Civil and Human Rights Coalition Condemns Colorado Plan to Conceal Educational Inequity
WASHINGTON – Today, Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released a statement in response to reports that the Colorado Department of Education will allow districts to hide educational inequities by collapsing the reporting about diverse groups of students, including students of color, English learners, and students with disabilities, into one large category called a “combined subgroup.” Such sleight of hand in accountability distorts disparities in educational outcomes and opportunities, stymies efforts to close educational gaps, and is contrary to the state’s responsibilities under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
“Colorado’s proposal isn’t a plan for accountability; it’s a plan of obfuscation.
The Colorado Department of Education’s proposal is illegal, secretive, misleading, and dangerous for Colorado’s children.
The Colorado plan is exactly the kind of sleight of hand that has stymied educational equity for generations. Artificially lumping communities together is insensitive, makes it harder for the state to improve outcomes for all students and students of color in particular, and is contrary to the state’s responsibilities under ESSA.
You can’t fix a problem that you don’t identify. Coloradans deserve to know how all students are doing and to expect that the state will use that information to make smart policy decisions about how to help struggling students.
Colorado should stop fighting its own families and revise its plan to be responsive to the needs of all its students.”
Wade Henderson is president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.