Assess Education Disparities Using Data on Schools from the Civil Rights Data Collection

Supervised by Male Teacher Two Girls Play With Plastic Molecules

Access to high-level educational curriculum and disproportionate rates of out-of-school suspensions can significantly impact children’s futures. To help our users more easily understand such opportunities and risks within communities across the U.S., PolicyMap has updated the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) data on educational environments and civil rights issues in public schools to the most recent year available, 2017-2018. CRDC information on PolicyMap is available at the school location level and includes details on topics such as school suspensions, presence of support staff such as school nurses and counselors, and advanced learning opportunities such as availability of a Gifted and Talented Program.

School Discipline

Users can gauge education-related disparities by choosing the Public Schools: Teachers and Discipline dataset and applying filters such as the percent of students receiving out-of-school suspension and applying PolicyMap’s predominant race layer from the Census’ American Community Survey. The map, below, demonstrates the prevalence of out-of-school discipline in schools serving predominantly black residents (shown in green shading) compared to predominantly white residents (shown in blue shading):

Advanced Learning Opportunities

The CRDC data can also be used to understand unequal access to educational opportunities available to students by filtering to show schools with Gifted and Talented programs. Looking at disparities in access to advanced learning opportunities based on income, the mapped data shows that schools without Gifted and Talented programs are primarily located in communities where incomes are below the national median of around $62,000:

The CRDC data on PolicyMap contains many more school environment-related indicators that can inform school-level and district-level assessments of opportunity and disadvantage.

To enable national analyses of disparities, the CRDC provides additional state-level summaries about school populations by race, sex, and disability status downloadable here.

Future updates to this data will permit even more nuanced evaluations of education-related disparities. In upcoming surveys, every public school district, charter school, juvenile justice facility, and alternative school will be required to respond to the CRDC survey, allowing for a more complete picture of schools across the U.S. The next survey covering the 2020-2021 school year will also source new information including the following: reported incidents of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault committed by school staff members and incidents of harassment and bullying based on perceived religion or shared ancestry.

Stay tuned to PolicyMap’s email newsletter for new and updated data, including the release of the 2020-2021 CRDC data that will be crucial to understanding pandemic-era challenges and intervention needs of schools and school districts across the country.