An analysis of suspensions and expulsions of special education and regular education middle grades students in seven middle Tennessee school districts

William Christopher Winters, Tennessee State University

Abstract

The major purpose of this study was to identify what effect the reauthorization of IDEA in 1997 had on the suspension and expulsion rates of middle grades students in seven middle Tennessee school districts. The sample included all middle grades students in these districts, a total of 30,529 students for the 1996–97 school year and 30,974 students for the 1997–98 school year. The suspension rates were compared for special education versus regular education students for each year and for rates of special education suspension and expulsion rates for the 1996–97 school year versus the 1997–98 school year. ^ A secondary purpose of this study was to survey the middle grades administrators for the seven districts to determine their beliefs and disciplinary practices based on the IDEA reauthorization of 1997. Those results were then compared with the statistical analysis of suspension and expulsion rates to determine what relationship existed. ^ The comparisons of special education and regular education suspension and expulsion rates were investigated using the two-sample t-Test with a .05 significance level. No comparisons were found to have a significant difference in means. ^ The survey portion of the study was designed to solicit the attitudes of middle level administrators toward their disciplinary practices toward special education and regular education students in light of the changes in law as a result of the reauthorization of IDEA. Based on survey results, attitudes indicated that administrators felt that they had changed their disciplinary practices because of the law, the law had made discipline more lenient on special education students, and that the changes would provide evidence that, after reauthorization, suspension and expulsion rates would be increased for regular education students. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Guidance and Counseling|Education, Special

Recommended Citation

William Christopher Winters, "An analysis of suspensions and expulsions of special education and regular education middle grades students in seven middle Tennessee school districts" (2000). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3007593.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3007593

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