Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Elementary Education | Secondary Education | Special Education and Teaching

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Within public education, it has been shown that there is a disproportionate rate of discipline between Black and White students. A literature review was conducted to identify prevailing themes as to why this gap occurs, what factors maintain it, and what can educators do to reduce it. Several themes were found and are detailed in this paper in the following order: First, several studies have debunked the previously held idea that low socioeconomic status and the Differential Involvement theory could be explanations for the disproportionate rate of discipline. Second, there are two leading factors, among many others, that maintain the disproportionate rate of discipline: individual teachers and their daily interactions with students and a cultural disconnect between faculty and students. Third, three ways to reduce this discipline gap are promoting cultural competence, implementing proactive disciplinary practices, and, at the highest level, total policy reform.