April 2019

Race Matters: Protecting Access to Student Data on Race and Ethnicity in Connecticut

Camara Stokes Hudson

Every child in the state deserves a high-quality education that allows them to pursue their dreams and goals. To decrease educational inequality on the basis of race and ethnicity in an effective and evidence-based manner, all stakeholders – educators, administrators, community members, families and advocates – need access to data that show how children of color are faring in the state's schools. Unfortunately, recent legislative proposals have threatened to cloak evidence of racial and ethnic barriers in education in secrecy, thereby limiting our ability to identify inequities where they arise or to measure our success in correcting them.

If the state wants to ensure that all of its students are able to reach their full potential, it will protect and expand access to data practices and tools that allow us to see how all of our students and their communities are faring. This report discusses the importance of continued access to these data and how student privacy is protected. It also makes recommendations for improving access:

  • Maintain and expand protocols for the protection of identifiable student-level data
  • Ensure that data on all sanction types (suspensions, expulsions, and arrests) are accessible and disaggregated at the state and district level.
  • Require that all future data be collected and reported to reflect the diversity of our state.
  • Expand access to data on identity intersections like race and gender, disability status and race.
Issue Areas:
Education, Juvenile Justice