ERIC Number: ED177683
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr-9
Reference Count: 0
The Role of the Courts in Educational Policy Making.
Rebell, Michael A.; Block, Arthur R.
One of the most pressing issues for educational researchers is the utilization by courts of social fact evidence. The purpose of this research was to empirically analyze the performance of federal trial courts in a broad sample of representative cases. Using computer screening, a sample of 65 federal cases decided during 1970-77 was identified. Intensive studies were also made of two educational policy litigations, Chance v. Board of Examiners and Otero v. Mesa County School District No. 51. Inquiry into the legitimacy of judicial activism focused on the extent to which decisions were based on fundamental principles as compared with social policy factors, and the extent of representation of all affected interests in court deliberations. Analysis of judicial capacity emphasized the courts' capabilities for assessing complex social fact issues, and the courts' abilities to implement effective remedies. The paper concludes that the courts exhibited a reasonably high level of capability to engage in policy-oriented fact-finding and remedial processes. The legitimacy of the courts' exercise of these capabilities in particular circumstances was strengthened by their tendency to concentrate their activities nearer to the principle pole of the continuum reaching from principle issues to policy issues. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Chance v Board of Examiners; Otero v Mesa County School District No 51
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, California, April 8-12, 1979)