Department of Education to Step Up Enforcement
Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced on Monday plans to amp up the agency’s civil rights enforcement to ensure equal educational opportunity and access in schools and colleges. Duncan unveiled the plan before participating in a marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to commemorate the “Bloody Sunday” civil rights protest.
According to agency statistics, white students are six times more likely than African American students to be college ready in biology and four times as likely to be college ready in algebra. They also are more than twice as likely to have taken advanced placement calculus classes.
“This is the civil rights issue of our generation. The battle for a quality education is about so much more than education. It’s a fight for social justice,” said Duncan in a conference call with reporters. He also said that the agency’s Office for Civil Rights has not been as vigilant as it should have been with regard to combating gender and racial discrimination and protecting the rights of the disabled.
“Every child is entitled to a quality education,” Duncan said. “Today we’re making it clear that we will enforce laws to ensure that all children have a fair chance at a good future.”