New York City Student Suspension Rate Increases

Public school students in New York City were suspended 73,441 times during the 2010-2012 school year, a 2.4 percent increase over the year before.  Fifty-two percent of the students suspended were black, 37 percent were Hispanic, and 7 percent were white, compared with a district enrollment that is 29 percent black, 40 percent Hispanic and 15 percent white.

There needs to be a better way to deal with students who disrupt or stop other students from learning.  The data are clear that poor, minority students are suspended at a higher rate than their enrollment in a district.  Obviously there is a need for research about why this is true. 
In addition, a student who is suspended is deprived of an education and research indicates that these students are more likely to drop out. Are alternative settings the only answer?