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Dianne Piche Leaves Ed. Department for Civil Rights Group

Dianne Piche had her last day on the job yesterday as the number two person in the U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights. On Tuesday, she begins a new position leading the education policy team of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. (Hat tip to Alexander Russo's This Week in Education.)

She declined to say in a phone interview today why she stepped down from her job as the deputy assistant in the office for civil rights, which she started in May 2009.

In her new position, she'll be working with a coalition of civil rights groups to push for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, she said. "There's been considerable frustration that the law hasn't been reauthorized," she said. "Many advocates believe that it can and should be done in 2011."

She said that, in regard to English-language learners, civil rights groups will focus on ensuring that such students have access to high-quality language programs and teachers who are effective in giving them instruction.

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