"Discretionary Equality" traces the history of the school desegregation enforcement efforts of the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights (Ed-OCR). This study begins with a discussion of the historical factors leading to the inconsistent application of the equal educational policy. Very shortly after the old Department of Health, Education, and Welfare was established in 1953, a significant court decision, "Brown v. Board of Education, " ordered the desegregation of the nation's schools. From the Brown decision in 1954 to 1981, equal education policy was inconsistently enforced at the national level. The causal factors of inconsistent educational policy and enforcement are rooted in many complex social and political forces. Author Dr. Joseph King Jr. reviews the development and status of current affirmative action procedures and provides an overview of the legislation in the Congress that has developed since the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. "Discretionary Equality" offers a critical analysis of presidential leadership, congressional initiative, and the effects of political interest groups as contributing factors in the lack of uniformity of policy and enforcement of school desegregation. Finally, addressing timely issues, it identifies the current consequences of the department's inconsistent implementation of equal educational opportunity.