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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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