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Courts and KidsPursuing Educational Equity through the State Courts$
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Michael A. Rebell

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226706191

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226706184.001.0001

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Confronting the Political Realities

Confronting the Political Realities

(p.85) Chapter Six Confronting the Political Realities
Courts and Kids
University of Chicago Press

This book has argued that success in sound basic education cases is critical to achieving educational equity and excellence. Effective remedies in these cases require the adoption of challenging standards, adequate funding, effective programmatic reforms and accountability systems, and improvements in student achievement as measured by accurate assessment systems. This successful-remedies model draws on the actual experiences of numerous state courts that have fruitfully carried out many of the functions advocated by the model. In an era when “judicial activism” retains a negative connotation, this chapter argues that courts can be called upon to oversee the implementation of an enormous educational reform process and to retain jurisdiction over a ten- to twenty-year period. This is because the successful-remedies model calls for less active judicial involvement than meets the eye. Moreover, the comparative institutional approach upon which the model is built is consistent with the widely shared view among social scientists that effective social reform requires a functional division of labor among the three branches of government.

Keywords:   sound basic education, educational equity, successful-remedies model, state courts, judicial activism, educational reform, social reform, comparative institutional approach, funding, accountability

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