Black and Hispanic students are more likely than white students to be held back a grade in school, according to data released today by the Education Department. The disparities were seen particularly in elementary and middle schools, and were most significant for black students, who accounted for 56% of all fourth-graders retained at the end of the 2009-10 school year. According to an Education Department analysis also released today, black and Hispanic students were disciplined or expelled at a higher rate than their white counterparts.

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