New Race/Ethnicity Data Collections - John Brandt
Beginning with the 2010-2011 school year (specifically, the October 2010 Data Clearinghouse upload), each school is required by federal regulation (Federal Register, 19 October 2007, pp. 59266-59279) to record and report to the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) an ethnicity and at least one race for each student. The implication is that your SIS must be able to support the collection, storage and reporting via the Clearinghouse of multiple indicators of race/ethnicity for each student.
As guidance for LEAs in carrying out this new federal mandate, the USOE has adopted Managing an Identity Crisis: Forum Guide to Implementing the New Federal Race and Ethnicity Categories. The National Forum on Education Statistics is a cooperative of federal, state and local education agencies in which Utah actively participates.
Information about race and ethnicity must be requested in a specific order and with exact wording of categories and their definitions although the format may be tailored to the local registration process and student information system. (The USOE recommends only a small modification — the addition of the word “Tonga,” — to the definition of the “Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander” race category.)
We draw your attention in particular to Chapter 4 of Managing an Identity Crisis, which, on page 27, includes a model for the presentation of the mandated two-part question. The same chapter also provides excellent advice on how to conduct “observer identification” in cases where data are missing.
This session will introduce the guidance and focus on obtaining data from students and reporting data to the USOE. Use of race/ethnicity as a disaggregation category for accountability reporting is a separate issue and will not be addressed at this time.
- This new classification will also apply to professional and classified staff.
- Students who do not self-report are determined by “rater”.
- FYI: Texas is going to be implementing the new federal race/ethnicity categories next year, and have received information from districts that it will be difficult to collect both ethnicity and race from Hispanic parents, as most consider themselves only Hispanic and do not identify with any of the race categories. In fact, they don't want to indicate any race and feel strongly about this. (Additional information regarding the typical race from different countries has been provided, but this does not seem to be helping.)
Handling of New Race/Ethnicity Codes by the Clearinghouse
For the 2009-2010 Clearinghouse submissions there will be seven Boolean race/ethnicity fields (Hispanic, white, black, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, unknown) replacing the current one seven-code field. These fields will remain for 2010-2011 and later years with the exception unknown.
For 2009-2010 LEAs have the option of submitting according to the old rules or the new ones based on the “two questions” fed rules going into effect in 2010-2011. The old rules allow only one race/ethnicity to be entered for each student, the new rules allow Hispanic or not Hispanic to be “checked” as well as one or more of the other 5 race categories (white, black, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American)
In the 2009-2010 this “transition rule” with be used for reporting in the mixed format environment:
If one race/ethnicity is reported Then
report that one race/ethnicity
If any race/ethnicity is Hispanic Then
Else report Unknown
At the spring data conference There was a lot of discussion about the best time for the LEAs to make the transition. For 2009-2010 (where the old accountability rules still apply), LEA could begin to ask the two-part question and then first respond Hispanic or non-Hispanic and then possibly select just one, or two or more races from the group: white, black, Asian, Pacific Islander, and Native American. Alternatively, the LEAs could continue with the old one-part question and just pick one race from the seven only categories.
This situation would then change in 2010-2011 when these students would then be counted in a new multi-race subgroup for accountability reporting. Note there will be no multi-race code for reporting via the Clearinghouse by the LEAs. The multi-race code is only assigned to the student within the USOE Warehouse.
The best recommendation seems to be for an LEA to try to ask the new two-part question of all students between July 1, 2010 and October 1, 2010. However, this may place an unrealistic time burden on many LEAs. Therefore, the USOE is giving LEAs the option to phase-in the new two-part question during the 2009-10 school year. However, it is advisable that if this phase-in option is chosen that it be completed by the end of the 2009-10 school year, meaning that all students in the LEA have been asked the two-part question by the end of that school year and reported as such for the 2009-10 end of year clearinghouse. Otherwise, the LEA should stay with the existing coding procedures through the 2009-10 school year.
A major issue for 2009-2010 concerns students who are reported as two or more races from the group: white, black, Asian, Pacific Islander, and Native American because many who were previously counted in one sub-waccountability reports.
To mitigate this problem for those LEAs deciding to make the transition to the new two-part question for the 2009-10 school year, the USOE is considering a bridging process. For non-Hispanic students that reported more than one race from the group of 5 additional races, this process would probably involve using the race reported for the student in the most recent prior school year the student was enrolled in a Utah school. For student without a prior Utah enrollment and reporting multiple non-Hispanic races there may be a probabilistic assignment one race based on the distribution of past racial designations for the LEA or the state in general.