Law & Courts Blog

Making the Case: Key Questions in Education Debates

This blog was written by James E. Ryan, an expert in law and educational opportunity, who was the dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Previously, he was a law professor at the University of Virginia. This blog is no longer being updated.

Education Opinion Comparative Education Work Should Begin at Home
The release of PISA scores once again leads to misleading comparisons between the US and top-performing school systems.
James E. Ryan, December 7, 2016
2 min read
Education Opinion Local Control and Educational Equity
Why are some on the left embracing local control?
James E. Ryan, September 21, 2016
2 min read
Education Opinion A Question of Federal Overreach: Strange Bedfellows and Red Herrings
What is at stake in the controversy over Title I funding?
James E. Ryan, August 17, 2016
4 min read
Law & Courts Opinion Where Have All the Lawyers Gone?
When they were stymied by the U.S. Supreme Court, school finance advocates turned to state constitutions and state courts. Why haven't desegregation advocates done the same thing?
James E. Ryan, August 2, 2016
3 min read
Education Opinion On Vacation
I'll be taking a break from blogging for a couple of weeks. Looking forward to returning in early August.
James E. Ryan, July 13, 2016
1 min read
Law & Courts Opinion Sheff v. O'Neill at 20: Why Integrate Only Hartford?
Twenty years after the Connecticut Supreme Court ruling in the landmark school desegregation case Sheff v. O'Neill, progress toward widespread integration remains slow.
James E. Ryan, June 8, 2016
3 min read
Education Opinion We Should Be Curious About Student Boredom
Students say they are bored in school. Is that a (fixable) problem?
James E. Ryan, May 9, 2016
3 min read
School Choice & Charters Opinion School Closings, School Choice, and Parental Voice
Two marches this school year in Chicago and New York raise questions about whether and to what extent policymakers and district leaders should heed parents' wishes.
James E. Ryan, April 26, 2016
3 min read
Law & Courts Opinion Vergara v. California: What's the Theory of Change?
It's not obvious how a win for the plaintiffs in Vergara will ultimately improve education equality in California.
James E. Ryan, April 14, 2016
3 min read
Law & Courts Opinion Vergara v. California and Judicial Activism
When the right to education goes to trial, judicial activism may be in the eyes of the beholder.
James E. Ryan, April 7, 2016
4 min read
School Choice & Charters Opinion A Choice Question: School Choice and Educational Equity
If we truly care about equal educational opportunity, we must consider the consequences of enabling choice for some families and not others.
James E. Ryan, March 29, 2016
3 min read
School Choice & Charters Opinion The Private Market at the Heart of Public Education
Our public education system has always been more private than we sometimes care to admit.
James E. Ryan, March 23, 2016
3 min read
Early Childhood Opinion The Largest Voucher Program You've Never Heard About
Publicly funded pre-K programs are reliant on private providers, with interesting implications for K-12 education.
James E. Ryan, March 15, 2016
4 min read
Early Childhood Opinion A Constitutional Right to Pre-K?
All state constitutions guarantee a right to public education, but what constitutes a "public education" is increasingly up for debate.
James E. Ryan, March 9, 2016
2 min read