ERIC Number: ED426598
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Federal Control Out of Control: The Office for Civil Rights' Hidden Policies on Bilingual Education. CEO Policy Brief.
This report examines the policies and practices of the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights (OCR) for determining whether school systems are providing appropriate educational services to language minority students who are learning English as a Second Language (ESL). Data are drawn from OCR documents in the public domain, including approximately 160 compliance letters sent to school districts in 1996 and 1997. Each of these letters gave OCR's determinations pursuant to on-site investigations of the schools' programs for ESL students and carried an attached "corrective action" agreement from the school systems. It is argued that OCR has, in the absence of critical scrutiny within the government, imposed on schools an ever-expanding burden of requirements with dubious justification. Under the mantle of defending the civil rights of English language learners, OCR staff are in classrooms, looking over teachers' shoulders, second-guessing teachers and administrators, judging the quality of instructional programs and materials, and generally being educationally intrusive in ways never contemplated by the drafters of the civil rights statutes. It is concluded that there is ample evidence in the letters reviewed to demand substantial changes in how OCR operates. (MSE)
Descriptors: Bilingual Education, Civil Rights, Compliance (Legal), Educational Policy, English (Second Language), Federal Government, Federal Legislation, Federal Regulation, Language Minorities, Limited English Speaking, Public Agencies, Public Policy
Center for Equal Opportunity, 815 Fifteenth Street, N.W., Suite 928, Washington, DC 20005; Tel: 202-639-0803; Fax: 202-639-0827; Web site: www.ceousa.org
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Equal Opportunity, Washington, DC.