Law & Courts

Web Site Tracks Legal Hurdles

By Joetta L. Sack — January 04, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A legal-reform advocacy group that contends numerous laws, court rulings, and regulations hamper schools in their job of educating students has launched a Web site to help dramatize its arguments.

The site was created by Common Good, a New York City-based coalition that calls for balancing individual legal claims against broader societal needs. It shows the laws and regulations that a public high school in New York City must comply with each day. The site covers requirements from such sources as major court decisions, state labor laws, federal anti-discrimination statutes, and the Children’s Internet Protection Act.

The Web site, www.cgood.org/ burden-of-law.html, displays an interactive chart showing the myriad steps required to carry out such tasks as firing an incompetent teacher, suspending a disruptive student, hosting an athletic event, and replacing a school’s heating system.

The group found more than 60 sources of local, state, and federal laws and regulations, thousands of court cases, and more than 15,000 decisions from the state education commissioner’s office that govern a typical New York City school.

“We need to lift this legal burden off America’s schools,” Philip K. Howard, the chairman of Common Good, said in unveiling the Web site and report. “We should let teachers and administrators use their judgment and then hold them accountable for their performance.”

Mr. Howard, a corporate lawyer, is a vice chairman of the law firm Covington & Burling in New York. He has written several books and worked with members of Congress, governors, and others on legal-reform issues.

The National School Boards Association and the American Association of School Administrators praised the report. And even though it blames union contracts as a significant problem, one prominent union leader did not disagree with the findings.

“Having contract provisions or laws that are one-size-fits-all are not a very good idea, except when it comes to discrimination issues or individual rights,” said Adam Urbanski, the president of the Rochester (N.Y.) Teachers Association, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the January 05, 2005 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How To Tackle The Biggest Hurdles To Effective Tutoring
Learn how districts overcome the three biggest challenges to implementing high-impact tutoring with fidelity: time, talent, and funding.
Content provided by Saga Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Reframing Behavior: Neuroscience-Based Practices for Positive Support
Reframing Behavior helps teachers see the “why” of behavior through a neuroscience lens and provides practices that fit into a school day.
Content provided by Crisis Prevention Institute
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Math for All: Strategies for Inclusive Instruction and Student Success
Looking for ways to make math matter for all your students? Gain strategies that help them make the connection as well as the grade.
Content provided by NMSI

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Law & Courts Oxford School Shooter's Parents Were Convicted. Holding District Liable Could Be Tougher
The conviction of parents in the Oxford, Mich., case expanded the scope of responsibility, but it remains difficult to hold schools liable.
12 min read
Four roses are placed on a fence to honor Hana St. Juliana, 14, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Tate Myre, 16, and Justin Shilling, 17, the four teens killed in last week's shooting, outside Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021.
Four roses are placed on a fence outside Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., honor Hana St. Juliana, 14, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Tate Myre, 16, and Justin Shilling, 17, the four teens killed in the Nov. 30, 2021, shooting at the school.
Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP
Law & Courts Oklahoma Supreme Court Weighs 'Test Case' Over the Nation's First Religious Charter School
The state attorney general says the Catholic-based school is not permitted under state law, while supporters cite U.S. Supreme Court cases.
5 min read
Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond is pictured Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, during an interview in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond, pictured in February, argued April 2 before the state supreme court against the nation's first religious charter school.
Sue Ogrocki/AP
Law & Courts When Blocking Social Media Critics, School Officials Have Protections, Supreme Court Says
The court said public officials' own pages may be "state action," but only when they are exercising government authority.
6 min read
An American flag waves in front of the Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Nov. 2, 2020.
An American flag waves in front of the Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Nov. 2, 2020.
Patrick Semansky/AP
Law & Courts Oklahoma Nonbinary Student's Death Shines a Light on Families' Legal Recourse for Bullying
Students facing bullying and harassment from their peers face legal roadblocks in suing districts, but settlements appear to be on the rise
11 min read
A photograph of Nex Benedict, a nonbinary teenager who died a day after a fight in a high school bathroom, is projected during a candlelight service at Point A Gallery, on Feb. 24, 2024, in Oklahoma City. Federal officials will investigate the Oklahoma school district where Benedict died, according to a letter sent by the U.S. Department of Education on March 1, 2024.
A photograph of Nex Benedict, a nonbinary teenager who died a day after a fight in a high school restroom, is projected during a candlelight service at Point A Gallery, on Feb. 24, 2024, in Oklahoma City. Federal officials will investigate the Oklahoma school district where Benedict died, according to a letter sent by the U.S. Department of Education on March 1, 2024.
Nate Billings/The Oklahoman via AP