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Highlights from the Status and Trends in the Education of Hispanics - Grade Retention, Suspension, & Expulsion

Executive Summary
Elementary & Secondary School Enrollment
Grade Retention, Suspension, & Expulsion
Dropout Rates
High School Completion
Student Performance in Reading
Student Performance in Mathematics
Student Performance in Science
Trends in Credit Earning & Coursetaking in High School
Advanced Coursetaking in High School
Advanced Placement Examinations
Language Spoken at Home
Enrollment in Colleges & Universities
Degrees Conferred by Colleges & Universities
Adult Education
PDF File of Complete Report Acrobat PDF File - Highlights from the Status and Trends in the Education of Hispanics

Hispanic students have retention and suspension/expulsion rates that are higher than those of Whites, but lower than those of Blacks.

Children are retained in grade if they are judged not to have the academic or social skills to advance to the next grade. Children who are retained in grade may show lower academic achievement and motivation, and many may behave in ways that undermine their efforts in school and their social well-being.1 Students who are being disruptive enough to warrant a suspension or expulsion may not be engaged in learning. Students who are not in school, sometimes due to suspension or expulsion, typically cannot be expected to be learning.2 In 1999, 13 percent of Hispanic students in kindergarten through 12th grade had ever repeated a grade. This figure is less than that for Black and American Indian/ Alaska Native students (both 18 percent) but more than that for White and Asian/ Pacific Islander students (9 and 7 percent, respectively). Suspension/expulsion rates also vary by race/ethnicity. In 1999, 20 percent of Hispanic students in grades 7 through 12 had ever been suspended or expelled-a higher rate than among Whites (15 percent) but a lower rate than among Blacks (35 percent). Other apparent differences were not statistically significant.3 (supplemental table 3.2)

1  A. Wheelock, Social Promotion and Grade Retention: Introduction to the Issues. Available: [December 19, 2002].
2  G. Wehlage, R. Rutter, G. Smith, N. Lesko, and R. Fernandez, Reducing the Risk: Schools as Communities of Support (London: The Falmer Press, 1989).
3  The fact that there is no statistical difference between Hispanics and American Indians/Alaska Natives may be due to the large standard error for American Indians/Alaska Natives.