Students must get the permission of instructors to register. Prospective students are to submit a brief paragraph, explaining why they want to take the course, to Sarah Buel (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In this course, students will examine education laws, cases, practices, and policies that promote or hinder high school graduation. Most state constitutions guarantee a basic level of education that is not being provided when schools have chronically low graduation rates, particularly for youth who are low-income and/or of color. Across the country, steadily declining graduation rates evidence the need for systemic reforms. National and local high schools acknowledge at least a 50% drop-out rate for African-American and Hispanic youth by the ninth grade. Although several excellent programs attempt to address this problem, meaningful reduction in the rate has not occurred here because there does not exist a comprehensive, large scale remedial action plan. Given that a high school diploma is the most likely means to escape poverty, unemployment, and conflict with the law, this massive failure reflects an educational and civil rights crisis. In this class, students will analyze and write legal arguments addressing federal, state, and local assistance to low-performing Austin schools.