AERA Submits Comments on 2020-21 CRDC Revisions and Schedule Adjustment
AERA Submits Comments on 2020-21 CRDC Revisions and Schedule Adjustment

August 2020

On August 6, AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine submitted comments on additional proposed changes and updates to the 2020–21 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC).

The department has rolled back its plans to eliminate  certain data indicators on early childhood education. However, it still plans to stop the collection of several important indicators on numbers of first- and second-year teachers, teacher absenteeism, and school finance. As reported in the July 2020 AERA Highlights, the Department of Education is delaying the collection by a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As schools, districts, and states continue to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students, teachers, and the broader K–12 system, the information in the CRDC is more critical than ever to be able to identify and address long-standing, persistent inequities that students of color, low-income students, and students with disabilities face,” wrote Levine. “The forthcoming CRDC will be helpful for researchers and policymakers to understand the magnitude of the impact of the pandemic on educational equity and access.”

While expressing support for the department’s decision not to eliminate several important indicators, the AERA letter also noted the association’s ongoing concerns with the proposed elimination of school finance, teacher absenteeism, and new teacher data. These concerns were also previously expressed in a November 2019 letter to the department, responding to the initial notice of proposed revisions to the CRDC. 

Pertaining to the recommendation to retain collection of teacher absenteeism data, the letter recommends providing guidance to districts and schools in circumstances of distance learning and in scenarios where teachers would be required to quarantine due to exposure to Covid-19 or a positive test. 

The AERA letter also supported the department’s intention to move forward with the CRDC, even if delayed a year, given school closures in March and the subsequent responses by districts and schools to ensure the continuity of education and related services.

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