Shoreline School Board, March 8, Race and Ethnicity Data Collection Requirements

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

March 8, 2010
Submitted by Debi Ehrlichman, Board Member
Full Board minutes available on the Shoreline District website 

The following items were discussed:
    1) Race and Ethnicity Data Collection Requirements
     Jack Monpas-Huber, Ph.D., Director of Assessment and Student Information, reported on the new federal government and OSPI reporting categories for student ethnicity and race data. Parents will now need to answer a two-part question. Part 1 asks whether the student is Hispanic or Latino.  Part 2 asks parents to choose a race or races to classify their child. If parents choose to abstain from providing information, the school is required to choose a race classification for them.
     The change is occurring for the following reasons:
     • To better identify populations and communities across the country;
     • To align with the census collection requirements;
     • To align with other agencies who already collect this data;
     • To evaluate instructional needs and provide best education to all students. 
     School districts are required to begin reporting the new race and ethnicity data for each student by September 2010.  Shoreline began the process early to lessen the impact on individual schools for data entry and to allow parents enough time to provide information and ask questions.  With the majority of forms collected by June, schools should complete the data inputting by August. 
    Frequently asked questions by parents include:
    • Why were these specific racial groups selected?
        Because they reflect the major population groups in Washington State.  The American Indian groups include all recognized Washington State tribal groups. 
    • What if I choose to not provide this information?
        The school will be required to choose something for you.  It is always preferred for the parent to provide the information as that is the most accurate for the child. 
    • Will the school district release my student’s ethnicity and race to anyone else?
        Other than the school district, OSPI will be collecting this data along with other demographic information already reported on all students.  However, individual student records and privacy are protected by the Federal Education Records and Privacy Act (FERPA). Specific ethnicity and race information will not be shared with other agencies. 
    • If I consider myself Hispanic, why do I need to complete section 2?
        The federal government would like to give Hispanic or Latino individuals a better way to describe themselves by giving them the opportunity to select other race options. 


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