Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 33

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Title Ix Paradox, Emily Suski Aug 2020

The Title Ix Paradox, Emily Suski

Faculty Publications

When Christine Blasey Ford explained to the Senate Judiciary Committee why she had not reported her sexual assault at age fifteen, she captured the struggle of many children who must decide whether to make such reports: “For a very long time, I was too afraid and ashamed to tell anyone the details.” Thousands of sexual assaults happen to children in school each year. Title IX, a potentially powerful civil rights law, should protect them. Title IX’s main purpose is to protect individuals from sex discrimination, including in the form of sexual harassment and assault, in public schools. Yet Title ...


Educational Gerrymandering: Money, Motives, And Constitutional Rights, Derek Black Dec 2019

Educational Gerrymandering: Money, Motives, And Constitutional Rights, Derek Black

Faculty Publications

Public school funding plummeted following the Great Recession and failed to recover over the next decade, prompting strikes and protests across the nation. Courts did almost nothing to stop the decline. While a majority of state supreme courts recognize a constitutional right to an adequate or equal education, they increasingly struggle to enforce the right. That right could be approaching a tipping point. Either it evolves, or risks becoming irrelevant.

In the past, courts have focused almost exclusively on the adequacy and equity of funding for at-risk students, demanding that states provide more resources. Courts have failed to ask the ...


Equality Opportunity And The Schoolhouse Gate, Derek Black, Michelle Adams Jun 2019

Equality Opportunity And The Schoolhouse Gate, Derek Black, Michelle Adams

Faculty Publications

Public schools have generated some of the most far-reaching cases to come before the Supreme Court. They have involved nearly every major civil right and liberty found in the Bill of Rights. The cases are often reflections of larger societal ills and anxieties, from segregation and immigration to religion and civil discourse over war. In that respect, they go to the core of the nation’s values. Yet constitutional law scholars have largely ignored education law as a distinct area of study and importance.

Justin Driver’s book cures that shortcoming, offering a three-dimensional view of how the Court’s ...


The School Civil Rights Vacuum, Emily Suski Jan 2019

The School Civil Rights Vacuum, Emily Suski

Faculty Publications

Recent cases of pervasive sex abuse at universities, including those committed by Larry Nassar at Michigan State University and by Jerry Sandusky at Pennsylvania State University, demonstrate the limitations of Title IX as a tool for protecting college students. What has gone far less recognized is that in the K–12 public school context, Title IX and other civil rights laws, including the Fourteenth Amendment, are at least as ineffective at protecting students from sexual, physical, and verbal abuse and harassment. Public school students rarely succeed on Fourteenth Amendment or Title IX claims, even in some of the most egregious ...


Coerced Choice: School Vouchers And Students With Disabilities, Claire Raj Jan 2019

Coerced Choice: School Vouchers And Students With Disabilities, Claire Raj

Faculty Publications

The landscape of public education, once thought to be a core function of the state, is shifting towards privatization. The appointment of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education further cements this shift. In particular, DeVos intends to vastly expand the availability of vouchers and tax credits that use public dollars to fund private school tuition. The debate over this expansion and its impact on traditional public schools has been polarizing and combative. Thus far, commentators have framed vouchers as purely matters of choice and increased educational opportunities. Drowned out in the debate are the voices of students with ...


Breaking The Norm Of School Reform, Derek Black Jan 2019

Breaking The Norm Of School Reform, Derek Black

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Free Appropriate Public Education After Andrew F. V. Douglas County School District (2017), Terrye Conroy, Mitchell Yell Jan 2019

Free Appropriate Public Education After Andrew F. V. Douglas County School District (2017), Terrye Conroy, Mitchell Yell

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Preferencing Educational Choice: The Constitutional Limits, Derek Black Sep 2018

Preferencing Educational Choice: The Constitutional Limits, Derek Black

Faculty Publications

Rapidly expanding charter and voucher programs threaten a new education paradigm in which access to traditional public schools is no longer guaranteed in some communities. In some instances, choice programs are phasing out traditional public schools altogether. The most harmful effects of choice, however, occur at the local level, not the state level. Thus, this Article does not challenge the general constitutionality of choice programs. Instead, the Article identifies limitations that state constitutional rights to adequate and equal education place on choice policy.

First, states cannot preference private choice programs over public education. This conclusion flows from the fact that ...


