Secretary of Education releases national figures on school discipline
As the New York Times reported, on Tuesday, March 6th Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, announced the results of the latest Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) - a national survey of 72,000 schools - which shows that racial disparities in school discipline, including suspensions, expulsions and arrests, continue to be high in districts and states across the country. The report data is already making headlines around the country with an editorial  in the New York Times, a panel discussion  on PBS Newshour, in-depth articles in the Washington Post , Huffington Post , Los Angeles Times , and more.
LA School Districts and LA School Police missing data on school-based arrests, tickets and referrals to law enforcement
The data set showed that over 70 percent of students involved in school-related arrests or have been referred to law enforcement are Black or Latino. Many of the school districts did not report these categories and it is very hard to assess the accuracy or meaning of the current data. One important piece of discussion that is not being highlighted is the lack of transparency and data availability of school-based citations and arrests for LAUSD by LAUSD officials and Los Angeles School Police Department (LASPD) [the second largest school district in the country and the largest school police department in the country respectively].
Recent data shows clear Civil Rights harms for Blacks and other students of color
The implications of the growing role of law enforcement and court involvement on student conduct issues or school discipline matters, especially how it impacts youth of color, is an issue of deep concern.
These are some facts that we do have access to:
What we know anecdotally from our organizing work on LAUSD school campuses, from several student surveys, focus groups and also legal advocacy support that we have offered to youth in the past:
The Community Rights Campaign and many of our allies have been requesting data from LAUSD and LASPD for many years. The Community Rights Campaign has been asking for data since 2008 through public information request (PRA) on school-based arrests and citations; we have virtually received no numeric data sets on school-based arrest and citations, outside of data that we were able to secure through an LAUSD report and a PRA (Fall 2009) on day-time curfew citations by LASPD.
We have had productive meetings with LASPD Chief Zipperman and data collection has been a major piece of discussion and negotiations, and continues to be a top priority as we are still waiting for this data set.