When the U.S. Department of Education released the latest installment of the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), statistics covering the 2009-10 academic school year, last week it made headlines around the country.
The CRDC represents a wealth of information from just about every corner of our country’s educational landscape. The report also shined some light on a number of gaps in educational opportunity and discipline on a national scale. Every state, school, district and county with a public school system is in there with detailed numbers attached.
The Office of Civil Rights, a division of the Department of Education, has been collecting CRDC information since 1968 to help identify gaps, disparities and trends in educational achievement and opportunities. The work was suspended briefly in 2006 under then President George W. Bush, but was reinstated and expanded by President Obama last year — collecting data for the first time on things such as law enforcement referrals for students.
“For the first time we have an incredible new source of data that tells us where opportunity gaps are in ways we’ve never seen before as a country,” Russlynn Ali, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education, said in a telephone briefing with reporters last week following the release of the first installment of the new CRDC data. “In recent years we have more data than ever before on identifying the achievement gap and where it exists.”
- Black students were more than three and a half times as likely to be suspended or expelled than their white peers.
- More than 70 percent of students in school-related arrests were black or Hispanic.
- Black and Hispanic students account for 44 percent of the students covered in the survey, but only account for 26 percent of students enrolled in gifted or talented programs.
- On average, teachers at high-minority schools were paid $2,251 less annually than their colleagues in other schools.
But one of the biggest benefits of this collection is the ability to drill down to any level, for any district, for any school, anywhere in the nation. Since the JJIE is located in metro Atlanta, we decided to take a look at the Atlanta Public School (APS) system.
Examining the data for the City of Atlanta, a number of the national trends seem to hold true. The percentage of black students suspended or expelled was high compared to the number in the school system, and black enrollment in gifted or talented programs was disproportionately low.
At first glance a handfull of findings from the self-reported data stick out. For example, the average teacher salary of $94,000 seems strikingly high. A look at six counties surrounding the APS district shows a wide range in average salaries:
- Atlanta - $94,058.90
- Cobb – $48,372.50
- DeKalb – $82,488.50
- Fulton (non-APS) – $38,759.80
- Gwinnett – $45, 680.30
- Clayton – $81,138.60
- Douglas – $125,846.00
But looking at the salary averages across districts can be misleading if you fail to dig into the reporting behind it, Department of Education spokesperson David Thomas said.
"Many comparisons are possible with the CRDC school-level expenditure data, particularly within-district comparisons," Thomas said in an e-mail. "However, data users must analyze the data between states and districts with caution due to variations in the district-selected inclusions and exclusions."
These inclusions and exclusions account for the wide range of reported average salaries in the Atlanta area. Here's a breakdown Thomas provided to help clarify:
The new database has only been live for about a week and a number of features – including the ability to easily track trends over the years of available data – are still in the works. If you want to see how your own school or district measures up, visit http://ocrdata.ed.gov/
This infographic was originally published on ClayDuda.com.
Newly collected data from the Department of Education shows that minority students are disproportionately subject to harsher disciplinary actions in public schools than their peers and offers insight into opportunity gaps for public school students around the country.
More than 70 percent of students involved in school arrests or law enforcement referrals were black or Hispanic, according to the report. Black students were three and half times more likely to be suspended or expelled than white peers, the New York Times reported.
The Civil Rights Data Collection’s 2009-10 gathered statistics from 72,000 schools, serving about 85 percent of the nation’s students from kindergarten through high school.
While the disciplinary data is probably the most dramatic, the statistics illustrated a range of racial and ethnic disparities. Finding included:
- Black students made up only 18 percent of those enrolled in the schools sampled, however, they accounted for 35 percent of those suspended once, 46 percent of those suspended more than once and 39 percent of all expulsions, according to the Civil Rights Data Collection’s 2009-10 statistics.
- Over 70 percent of the students involved in school-related arrests or referred to law enforcement were Hispanic or black.
- Black students were three and a half times as likely to be suspended or expelled than their white peers.
