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Teachers College Columbia University

School Law Institute

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Description

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.

Topics

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.

Experts

Gary Orfield is Distinguished Research Professor of Education, Law, Political Science and Urban Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests are in the study of civil rights, education policy, urban policy, and minority opportunity. He was co-founder and director...

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