Wake teachers receive discipline survey from feds

In response to allegations of discriminatory discipline practices, Wake County public school teachers received the following email from the federal Office of Civil Rights:

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education is conducting an investigation of this school district regarding its compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Specifically, OCR is investigating whether the school district administers student discipline without regard to race. As a teacher, you may have information relevant to this investigation.

Typically OCR conducts face-to-face interviews with school personnel. However, in this case OCR developed an interview questionnaire. It should take approximately a half hour to an hour to complete. Please complete the questionnaire by June 17, 2016. If you would prefer to be interviewed over the telephone, or if you wish to provide additional information after completing the questionnaire, please contact the OCR staff person assigned to this complaint, Marcelo Quiñones, at 202-453-6567 to schedule a phone interview.

Note: If you worked in other school districts prior to this district, please answer the questions based on your experience in this school district only.

Your responses to these questions will be maintained in OCR’s records. As a federal agency, OCR is subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Therefore, we may be required to disclose your responses to the questions if we receive a FOIA request. However, we will protect personally identifiable information to the greatest extent possible under the law. In particular, we would generally remove your name and other identifying information from your responses, as well as names of any students or teachers you mention in your responses. If OCR discusses the results of the questionnaire with school district administrators or in the letter of findings, your name and other identifying information will not be revealed.

You have the right to be assisted or accompanied by a person of your choice while answering these questions. You also have the right to refuse to have anyone else present during your completion of these questions. You are not required to reveal the content of the questions and your responses to any school district employees. The school district is prohibited from retaliating against you for participating in this investigation or completing this questionnaire. If you believe you have been retaliated against, you may file a complaint with OCR.

If you have any questions about the above information, or if you experience any problems completing this questionnaire, please contact OCR’s District of Columbia Enforcement Office and speak to the staff member who is handling this investigation: Marcelo Quiñones at 202-453-6567.

It will be interesting to see how teachers respond to the survey questions.

Oh by the way, where is school accreditation overlord AdvancEd?  Doesn’t this situation warrant a special AdvancEd review, such as the one conducted when Republican school board members modified the school assignment policy?

Terry Stoops / Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies

Terry Stoops is the Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies at the John Locke Foundation. Before joining the Locke Foundation, he worked as the progra...

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