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Last month, moreover, the Education Department pressured the Oakland school district to impose "targeted reductions" in the number of black students suspended. The department charged that Oakland's disciplinary policy has a "disparate impact" on African-American students, who are suspended at higher rates for violent behavior. The Oakland case is the first of some 20 such investigations of school districts across the U.S.
"The Obama administration is pressuring school districts not to suspend violent or disruptive black students if they have already disciplined 'too many' black students," said Competitive Enterprise Institute counsel Hans Bader.