Press Release

WASHINGTON — Today Ary Amerikaner, vice president for P-12 policy, practice, and research for The Education Trust, released the following statement on the U.S. Department of Education’s release of the 2017-18 Civil Rights Data Collection.

“In what has become a tragic pattern of inaction on civil rights, the U.S. Department of Education continues to downplay the importance of the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) – leaving it up to civil rights and education advocacy partners to use its findings to shine a light on inequities and call for change at a time when our nation continues to grapple with a long overdue recognition of the deeply entrenched roots of racism, the COVID-19 pandemic, and its related economic downturn.

“The department’s release of the 2017-2018 data has almost no focus on the experiences of Black and Latino students in our nation’s schools. The only related data is buried at the end of the restraint and seclusion brief. Despite damning data showing, for example, that Black students make up 18% of students with disabilities but more than a quarter (26%) of students with disabilities who were subjected to physical restraint, there is no call for improvement. Unlike in prior years, there is also no analysis on inequities in resources and opportunities like access to advanced coursework or strong educators, or exposure to exclusionary discipline practices.

“It is plain wrong to cover up meaningful data on the experiences of Black and Latino students. If we’re ever to make progress on ending systemic racism and bias, we must have federal leaders who believe in the power of data to make positive change for all students, especially those most underserved.”