AERA Comments on Proposed Changes to the Civil Rights Data Collection
AERA Comments on Proposed Changes to the Civil Rights Data Collection

November 2019

On November 18, AERA submitted comments on proposed revisions to the 2019–20 administration of the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), which includes data on leading civil rights indicators related to access and barriers to educational opportunity from early childhood through Grade 12. As reported in October in AERA Highlights, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has proposed eliminating several indicators for the next version of the CRDC.

AERA’s response to the proposed changes included concerns with elimination of (1) the collection of data on first-year and second-year teachers; (2) the indicator on teacher absenteeism; and (3) the disaggregation of preschool enrollment by race, English learner status, and disability classification.

AERA also urged OCR to continue its partnership with the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) on data quality. Specifically, AERA recommended integrating existing school-level finance data being reported to comply with requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act in the CRDC and leveraging ongoing work NCES has undertaken to pilot the School-Level Finance Survey.

“We encourage OCR to consider these recommendations as it continues planning for the next round of the CRDC,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine. “The responses by AERA as an association and by individual education researchers highlight the importance of these indicators in examining disparities across multiple areas of education.”

OCR has proposed eliminating information on preschool enrollment and availability, school finance data, the number of first- and second-year teachers in schools, and the number of teachers absent more than 10 days in a school year. OCR has also proposed expanding the data collection on reports of sexual violence and reports of bullying and harassment based on religious beliefs and sex/gender stereotypes, and the enrollment of students with disabilities in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses.