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William Kritsonis, School Law, Ch 4 Discrimination


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Title: William Kritsonis, School Law, Ch 4 Discrimination

Chapter 2
  • PEDG 5344
  • William Allan Kritsonis, PhD

Impermissible Discrimination
  • In 1954, the US Supreme Court began the effort to
    eliminate de jure racial segregation (segregation
    by law) in our society.
  • In 1964, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act,
    which prohibits discrimination on the basis of
    race, color, or national origin in public
    education, in any federally assisted program or
    activity, in public and private employment, and
    in privately owned places of public
  • The courts have required good-faith integration
    and affirmative action efforts. Districts still
    involved in the original desegregation suits
    conduct their affairs in accordance with the
    court orders issued in their respective cases.
    Those under court orders must file with the
    responsible courts periodic status reports
    describing their progress toward desegregation.
  • The ultimate goal of this process is to be
    declared unitary, a status denoting the
    eradication of all aspects of a segregated, dual
    school system.

Impermissible Discrimination
  • In 1991, the US Supreme Court declared that once
    all vestiges of de jure segregation have been
    eliminated, federal court supervision may end,
    even if one-race schools reemerge. Also in 1991,
    the 5th Circuit ruled that once unitary status
    has been declared, plaintiffs bear the burden of
    proving in a new lawsuit that a school boards
    actions were based on intent to discriminate,
    which is very difficult to do.
  • Section 504 of Title V of the Rehabilitation Act
    of 1973 prohibits discrimination against
    individuals with disabilities in federally
    assisted public school programs. IDEA requires
    that any state receiving financial assistance
    under the act must assure a free, appropriate
    public education to children with disabilities
    within the state and must assure that the rights
    of those children and their parents are
  • Title XI of the 1972 Education Amendments
    prohibits intentional discrimination on the basis
    of sex in programs that receive federal

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
  • The decision of the US Supreme court was that
    public education facilities that are racially
    segregated are inherently discriminatory even if
    equal the Court struck down laws that treated
    people differently solely on the basis of their
    color or racial heritage. This overruled the
    separate but equal doctrine of Plessy v.
    Ferguson 1896, and began the movement to end de
    jure segregation (segregation by law) in the
    public sector.


Hopwood v. The State of Texas
  • The US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled
    that preference given African Americans and
    Mexican Americans in the admissions process at UT
    School of Law violated the 14th amendment equal
    protection clause. The admissions process set
    aside 5 of the spaces in the entering class for
    African Americans and 10 for Mexican Americans
    to achieve these goals, lower admissions criteria
    and greater individual attention were necessary.
    The appeals court rejected the use of race or
    ethnicity as a criterion in admissions, it did
    recognize that other criteria that may correlate
    with race and ethnicity would be permissible as
    long as they are not used for discriminating on
    the basis of race (applicants residence,
    parents education, and economic and social

Freeman v. Pitts
  • The US Supreme Court ruled that a trial court can
    relinquish supervision over those areas where a
    school district has achieved unitary status yet
    can retain authority to oversee continued
    desegregation in other areas. In effect, unitary
    status can be achieved in incremental stages.

Plyler v. Doe
  • In 1982, the US Supreme Court ruled that Texas no
    longer could exclude the children of undocumented
    admitted aliens from a tuition-free education.
    The court ruled that children could not be held
    responsible for being in Texas illegally and was
    not persuaded that the exclusionary provision in
    the Texas school admissions statute retarded the
    influx of undocumented aliens into the country or
    that providing a tuition-free education to these
    children would constitute a serious drain on the
    states funding for public education.

Major v. Nederland ISD
  • In 1991, Nederland ISD lost when it refused to
    admit a student who was living with her
    boyfriends parents in the district so that her
    home life could be stabilized. The students
    mother had executed power of attorney giving the
    boyfriends parents authority to make decisions
    regarding the students education and health
    care. The federal district court concluded that
    the district could address problems of white
    flight and overcrowding of its schools without
    enacting an overly broad policy that violated
    state and federal law. The district was ordered
    to change its policy and to pay court costs, the
    students attorneys fees, and nominal damages
    for the days the student was excluded from

TEC 25.085 Compulsory School Attendance
  1. (a) A child who is required to attend school
    under this section shall attend school each
    school day for the entire period the program of
    instruction is provided.
  2. (b) Unless specifically exempted by Section
    25.086, a child who is at least six years of age,
    or who is younger than six years of age and has
    previously been enrolled in first grade, and who
    has not yet reached the childs 18th birthday
    shall attend school.
  3. (c) On enrollment in prekindergarten or
    kindergarten, a child shall attend school.

