From Schoolhouse to Courthouse: The Judiciary's Role in American Education

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From race to speech, from religion to school funding, from discipline to special education, few aspects of education policy have escaped the courtroom over the past fifty years.
Predictably, much controversy has ensued. Supporters of education litigation contend that the courts are essential to secure student (and civil) rights, while critics insist that the courts distort policy and that the mere threat of litigation undermines the authority of teachers and administrators.

From Schoolhouse to Courthouse brings together experts on law, political science, and education policy to test these claims. Shep Melnick (Boston College) and James Ryan (University of Virginia School of Law) draw lessons from judicial efforts to promote school desegregation and civil rights. Martha Derthick (University of Virginia), John Dinan (Wake Forest University), and Michael Heise (Cornell Law School) discuss litigation over high-stakes testing and school finance in the era of No Child Left Behind. Richard Arum (New York University), Samuel R. Bagenstos (Washington University Law School), and Frederick M. Hess (American Enterprise Institute) analyze the consequences of court rulings for school discipline, special education, and district management. Finally, editors Joshua Dunn and Martin R. West probe the tangled relationship between religious freedom, student speech, and school choice.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815703075
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press with the Thomas B. Fordham Institute
  • Publication date: 8/4/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 275
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Joshua Dunn is assistant professor of political science at the University of Colorado–Colorado Springs and the author of Complex Justice:The Case of Missouri v. Jenkins (University of North Carolina Press, 2008). Martin R.West is assistant professor of education, political science, and public policy at Brown University and executive editor of Education Next.With Paul E. Peterson, he edited School Money Trials (Brookings, 2006) and No Child Left Behind? (Brookings, 2003).

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Table of Contents

Foreword Chester E. Finn, Jr. Finn, Chester E., Jr.

Pt. 1 Context

1 The Supreme Court as School Board Revisited Martin R. West West, Martin R. Joshua M. Dunn Dunn, Joshua M.

2 Taking Remedies Seriously: Can Courts Control Public Schools? R. Shep Melnick Melnick, R. Shep

3 School Superintendents and the Law: Cages of Their Own Design? Frederick M. Hess Hess, Frederick M. Lance D. Fusarelli Fusarelli, Lance D.

Pt. 2 Settled Issues

4 The Real Lessons of School Desegregation James E. Ryan Ryan, James E.

5 School Finance Litigation: The Third Wave Recedes John Dinan Dinan, John

6 The Judiciary's Now-Limited Role in Special Education Samuel R. Bagenstos Bagenstos, Samuel R.

7 Pass or Fail? Litigating High-Stakes Testing Michael Heise Heise, Michael

Pt. 3 Persistent Conflicts

8 School Choice Litigation after Zelman Martin R. West West, Martin R.

9 Talking about Religion: Separation, Freedom of Speech, and Student Rights Joshua M. Dunn Dunn, Joshua M.

10 Litigation under No Child Left Behind Martha Derthick Derthick, Martha

11 Still Judging School Discipline Richard Arum Arum, Richard Doreet Preiss Preiss, Doreet



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