 2012.” The report relies on data from the Chicago Police Department (CPD) to show the types of offenses and the demographics (gender, age and race) of the youth arrested on CPS properties in calendar years 2011 & 2012.  The report builds upon the 2010 data that we presented in January 2012.

by Rachel Marie-Crane Williams (2011)

by Rachel Marie-Crane Williams (2011)

CPD reports its data by police district rather than by individual school so this year we also worked with students from Loyola University to create an interactive application that allows individuals to search for crime and arrest data by school for the 2011-2012 school year too.

The key data points in the report are that:

  1. Overall youth school-based arrests have been decreasing. In 2010, over 5,500 arrests of young people under 18 years old took place on CPS properties. In 2011, the number of youth school-based arrests (18 & under) was 4,959 and in 2012, it was 4,287.
  2. Black youth are still disproportionately targeted by these arrests. While they represent about 42% of CPS students, black youth accounted for 75.5% percent of school-based arrests in 2012.  This mirrors the general trend of disproportionate minority contact within the juvenile legal system.
  3. In 2012, young men were more likely to be arrested on CPS properties than were their female counterparts [68% vs. 32%].
  4. Most youth school-based arrests are for misdemeanor offenses (84%) as opposed to felonies (16%).
  5. In 2012, 86% of youth school-based arrests happened in school buildings while 14% took place on school grounds.
  6. In 2012, the top three aggregate numbers of youth school-based arrests are in the 8th, 5th, and 4th police districts.  Together these three districts account for 30% of total youth school-based arrests on CPS properties.

This report was developed and written by Mariame Kaba and Eva Nagao. To access the full report, visit the Policing Chicago Public Schools 2 site HERE.