With an unprecedented rise in the number of youth identifying as LGBTQ — and equally unprecedented efforts to curtail their rights — a leading national advocacy group is calling on the U.S. Department of Education to add the sexual orientation and gender identity of students and teachers to the data collected in the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

The information would be voluntarily reported, anonymous and — notable at a time when some states are shunning data deemed politically unpalatable — collected nationwide. If implemented, the initiative would represent the largest-scale effort to date to document the experiences of the nation’s LGBTQ students.

The push got a boost earlier this week from the White House when President Joe Biden, acting in recognition of Pride month, announced an executive order creating a committee to oversee the expansion of LGBTQ data collection throughout the federal government and directing the department to form a working group to advance policies to protect gay, lesbian and gender nonconforming students and families.

The move comes after years of conversations among civil rights and education advocates who recognized both the need for the data and the complicated nature of collecting it in ways that are backed by scientific and medical best practices; invite LGBTQ participation; will generate information researchers need; and do not expose young people to the safety risks that coming out sometimes poses.

Read the full article about the push for LGBTQ student data collection by Beth Hawkins at The 74.