Office for Civil Rights

Annual Report to Congress, FY 2001-2002


U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights

Annual Report
to Congress

Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002

July 2003



Ensuring equal access to education
and promoting educational excellence
throughout the nation through
vigorous enforcement of civil rights.



U.S. Department of Education
Rod Paige

Office for Civil Rights
Gerald A. Reynolds
Assistant Secretary

July 2003

This publication is in the public domain. Authorization to reproduce it in whole or in part is granted. The publication's citation should be: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Annual Report to Congress: Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002, Washington, D.C., 2003.

To order copies of this publication, write:

ED Pubs
Education Publications Center
U.S. Department of Education
P.O. Box 1398
Jessup, MD 20794-1398

You may fax your order to: 1-301-470-1244 or send an e-mail request to:

You may also call toll-free: 1-877-433-7827 (1-877-4-ED-PUBS). If 877 service is not yet available in your area, call 1-800-872-5327 (1-800-USA-LEARN). Those who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a teletypewriter (TTY), should call 1-800-437-0833.

To order online, point your Internet browser to:

This publication is also available on the Department's Web site at

Any updates to this publication will be available at this Web site. On request, this publication is also available in alternate formats, such as Braille, large print, audiotape or computer diskette. For more information, please contact the Department's Alternate Format Center at 1-202-260-9895 or 1-202-205-8113.


Overview of OCR Compliance and Enforcement Program

Organizational Structure
Complaint Resolutions
Compliance Reviews and Other Proactive Initiatives
Technical Assistance

Strategic Priorities

Putting Reading First
Moving English Language Learners to English Proficiency
Promoting Informed Parental Choice and Innovative Programs
Encouraging Safe Schools
Encouraging Accountability
New Statutory Responsibility
Secretary of Education's Commission on Opportunity in Athletics
Brown v. Board of Education 50th Anniversary Commission

Other Efforts to Enforce the Civil Rights Laws

OCR Regulatory and Policy Guidance
Magnet Schools Assistance Program
Equal Opportunity in Vocational Education
Higher Education Agreements
Examples of OCR Case Resolutions
Enforcement Action

Measuring OCR’s Work

Looking to the Future


Appendix A: FYs 2001 and 2002 Complaint Receipts by OCR Enforcement Offices

Appendix B: Offices and Addresses



Gerald Reynolds The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is a law enforcement agency charged with protecting fundamental rights conferred in statutes that charge the federal government with the obligation to ensure that public monies do not support discrimination.

President George W. Bush announced to the nation, on his third day in office, that education was his highest domestic priority.  With strong bipartisan cooperation, the 107th Congress enacted the president’s education agenda, which centers on accountability for results, local control and flexibility, expanded parental options and doing what works to improve student performance. The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB Act) is the most comprehensive reform of federal education programs in more than three decades. Signed into law by the president on January 8, 2002, the NCLB Act contains specific provisions to ensure that all children will have access to a high-quality education regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, disability or socio-economic status. The NCLB Act embodies four key principles—stronger accountability for results; greater flexibility for states, school districts, and schools in the use of federal funds; more choices for parents; and an emphasis on teaching methods that have been demonstrated to work.  The Act also places an increased emphasis on reading, especially for young children, enhancing the quality of our nation’s teachers, and ensuring that all children in American schools learn English.

“Now our challenge is to make sure that every child has a fair chance to succeed in life.  That  is why education is the great civil rights issue of our time.” President George W. Bush, Radio Address to the Nation January 19, 2002 This landmark legislation starts a new and exciting era in education, with firm commitment to the bold proposition that all children can learn. No longer will expectations vary on the basis of a child’s race, ethnicity, sex, disability or socio-economic status. The NCLB Act insists on high standards for all children and the ending of what the president calls the “soft bigotry of low expectations” for children who face special challenges or who are not performing satisfactorily in the educational process.

The challenge now is to align fair, effective and efficient enforcement of the civil rights laws with the implementation of the new education reform legislation so they are working hand-in-hand to prevent, identify and remedy discrimination.

This report covers the period from October 1, 2000 to September 30, 2002. The accomplishments that are described are another reminder of the importance of the OCR compliance and enforcement program—a program that can help provide opportunity for all of America’s children to receive a world-class education.

I look forward to working with Congress to ensure that no child is left behind.

Respectfully submitted,

Gerald A. Reynolds

Last Modified: 01/16/2020