The U.S. Department of Education recently released the 2011-2012 civil rights data collected from schools across the country. These numbers give us a whole lot more information than we can get from our local districts and the ALSDE about access and equity in our schools.
This information can be used to ensure discriminatory practices (intentional or unintentional) are uncovered and ultimately ended. Most all of the data looks at participation related to student race, ethnicity, gender, disability status, and whether the student is Limited English Proficient (LEP), though some of the data is simply descriptive.
Here’s a quick view of what you can find:
- Pre-K participation,
- Advanced Placement participation, test-taking, and test-passing,
- SAT/ACT participation (a moot point for Alabama now that all 11th graders will take the ACT with writing this spring)
- Advanced classes participation,
- Gifted and talented participation,
- Athletic participation (as in numbers of participants),
- Student-teacher ratios, and
- Average teacher salary.
In addition to viewing charts by district and by school, you can download the data yourself.
For districts and schools who choose to use this data to inform practices, this is a gold mine. Parent groups can use this data to identify areas where advocacy may be necessary to improve equity and access.
Don’t be intimidated. Take a look. Here’s how.
[I was suffering through a respiratory illness, but wanted to get this out as quickly as possible. Heavily edited due to coughing fits. Please forgive me.]