TEC 25.085 Compulsory School Attendance
  • iv. (d) Unless specifically exempted by Section
    25.086, a student enrolled in a school district
    must attend
  • an extended-year program for which the student
    is eligible that is provided by the district for
    students identified as likely not to be promoted
    to the next grade level or tutorial classes
    required by the district under Section 29.084
  • an accelerated reading instruction program to
    which the student is assigned under Section
  • an accelerated instruction program to which the
    student is assigned under Section 28.0211 or
  • a basic skills program to which the student is
    assigned under Section 29.086.
  • v. (e) A person who voluntarily enrolls in
    school or voluntarily attends school after the
    persons 18th birthday shall attend school each
    school day for the entire period the program of
    instruction is offered. A school district may
    revoke for the remainder of the school year the
    enrollment of a person who has more than five
    absences in a semester that are not excused under
    Section 25.087. A person whose enrollment is
    revoked under this subsection may be considered
    an unauthorized person on school district grounds
    for purpose of Section 37.107.

TEC 25.085 Compulsory School Attendance
  • Residency and Guardianship
  • Schools can not require persons with whom
    students live to secure legal guardianship.
  • The Compulsory School Law
  • The Compulsory School law requires that a person
    who is at least 6 years of age, or who is younger
    than six years of age and has previously been
    enrolled in first grade, and who has not turned
    18 shall attend school.
  • A student who is 17 or older and has a high
    school equivalency certificate or high school
    diploma is exempted from the compulsory school
  • Absences
  • A student who fails to attend school without
    excuse on 10 or more full or partial days within
    a six-month period in the same school year, the
    district must file a complaint against the
    student or the parent or both in an appropriate
    court or refer the student to a juvenile court as
    specified in the statute.

The Required Curriculum
  • To ensure consistency, in 1981, the TX
    legislature passed a law requiring a
    well-balanced curriculum in TX public school
    districts, including both a foundation curriculum
    and an enrichment curriculum. Foundation
    curriculum English/LA, math, science and SS.
    Enrichment curriculum other languages, health,
    PE, FA, economics, career and technology
    education, and technology applications.
  • TEKS are located in Chapters 110-128 of Vol. 19
    of the Texas Administrative Code. The state
    board cannot designate either the methodology or
    the amount of time to be used in teaching the
  • The SBOE is directed by rule to adopt curriculum
    requirements for minimum, recommended, and
    advanced high school programs. Beginning with
    the 04-05 freshmen, school districts must endure
    that each student t enrolls in either the
    recommended or advanced school program unless the
    student, parent, and school official agree that
    the student should be allowed to take courses at
    the minimum level.

The Required Curriculum
  • School districts are required to develop advanced
    placement tests for each primary grade level and
    secondary academic subject for advancing talented
    students from one grade to another.
  • Legislation enacted in 2003 permits TEA to
    establish a 3-year technology immersion pilot
    project in which each student at a participating
    school would receive a laptop and accessories
    that would have been shown to improve academic
  • TX legislature now allows school districts to
    teach sex education courses and to select
    teaching materials. Courses must present
    abstinence as the preferred choice of behavior
    for unmarried persons of school age. Curricular
    materials for these courses must be available for
    public inspection and parents are entitled to an
    opt-out option for their children.
  • Public school districts are authorized to offer
    an integrated program of educational and support
    services for students who are pregnant or who are

Student Assessment
  • TEC 28.022 provides that districts must establish
    a policy that provides for parent-teacher
    conferences and requires notice to parents of
    their students performance in each class or
    subject at least once every 12 weeks and must be
    signed by the parent and returned to the school.
    Such notice is not required if the student is 18
    or older and living separate from the students
    parents, is married, or has had the disabilities
    of minority removed by a court.
  • If a students performance is consistently
    unsatisfactory in a foundation curriculum
    subject, the district must provide written notice
    to the parent or legal guardian at least once
    every three weeks or during the fourth week of
    each nine-week grading period.
  • The TAKS test is the state-wide assessment
    program (TEC 39.022).
  • 11th graders must take an exit-level test in all
    four core subjects for the purpose of determining
    minimum skill mastery for high school graduation

Student Assessment
  • No one is exempt but certain children with
    disabilities or with LEP may be permitted to take
    an alternate assessment as decided by the childs
    ARD committee.
  • Private schools may, but are not required to,
    participate in the state assessment program.
  • Under George W. Bush, the Texas legislature
    tightened up on social promotion. Beginning in
    02-03 school year, 3rd graders are required to
    pass the state reading assessment before they can
    be promoted to the 4th grade. This extends to
    5th grade in math and reading in the 04-05 school
    year and 8th graders in the 07-08 school year.
    Those who fail are required to have at least 2
    more administrations of the test.

Student Assessment
  • The grade placement committee can promote the
    student to the next grade level only if, using
    standards adopted by the board of trustees, the
    committee concludes that the student is likely to
    perform at grade level if promoted and given
    accelerated instruction. This decision is final
    and may not be appealed.
  • Students not likely to be promoted to the next
    grade are required to attend an extended-year
    program, an accelerated reading program, an
    accelerated instructional program, or a basic
    skills program.

