Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced this week that his agency will increase enforcement of civil rights laws in colleges and schools, according to a press release. By doing so, Duncan allegedly hopes to show the marked differences between his policies and those of his Republican predecessors.
In a speech written for his appearance at a civil rights landmark in Selma, Ala., Duncan said the department’s Office for Civil Rights plans to release guidance letters to educators that will address fairness and equity.
According to Duncan’s speech, the department will also announce additional enforcement procedures to ensure that students of all backgrounds have equal opportunities to take college prep courses, advanced curriculum and mathematics and science classes.
“The truth is that, in the last decade, the Office for Civil Rights has not been as vigilant as it should have been in combating gender and racial discrimination and protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities,” Duncan said in the draft speech. “But that is about to change.”
Duncan is expected to deliver the speech at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, a site where civil rights marchers were brutally beaten by police in March 1965.