Web Policy  |  Intranet  |  Contact SCHEV    
Blogs
SCHEV Research Data Blog

The official blog of @SCHEVResearch at the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Discussions about our work, national higher education data policy, and highlights about the data we publish.

 

Recent Posts Blog Archives Subscribe Feed All Blogs

Proposed Changes on Race/Ethnicity

by Administrator 31. March 2017 11:03

I received email today about the March 1st notice in the Federal Register about proposed changes to federal reporting of race/ethnicity. I must have missed previous notices on the subject. 

The Federal Interagency Working Group for Research on Race and Ethnicity has been tasked with reviewing the standards on race and ethnicity. A March 1st Federal Register Notice and associated interim report by the Working Group communicates the current status of this work and requests public feedback on the following four areas:

1)The use of separate questions versus a combined question to measure race and Hispanic origin, and question phrasing as a solution to race/ethnicity question nonresponse;

2)The classification of a Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) group and distinct reporting category;

3)The description of the intended use of minimum reporting categories (e.g., requiring or encouraging more detailed reporting within each minimum reporting category); and

4)The terminology used for race and ethnicity classifications and other language in the standard.

For more information about the proposal, see the NCES blog on the subject: https://nces.ed.gov/blogs/nces/post/provide-input-on-proposed-changes-to-statistical-standards-for-federal-collection-of-race-and-ethnicity-data.

 


And if you go to the Federal Register itself, you can see how complex this all might get for the standard:

1. The Subgroup proposes that OMB issue specific guidelines for the collection of detailed race and ethnicity data for collections that are self-reported.

(b) Request for Public Comment: The Subgroup requests public comments on the guidelines that should be provided for collecting detailed race and ethnicity data. Additionally, to evaluate whether or not the reporting of detailed categories should be required, or if such reporting should be strongly encouraged but not required, additional information is needed. The Subgroup recognizes that collecting detailed race and ethnicity data likely would impose a substantial cost on Federal agencies, State and local agencies, and private sector entities and burden on the public. Therefore, the Subgroup requests public comment on the consideration that should be given to evaluate the value of improved information quality taking into account anticipated cost and public burden. Specifically, the Subgroup seeks public comment on the following questions:

1. If issuing specific guidelines for the collection of detailed American Indian or Alaska Native race and ethnicity data, should OMB adopt the 2015 National Content Test (NCT) method, which includes separately Navajo Nation, Blackfeet Tribe, Mayan, Aztec, Native Village or Barrow Inupiat Traditional Government, and Nome Eskimo Community? If not, how should OMB select the detailed race and ethnicity categories?

2. If issuing specific guidelines for the collection of detailed Asian race and ethnicity data, should OMB adopt the 2010 Decennial Census and NCT format, which includes separately Chinese, Filipino, Asian Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, and an “other Asian” category?  (2) If not, how should OMB select the detailed Asian race and ethnicity categories?

3. If issuing specific guidelines for the collection of detailed Black or African American race and ethnicity data, should OMB adopt the NCT format, which includes separately African American, Jamaican, Haitian, Nigerian, Ethiopian, and Somali? If not, how should OMB select the detailed race and ethnicity categories?

4. If issuing specific guidelines for the collection of detailed Hispanic or Latino race and ethnicity data, should OMB adopt the NCT format, which includes separately Mexican or Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Salvadoran, Dominican, and Colombian? If not, how should OMB select the detailed race and ethnicity categories?

5. If issuing specific guidelines for the collection of detailed Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders race and ethnicity data, should OMB adopt the 2010 Decennial Census format, which includes separately Native Hawaiian, Chamorro, (3) Samoan, and an “other Pacific Islander” category? Should it use the NCT format, which includes separately Native Hawaiian, Samoan, Chamorro, Tongan, Fijian, and Marshallese? If neither of these, how should OMB select the detailed Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander race and ethnicity categories?

6. If issuing specific guidelines for the collection of detailed White race and ethnicity data, should OMB adopt the NCT format, which includes separately German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, and French?  (4) If not, how should OMB select the detailed race and ethnicity categories?

7. What burden and cost would a Federal requirement to collect detailed race and ethnicity data place on Federal agencies, State and local agencies, private sector entities and the public? How should this burden and cost be weighed against any anticipated improvement in information quality?

8. Should Federal agencies be required to collect detailed race and ethnicity data even when such data could not be responsibly reported due to statistical reliability and confidentiality concerns? If so, in which cases? What factors should be considered?

9. If OMB were to strongly encourage, but not require, collection of detailed race and ethnicity data by Federal agencies, how likely are Federal agencies to adopt collection of detailed race and ethnicity data?

 

10. If OMB were to strongly encourage, but not require, collection of detailed race and ethnicity data by Federal agencies, what criteria should be used to encourage and evaluate conformance with such guidance?

 


I think that only the Middle Eastern/North African change would directly affect our collections. And it would be kind of a big impact when we think about changing the various collection and reporting pieces. It's an an expensive change. However, as more citizens see these categories as a method of inclusion and representation, the more it makes sense to make the change.

When you have a moment, I encourage you to take a look at How Census Race Categories Have Changed Over Time at Pew Social Trends. 

Explore the different race, ethnicity and origin categories used in the U.S. decennial census, from the first one in 1790 to the latest count in 2010. The category names often changed in a reflection of current politics, science and public attitudes. For example, “colored” became “black,” with “Negro” and “African American” added later. The term “Negro” will be dropped for the 2020 census. Through 1950, census-takers commonly determined the race of the people they counted. From 1960 on, Americans could choose their own race. Starting in 2000, Americans could include themselves in more than one racial category. Before that, many multiracial people were counted in only one racial category.

Basically, we have come a long way from "Free white males, free females", "All other free persons," and "Slaves" from the categories in 1790. 

Tags:

Categories: Data Collections, General

blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow SCHEV Research on Twitter