Academic journal article Journal of Law and Education

Commentary - Elementary & Secondary Education

Academic journal article Journal of Law and Education

Commentary - Elementary & Secondary Education

Article excerpt


Brenna Ferrick, Note, The Wicked Smaht Kids: Seeking an Adequate Public Education for Gifted Elementary and Secondary Students in Massachusetts, 10 U. Mass. L. Rev. 464 (2015). This note argues that the Massachusetts legislature under-serves its students enrolled in public schools by failing to recognize those who are gifted or highly advanced. As part of the analysis, the author looks at current public education laws and statutes. Additionally, the author considers gifted students and their specialized needs in an attempt to show those needs are not being met in the public education system. Finally, the author proposes that the legislature create a definition of giftedness and provide gifted student identification and programing.

Maurice R. Dyson, Promise Zones, Poverty, and the Future of Public Schools: Confronting the Challenges of Socioeconomic Integration & School Culture in High-Poverty Schools, 2014 Mich. St. L. Rev. 711 (2014). This article seeks to address the correlation between students living in poverty and lower performance in school. More specifically, the author considered the impact of programs that targeted low-income communities such as the Promise Zone Initiative. While the author notes that some of these programs have been successful, the article also discusses some concerns that come with these initiatives, such as Congress's reluctance to grant funding. In conclusion, the author believes that the path forward means attracting and retaining quality teachers and visionary leaders that will foster a child's potential for learning by removing inequalities imposed upon a child born into poverty.

Benjamin M. Superfine and Jessica L. Gottlieb, Teacher Evaluation and Collective Bargaining: The New Frontier of Civil Rights, 2014 Mich. St. L. Rev. 737. This article looks at current developments in teacher evaluations and the impact of collective bargaining agreements that can be made between school districts and local teachers' unions. First, the article looks at the major goals behind Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights acts, while focusing on the reforms of the teacher workforce. Second, is an examination of more recent developments in teacher evaluations, legal protections available to teachers, and the laws governing collective bargaining. Finally, the author offers recommendations that would allow schools to move forward while honoring the historic goals of Brown and the Civil Rights Act.

Atiba R. Ellis, Reviving the Dream: Equality and the Democratic Promise in the Post-Civil Rights Era, 2014 Mich. St. L. Rev. 789. The goal of this article is to suggest that the idea of equality in America needs to be re-conceptualized to include racial inequality and socioeconomic inequality. First, the author looks at and discusses democratic-reinforcement theory and how it should be applied to include, formerly excluded, minorities. Next, the article discusses the history and development of civil rights. Then, the analysis turns to America's desire to be a post-apartheid, postracial society and how this desire has limited the civil rights model. The author argues that the civil rights model was intended to provide formal opportunities for minorities rather than abolish white supremacy. The author concludes by suggesting that the civil rights model may be revitalized through a recommitment to the core meaning of race equality as well as considering the impact of modern racially segmented socioeconomic inequality.

Danielle Weatherby, From Jack to Jill: Gender Expression as Protected Speech in the Modern Schoolhouse, 39 N.Y.U. Rev. L. & Soc. Change 89 (2015). This article discusses the issues facing transgendered youth in K-12 public schools, including threats of violence and harassment. The author examines problems with current administrative handlings of transgendered youth and observes the current legal landscape. Finally, the author submits that a transgender student's expressive conduct (including her desire to use the restroom that corresponds with her gender identity) is "speech" that falls within the protective umbrella of the First Amendment and should not be silenced because it is unpopular. …

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