The Privacy Of The Public School, Emily Suski Jan 2018

The Privacy Of The Public School, Emily Suski

Faculty Publications

This Article compares the liability of the public schools with that of families for harms to children in their care. Families serve as an apt vehicle for comparative analysis because families’ and schools’ responsibilities for children overlap substantially. Despite these overlapping responsibilities, however, the law allows schools to evade liability for harms to children and penalizes families for the same or similar harms.

Drawing on feminist theory on privacy and the public/private divide, this Article argues that the limits of public school liability mean they have privacy. Feminist theorists identify privacy as freedom from regulation and intrusion into decision-making ...


Abandoning The Federal Role In Education, Derek Black Oct 2017

Abandoning The Federal Role In Education, Derek Black

Faculty Publications

In December 2015, Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which redefined the role of the federal government in education. The ESSA attempted to appease popular sentiment against the No Child Left Behind Act’s (NCLB) overreliance on standardized testing and punitive sanctions. But in overturning those aspects of the NCLB, Congress failed to devise a system that was any better. Congress simply stripped the federal government of regulatory power and vastly expanded state discretion. For the first time in fifty years, the federal government lacks the ability to prompt improvements in student achievement and to demand equal resources ...


A First Amendment Deference Approach For Reforming Anti-Bullying Laws, Emily Suski Apr 2017

A First Amendment Deference Approach For Reforming Anti-Bullying Laws, Emily Suski

Faculty Publications

This Article examines the anti-bullying laws and their response to the problem of bullying in light of both the nature of the problem itself, the interventions the laws call for, and the laws’ First Amendment implications. Bullying has many varied, negative consequences, some tragic, and is widespread. Yet, the anti-bullying laws disproportionately focus schools’ responses to bullying on school exclusion, meaning suspending, expelling or otherwise excluding students who bully from school. This is so even though social science literature has found school exclusion ineffective and sometimes counterproductive as a method for addressing bullying. What is more, because much of bullying ...


Averting Educational Crisis: Funding Cuts, Teacher Shortages, And The Dwindling Commitment To Public Education, Derek Black Jan 2017

Averting Educational Crisis: Funding Cuts, Teacher Shortages, And The Dwindling Commitment To Public Education, Derek Black

Faculty Publications

Recent data shows that two-thirds of states are funding education at lower levels than in 2008. Some states are 20% or more below levels of just a few years earlier. The effect on schools has been devastating. States are only exacerbating the problem by reducing teachers’ rights and benefits. These attacks, combined with funding decreases, have scared many prospective teachers away from the profession. The net result is an extreme shortage of teachers nationwide. When the school year began in 2015, a large number of public schools opened without enough certified teachers to fill classrooms, relying instead on substitutes and ...


The School To Prison Pipeline's Legal Architecture: Lessons From The Spring Valley Incident And Its Aftermath, Josh Gupta-Kagan Jan 2017

The School To Prison Pipeline's Legal Architecture: Lessons From The Spring Valley Incident And Its Aftermath, Josh Gupta-Kagan

Faculty Publications

This Article examines the 2015 Spring Valley High School incident – the high-profile arrest of a Columbia, South Carolina high school student for “disturbing schools” in which a school resource officer threw her out of her desk – to identify and illustrate the core elements of the school-to-prison pipeline’s legal architecture, and to evaluate legal reforms in response to growing concern over the pipeline.

The Spring Valley incident illustrates, first, how broad criminal laws transform school discipline incidents into law enforcement matters. Second, it illustrates how legal instruments that should limit the role of police officers assigned to schools (school resource ...


The Constitutional Challenge To Teacher Tenure, Derek W. Black Feb 2016

The Constitutional Challenge To Teacher Tenure, Derek W. Black

Faculty Publications

In 2012, education reformers theorized a novel constitutional strategy to eliminate tenure. They argued that tenure leads to the retention of ineffective teachers, and that ineffective teaching deprives students of the constitutional right to education embedded in state constitutions. This theory immediately caught hold, with a California trial court striking down tenure in 2014 and litigation commencing in other states weeks thereafter.

The outcome of this litigation movement will determine both the future of the teaching profession and the scope of the constitutional right to education. To date, however, no high court or scholar has thoroughly analyzed the theory. This ...


