Ethnicity Conundrum

We ran into this problem when registering Naomi for kindergarten, and now, changes in government regulation require Isaac’s school to provide this information as well. According to the school:

  1. The school is no longer allowed to report race as “not reported.” This means we are required to report your child’s race starting with the 2009-2010 school year.
  2. The US DOE has modified the collection and reporting requirements for racial and ethnic data starting with the 2010-2011 school year. They now use a two-part question.

Amusingly, the questions the school is required to ask are as follows:

"Racial" Questionnaire

Now, how in the heck are our children going to pick a primary ethnicity?

11 Replies to “Ethnicity Conundrum”

  1. If there's a write in, make it "yes". I don't believe there is ANY LEGAL WAY they can force you to provide that information. It is irrelevant, and to truly provide for freedom of race, creed, religion, and avoid any type of discrimination, then not having that info is paramount to securing that.

  2. @Caleb – because federal funding is based on racial/ethnic ratios. It is a part of being ‘unbiased’, which of course means that they are patronizingly biased…A cruel irony that the Wilcox family – the very definition of racial integration, are being discriminated against for actually NOT HAVING a race.

    (Incidentally, race is an invention of man and appears nowhere in the Bible.)

  3. So … There's no write-in. The school is required to report the ethnicity of the students using the following demarcations: Hispanic/LatinoAmerican Indian/Alaska NativeAsianBlackWhite (Non-Hispanic)Native Hawaiian or other Pacific IslanderMultiple responses are not allowed (which is my second-biggest gripe, after, of course, gathering such irrelevant data to start with). Schools were previously allowed to submit the ethnicity as "unreported." No more.By the way, I asked Isaac (age 14) what *he* wanted to pick for his "dominant" ethnicity. He immediately responded, "Black: Mom is taller." So that's what we'll submit.

  4. soapbox/What about someone who may be formerly Egyptian and/or of that decent? They are African, but not considered "black". The slope is soooooooooooooooo slippery here. I consider myself and American…..period. My ethnic heritage has no bearing on my academic life what-so-ever. That is why I always left that field blank in college financial aid forms. If they are going to treat met different, based upon my last name by guessing, that is their business./soapbox

  5. So …

    There’s no write-in. The school is required to report the ethnicity of the students using the following demarcations:

    • Hispanic/Latino
    • American Indian/Alaska Native
    • Asian
    • Black
    • White (Non-Hispanic)
    • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander

    Multiple responses are not allowed (which is my second-biggest gripe, after, of course, gathering such irrelevant data to start with). Schools were previously allowed to submit the ethnicity as “unreported.” No more.

    By the way, I asked Isaac (age 14) what *he* wanted to pick for his “dominant” ethnicity. He immediately responded, “Black: Mom is taller.” So that’s what we’ll submit.

  6. Hi Doug!
    Just checked your blog again, haven’t seen it in a while.
    That is dumb, just close your eyes and choose whatever your finger hits.

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