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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Improve Data Transparency in ESEA: Support the Bipartisan Warren-Gardner Transparency Amendment

Advocacy Letter - 07/09/15

Source: The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Recipient: U.S. Senate


View the PDF of this letter here.

Dear Senator:

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, we urge you to support the Warren-Gardner Transparency Amendment to the Every Child Achieves Act, S.1177.  This bipartisan amendment, which was included in previous bipartisan bills to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, provides for the reporting of valuable data about all groups of students without requiring additional resources or action by the state to implement it.  It is not enough to simply know how students are doing by race, gender or disability; it is incredibly important to better understand how students are doing across these categories. 

The reauthorization of ESEA provides an opportunity to address flaws in education data reporting systems. Currently, states are required to report data on student performance that is disaggregated by gender, race/ethnicity, disability status, English proficiency, economic status, and migrant status. But the data remain in those silos when they could be presented in a more informative manner. In most states, there is no way to compare achievement for students who fall into more than one category—for example, African American girls, Native American boys, or Latino students with disabilities. Yet the intersection of these categories can contribute to and inform student experiences and outcomes.

To create meaningful data transparency going forward, the Warren-Gardner Data Transparency amendment to the Every Child Achieves Act would ensure that graduation rate and academic assessment data reported by states are not only disaggregated, but also cross-tabulated—that is, segmented by more than one subgroup, such as by race and gender together, by gender and disability together, and by race and disability together (while still protecting student privacy).

We hope we can count on your support to ensure sufficient transparency of data to know how all students are doing.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Nancy Zirkin, Leadership Conference Executive Vice President, at zirkin@civilrights.org, or Liz King, Leadership Conference Director of Education Policy at king@civilrights.org.

Sincerely,

Wade Henderson
President & CEO

Nancy Zirkin
Executive Vice President

Our Members