The lawyers for a functionally illiterate man who sued New York State for failing to give him an appropriate education have appealed his case to the U.S. Supreme Court on the grounds that he was deprived of his educational rights under the state constitution without due process of law.
Frank Torres, now 27, was institutionalized in a state child-care agency at the age of 7. He spoke fluent Spanish but did not subsequently learn to speak English, a problem his lawyers charged was the fault of the agencies that acted as his parents. (See Education Week, Jan. 9, 1985.)
But the New York Court of Ap-Continued on Following Page Continued from Preceding Page
peals, which decided the case last January, upheld a lower court's ruling that the issue in Torres v. Little Flower Children's Services was an educational one that the court could not address.
In their petition to the Supreme Court, the lawyers for Mr. Torres argue that "it is doubtful whether the Constitution would permit a state to take custody of a child, make him its ward, and then arbitrarily and irrationally treat him as New York has done so as to destroy his chances in life."
The Senate Judiciary Committee has decided to postpone a vote on the nomination of William Bradford Reynolds as the U.S. Justice Department's associate attorney general.
The panel, at the request of Senator Charles M. Mathias Jr., Republican of Maryland, asked Mr. Reynolds on June 7 to return for more questioning on June 18. A spokesman for the Senator said committee members were concerned about possible discrepancies between Mr. Reynolds's testimony and that of other witnesses on the department's enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.
Senator Mathias had joined with several Democrats during hearings on June 4 and 5 in criticizing Mr. Reynolds's stewardship of the department's civil-rights division. (See Education Week, June 12, 1985.)
A disputed California regulation for assigning students from bilingual to English-only classes has received court clearance for use in the state's public schools.
Sacramento County Superior Court Judge James T. Ford, after a hearing, denied a request by California Legal Rural Assistance, an advocacy group that has opposed the test, to halt use of the new regulation until the issue can be resolved in trial. (See Education Week, June 5, 1985.)
The regulation, approved without dissent by the California State Board of Education last fall, says teachers may exercise their judgment in transferring students from bilingual to English-only programs even if they do not score at or above the 36th percentile on standardized tests in reading, writing, and mathematics.
Vol. 04, Issue 39