Federal Bias Inquiry Assumes Students, Like Home Buyers, Can Be Illegally 'Steered'

Breaking new ground in its enforcement of civil-rights laws, the Education Department is investigating whether a Columbia University professor discriminated against a student by steering her away from a course on the basis of her Jewish background.

In the enforcement of federal fair-housing laws, "steering" is said to occur when real-estate agents—even if well-intentioned—consider potential home buyers' race or ethnicity in directing them toward some neighborhoods and away