亚裔细分表之争:北加州南湾华人家长与学区见面会实录

来源: 2018-01-29 Wennan 美国风云

2018年1月26日周五上午11点,Fremont Union High School District (FUHSD) 学区的主要负责人士,应学区和华人家长们的要求,在学区办公室召开了一个家长会,讨论学区华人家长们关心的含有亚裔细分选项的注册表。FUHSD学区的网上注册表中含有的族裔分类本来如(图一)所示。但此表格由于含有亚裔细分内容且有强制填写的意味,因此遭到了学区华人家长们的反对。学区在收到家长们的若干Email和电话质询后,在48小时内作出了Email答复,对表格做出了如(图二)所示的修改,增加了“Other Asian”的选项,并做出说明:凡是不愿披露亚裔细分族裔身份的学生均可选择“Other Asian”这一项。但这一修改显然有误导填表者撒谎的实效,因此依然遭到了学区华人家长们的反对。学区在22日周一起收到家长们的质疑邮件后,继续研究解决方案,并决定在26日周五上午召开上述会议,以向家长们做解释说明,并提供学区关于表格的进一步修改方案。

(图一)FUHSD学区今年最初的网上注册表

(图二)增加了”Other Asian”选项的表格

华人家长们在几位热心的家长义工的带动下,自发组织了起来。大家10:30am提前到了学区办公室,互相认识,交换信息,再次初步统一了一些意见和分享了一些应该提出的问题。11点左右,会场已经坐满了家长和两位小朋友,总共来了约38位华人朋友。在这里首先要向这些为我们的下一代争取公平权利的华人朋友们点个赞!

(图三)会场里的部分家长和小朋友

学区对此事也很重视,安排了8位学区的相关负责人在前排就坐答疑,其中6位是白人(4位女性2位男性,4位女性中2位年长2位年轻,2位男性中1位年长1位年轻),2位是亚裔(2位女性,1位年长1位年轻)。另外,学区还请来了学区的法律顾问律师,1位年轻的拉丁裔男性。

(图四)学区请来的法律顾问在发言
(图五)站着答疑的学区法律顾问和前排就坐的8位学区负责人

学区的法律顾问律师首先发言,先以自身拉丁裔的身份感同身受地演讲了一番关乎种族歧视、少数族裔权益方面的一些大家耳熟能详的大道理。在谈到具体问题,即注册表中的亚裔细分选项时,他代表的学区的意见是:学区依法规必须这样罗列亚裔细分族裔,但填表者不必回答学区所罗列的亚裔细分选项。这也基本是本次会议学区和华人家长们双方所各自坚守的诉求,或者说是本次会议的基调。

学区的一位负责人,年长的白人女性,在交流中指出,亚裔细分的要求其实是之前亚裔自己提出并立法的,同时她也理解随着时间的变化,人的诉求也会变化,人们现在的想法不同于以前的想法,这很正常。她介绍了学区和政府之间的运作关系,讲到了学区权限的局限性,寻求家长们的理解。她指出,对加州已有的州法、州教育厅的规定等,最有影响力做出改变的是加州的州长、州议员、加州教育委员会 (State Board of Education),但对他们归根到底最有影响力的是在坐的各位选民。

同时,学区的负责人指出学区也有学区的需求。比如,根据族裔的比例和学生diversity情况,学区得到州州教育厅的重视和拨款不同。但在家长的追问下,随后学区的其他负责人又否认了州州教育厅根据族裔比例以及diversity情况不同而拨款不同的这句话。不过大家已经意识到了族裔政策的根本动力和背后的利益所在。也正如学区的这位拉丁裔法律顾问最后所承认的,所有的涉及种族的政策都关乎政治和利益。另外,学区也希望这样族裔分类收集的数据可以展现学区的特点。最后,学区按州教育厅要求进行族裔分类收集数据的工作的好坏,是工作绩效的一部分,会受到州教育厅的评估。

