Friday, November 6, 2009

Be Heard: US Department of Education proposes changes to Civil Rights Data Collection - accepting Public Comment through November 10th!

The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights has proposed significant changes in Civil Rights Data Collection. The Department's proposal includes a biennial survey of roughly half the nation's schools (over 7,000 districts), with new requests for data on:

  • Bullying/harassment of students in violation of civil rights laws
  • Use of seclusion and restraint
  • School-related arrests and referrals to law enforcement
  • Expulsions under zero-tolerance school disciplinary policies
  • Student retention
  • College-preparatory courses, International Baccalaureate programs, and SAT and ACT test participation
  • Pre-kindergarten programs
  • School counselors
  • School finance
  • Teaching experience

The proposed changes provide that the data collected be disaggregated by race and ethnicity, gender, special education status (pursuant to IDEA and Section 504), and LEP status.

The Department of Education will accept comments on the Civil Rights Data Collection submitted on or before Tuesday, November 10, 2009. We urge you to submit recommendations and comments; your input is essential to securing collection of this critical data. The DOE has already received comments in opposition to the breadth of the proposed changes.

Materials on the proposed modifications can be found on the web at: Click "browse pending collections" and choose #4127. The most relevant documents are labeled "B-4" and "B-5."

Comments should be submitted by e-mail to

By way of example, the Dignity in Schools Campaign has drafted comments addressing the disciplinary changes in the proposed Civil Rights Data Collection; a Word version of the comments is available at

Thank you for your input, and your continued work and leadership in providing high quality, inclusive schools for all the nation's schoolchildren.

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