SMNR: Changing American Schools

Read the course description below to learn how this course will be taught.

Class Unique: 28505
Online-only Unique: 28506

The 28505 section of this course will be taught in person but with the option of occasional remote participation via Zoom.  If students require all remote participation, they must register for the 28506 section of this course, which is identical but web-based.

This seminar focuses on the growing role of state and federal courts in improving the ability of schools to prepare students for college, the workforce and effective participation as citizens. Students will read court cases, published legal policies regarding education, and proposed legislation related to school reform. The first part of the seminar addresses the trend of increased litigation involving schools, with an emphasis on alternatives to litigation. The second part of the seminar examines the opportunities for lawyers to become personally involved in school reform, particularly in the making of national state and local educational policy. Lawyers as school counsel, school administrators, elected officials, volunteers, experts, and concerned parents all play an important role in improving schools. Students will be expected to write a thoughtful, well-researched legal paper on a contemporary legal problem that schools face. The students' problem-solving skills will be brought to bear on identifying in this paper whether the schools have been presented with real conflicts or perceived conflicts that are based on false choices. Not only is the student expected to carefully describe the legal issues, and apply pertinent legal and scholarly research, this seminar calls on the student to find the right balance between accountability and flexibility, equity and excellence, deference to educators and the court's duty to enforce the laws.

Professor keeps his/her own waitlist

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Wednesday 4:15 - 6:05 pm TNH 3.126
Evaluation Method Date Time Alpha Range Room

Additional Information

Course Type
Grading Method
Pass/Fail Allowed


You will find the most up-to-date information on textbook assignments via the University Co-Op website.