(图六)在提问和倾听的家长们
(图七)在发言和倾听的家长们

家长们首先向学区负责人表示,在座的家长中有各个方面的专业人士,是学区的资源,可以帮助学区解决诸如亚裔细分表这样的问题,另外可在具体涉及的IT技术细节等方面提供咨询。在会议中参与提问和发言的家长有十几位之多,大家非常踊跃,对问题准备得很充分,问答由浅入深,基本覆盖讨论了本次会议议题的主要方面包括学区关于注册表格的解决方案。在对话中,家长们也对学区与会的人员们和他们的付出表达了尊重和感谢。

会议在友好和高效的氛围中结束。最后会议的总结是:(1)学区认为必须遵守美国联邦教育部、加州的州政府法规GC-8310.5、加州教育厅的学生数据库CALPADS的族裔编码分配的规定,(2)学区根据州法和州教育厅的文件必须要在表格中对亚裔进行细分;(3)但学生可以对亚裔细分选项不作回答,学区在表格中提供“Intentionally left blank”的选项,当天晚上可完成更新表格;(4)学区针对教育部的规定,承诺在表格中增加“Asian”的选项,但需要稍长一点的时间;(5)学区会通知今年已填表的学生上述的改变并允许学生自愿修改;(6)往年填表的学生如果需要,可以向学区负责注册的职员进行修改。

(图八)预期的注册表中族裔选项的示意图

会议12:15pm左右结束,家长们起立鼓掌,向与会的FUHSD学区的负责人和工作人员们表示感谢,对他们在会议中的展现出的尊重、诚恳、专业、和高效表示了赞赏。

随后,学区在下午3:48pm左右即给与会的家长们发了会议总结的Email,认为这是一次非常正面积极的会议,并详细解释了学区的具体解决方案和步骤,详见附录五。家长们对Email中有疑惑的地方,也纷纷立即再次给学区去信询问,相信下周会有比较清楚的答复。

至此,我们再次对FUHSD学区的负责人和工作人员们,以及与会的38位华人朋友们和在幕后关注和出力的华人朋友们点赞!

附录①:详解学区必须遵守的法规详解学区认为必须遵守的美国联邦教育部的政策规定、加州的州政府法规GC-8310.5、加州教育厅的学生数据库CALPADS的族裔编码分配的规定。

  • 美国联邦教育部Department of Education (DOE) 的政策规定族裔分为如下7大类,小学生和初高中学生须如实填写,否则将采用观察法:

American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, White, and Two or More Races

https://www2.ed.gov/policy/rschstat/guid/raceethnicity/index.html

  • 加州的州政府法规 Government Code GC-8310.5如下的规定中将Asian亚裔细分为了8个子类

(a) A state agency, board, or commission that directly or by contract collects demographic data as to the ancestry or ethnic origin of Californians shall use separate collection categories and tabulations for the following:

(1) Each major Asian group, including, but not limited to, Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, Vietnamese, Asian Indian, Laotian, and Cambodian.

(2) Each major Pacific Islander group, including, but not limited to, Hawaiian, Guamanian, and Samoan.

(b) The data collected pursuant to the different collection categories and tabulations described in subdivision (a) shall be included in every demographic report on ancestry or ethnic origins of Californians by the state agency, board, or commission published or released on or after July 1, 2012. The data shall be made available to the public in accordance with state and federal law, except for personal identifying information, which shall be deemed confidential.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 689, Sec. 2. (AB 1088) Effective January 1, 2012.)

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=GOV&sectionNum=8310.5.

