Education Department Office for Civil Rights Solicits Public Input on Proposed Revisions to Civil Rights Data Collection for 2021-22 School Year

November 2021

Deadline for Public Comment: January 18, 2022

On November 18, the Department of Education announced its proposal for data elements and a public comment period for the 2021–22 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC). The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) within the Department of Education conducts this mandatory collection of school data, which include indicators on educational access and equity.

Compared to proposals for the CRDC released during the latter part of the previous administration, the proposed CRDC seeks to restore important indicators that were removed, including the provision of prekindergarten programs, data on credit recovery and advanced placement participation, and data on teacher absenteeism and numbers of first- and second-year teachers. The proposal would also reverse efforts in the previous administration to combine data from two separate questions seeking information on the number of preschool children who received one out-of-school suspension and the number of preschool children who received more than one out-of-school suspension.

OCR is also proposing the inclusion of nonbinary as a selection, along with male and female, for questions that require disaggregation by sex. Along with this proposed change, a new question would be added to collect information on incidents of alleged harassment or bullying on the basis of gender identity.

In addition to these proposed new items, OCR is planning to add questions regarding the amount of virtual instruction schools provided and the number of students who received WiFi-enabled devices or hotspots. The 2021–22 CRDC would also eliminate questions for collecting data on the number of certified teachers who taught specific courses (e.g., Algebra 1); it would instead collect data on the number of certified teachers in math, science, special education, and English as a second language. Other new data for the 2021–22 CRDC would include the number of data science courses provided in grades 9–12 and the number of students in grades 9–12 who took data science courses.

The 2021–22 CRDC would also retain the removal of data on school finance indicators first implemented in the 2020–21 CRDC. In lieu of reinstating these fields, the OCR is looking into requiring states to complete the School-Level Finance Survey. OCR will also continue collaborating with the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to incorporate data from the School-Level Finance Survey in examining potential civil rights enforcement.

“We applaud the OCR for reversing decisions from the prior administration that removed important indicators of educational equity,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine. “We are also very appreciative of OCR for being more inclusive by proposing a choice of nonbinary for gender, and for proposing the reporting of incidents of bullying that are based on gender identity.”

Full details on the proposed changes are available on OCR is soliciting public comment on the proposed changes, which can be submitted through by January 18, 2022.