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ERIC Number: ED555550
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Oct-23
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Managing the Law in Education: Strategies for Education Leaders and the Organizations That Support Them
Junge, Melissa; Krvaric, Sheara
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Americans are increasingly divided over education policy. But education debates overlook one very important and basic fact: even good policies fail if they are poorly implemented, and it is hard to evaluate a policy's merit if it is not implemented well. That may seem obvious, but time and again policies fail because of a lack of attention to the day-to-day issues that affect education leaders' ability to turn words on a page into reality inside schools. As lawyers, the authors represent state departments of education and school districts from across the political, pedagogical, and policy spectrums, and have seen schools and districts using fundamentally different approaches improve the lives of their students. But every success story has a common theme: thoughtful and thorough implementation of the details. Implementation in education almost inevitably involves dealing with the law. So, as odd or unpleasant as it might sound, lawyers have a role to play in helping leaders realize their visions. In this paper, the authors attempt to highlight ways that education leaders-- be they state chiefs, district superintendents, principals, or teachers--can use lawyers to navigate complex networks of legal requirements to successfully implement initiatives. In short, leaders can use lawyers to identify options, understand their risks, and strategically implement decisions. Developing intentional and productive partnerships with lawyers may require a shift in mindset, so they offer tips to leaders for how to think and act differently when working with their lawyers. They also offer suggestions for ways that groups can help provide the resources and institutional support needed to help leaders more easily navigate the law and, when necessary, use lawyers effectively.
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. 1150 Seventeenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-862-5800; Fax: 202-862-7177; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers; Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research