School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


David C Nelson


CRCT, Exclusionary discipline, In-school suspension, Out-of-school suspension, Zero-tolerance policies


Education | Educational Leadership


The purpose of this quantitative, correlational study was to investigate the relationship between time assigned to in-school suspension and the math and reading scores on the 2013-2014 Georgia Criterion Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) for 6th to 8th grade regular education, African American male students. Archival data from school databases were used for this study. Following IRB approval and with permission from each district superintendent, in-school suspension and CRCT score data were collected for 6th to 8th grade regular education, African American male students who had been assigned to 1 or more days of in-school suspension, sampled from 30 middle schools throughout the state of Georgia for a total sample size of 1546 students. Time assigned to in-school suspension, where students guilty of rules violations are temporarily partitioned from their classmates, served as the predictor variable in this research effort. As viewed through the lens of Critical Race Theory and Expectancy Theory, this study centered the statistical analysis on African American middle school male students due to research strongly indicating that students in this subgroup are currently experiencing discipline disproportionalities and growing achievement gaps. Scores on the reading and math CRCT, a collection of standardized tests used to assess grade-level mastery of reading and mathematics learning objectives, served as the criterion variable. Statistical analysis used separate Spearman's rho correlation (ρ) analysis (also referred to as Spearman rank correlation coefficient or Spearman rs) to determine that there was a statistically significant relationship between the time assigned to in-school suspension and scores on the reading CRCT (rs = -.123, p < .0005) and math CRCT (rs = -.142, p < .0005).