Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Will DeVos Department of Education Enforce Students’ Civil Rights? | janresseger

Will DeVos Department of Education Enforce Students’ Civil Rights? | janresseger:

Will DeVos Department of Education Enforce Students’ Civil Rights?


One of the U.S. Department of Education’s primary roles has been the protection of students’ civil rights.  The federal government’s role in education emerged after the Civil Rights Movement, the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education which began the dismantling of de jure school segregation, and the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 1965 as a centerpiece of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.  Later came the 1975 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and the 1982 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Plyler v. Doe, that protects the rights of children of undocumented immigrants to a free public education. Part of the reason for the U.S. Department of Education has been to step in when states neglect to protect students’ rights at school. The Department’s record hasn’t been perfect; some administrations have more fully embraced the Department’s mission to protect children’s rights.
While the Obama administration brought us some politically (and some believe morally) questionable programs like Race to the Top, it is generally acknowledged that under Arne Duncan’s leadership and then John King’s, the U.S. Department of Education—through its Office of Civil Rights—aggressively pursued injustices reported around racial discrimination, the disparate impact of school discipline plans, services for disabled students, and violations of the rights of LGBT students.
What is likely to happen around civil rights enforcement in the Trump administration, with the Department of Education led by Betsy DeVos?  This is the subject of an interview conducted by journalist Jennifer Berkshire with Derek Black, a law professor in South Carolina, author, and blogger.  Berkshire’s interview appears on her own blog.  It was also reprinted by Valerie Strauss in the Washington Post on Monday.
Derek Black believes we are likely to see “a rollback of civil rights enforcement in education under Trump and DeVos.”  He has been watching Betsy DeVos: “At her confirmation hearing, Betsy DeVos was reluctant to take an affirmative stance on enforcing students’ disability Will DeVos Department of Education Enforce Students’ Civil Rights? | janresseger:


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