School Law Institute
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The School Law Institute is an exciting, nationally recognized program that will take place in air-conditioned space at Columbia Law School. Now in its 30th year, originally at Harvard and now at Teachers College, this one-week course tackles pressing issues in law and education. The course has consistently received high praise from Teachers College students, practicing educators, policy analysts, researchers, advocates, charter-school staff, and other individuals concerned about legal issues in public K-12 education. It is also quite popular among Continuing Professional Studies students, taking a practical and innovative approach to professional development and learning.
Today’s complex, polarized debates about K-12 education make this an ideal time for a program like this. Every day brings important new developments on such critical issues as:
- Critical changes in immigration law, policy, and practice (immigrants’ rights, DACA, etc.);
- Important new developments in language policy and regulation;
- Fiscal equity and the right to an adequate education;
- Accelerating achievement using heterogeneous grouping; detracking;
- Student and teacher free-speech rights;
- The Internet, social media, and cyberbullying;
- Special education (IDEA), Section 504, and Title II of the ADA;
- High-stakes testing and accountability; ESSA;
- Charter schools, voucher programs, and other forms of school choice;
- Exploring the effects of racial attitudes in K-12 education: Implicit bias and the school-to-prison pipeline;
- Affirmative action: The use of race, ethnicity, and SES in student assignment and admissions
- Bullying/Harassment based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, national origin, and religion;
- The schools’ authority to discipline students and staff for on- and off-campus misconduct;
- Search and seizure, drug testing;
- Child abuse reporting and prevention: The schools' responsibility;
- Tort liability: The schools’ legal responsibility for injuries to students and staff;
- Improving collaboration between educators, lawyers, researchers, and families; and
- Practicing preventive law, keeping current on legal developments.
We’ll explore these issues through hypotheticals, small- and large-group discussions, simulations, and lectures, considering legal and non-legal (educational, administrative, ethnical, political, and financial) factors.
Who should attend
The Institute serves policy makers, policy analysts, and researchers; school-board and charter-school-board members; current and aspiring teachers and administrators in traditional public schools and charter schools; district-, state-, and national-level administrators; special educators; bilingual/ESL staff; guidance counselors and psychologists; assessment staff; curriculum developers and teacher educators; journalists; union reps; education lawyers; and advocates.