  • 加州教育厅California Department of Education (CDE) 的学生数据库CALPADS给亚裔细分族裔分配了专门的编码,其中Asian亚裔细分为了9个子类并分别分配了编码,但却没有给Asian分配编码,也没有给没有被细分的Hispanic/Latino分配编码。

California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) is a longitudinal data system used to maintain individual-level data including student demographics, course data, discipline, assessments, staff assignments, and other data for state and federal reporting.

https://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/sp/cl/

CALPADS Code Sets, Version # – 9.3, December 19, 2017

https://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/sp/cl/documents/codesetsv93-20171219.xls

(图九)CALPADS Code Sets for Race Categories

附录②:家长发给学区的第一封Email模板
Polly Bove, Superintendent of Schools, Polly_Bove@fuhsd.orgJason Crutchfield, Director of Business Services, Jason_Crutchfield@fuhsd.org

Dear Ms. Bove and Mr. Crutchfield:

On the new student registration form of FUHSD, I notice in the “race” section, Parents/guardians are required to choose one country/area, otherwise it is impossible to go to the next step to complete the registration; however I do not believe the law actually mandates parent/guardian to disclose detailed racial/ethnic information as the form required.

There are two sources of legal authority for the race/ethnicity question in the enrollment form, one from the federal government and one from our state law (Gov. Code 8310.5).  In my case, the federal requirement limits racial/ethnic information to the “Asian” level and does not require any further details.  It is true that the federal guidelines state that a third-party can “identify non-respondents by observation”, but such third-party identification via observation will be obviously limited to the “Asian” granularity and cannot go beyond it.

The California requirement, under Gov. Code 8310.5, is not mandatory in nature. The code says “A state agency, board, or commission … shall use separate collection categories and tabulations for the following [ethnic groups].”  Literally and clearly, the “shall” language is with respect to “use separate collection categories”; it does not in any way demand that the data collection be mandatory in nature.  In other words, it would be perfectly fine that a state agency uses multiple separate collection categories and make the corresponding data collection optional/discretional (i.e., not mandatory), while still satisfying Gov. Code 8310.5.  Equivalently, in my case, a parent should have a “decline to state” option for racial/ethnic categories beyond the “Asian” level.

The CDE’s FAQ website is defective and misleading in the sense that it commingles the federal requirement and its guidelines with the state law.  There is no direct connection between the two.  And there is no legal authority for a state agency to adopt any “third-party observer” when implementing Gov. Code 8310.5.

As such, I refuse to provide for my kid any racial/ethnic information beyond “Asian”, which satisfies the federal requirement. To be clear, I do not believe Gov. Code 8310.5 mandates me to fill in any racial/ethnic information beyond “Asian” and I will refuse to do so.  I wonder if in such a case my kid cannot be enrolled in our home school.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

(Your name)

附录③:学区回复的第一封Email
Dear *,Thank you for your email regarding the collection of demographic information.  The Fremont Union High School District takes your concerns seriously, and we truly respect your decision not to self-identify further than the information you have already provided.  We are fully aware of the legal references you shared, but we want you to know that the District is required by state and federal law to ask for this information in this particular way and we respect your decision to not fully participate in the collection of this information. Personal information, such as race, can raise sensitive issues, and the District is fully committed to maintaining this information as confidential pursuant to state and federal law.

The information requested is used by the state and local educational groups in their data analysis efforts, aimed at improving the educational system for all students in the State of California.  The District had no intention of offending you with this line of questioning, which is issued statewide to all public school students. On behalf of our entire team I apologize for distressing you, and regret if our intentions were misunderstood.

To address your concerns about reporting a students’ race, the district is making the following changes:

• Since over 2,500 parents have already started or completed their On-Line Registration (OLR) to date, the District has made adjustments to the system that will not affect other in-progress or submitted records. The instructions for the section on student race now states: “If you identify as “Asian” and do not wish to indicate specific race categories, please select “Other Asian.” This short-term solution allows parents who do not wish to indicate anything further than “Asian” to do so without impacting the data that has already been entered and submitted.

• If you have already submitted your OLR and would like to revise the information given this option, please contact Julie Darwish, Manager of Enrollment and Residency (julie_darwish@fuhsd.org; (408) 522-2266, to request that your record be re-opened for revision and resubmission.

