The Center for Democracy & Technology submitted these comments to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) as part of ED’s review of schools’ disciplinary practices under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which protect students from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, or disability. CDT urges ED to protect the civil rights of students of color and students with disabilities to privacy and the ethical, responsible use of their data.
In particular, ED should begin efforts to address the discriminatory effects of some algorithmic systems on students of color and students with disabilities, and provide guidance clarifying and emphasizing that the disparate impact provisions of Title VI, Section 504, and the ADA apply to data sharing with law enforcement.
CDT supports ED’s efforts to protect the rights of students based on their race and disability status. We urge ED to adopt measures to protect student privacy, prevent discrimination, and ensure responsible, ethical data practices as an integral part of those efforts.