Research Policy & Advocacy
AERA Urges Expanded Civil Rights Data Collection

In response to a request for comments from the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) on the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), AERA is urging OCR to expand the data elements it collects. The CRDC includes data on various educational indicators related to access and equity. The Department of Education has proposed adding new fields on school discipline, juvenile justice education, and aggregate salaries of school staff, among other indicators.

“Expanding the collection of data on bullying harassment, school discipline, and juvenile justice education, would further facilitate important research in these areas,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine. “This information, which needs to be collected in ways that minimize the burden placed on schools and districts, is critical to the development and implementation of science-based policies and practices.”

Read more in the January 2014 AERA Highlights »

NRC Panel Issues Recommendations on Common Rule
A National Research Council (NRC) panel released a
report this month urging that federal regulations that protect human research subjects clarify the review process for social and behavioral science research. AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine served on the NRC-appointed 16-person panel, which was charged in December 2013 with reviewing proposed regulations outlined in the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The report’s key recommendations included:

  • Defining “human subjects research”—research that would be subject to the full review process—as involving direct interaction with a living individual or obtaining identifiable private information about the individual.

  • Clarifying that research which relies on publicly available information or information that can be observed in public contexts should not be considered “human subjects research,” as long as the individuals whose information is used have no reasonable expectation of privacy.

  • Outlining three distinct categories of research studies: excused research, expedited review research, and full review research. Expedited review research—or research that might otherwise qualify as excused but may need further consideration—should be considered the default category of social and behavioral science research that is not in the excused category.

Read more in the January 2014 AERA Highlights »

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