Reforming School Discipline, Derek Black Jan 2016

Reforming School Discipline, Derek Black

Faculty Publications

Public schools suspend millions of students each year, but only five percent of suspensions are for serious misbehavior. School leaders argue that these suspensions ensure an orderly educational environment for those students who remain. Social science demonstrates the opposite. The practice of regularly suspending students negatively affects misbehaving students as well as innocent bystanders. All things being equal, schools that manage student behavior through means other than suspension produce the highest achieving students. In this respect, the quality of education a school provides is closely connected to its discipline policies.

Drawing on the connection between discipline and educational quality, this ...


Taking Teacher Quality Seriously, Derek W. Black Jan 2016

Taking Teacher Quality Seriously, Derek W. Black

Faculty Publications

Although access to quality teachers is one of the most important aspects of a quality education, explicit concern with teacher quality has been conspicuously absent from past litigation over the right to education. Instead, past litigation has focused almost exclusively on funding. Though that litigation has narrowed gross fundinggaps between schools in many states, it has not changed what matters most: access to quality teachers.

This Article proposes a break from the traditional approach to litigating the constitutional right to education. Rather than constitutionalizing adequate or equal funding, courts should constitutionalize quality teaching. The recent success of the constitutional challenge ...


The Gap Between Rights And Reality: The Intersection Of Language, Disability, And Educational Opportunity, Claire Raj Jan 2015

The Gap Between Rights And Reality: The Intersection Of Language, Disability, And Educational Opportunity, Claire Raj

Faculty Publications

English Language Learners (ELLs) are the fastest growing group in America’s schools. The debate over how to best serve them is largely dominated by fights over English-only versus bilingual instruction. This controversy is once again taking center stage, as states like California and Massachusetts reassess their language programs after a decade of English-only laws on the books. But once again, lost in the battle over language pedagogy is the fact that ELLs face educational challenges beyond language. Like any other student population, the ELL cohort includes students with disabilities who need special education services. In theory, two different statutes ...


Dark Sarcasm In The Classroom: The Failure Of The Courts To Recognize Students' Severe Emotional Harm As Unconstitutional, Emily Suski Jan 2014

Dark Sarcasm In The Classroom: The Failure Of The Courts To Recognize Students' Severe Emotional Harm As Unconstitutional, Emily Suski

Faculty Publications

Sometimes the very people who are supposed to teach, nurture, and protect students in public schools — the students’ teachers, principals, coaches, and other school officials — are instead the people who harm them. Public school officials have beaten students, causing significant physical harm. They have also left students suffering from depression, suicidal ideation, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. When school officials cause such severe harm to students, all the federal courts of appeals to consider the issue have concluded that the Fourteenth Amendment at least in theory protects them, regardless of whether the form of the harm is emotional or physical. Yet ...


Individualized Education Programs And Special Education Programming For Students With Disabilities In Urban Schools, Mitchell Yell, Terrye Conroy, Antonis Katsiyannis, Tim Conroy Jan 2013

Individualized Education Programs And Special Education Programming For Students With Disabilities In Urban Schools, Mitchell Yell, Terrye Conroy, Antonis Katsiyannis, Tim Conroy

Faculty Publications

This Article examines the individualized education program (IEP) requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and presents a method for improving the education of students with disabilities in urban settings by appropriately developing IEPs. Part I considers the unique problems facing special education in urban school districts. Part II presents an overview of the IDEA and its requirement that school districts provide students with a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Part III examines the components of an IEP and the process for developing students’ IEPs------the key vehicle for providing a FAPE. Part IV outlines a process for developing ...


Civil Rights, Charter Schools, And Lessons To Be Learned, Derek W. Black Dec 2012

Civil Rights, Charter Schools, And Lessons To Be Learned, Derek W. Black

Faculty Publications

Two major structural shifts have occurred in education reform in the past two decades: the decline of civil rights reforms and the rise of charter schools. Courts and policy makers have relegated traditional civil rights reforms that address segregation, poverty, disability, and language barriers to near irrelevance, while charter schools and policies supporting their creation and expansion have rapidly increased and now dominate federal policy. Advocates of traditional civil rights reforms interpret the success of charter schools as a threat to their cause, and, consequently, have fought the expansion of charter schools. This Article argues that the civil rights community ...


