Education reform: Why we shouldn’t use the courts | IN 60 SECONDS


Tired of the frustrations of politics and policy, school reformers have taken to turning to the courts to drive real reform. The most famous example of this is the Vergara lawsuit in California, in which the judge ruled that California’s tenure laws violated the right of students to get an effective education. A lot to sympathize with in that ruling, even if it was later overturned by the state Supreme Court. Couple problems though with turning to the courts: First, the reality is if a judge can say you can’t have teacher tenure, it’s not clear what else judges can throw out. Can they say no charter schools? No school vouchers? It’s a real risk. Second, courts are no panacea. The state of New Jersey has been in a long-running lawsuit for a half century, in which the Abbott school districts have gotten billions in extra aid and still aren’t serving kids well. I’m a big fan of changing schools in a way that serves kids, but I think the most promising route lies through the hard work of politics and policy, and not the pleasing shortcuts offered by the courts. To learn more about my take on school reform, check the links in the description below. Also, let us know what other topics you’d like AEI scholars to cover in 60 seconds.

2 thoughts on “Education reform: Why we shouldn’t use the courts | IN 60 SECONDS”

  1. No solution to anything will ever come from politicians. Nor should it come from judges legislating.

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