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Public Interest Law: Direct Legal Services

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LAW 505

Educational Inequality

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[ Academia ] [ Litigation ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] Public Interest Law: Direct Legal Services

Why it is relevant for ...

[ Academia ] [ Litigation ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] as a Related Elective for those interested in Civil Rights : Discrimination or unequal treatment is frequently the gravamen of civil rights litigation. Students interested in a civil rights practice should take one or more courses that address the legal framework of the anti-discrimination or equal opportunity laws. This course examines the significant differences in students' educational experience, particularly based on race and socioeconomic status.

General course Description:

(Same as EDUC 379X). This class examines the issue of inequality in primary and secondary education, particularly with respect to race and socioeconomic status. It distinguishes between inequality in terms of inputs versus outputs, presenting the empirical evidence about each and the relationship between the two. The course also explores the history of legal and policy responses to persistent inequality, in particular the controversies surrounding Brown v. Board of Education and subsequent cases related to achieve racially integrated public education, as well as efforts to achieve equitable education through school finance reforms. The course considers the challenge of contemporary educational inequality and surveys the competing policy approaches, from increased and redistributed funding and efforts to improve instructional quality, to centralized accountability and testing and market based solutions such as vouchers and charter schools. Throughout, the class considers the role of law in facilitating or impeding desirable reforms, and reflect upon the practical question, in light of political impediments and constraints, of how a lawyer or social scientist might best move our nation toward a more just and less unequal educational system.

Course Style: A Substantive course teaches the law, theory, and policy in a particular area of law

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