Strong Civil Rights Data Collection Needed for Best Educational Outcomes

Education News 11.18,19

Contact: Shin Inouye, [email protected], 202.869.0398

WASHINGTON – In response to the Department of Education’s proposal to limit the scope of the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 56 other civil rights and education groups submitted joint comments stating serious concerns that such a move would “certainly hamper the ability of the department to fulfill its legal obligations and would undermine our shared interest in the best education for every child.”

The civil rights organizations aim to underscore how important the CRDC is to education advocacy and to maintaining oversight of the Department of Education’s civil rights responsibilities. The department’s proposal would withdraw current questions about resource equity and change the definition of sexual harassment. Such a move would restrict the Department of Education’s ability to ensure compliance with civil rights laws.

“As organizations committed to the fair and appropriate treatment of all children in all settings, we continue to press for changes to policy and practice – and the critical data that makes systemic change possible. A comprehensive, timely, and accessible CRDC is essential to ensuring equal educational opportunity and compliance with nondiscrimination laws. Our children deserve no less,” stated the groups.

The groups outlined recommendations for preserving the scope of the CRDC and providing new information about children’s educational experiences. These include:

  • Retain all school finance items
  • Retain teacher experience and teacher absenteeism items
  • Retain all early childhood education items
  • Retain the references to gender identity in the definition of “harassment on the basis of sex”
  • Include the experiences of children with disabilities placed by school districts in nonpublic schools in the CRDC
  • Collect and report data on an annual basis
  • Disaggregate race and ethnicity data by the American Community Survey categories
  • Make data about Puerto Rico schools public alongside data for all other schools

The full list of endorsing organizations is below. Read the full letter here.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
The Leadership Conference Education Fund
Alliance for Excellent Education
American Atheists
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Arab American Institute
Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities
Center for American Progress
Center for Law and Social Policy
Children’s Defense Fund
Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues
Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates
Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)
Education Deans for Justice and Equity
Education Law Center – PA
Education Reform Now
Educators for Excellence
Feminist Majority Foundation
Girls Inc.
Healthy Schools Campaign
Hindu American Foundation
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)
Hispanic Federation
Hispanic National Bar Association, Inc.
Human Rights Campaign
Institute for Higher Education Policy
Inter University Program on Latino Research
Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA)
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
MANA, A National Latina Organization
NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund
National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE)
National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives
National Center for Learning Disabilities
National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Disability Rights Network
National Down Syndrome Congress
National Hispanic Media Coalition
National Latinx Psychological Association
National Women’s Law Center
New America, Education Policy Program
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates
Poverty & Race Research Action Council
Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)
Southern Poverty Law Center
Teach For America
The Arc of the United States
The Education Trust
United States Hispanic Leadership Institute

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 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