URGENT: Tell Education to Keep Publicizing Civil Rights Data

The U.S. Department of Education collects and publicizes vitally important data on civil rights in U.S. Schools. It fuels both policy and journalism. Without good data, we can’t tell the big stories and we can’t make good decisions. I’m asking you to provide a clear brief comment about why it’s important, to let the Department of Education know this program matters. It’s not a panic situation. It’s not a BREAKING THREAT AHHH! But it is important.

For example, here’s last week’s piece from NBC News on “kids in cuffs.” Behind that story, the Civil Rights Data from Education.

Due in part to tragic school shootings like the Columbine massacre, police and security officers are now a regular presence at schools. But the handcuffing of Kalyb Wiley-Primm is one of many incidents across the country that have led to calls to examine the role that police play in schools, and change how discipline is meted out — particularly to minority students and students with disabilities.

Read it. And here’s a thread of numerous other stories I’ve written on the same topic over the years, all dependent on data collection.

Right now there’s a call for comment about changing the way that the information is collected and disseminated. People in the know have suggested it would be a good time to go to Regulations.gov and offer a thoughtful, but brief, comment.

There’s no evidence that Secretary DeVos wants to stop collecting and disseminating this data (I have a request in for comment), but it would be useful to make it clear that any attempt to do so in the future will be noticed and met with resistance. Just take a few minutes and say something like (in your own words):

“The Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) provides much-needed transparency and information on key education and civil rights issues in our nation’s public schools, including for students with disabilities and those from other marginalized or disadvantaged backgrounds. This data helps the U.S. Department of Education achieve its mission of ensuring access to equal educational opportunity for all students. Secretary DeVos should please preserve, expand, and publicly share the results of the CRDC.”

Then you enter some information, if you want, and you’re done! Select “individual” or “academic” or whatever.

Here’s another example of comment.

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