Civil Rights Office Expands Its Reach Into Schools
Agency expands scope and number of reviews
In the 21 months since U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stood on an iconic bridge in Selma, Ala., and pledged to aggressively combat discrimination in the nation's schools, federal education officials have launched dozens of new probes in school districts and states that reach into civil rights issues that previously received little, if any, scrutiny.
The office for civil rights in the U.S. Department of Education has opened 74 "compliance reviews" in states, school districts, and higher education institutions since March 2010. That's when Mr. Duncan used the occasion of the 45th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday"—the day peaceful civil rights demonstrators were bludgeoned by Alabama state troopers on Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge—to announce his promise to reinvigorate the civil rights office.
The issues targeted for investigation in the new reviews—which are initiated by the civil rights office—are more complex than in the past and less focused on procedures, according to Russlynn H. Ali, the assistant secretary for civil rights, who was appointed in 2009 to...
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- Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning
- Roanoke City Public Schools, Roanoke, VA
- Regional Area Partner
- Focus EduVation, US
- Amargosa Valley Elementary School, Amargosa Valley, NV
- The Berkeley Institute, HAMILTON, Bermuda
- Round Rock ISD, Round Rock, TX