• Once the bulk of our enrollment is completed for this year, the District will be able to make more substantial changes to the OLR system to further address concerns about the information collected related to student race and ethnicity.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or additional concerns.

Sincerely,

Coordinator of Communications

Fremont Union High School District

589 W. Fremont Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA  94087

附录④:家长发个学区的第二封Email模板
Mon 1/22/2018Polly Bove, Superintendent of Schools, Polly_Bove@fuhsd.org

Jason Crutchfield, Director of Business Services, Jason_Crutchfield@fuhsd.org

Dear Superintendent Bove, Director Crutchfield:

Thank you for your reply to our question regarding the FUHSD online registration form and the clarification you made in the “Ethnicity and Race” section. We appreciate your timely efforts in response to the outcry from our Asian community.

However, a large group of impacted FUHSD parents researched and further consulted legal and education professionals on relevant federal and state laws. We concluded that a better alternative in compliance to the law would be to make “Asian” an option on its own, and provide “Decline to disclose” as another option in addition to “other Asian.” We strongly believe that parents should be allowed to make their own decisions whether to disclose optional and sensitive ethnic information to self-identify each individual student.

The bottom line is, we believe no current law, federal or state, would force a parent to make certain uncomfortable choices. We look forward to your further response and refinement to the FUHSD online form.

Thank you!

(name)

附录⑤:学区回复的第二封Email
Subject: Follow up from parent meeting regarding concerns about collection of demographic informationFri 1/26/2018 3:49 PM

Dear FUHSD parents,

Thank you again for expressing your concerns about the collection of demographic information in our enrollment process. We greatly appreciate the positive response to the parent meeting we organized this morning and the opportunity to have an open and positive dialogue with members of our community. As promised, we would like to provide a summary of that meeting, along with information on next steps for parents.

During this morning’s meeting, the District’s legal counsel provided an overview of the obligations of all school districts to comply with both State and Federal reporting requirements. Legal counsel clarified that while school districts are required to ask for this particular demographic information in this particular way, parents are not required to self-identify for State reporting purposes. As a school District, we respect the decision of our parents not to self-identify by choosing specific race categories. No parents or families will be forced to self-identify in this manner.

District staff provided some background on the systems that are used by the State for student information, including CALPADs, or the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System, which has been created to comply with both State and Federal regulations. Staff also shared that the information collected during our enrollment and registration processes, should parents choose to provide it, is not shared with outside entities, including any colleges or universities.

As staff stated during the meeting, school districts do not have the power to create or determine their own categories or options for demographic information. However, the State does have an option to report a category of “Intentionally Left Blank.” The District will be adding this category into our On-Line Registration system this evening, so that parents will have the ability to choose this option moving forward.

Please follow the instructions below according to where you are in the On-Line Registration (OLR) process if you wish to make a change:

• If you have already completed the OLR process, please use the following link https://goo.gl/forms/OybyIJClqCEx9uk22 and provide your student’s name and information and your contact information so that FUHSD staff can make the desired change. You will receive an email notification once the desired change has been made. Please allow a week from the request for completion.

• If you have not yet completed and submitted your OLR, you can login to the system and check the “Intentionally Left Blank” category under the Race/Ethnicity section, which has been added to the form.

• If you have older students already in our school district, please contact your school’s main office after Feb. 5 and ask for the registrar or data technician to request that your records be reopened and revised.

The District is still required to report demographic information separately to the Federal government, and it will take some additional time for the On-Line Registration system to be updated to include a separate section for this information. Once the District has updated this section, staff will individually contact parents and families to follow up on how they would like to self-identify for Federal reporting purposes.

Please do not hesitate to contact Assistant Superintendent Trudy Gross at trudy_gross@fuhsd.org should you have any further questions.

Sincerely,

Coordinator of Communications

Fremont Union High School District

589 W. Fremont Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA  94087

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