• Report: #499428

Complaint Review: U.S. Department Of Education

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  • Submitted: Wed, September 23, 2009
  • Updated: Thu, January 27, 2011

  • Reported By: Miss Thang — Garland Texas USA
U.S. Department Of Education
www.garlandisd.net Internet United States of America

U.S. Department Of Education Texas Public School Student/Staff Ethnicity and Race Questionnaire, Internet

*Consumer Comment: Don't Complete the Racist Form

*Consumer Comment: I believe flynrider is correct...

*Consumer Comment: Not convinced.

*Consumer Comment: Disagree

*Consumer Comment: One reason.

*Consumer Suggestion: Please reconsider

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Why am I receiving this form from the school for a 3rd time? I have already told my kids' teachers and principals that I am unwilling to complete the form. The principals and teachers have both told me that the form was mandatory. Working in the HR field for over 5 years now, I know that this form is not mandatory. Any form requesting information in relation to race or ethnicity has ALWAYS been optional. However, the school has been hounding me via phone and resending the papers home for me to complete the form. I know that the form is used for statistical data and I explained that to the schools. However, one of the teachers told me that if I do not make a selection, the school district will make a selection for me. I explained to the teacher that if a selection is made for me, the data will be considered inaccurate. She went on to explain that the selection could harm my children later on in life when my kids decide to apply to colleges, universities, grants, and scholarships. As bold as I am, I told her that if a simple ethnicity/race form adversely affects my kids future, I will remember her name (as well as the other teachers and principals) and note this date in time. There will be repercussions if the incorrect ethnicity/race is used.

It clearly states on the form (go to ritter.tea.state.tx.us/taa./is043009.html to see the form; check under the "For Students" heading) that the parent is not required to complete the form.

Furthermore, it also states that if the parent does not complete the form then,


"the school district employ observer identification as a last resort to gather this information for federal reporting."




So, the US Department of Education is now allowing the School District to look at the child and make an assumption as to the ethnicity/race of the child.




IT WOULD DEFINITELY MAKE MORE SENSE TO COUNT THOSE FAMILIES THAT DECLINE TO RESPOND OUT OF THE STATISTICAL DATA FOR REPORTING PURPOSES!!!


UNBELIEVEABLE


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/23/2009 03:42 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/US-Department-Of-Education/internet/US-Department-Of-Education-Texas-Public-School-StudentStaff-Ethnicity-and-Race-Question-499428. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 6Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Don't Complete the Racist Form

AUTHOR: vortexoflight - (United States of America)

Don't complete the form - the very idea that they're asking you to complete such a form is outrageous! I've always wondered what kind of people need to COUNT the various ethnic groups in the first place. If they're so open-minded, why are they counting the kids? Can you contact the ACLU and bring a nice lawsuit against the school district? It sounds like that's what they're begging for and deserve!

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#2 Consumer Comment

I believe flynrider is correct...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

Considering him and myself do not see eye to eye on some other reports..I have to say he is right on the money.

I was a training coordinator and a teacher at a tech college for 6 years. At the end of the course we would have to go over certain legal aspects regarding interviews and job applications etc. for job placement. We had the laws in front of us in black and white..which clearly stated it is voluntary to answer any questions regarding race and religion. We instructed the students that they did not have to answer by law..nor did they have to even mention..or should they mention any "clubs", groups or other activities which can be connected to anything to do with race or religion. I feel it is wrong to even be asked that on an application..and I was not too happy with a job I applied for several years ago that was asking these kind of questions.

When I mentioned to them that it is not legally required for me to answer those questions..they acted like they didn't even know what I was talking about..so many are not aware it is illegal to force anyone to answer that..and may be questionably illegal to even ask..but many companies still do.


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#3 Consumer Comment

Not convinced.

AUTHOR: Flynrider - (U.S.A.)

"Look at Texas and California as examples.They have a higher proportion of Hispanic children than most other states. Many of these children need ESL services. In the South, where there is a large section of the population living at/below the poverty level, these children need remedial and supplementary services to help them achieve their potential."

 Neither of those examples have anything to do with racial classification. ESL services may be required by students that are not native english speakers. Assuming that someone's hispanic origin has anything to do with their ability to communicate and learn in english is seriously flawed (and somewhat insulting to those in that classification). Having grown up and been schooled in the Southwest, I can assure you that there is no direct correlation.

 Also, what does racial classification have to do with populations living at or below the poverty level? Is there a difference between the economic hardship suffered by a poor black child in Mississippi as compared to a poor white child in Appalachia? Shouldn't they be receiving supplementary services based on economic need, rather than their racial origin. Why does their race have anything to do with it?

 Your comments illustrate the example of institutions using race to generalize non-racial charactaristics of a group of people. When I was growing up that was called racism. I find it no less objectionable when it is done by the government.

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#4 Consumer Comment

Disagree

AUTHOR: Jeanski - (U.S.A.)

Flynrider, I must disagree with you. I am a firm believer in racial equality as the ideal, but it just isn't realistic. Look at Texas and California as examples. They have a higher proportion of Hispanic children than most other states. Many of these children need ESL services. In the South, where there is a large section of the population living at/below the poverty level, these children need remedial and supplementary services to help them achieve their potential.

The reporting requirements are anonymous in that the DOE doesn't know which specific child is of what race/ethnic background. Personally, I don't see any harm in the government having a better understanding of the population served in a particular school district.

I think the DOE is trying to acknowledge that our society's makeup has changed. When I took anthropology many (many) years ago, we learned that there are only three biological races: Caucasoid, Negroid, Mongoloid. Current genetic research shows that our differences are few, so we could actually ALL categorize ourselves as the "human" race. Racial differences are currently thought to be based on superficial traits such as skin color, and more a function of societal preferences to distinguish ourselves. So, do we really want to deny the Hispanics this opportunity? Or should be retreat back a few years and just consider them Caucasians, as has been done in the past?  The form to which the OP refers asks only two questions - one, having to do with whether or not the child is Hispanic, one asking the race.

But I believe that the OP has every right to refuse to fill out the form, and the school district has NO business making the racial determination for her.

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#5 Consumer Comment

One reason.

AUTHOR: Flynrider - (U.S.A.)

"While it seems intrusive to some degree, what is the harm in reporting?"

    Perhaps because some people believe that the government should treat all people equally, regardless of race.    In my opinion, this sort of institutionalized racism is a major part of the problem.   I personally refuse to give this kind of information on government forms or job applications.    If everyone did the same, it would go a long way towards achieving true racial equality.

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#6 Consumer Suggestion

Please reconsider

AUTHOR: Jeanski - (U.S.A.)

I work in higher education and prepare a lot of statistical reports for the DOE. We also have to report race and ethnicity.  At the elementary/secondary level (your children) this data is used, in part, to help determine how services can be improved. Knowing the ethnic makeup of a particular school district may also help in getting additional funding and/or services.

While it seems intrusive to some degree, what is the harm in reporting? The DOE has recently changed the reporting categories (noted on your form) so that more accurate descriptors could be used. With the ever-increasing numbers of multi-racial families it seems prudent for them to have done this.

I have to agree with you that having the staff report your ethnicity based on observation is ridiculous though.

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