Office for Civil Rights Annual Report to Congress FY 2003

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OCR monitors complaint and compliance review resolution agreements to ensure that the commitments made in these agreements are carried out and to maximize OCR’s effectiveness in enforcing the civil rights laws. During FY 2003, OCR conducted 2,427 monitoring activities.

Following are some examples that show OCR’s impact on both individual students and groups of students when schools and colleges carried out their resolution agreement commitments.

  • Parents with limited English proficiency were excluded from participating in school board meetings because translation services were not available. Parents now receive the school board agenda in their primary language and can request translation services at board meetings, as well as in meetings with district and school staff.

  • Nearly 3,600 students with learning disabilities were excluded by a school district’s policy that made only students with certain other disabilities eligible for extended school year services. The school district now makes decisions on extended school year services based on the individual needs of students and not on the category of disability.

  • A student-run university assault prevention transportation program excluded men from riding on or acting as volunteer drivers. The university modified the program so that it is now available to the campus community without regard to gender.

  • A school district used a lottery system that gave preference on the basis of race to certain students for its optional programs. The district eliminated race as a selection criterion and all students now have an equal opportunity for selection.

"I do want to once again thank you and your office for the job that you do everyday. I have been so impressed with your thoroughness with all of this, and the time spent with these investigations. I have really found that the positive changes that should be coming, can only help to protect our children. They are the ones that matter."

E-mail message complainant sent
to OCR investigator
June 3, 2003

  • An elementary school developed new ways to meet the needs of its English language learners. As a result, students in grades 3-5 who were former English language learner students performed better than students whose primary home language is English on the state’s competency examination.

  • A school district agreed to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the athletic interests and abilities of its students. As a result, a girls’ water polo team was added at all five of the high schools. In its inaugural season, 85 girls competed and one of the teams qualified for the state championship tournament.

  • A university put procedures in place to help disabled students obtain necessary accommodations in housing. Students can now request and receive accommodations that ensure safe living arrangements.

  • A school district had only two trained teachers for delivering services to English language learners, whose enrollment was increasing at a substantial rate. To comply with a resolution agreement it had entered into with OCR, the district developed a teacher training program with a local university. This resulted in the certification of 848 teachers for its English as a Second Language program.

  • A school system failed to enter a student’s achievement test scores into its computer system because he was given extended time to accommodate a disability. After validating modifications for each of its standardized tests, the district developed procedures for recording, maintaining and providing access to scores of all students who take standardized achievement tests.

  • Mobility-impaired persons now have access to a school district’s athletic facilities. Accessible parking, seating, restrooms, water fountains, concession stands and public telephones are available at the gymnasiums, football stadium and baseball field.

  • A school district reviewed the placement of African American and Hispanic students with learning disabilities to determine whether the students were appropriately assigned. As a result, 94 students were reassigned to a less restrictive environment.

  • A school district ended its practice of using race as a factor in approving transfer requests under its inter-district open enrollment program. As a result of its agreement, 32 students whose transfer requests were previously denied because of race were permitted to transfer to a neighboring school district.

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Last Modified: 09/25/2018