RELEASE: The Department of Education’s Proposed Changes to Civil Rights Data Collection Place Vulnerable Students at Risk
Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Education’s proposed changes to the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) have the potential to mask the gaps in educational quality for which advocates have been working hard to find solutions. The CRDC is a critical tool used by educators and advocates to highlight the disparities in educational opportunity and quality experienced by students. This tool gathers nationwide data on a variety of issue areas, including school discipline, school funding, and access to early childhood education.
Yesterday, the Center for American Progress’ K-12 Education team submitted comments to the Department of Education to oppose the removal of data points that would make it nearly impossible to measure the quality of education that students receive nationwide. Key areas of concern among the proposed changes to the CRDC, as well as context for how these changes place students at risk, include:
- The elimination of data collection on the number of full-time employed first- and second-year teachers: Studies have shown that schools with higher percentages of nonwhite students are more likely to have novice teachers.
- The elimination of all previously collected data about school finance, including the number of full-time employed teachers and support staff, as well as their salaries, and the amount of non-personnel expenditures made with federal, state, and local funds.
- The elimination of a variety of data collection points on early childhood education, including the cost of kindergarten offered and whether it is available part or full time.
- The elimination of data collection on the number of students who participate in credit recovery programs to earn the credit they need to graduate.
“This administration can’t cast itself as an advocate for the advancement of Black and Brown students while using its power to upend the only means for researchers, educators, and advocates to measure the quality of education that all students receive,” said Khalilah Harris, managing director of K-12 Education Policy at CAP. “This proposal takes us in the opposite direction of where we need to be going in order to ensure equity in education.”
CAP’s comment urges the department to reconsider these proposed eliminations. CAP also supported sign-on letters from the Education Trust and the Leadership Conference.
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