So, what's the story in the Richardson ISD?Every year, the U.S. Department of Education investigates thousands of school districts and colleges around the country for civil rights violations ranging from racial discrimination in school discipline to sexual violence.
ProPublica has the answer. In the past three years, 32 cases have been brought against the RISD. Twenty have been resolved by the U.S. Department of Education with a finding of no civil rights violation or corrective actions. Twelve cases are still pending. Of the twelve open cases, ten deal with various disability claims, one deals with Title VI (denial of benefits) and one deals with Title IX (sexual violence).
ProPublica's data presentation does not make it easy to compare how RISD's record compares with districts in general. Spot checking neighboring districts provides some interesting data points. In Plano ISD in the last three years, 21 cases have been filed (better than RISD), with 3 cases being found to have violations (worse than RISD). In Garland ISD in the last three years, 16 cases have been filed (better than RISD), with 2 cases being found to have violations (worse than RISD). And in Dallas ISD in the last three years, 50 cases have been filed (worse than RISD), with 11 cases being found to have violations (worse than RISD). I don't know how to explain why RISD seems to get more cases filed, per student, than surrounding districts, but the fact that there have been zero cases (nada, zilch, zip) where violations were found might be explained by concluding that RISD runs a tight operation concerning civil rights. That's good. After all, RISD is one of the state's largest, most diverse school districts.
More difficult will be to make meaningful comparisons of this data over time. As ProPublica also reports:
My speculation? RISD has a good record, but whether that record will remain good going forward will be harder for the public to determine, as the federal government has become less interested in looking out for the public in this regard.[Secretary of Education Betsy] DeVos has scuttled more than 1,200 civil rights probes inherited from [President Barack] Obama. Our data analysis shows that the Trump administration is less likely than its predecessor to find wrongdoing by school districts on issues ranging from racial and sexual harassment to meeting educational needs of disabled students.