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Office for Civil Rights Annual Report to Congress FY 2003
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Foreword

This report covers the activities of the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) from October 1, 2002, to September 30, 2003. In addition to describing OCR's civil rights compliance program, the report demonstrates how OCR is able to make a real difference in the lives of students.

"Any system and any person that gives up on any child because of what he looks like or who his parents are is no less discriminatory than a jeering mob blocking the schoolhouse door. It is every inch the bigotry that once exiled some people to the back of the bus."

Rod Paige
Secretary of Education
March 12, 2003

As we submit this report, 2004 marks a special year in America's longstanding efforts to bring about equal educational opportunity for all people. It commemorates the 50th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision that declared separate but equal schools to be unconstitutional. Brown stands as one of the greatest decisions handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB Act), the comprehensive reform of federal elementary and secondary education programs that President George W. Bush signed into law on January 8, 2002, may be viewed as furthering the intent of the Brown decision. The goal of the NCLB Act is to ensure that every child from every background receives a high quality education and that every school in America is a place of high expectations and high achievement.

"Even though progress has been made, there is more to do. There are still people in our society who hurt. There is still prejudice holding people back. There is still a school system that doesn't elevate every child so they can learn."

President George W. Bush
January 20, 2003

The fair, effective and efficient enforcement of the civil rights laws works to advance both equity and educational excellence. There is no better way to honor this historic Brown anniversary than to stay focused in our efforts to help all of our children have an equal chance to succeed and reach their full potential. We will continue to build on these accomplishments in bringing access to high quality education to all students in our nation.

Respectfully submitted,

James Manning
Delegated the Authority of
Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights


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Last Modified: 08/13/2014