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ERIC Number: EJ1084216
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
Civil Wrongs: Federal Equity Initiative Promotes Paperwork, Not Equality
Melnick, R. Shep
Education Next, v16 n1 p30-36 Win 2016
In October 2014, U.S. secretary of education Arne Duncan announced the Obama administration's new "education equity initiative," explaining that the president could not "continue to wait" for Congress to act "on behalf of vulnerable children." The centerpiece of this initiative was a 37-page "Dear Colleague" letter (DCL) detailing what public schools must do to ensure that all children have "equal access to educational resources without regard to race, color, or national origin." The Education Department's Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which developed the letter, contends that Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act authorized this far-reaching regulatory action. This article discusses how not only is that a highly dubious assertion, but how the mandate is more likely to produce political controversy and a blizzard of paperwork than to improve the education of minority children. The flawed assumptions in the OCR's demands are examined, and the author states that, in effect, OCR has invented a test that no school district or state department can pass, and then given itself authority to determine the appropriate remedy.
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Civil Rights Act 1964 Title VI