Education's Elusive Future, Storied Past, And The Fundamental Inequity In Between, Derek W. Black Apr 2012

Education's Elusive Future, Storied Past, And The Fundamental Inequity In Between, Derek W. Black

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Middle Income Peers As Educational Resources And The Constitutional Right To Equal Access, Derek W. Black Mar 2012

Middle Income Peers As Educational Resources And The Constitutional Right To Equal Access, Derek W. Black

Faculty Publications

Concentrated poverty in public schools continues to be a leading determinate of the educational opportunities that minority students receive. Since the effective end of mandatory desegregation, advocates have lacked legal tools to address it. As an alternative, some advocates and scholars have attempted to incorporate the concerns of concentrated poverty and racial segregation into educational litigation under state constitutions, but these efforts have been slow to take hold. Thus, all that has remained for students in poor and minority schools is the hope that school finance litigation could direct sufficient resources to mitigate their plight. This Article offers another solution ...


A New Era For Desegregation, Danielle R. Holley-Walker Jan 2012

A New Era For Desegregation, Danielle R. Holley-Walker

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Middle-Income Peers As Educational Resources And The Constitutional Right To Equal Access, Derek W. Black Jan 2012

Middle-Income Peers As Educational Resources And The Constitutional Right To Equal Access, Derek W. Black

Faculty Publications

Concentrated poverty in public schools continues to be a leading determinate of the educational opportunities that minority students receive. Since the effective end of mandatory desegregation, advocates have lacked legal tools to address it. As an alternative, some advocates and scholars have attempted to incorporate the concerns of concentrated poverty and racial segregation into educational litigation under state constitutions, but these efforts have been slow to take hold. Thus, all that has remained for students in poor and minority schools is the hope that school finance litigation could direct sufficient resources to mitigate their plight. This Article offers another solution ...


Race And Socioeconomic Diversity In American Legal Education: A Response To Richard Sander, Danielle R. Holley-Walker Jan 2011

Race And Socioeconomic Diversity In American Legal Education: A Response To Richard Sander, Danielle R. Holley-Walker

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


After Unitary Status: Examining Voluntary Integration Strategies For Southern School Districts, Danielle R. Holley-Walker Mar 2010

After Unitary Status: Examining Voluntary Integration Strategies For Southern School Districts, Danielle R. Holley-Walker

Faculty Publications

This Article provides empirical data on student assignment plans that are currently being used by Southern school districts that have recently attained unitary status. As the facts of Parents Involved in Community Schools demonstrate, Southern school districts will likely continue to be at the forefront of the struggle over voluntary integration efforts. Many Southern school districts are being released from desegregation orders that allowed the district to use race-conscious remedies to address previous de jure racial segregation. Without those court orders, the school district is faced with a choice about whether to continue to make racial integration a priority and ...


The Congressional Failure To Enforce Equal Protection Through The Elementary And Secondary Education Act, Derek W. Black Feb 2010

The Congressional Failure To Enforce Equal Protection Through The Elementary And Secondary Education Act, Derek W. Black

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Not Very Collegial: Exploring Bans On Illegal Immigrant Admissions To State Colleges And Universities, Marcia A. Yablon-Zug, Danielle R. Holley-Walker Apr 2009

Not Very Collegial: Exploring Bans On Illegal Immigrant Admissions To State Colleges And Universities, Marcia A. Yablon-Zug, Danielle R. Holley-Walker

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


In Defense Of Voluntary Desegregation: All Things Are Not Equal, Derek W. Black Jan 2009

In Defense Of Voluntary Desegregation: All Things Are Not Equal, Derek W. Black

Faculty Publications

This Article analyzes the concept of racial stigma in Justice Kennedy’s controlling opinion in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1. The Article reveals that Kennedy’s fundamental concern is that using racial classifications to achieve voluntary desegregation racially stigmatizes students. In particular, he assumes that the classifications undermine individualism and reduce children to “racial chits.” He fails, however, to recognize the purpose of voluntary desegregation and the unique characteristics that distinguish it from other race-conscious programs. Kennedy is not alone. Commentators and schools may have “over-defended” voluntary desegregation, articulating multiple justifications rather than focusing ...


Examining Costs Of Diversity, Eboni S. Nelson Jan 2009

Examining Costs Of Diversity, Eboni S. Nelson

Faculty Publications

Although the Supreme Court struck down the voluntary race-based student-assignment plans employed in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. ] and Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education as violative of the Equal Protection Clause, many school officials will seek refuge in Justice Kennedy's concurrence and continue their pursuit of racially diverse student bodies. This Article questions the wisdom of such a pursuit and urges school officials to pursue measures other than racial diversity to provide equal educational opportunities to minority students.

The Article begins with a discussion of the social, democratic, and educational benefits commonly ...