Law Review Digests-Articles, Notes and Commentary
Primary and Secondary Education
Gary D. Allison, School Vouchers: The Educational Silver Bullet, or an Ideological Blank Round?, 38 Tulsa L. Rev. 329 (2002). This note takes issue with the recent Supreme Court decision in the Cleveland school voucher case. The author goes to great lengths to show how a conservative group within the Court has carved out new exceptions to the Establishment Clause in the last twenty years. He discusses the incredible malaise now engulfing urban school districts and argues that recent judicial measures do more to facilitate religious indoctrination than to help educate inner-city youth. The article takes particular aim at the Court's current neutral position, private choice analysis, claiming that it all but ignores longstanding precedent on the topic.
Lloyd Cohen, A Study of Invidious Racial Discrimination in Admissions at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology: Monty Python and Franz Kafka Meet a Probit Regression, 66 Alb. L. Rev. 447 (2003). Thomas Jefferson High is a magnet school in northern Virginia. This article discusses whether its ultra-competitive selection process is unfairly discriminatory. The author argues that the selection process is convoluted and wasteful because more African-American students are admitted based on factors other than merit, and due to competing political goals, the process is designed to hide the extent that race alone is a factor.
Daniel G. Gibbens, Public School Education About Beginnings: Creationism, No! Truth About Science, Yes!, 55 OkIa. L. Rev. 613 (2003). Science curricula in public schools should address creationism as a rational alternative to science-based origins only when the science is still unclear. The author argues that when schools say that questions of origin depend on science, they are in effect inhibiting religion in violation of the Establishment Clause. The article suggests that the power of science is not diminished by acknowledging the important questions that science has not answered. Instead, the author argues that schools can state that creationism is an alternative in light of the gaps in scientific knowledge.
Kent Greenawalt, Teaching About Religion in the Public Schools, 18 J.L. & Pol. 329 (2003). While the Supreme Court has found that teaching about religion is acceptable in public schools, it has not addressed the challenges that administrators face when designing programs of instruction. As a result, schools teach very little about religion. The issue the author raises is whether this failure to teach any religion can be construed as a violation of the First Amendment. The author urges public schools not to teach that particular religious beliefs are true, nor should they specify what a correct understanding of a particular religion is.
Jill Elaine Hasday, The Principle and Practice of Women's "Full Citizenship": A Case Study of Sex-Segregated Public Education, 101 Mich. L. Rev. 755 (2002). In United States v. Virginia, the Supreme Court held that the constitutionality of sex-based state action turns on whether women are denied full citizenship or if it creates or maintains their inferiority. The author argues that the Supreme Court has not gone far enough in its guidelines because issues still exist as to what determines when a woman has lost her full citizenship. The author further suggests that using the historical record of sex-segregated public education can be a useful tool in making this determination and may even call into question our current assumptions regarding sex discrimination jurisprudence.
David L. Hudson & John E. Ferguson, The Court's Inconsistent Treatment of Bethel v. Fraser and the Curtailment of Student Rights, 36 John Marshall L. Rev. 181 (2002). This article seeks to explain how the Bethel v. Fraser decision curtailed student rights recognized in the Supreme Court's last pure student speech case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District. …