Law School to host conference on “Law and the Achievement Gap,’” April 5, 2013


John Jackson, president of the Schott Foundation for Public Education

John Jackson, president of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, will present the keynote address.


On Friday, April 5, 2013, the Law School’s William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law and the Texas Journal for Civil Liberties and Civil Rights will present an all-day conference entitled “The Role of Law in Closing the Educational Achievement Gap.”

Aimed at education reformers, lawyers, educators, policy makers, scholars, and students, the conference will explore ongoing law-related efforts to close the achievement gap as well as possible future initiatives. Morning panels will address education reform through government and legislative action and litigation. At lunch, the keynote speaker, John Jackson, president of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, will present an address entitled “Social Engineers or Parasites: The Role of Lawyers in Closing the Achievement Gap.” The conference will conclude with an afternoon panel on building a legal career focused on addressing the achievement gap followed by an informal reception.

In addition to Jackson, participants include David Anderson, General Counsel, Texas Education Agency; Patricia Arthur, Youth Justice Strategist, Berkeley, California; Deborah Fowler, Deputy Director, Texas Appleseed; Rick Gray, Senior Partner, Gray & Becker PC; David Hinojosa, Regional Counsel, MALDEF, San Antonio; Sandy Kress, Senior Counsel, Akin Gump; Scott McCown, Executive Director, Center for Public Policy Priorities; Denise Pierce, General Counsel, Texas Charter Schools Association; and Paul Weckstein, Codirector, Center for Law and Education, Washington, D.C.

The State Bar of Texas has accredited the conference for 5.5 hours of continuing legal education. The conference is free and open to the public, but space is limited. To register for the conference (including the keynote lunch), contact Rachel Sidopulos at by March 29. For the conference schedule and parking information, please consult the conference website.

Conference cosponsors include The University of Texas at Austin Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, which is hosting the lunch, and the Barbara Jordan Freedom Foundation. Student organization cosponsors are the American Constitution Society University of Texas Chapter, the Chicano/Hispanic Law Students Association, Street Law, the Thurgood Marshall Legal Society, and Youth Court.

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