Sunday, July 4, 2010

'Back in Business' on Civil Rights

Inside Higher Ed
June 29, 2010

WASHINGTON -- The standard line from President Obama and his aides is that after years of relative inattention from the Republican White House that preceded it, the new administration's civil rights infrastructure is "back in business," on the lookout for evidence of discrimination in the nation's schools and colleges.
In a pair of presentations here Monday at the annual meeting of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, a bevy of administration officials made clear that they had ambitious agenda that would use federal laws and rules both to achieve President Obama's policy goals (like increasing the number of college-going Americans) and to ensure equitable access to education for Americans regardless of background. The officials spoke mostly about efforts that are already underway: the Education Department's plan for toughened enforcement of Title IX in athletics, and its well-documented efforts to spur states to generate better data to improve the performance of colleges and schools.
But the lengthy list they presented of current and coming endeavors included several previously undisclosed investigations and inquiries, suggesting a level of activity that seemed to make the scrutiny-wary lawyers in the audience squirm just a bit.

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