- One in five secondary school students with disabilities was suspended (19.3%), nearly triple the rate of all students without disabilities (6.6%).
- 36% of all Black middle school males with disabilities were suspended one or more times.
These – and other – alarming statistics outlined in a series of reports written by Daniel Losen and Tia Martinez at UCLA’s Civil Rights Project originated from first-ever data collected by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights in its 2009-2010 civil rights data collection (CRDC).
The CRDC is a biannual survey of a sampling of school districts – 7,000 were included in 2009-2010 – on a range of civil rights issues focused on equal educational opportunity. Its data has provided national, state and local statistics on key issues such as discipline practices, access to challenging academic content (i.e. AP, gifted and talented), and much more.
Earlier this week, CEC provided the Office of Civil Rights with four key areas to strengthen future civil rights data collection efforts:
- Availability of well prepared special educators and related service personnel serving students with disabilities;
- Impact of discipline and justice facilities on students with disabilities;
- Ensuring that students with disabilities receive legally-required, timely services; and
- Gaining more information about students with disabilities who have 504 plans.
Additionally, recognizing the substantial investment in human capital that a data collection of this magnitude requires, CEC called on the Department to:
- Ensure that CDRC data cross-references other data collection initiatives of the U.S. Department of Education, where appropriate; and
- Increase investments and technical assistance to support states and school districts in their efforts to comply with the many federal data requirements, including the CRDC.