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Report: Racial Gap In D.C. Area School Suspensions

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ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — A published report says black students in the D.C. area are suspended and expelled two to five times as often as white students, and the trend can be seen in both the Maryland and Virginia suburbs and inner city Washington.

The Washington Post reports that its analysis found that in the suburbs alone, more than 35,000 students were suspended or expelled from school at some point last school year — more than half of them black students.

Experts say potential reasons for the disparity are poverty, unintended bias, unequal access to highly effective teachers and differences in school leadership styles.

In Montgomery County, Maryland, Deputy Superintendent Frieda K. Lacey says officials are trying new approaches to close the gap, including involving a team of administrators in suspension decisions.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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