The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges released a bulletin last October that details the importance of data in developing effective school-justice partnerships. In the report, NCJFCJ laments that “poor data collection and management strategies” often hamper the effectiveness of school-justice partnerships aimed at disrupting the school-to-prison-pipeline.
When the U.S. Department of Education released the latest installment of the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), statistics covering the 2009-10 academic school year, last week it made headlines around the country. The CRDC represents a wealth of information from just about every corner of our country’s educational landscape. The report also shined some light on a number of gaps in educational opportunity and discipline on a national scale. Every state, school, district and county with a public school system is in there with detailed numbers attached. The Office of Civil Rights, a division of the Department of Education, has been collecting CRDC information since 1968 to help identify gaps, disparities and trends in educational achievement and opportunities.
Newly collected data from the Department of Education shows that minority students are disproportionately subject to harsher disciplinary actions in public schools than their peers and offers insight into opportunity gaps for public school students around the country. More than 70 percent of students involved in school arrests or law enforcement referrals were black or Hispanic, according to the report. Black students were three and half times more likely to be suspended or expelled than white peers, the New York Times reported. The Civil Rights Data Collection’s 2009-10 gathered statistics from 72,000 schools, serving about 85 percent of the nation’s students from kindergarten through high school. While the disciplinary data is probably the most dramatic, the statistics illustrated a range of racial and ethnic disparities.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, The Department of Justice, and the Office of Justice Programs offers grants for the Probation Census Project. This project helps the Department of Justice collect data and to establish national statistics on the number of kids in the nation who are on probation. This also helps gather information on the offices that help supervise kids on probation. The deadline for this grant is 11:59 p.m., EST. June 29, 2011.
Internet Crimes Against Children Deconfliction System Program Grant offers assistance to organizations looking for financial help to thwart internet crimes against kids. The Internet Crimes Against Children Deconfliction Systems (ICAC) may be able to get help from OJJJDP through its grant program. This grant will award as much as $500,000 to help construct, maintain and house an Internet Crimes Against Children Data System (IDS). The grant's purpose is to assist law enforcement investigations with child exploitations, avoid conflict on data, and enhance the ability to share information among local, state and federal ICAC task forces. This grant is available to help enhance the ability of OJJDP to collect and aggregate information on child exploitation.
"Anything worth doing is worth measuring," is the philosophy of the Fostering Court Improvement. Fostering Court Improvement is a non-profit organization that uses data to assist Dependency Courts and Child Welfare Agencies in making informed decisions, managing their operations, monitoring their performance and making systemic changes to improve outcomes for children and families. Their roots and founding are in Georgia. Georgia's own Barton Child Law and Policy Clinic at Emory University works very closely with the Family Research Center at the University of Illinois to refine data so that it is usable and accessible to the courts and child welfare agencies. It is a terrific resource to our State and those involved in advocacy for the wellbeing of children in Georgia. They have an excellent website that has the latest information concerning many states including Georgia. Georgia's data is very informative and complete. Data is sorted by county, region, judicial circuit and judicial district. Comparisons can be made relative to how counties are doing in comparison to each other. Did you know that in regard to counties per 10,000 residents that:
Children subject to maltreatment investigations - Lanier County was the highest (55.5) and Webster County was the lowest number of investigations (0).