Education A Washington Roundup

Former OCR Chief Is Dead at Age 85

By Michelle R. Davis — December 06, 2005 1 min read

LeGree S. Daniels, a former assistant secretary for civil rights in the Department of Education, died Nov. 19. She was 85.

Ms. Daniels was appointed by President Reagan to lead the department’s office for civil rights in 1987 and served until 1989. Critics charged that she had no direct experience in civil rights law. Ms. Daniels had been Pennsylvania’s deputy secretary of state and a former chairman of the National Black Republican Council.

At the OCR, Ms. Daniels dealt most notably with issues concerning special education programs, taking action against the Chicago school district’s program for what the Education Department called “unreasonable delays” in services.

In 1989, before her departure, a report on the workings of the office from Democrats on the House education committee sparked criticism that the OCR was not functioning as it should have been. Ms. Daniels fired back, saying that committee staff members who produced the report did “not understand how this agency must function under the statutes we enforce and which govern our operations.”