Category Archives: Education

Op-Ed: “Don’t Like Betsy DeVos? Blame the Democrats.” – Diane Ravitch

Op-Ed: Diane Ravitch, Don’t Like Betsy DeVos? Blame the Democrats, New Republic, May 23, 2017.

New Report: “Lessons from the end of free college in England”

New Report: Richard Murphy et al., Lessons from the end of free college in England (Brookings Inst. 2017).

New Article: “Do Court Mandates Change the Distribution of Taxes and Spending? Evidence from School Finance Litigation”

New Article: Zachary D. Liscow, Do Court Mandates Change the Distribution of Taxes and Spending? Evidence from School Finance Litigation, Journal of Empirical Legal Studies (Forthcoming).  Abstract below:

Little is known about whether court mandates ultimately affect the distribution of taxes and spending or whether legislatures offset the distributional consequences of those court orders with other changes. To offer insight into this question, I use an event-study methodology to show how state revenues and expenditures respond to court orders to increase funding for schools for low-income students. The court orders are financed almost entirely through increases in taxes, and there is little evidence of offsetting behavior by the legislature. State income tax changes are broad-based across the income distribution and do not target tax filers with children. Thus, since the main beneficiaries of the school spending do not pay a disproportionate share of the costs, advocates for school finance reform are effective at transferring resources to poor families. The results suggest that welfare analysis of these legal rules should take into account not only efficiency but also distribution.

News Article: Sonia Sotomayor: Not Everyone Can Just Pull Themselves ‘Up By The Bootstraps’

News Article: Carolina Moreno, Sonia Sotomayor: Not Everyone Can Just Pull Themselves ‘Up By The Bootstraps’, Huffington Post (Apr. 4, 2017).

Article: Racial Subjugation by Another Name? Using the Links in the School-to-Prison Pipeline to Reassess State Takeover District Performance

Article: Steven L. Nelson, Racial Subjugation by Another Name? Using the Links in the School-to-Prison Pipeline to Reassess State Takeover District Performance, 9 Geo. J. L. & Mod. Crit. Race Persp. (2017).

The state takeover of locally governed schools in predominately black communities has not disrupted the racial subjugation of black people in the United States. Using proportional analyses and the cities of Detroit, Memphis, and New Orleans as sites, the researcher finds that state takeover districts have not consistently disrupted the school-to-prison pipeline for black students in urban settings. Furthermore, the researcher found little evidence that would support broader and more intentional efforts to combat the over disciplining of black students in the United States Department of Education’s proposed rules for implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act, the most recent reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. In fact, the legislation perpetuates strategies that have aided the creation of the school-to-prison pipeline and supplies only strong recommendations to replace strategies that have compounded the harm of the school-to-prison pipeline. This finding is important in the context of education reform, particularly as researchers begin to question the motives and results of contemporary education reform. Moreover, this work is important to the current scholarly discussions that consider the many civil rights that black communities are required to exchange for the prospect of better schools.

Symposium Issue: “The School to Prison Pipeline” – Ariz. St. L.J. 2016

Symposium Issue: “The School to Prison Pipeline” – Ariz. St. L.J. 2016.

Tiffani Darden, Exploring the spectrum: how the law may advance a social movement, 48 Ariz. St. L.J. 261 (2016).

Laura R. McNeal, Managing our blind spot: the role of bias in the school-to-prison pipeline, 48 Ariz. St. L.J. 285 (2016).

Jason P. Nance, Dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline: tools for change, 48 Ariz. St. L.J. 313 (2016).

Claire Raj, The misidentification of children with disabilities: a harm with no foul, 48 Ariz. St. L.J. 373 (2016).

Article: Every Dollar Counts: In Defense of the Obama Department of Education’s “Supplement Not Supplant” Proposal

Note: The Misguided Appeal of a Minimally Adequate Education

Note: The Misguided Appeal of a Minimally Adequate Education, 130 Harv. L. Rev. 1458 (2017).

Article: Giving Vulnerable Students Their Due: Implementing Due Process Protections for Students Referred from Schools to the Justice System

Article: Meredith S. Simons, Giving Vulnerable Students Their Due: Implementing Due Process Protections for Students Referred from Schools to the Justice System,  66 Duke L.J. 943 (2017).

There are two primary ways that schools can funnel children into the “school-to-prison pipeline.” The first is by simply removing children from school via expulsions and suspensions, which increase students’ chances of dropping out and getting in trouble with the law. The Supreme Court, recognizing the serious consequences of being forced out of school, has held that expulsions and long-term suspensions constitute deprivations of students’ property interest in their educations and liberty interest in their reputations. Thus, schools seeking to expel or suspend students must provide them with basic due process protections. But schools can also refer students directly to the justice system by having police officers arrest students or issue citations at school. Under current law, these students are not entitled to any due process protections at the point of arrest or referral.

This Note argues that the absence of due process protections for students who are arrested or referred to the justice system at school is incompatible with the Supreme Court’s procedural due process jurisprudence in general and its decision in Goss v. Lopez in particular. The same property and liberty interests that the Court identified as worthy of protection in Goss are implicated by in-school arrests and referrals. Therefore, school administrators who intend to have a child arrested or referred to the justice system should be required to provide students with oral notice of the accusation against them and an opportunity to respond. After an arrest or referral, the school should provide students and their parents with written notice of the arrest or referral and the rationale for the action. These measures will not unduly burden administrators or schools, but they will provide meaningful protections for students.

Article: Student Debt and Higher Education Risk

Article: Jonathan D. Glater, Student Debt and Higher Education Risk, 103 Cal. L. Rev. 1561 (2015).

To borrow for college is to take a risk. Indebted students may not earn enough to repay their loans after they graduate or, worse, may fail to graduate at all. For students who cannot pay for college without borrowing, this risk is both a disincentive and a penalty. Greater risk undermines the efficacy of federal financial aid policy that seeks to promote access to higher education. This Essay situates education borrowing within a larger cultural and political trend toward placing risk on individuals and criticizes this development for its failure to achieve any of the typical goals of legislation that allocates risk—such as prevention of moral hazard or other, particular public policy outcomes.

The Essay describes dramatic increases in student borrowing and explains the negative effects of greater reliance on debt, which increases the risk of investing in higher education. The Essay contends that recognizing student debt as a mechanism that transfers risk bolsters criticisms of increased borrowing and provides a consistent way to evaluate aid policy. The Essay outlines an insurance regime as the logical response to undesirable or unmanageable risk. Such a regime would preserve access to higher education and mitigate the danger of borrowing for college.