Student Assessment
  • A district must develop a personal graduation
    plan for each middle school, junior high, or high
    school student who does not perform well on the
    state assessment or is not likely to graduate on
    time. The plan must (1) identify educational
    goals, (2) include diagnostic information and
    evaluation strategies, such as monitoring and
    intervention, (3) include an intensive
    instruction program, (4) address parent
    participation and expectations, and (5) provide
    innovative methods to promote student
  • Schools may offer a certificate of completion to
    students who complete the curriculum requirements
    but fail the state assessment requirement. They
    may participate in graduation ceremonies and
    their transcript must specify whether the student
    received a diploma or certificate of coursework
  • A school district may not withhold a diploma or
    deny a student the opportunity of graduating or
    participating in graduation exercises for failure
    to return books or pay the price of the books.
    However, the student forfeits the right to free
    textbooks until all previous books have been
    returned or paid for. The district can withhold
    records for failure to return or pay for books.

Student Assessment
  • Teacher evaluation systems require that one of
    the appraisal criteria must encompass the
    performance of the teachers students. The
    appraisal of a school principal also must reflect
    how well students on the campus perform.
  • In McLean v. Quanah ISD, the commissioner of
    education observed that significant lack of
    student progress can be a reason for nonrenewal
    of a teacher contract. However, grades alone do
    not establish a teachers level of competence.
  • A person under 18 years of age will not be issued
    a drivers license unless the person (1) has
    obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent,
    (2) is enrolled in a public, home, or private
    school and has attended school for at least 80
    days in the fall or spring semester preceding the
    date of application, or (3) has been enrolled for
    at least 45 days, and currently is enrolled in a
    program to prepare persons to pass the high
    school equivalency exam.

School District Accountability
  • The SBOE, directed by the TEC, established a set
    of academic excellence indicators for school
    campuses, to include such items as results on
    state-mandated assessment instruments, dropout
    rates, student attendance, high school exit-level
    assessment, SAT results, progress of students
    failing to pass state assessment instruments on
    test retakes, percentage of students exempted
    from the statewide assessment program, and high
    school graduation rates.
  • Principals must meet annually with their planning
    and decision making committee to review and
    revise their campus improvement plan.

School District Accountability
  • A campus report card is issued each year by the
    TEA that compares the performance of the campus
    on the academic excellence indicators,
    student/teacher ratios, and administrative and
    instructional costs per student with the
    performance of the district and other schools in
    the state. These report cards are distributed
    annually to parents.
  • The thrust of these statutes is to make districts
    and individual campuses accountable to the
    community for the quality of education they
    impart and they make teachers and administrators
    more accountable for their performance.
  • School districts and individual schools are held
    accountable to TEA through the accreditation
    process. Districts are classified as exemplary,
    recognized, academically acceptable, and
    academically unacceptable.

Effects of No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
  • NCLB 2001 amends the Elementary and Secondary
    Education Act of 1965. It is arguably the most
    ambitious piece of legislation Congress has ever
    passed with regard to public education.
  • The primary purpose is to raise student
    achievement by holding states and school
    districts to high standards with strict
    accountability requirements.
  • Students must make adequate yearly progress and
    is demonstrated through the statewide assessment
    test. Each states definition of AYP must apply
    the same high standards of academic achievement
    to all public elementary and secondary school
    students in the State. All students, regardless
    of ability level, are expected to met the yearly
    progress requirements and be achieving at grade
    level by the 2013-1014 school year. To make AYP,
    a school not only must show that its student body
    as a whole met the standard, it also must show
    that each subgroup met the same standard. NCLB
    requires a 95 participation rate, meaning that
    if less than 95 of the students take the test,
    the school will be identified as not making AYP
    regardless of how well the students do on the
    test. The 95 also applies to each subgroup.

Effects of No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
  • NCLB requires that school districts hire highly
    qualified teachers for the core academic
    subjects by the end of the 05-06 school year.
  • If a school fails to make AYP (1) the school
    enters what is termed school improvement. All
    students then have public school choice and can
    transfer to another school within the district
    that made AYP, or to a charter school with
    geographic boundaries that include the district.
    (2) If a school fails to make AYP for 3 years,
    supplemental education services become
    available including tutoring, but only families
    from low income families are eligible. (3) A
    school that fails to make AYP for 4 consecutive
    years will move into corrective action and will
    be required to replace the school staff who are
    relevant to the schools failure to make AYP,
    implement a new curriculum, significantly
    decrease management authority at the school
    level, appoint one or more outside experts to
    advise the school, extend the length of the
    school year or school day, or restructure the
    internal organization of the school.
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