Equal Educational Opportunity: What Now?

The Ramifications of Recent Legal Decisions on Closing the Achievement Gap in America’s Schools

November 12 and 13, 2007, at Teachers College, Columbia University

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October 29, 2007 (NEW YORK) – Columbia University President Lee Bollinger, NAACP President Ted Shaw and Lani Guinier, expert on race and access to higher education, will be among those debating the uses of law and litigation in promoting equal educational opportunity at a symposium co-sponsored by Teachers College and Columbia Law School. A highlight of the event will be case study reviews of the impact of school finance litigation in New Jersey, Kentucky and other states to determine whether there have been significant improvements in district, school and student performance.

WHAT: The Campaign for Educational Equity: Symposium, Fall 2007
Equal Educational Opportunity: What Now? Reassessing the Role of the Courts, the Law and School Policies after CFE and Seattle

WHEN: November 12 and 13, 2007, 9 A.M. to 5 P.M.

WHERE: Teachers College, Cowin Center, 525 W. 120th Street, New York City

The symposium will available via podcast, live webcast and blog.

Speakers include Ted Shaw, President and Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal and Educational Defense Fund; Lani Guinier, visiting professor, Columbia Law School; Lee Bollinger, President, Columbia University; Eric Hanushek, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Michael A. Rebell, Executive Director of the Campaign for Educational Equity and professor of education and law said, “We are at a crossroads. The federal courts seem to be closing the door on possibilities for racial integration at the same time that state judges throughout the country are aggressively enforcing students’ rights to a basic, quality education. At this symposium, we will closely examine these conflicting trends and develop strategies both in the courts and outside them to hasten progress toward eliminating achievement gaps and providing meaningful educational opportunity to all children.”

Susan P. Sturm, George M. Jaffin Professor of Law and Social Responsibility said, “This symposium provides an opportunity to consider innovative strategies for diversifying educational institutions in an era of legal uncertainty. It will respond to the need for creative thinking and collaborations that can increase access to, and participation in, meaningful education. It will bring lawyers, educators, and community activists together to develop new frameworks and strategies that can address structural inequality. It also provides a wonderful example of collaboration between Teachers College and the Law School.”

The symposium’s full schedule with moderators, presenters and panelists.

Teachers College is the largest graduate school of education in the nation. Teachers College is affiliated with Columbia University but is legally and financially independent. The editors of U.S. News and World Report have ranked Teachers College as the number one graduate school of education in the country.

Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, and criminal law.