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Letting Federal Data Drive State and Local Policy Under Secretary DeVos

Education Next – Michael Katz

“The announcement last week that the US Departments of Justice and Education will end Obama-era protections for transgender students proves the Trump administration is serious about transferring control of education from the federal government to the states. But while the appropriate federal role in the policies and practices of local schools is a matter of debate, ensuring transparency through data collection should not be. Since 1968, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), an office of the Department of Education, has collected data from public schools on student and school characteristics to ensure all students have equal access to a quality education. Many have raised questions about the future of this biennial dataset under Secretary DeVos. Despite challenges posed by data collection, however, DeVos should maintain the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC). Rather than a case of federal overreach, the CRDC allows the federal government to empower state and local education providers to improve their policies and provides parents, policymakers, and advocates the tools to hold schools accountable.”(more)

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