The Supreme Court famously called education "the very foundation of good citizenship" and designated it "the most important function of state and local government." Today, Americans continue to identify education reform as one of the most pressing issues facing the nation. This course introduces students to the legal, institutional, and political processes that shape educational policy on the federal and state levels and proceeds to address some contemporary challenges. In particular, the course will look at issues of affordability (the rapid rise in tuition, shortcomings of financial aid laws, and the spiraling cost of preparing for college admission), and the relationship between the changing nature of the economy and our system of higher education. Throughout the course, we will pay close attention to how different legal frameworks, including constitutional and civil rights, impact the educational system in the United States.
The course is offered over the two weeks in January (the “J-Term”). If you wish to enroll in the class, you must commit to be back on campus from winter break in time for the first class meeting on Tuesday, January 7. Each day after a 3 hour class session, you will have reading and writing assignments to complete for the next day.