- In districts that reported expulsions under zero-tolerance policies, Hispanic and black students represent 45 percent of the student body, but 56 percent of those expelled under such policies.
“For the first time we have an incredible new source of data that tells us where opportunity gaps are in ways we’ve never seen before as a country,” Russlynn Ali, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education, said in a telephone briefing with reporters on Monday. “In recent years we have more data than ever before on identifying the achievement gap and where it exists.”
The department has gathered information on civil rights and education since 1968, yet the Bush administration suspended the project in 2006. Since then, the data collection has been reinstated and expanded to include referrals to law enforcement, The New York Times reported.
The Civil Rights Data Collection is being released in two parts. This afternoon Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, along with Aliwill will announce the results at Howard University. Afterward, data will be publicly available at ocrdata.ed.gov.
Check back for expanded coverage and updates.
"How would you feel if you couldn't text for a day?" Lab 42, a company that specializes in custom surveys, market research and data visualization, asked a survey group of American teenagers. The teens weren't too concerned. After all, they would still have Facebook.
Texting isn't exactly new and isn't limited to a single demographic, but for this infographic the surveyors decided to take a sample from 500 leading textperts - today's teens - through the use of social media networks. The survey resulted in some interesting findings. Check out the image below for the complete results.
The sample group consisted of 500 American teens between the age of 13 and 21. Lab 42 uses "third party survey software" and cross-references survey data with the participant's social networking accounts to ensure the validity of data. While the company doesn't publish their complete methodology online additional information is available by contacting email@example.com.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, The Department of Justice, and the Office of Justice Programs offers grants for the Probation Census Project. This project helps the Department of Justice collect data and to establish national statistics on the number of kids in the nation who are on probation. This also helps gather information on the offices that help supervise kids on probation. The deadline for this grant is 11:59 p.m., EST. June 29, 2011.
Internet Crimes Against Children Deconfliction System Program Grant offers assistance to organizations looking for financial help to thwart internet crimes against kids. The Internet Crimes Against Children Deconfliction Systems (ICAC) may be able to get help from OJJJDP through its grant program. This grant will award as much as $500,000 to help construct, maintain and house an Internet Crimes Against Children Data System (IDS). The grant's purpose is to assist law enforcement investigations with child exploitations, avoid conflict on data, and enhance the ability to share information among local, state and federal ICAC task forces. This grant is available to help enhance the ability of OJJDP to collect and aggregate information on child exploitation.
"Anything worth doing is worth measuring," is the philosophy of the Fostering Court Improvement.
Fostering Court Improvement is a non-profit organization that uses data to assist Dependency Courts and Child Welfare Agencies in making informed decisions, managing their operations, monitoring their performance and making systemic changes to improve outcomes for children and families. Their roots and founding are in Georgia. Georgia's own Barton Child Law and Policy Clinic at Emory University works very closely with the Family Research Center at the University of Illinois to refine data so that it is usable and accessible to the courts and child welfare agencies. It is a terrific resource to our State and those involved in advocacy for the wellbeing of children in Georgia.
They have an excellent website that has the latest information concerning many states including Georgia.
Georgia's data is very informative and complete. Data is sorted by county, region, judicial circuit and judicial district. Comparisons can be made relative to how counties are doing in comparison to each other.
Did you know that in regard to counties per 10,000 residents that:
- Children subject to maltreatment investigations - Lanier County was the highest (55.5) and Webster County was the lowest number of investigations (0).
- Children subject to a victim investigation - Lanier County had the highest (38.6) and Fayette County the lowest (.8).
- Children in foster care - Polk had the most (163) and Calhoun, Warren and Wilkes had none.
These tools allow the kind of transparency that we need to transform the child welfare system to one that we can be proud of.
Read more at www.gahsc.org/
Normer Adams is Executive Director of the Georgia Association of Homes and Services for Children and a writer, speaker and consultant on family and social issues such as advocacy. lobbying, and child welfare policy.