Less Than 1 Percent of Pre-K Kids are Suspended Each Year

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In the spirit of the old-school blogosphere, I give you Shorter Bob Somerby™:

There are 1 million kids in public preschools in the United States. In 2012, about 8,000 of them were suspended. Is that really a lot?

Good question! That’s less than 1 percent, which doesn’t immediately strike me as “astounding”—Melinda Anderson’s description in the Atlantic a couple of days ago. It means that out of every five pre-K classrooms, about one child is suspended per year.

The racial disparities in preschool suspensions are disturbing, and it’s possible that the overall suspension rate has increased a lot lately, which would also be disturbing if true. But we have no data prior to 2012, so we don’t know.

It’s also possible that suspension is just flatly inappropriate for 3-year olds, in which case even 1 percent is too high a number. But Anderson doesn’t really make that case either.

So do we have a real problem here? Beats me.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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