Legal

Persistent Disparities Found Through Comprehensive Civil Rights Survey

by Ernie Melcher

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently unveiled new data from the 2013-2014 school year showing gaps that still remain too wide in key areas affecting educational equity and opportunity for students, including incidents of discipline, restraint and seclusion, access to courses and programs that lead to college and career readiness, teacher equity, rates of retention, and access to early learning.

U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. said that, despite significant work from districts across the country, the persistent disparities shown in the new Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC)—which collected data from all public schools and school districts nationwide for the 2013-14 school year—highlight the need for a continued focus on educational equity, especially in the implementation of the new Every Student Succeeds Act.

The 2013-2014 CRDC collected data on several new topics for the first time, including chronic student absenteeism, access to educational programs in justice facilities; availability of distance education, including online courses; the presence of sworn law enforcement officers in schools (including school resource officers); availability of partially or fully cost-subsidized preschool; and whether the district has a civil rights coordinator.

This release is the first in a series of data analyses from the 2013-14 CRDC that the Department will issue this summer and fall. To make these data more accessible and useful for parents, educators, policymakers and others, for the first time, the whole data file is available online at CRDC.ed.gov.

The full press release is available at http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/persistent-disparities-found-through-comprehensive-civil-rights-survey-underscore-need-continued-focus-equity-king-says
The report, 2013-14 Civil Rights Data Collection: A First Look is available at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/2013-14-first-look.pdf

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