Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Idea in Practice

Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Idea in Practice

Article excerpt

Civil Rights Data Collection

The U.S. Departmentof Educationrecently released the second part of the 2009-2010 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC). This survey covers approximately 85% of the nation's students and represents more than 7,000 school districts and 72,000 schools. Data are disaggregated by race and ethnicity, English language learner status, sex, and disability under IDEA and Section 504. The CRDC website offers interactive analytic tools for reporting data by state, district, and school and allows for sorting by key indicators, suchas discipline, seclusion and restraint, college and career readiness, student retention, and teacher equity. The goal of the biannual survey is to provide educators, researchers, policymakers, and parents with critical information to assist them in identifying inequalities and targeting solutions to close the achievement gap.

Results from the first part of the survey, released in June 2011, included information on access to a sequence of college- and career-ready math and science courses, the number of first- and secondyear teachers in schools, the number of high school counselors in schools, availability of early learning programs, districts operating under desegregation orders or plans, and whether districts have written policies prohibiting harassment and bullying. The second part of the survey includes detailed discipline data on school suspensions, expulsions, referrals to law enforcement, school-related arrests, harassment and bullying, and restraint and seclusion. It also provides a comprehensive picture of college and career readiness, school finance, teacher absenteeism, and grade-level student retention. While the data overall point to numerous disparities, the summary of the data includes new spotlights on schools that defy the negative trends (e.g., at Andrew Jackson School in Chicago fewer than 1% of African American and Hispanic students received out-of-school suspensions).

Findings of particular interest to school psychologists include:

* African American students, particularly males, are far more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than their peers. Black students represent 18% of the students in CRDCs sample but 35% of students suspended once, 46% of students suspended more than once, and 39% of students expelled.

* Students with disabilities represent 12% of students in the sample, but nearly 70% of the students who are physically restrained. African American students with disabilities represent 21% of students with disabilities under IDEA, but 44% of students who are subject to mechanical restraint. …

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