Suspended in Context: School Discipline, STEM Course-Taking, and School Racial/Ethnic Composition

Matthew Snidal , University of Texas at Austin

STEM curricula and school disciplinary regimes are key foundations of the transition to adulthood, and they may be connected within school contexts in ways that reflect and exacerbate the intergenerational transmission of inequality. This study examines such connections with particular attention to student race/ethnicity and the racial/ethnic composition of high schools. Bivariate probit analyses of the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 and the Civil Rights Data Collection of 2012 revealed that early suspension was associated with truncated trajectories of advanced math course-taking later in high school while taking Algebra I in grade 9 was associated with avoiding suspension. Although the proportion of disciplinary cases of racial/ethnic peers was associated with the math coursework of boys, various aspects of school racial/ethnic composition did not moderate the associations between suspension and math coursework over time. These results confirm the value of studying the interplay of formal and informal processes of schooling.


 Presented in Session 150. Exposure to Violence and Aggression in Schools and Adolescent Development