NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ789994
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 43
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 95
ISSN: ISSN-0895-9048
"But We're in a Court of Law. We're Not in a Legislature.": The Promise and Pitfalls of Educational Policy Reform through the Judicial Branch
Mayrowetz, David; Lapham, John
Educational Policy, v22 n3 p379-421 2008
When courts engage in educational policymaking through what is called "public law litigation," they set foot in unsettled territory. Framing the authors' work in legal studies literature, this article relays how one court engaged in a sweeping reform of special education in Chicago and teacher certification in the entire state of Illinois. Based on an extensive document analysis from primary and secondary sources, three specific ways in which public law litigation differs from policy making in the legislative branch and from traditional court behavior are examined: (a) the fit between problem and solution, (b) the issue of participation and representation, and (c) the tension between finality and flexibility. The conclusion is that policy entrepreneurs, government officials, and courts need to be aware of the issues and tensions in the process of judicial policy making to enhance the effectiveness and legitimacy of public law litigation remedies. (Contains 1 table.)
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois