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The leader of the Education Achievement Authority set a goal Tuesday of reducing student suspensions 50 percent by 2020, and said the state-run district is already making progress.

Chancellor Veronica Conforme said out-of-school suspensions for male students of color fell 10 percent between 2013-14 and 2014-15, and that expulsions dropped by more than two-thirds.

“This reduction is essential to the EAA’s mission because it means fewer students are missing out on classroom instruction and school activities,” she said.

She said the district has taken steps to reduce suspensions and expulsions, including mandatory due process hearings and changes to the student code of conduct. The EAA also reduced the maximum suspension from 10 days to five days.

Conforme discussed the district’s discipline and safety measures at the second Detroit summit of My Brother’s Keeper, a White House initiative aimed at improving education and outcomes for boys and young men of color.

“Nationally, suspension rates for students of color are disproportionately higher,” she said. “I remain committed to reversing that trend here in Detroit.”

The EAA oversees 15 former Detroit Public Schools, three of which are charter schools.

SLewis@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2296

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