The Promise of Educational Equity
Thursday, March 21, 2024
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
The Journal of Race, Gender, and Ethnicity at Touro Law Center will host a conference to examine present and future concerns related to educational equity in the K-12 setting and in higher education. The symposium will take place on March 21, 2024 over Zoom.
Educational equity measures the ability of all students to access the resources they need to meet their full academic and social potential. Parents, activists, scholars, policymakers, students, and so many others have labored for years around the common goal of improving educational outcomes, in particular for those in marginalized groups who are most vulnerable to institutional failures. The effort to achieve equity in education has included a focus on shifting resources to the places where they are needed most; valuing and adapting to the unique characteristics that students bring to the classroom and which impact their learning process; the closure of achievement gaps; the disruption of inequitable institutional practices; fair treatment among traditional public schools, charter schools, and private schools; and so much more.
Its value notwithstanding, key aspects of this equity project are on shaky ground or are explicitly under attack. Reformers struggle to secure the resource allocations that would benefit children in under-served schools. Expanded efforts to prioritize school choice have undermined already-weakened public schools and disadvantaged the children who attend them. Noncompliance and limited compliance with laws like the IDEA threaten the right of students with disabilities to a free and appropriate public education. Laws and policies in many jurisdictions let parents weaponize their objections to diversity by silencing teachers and penalizing unwitting transgressors. The Supreme Court has substantially curtailed the use of race in university admissions and activists are moving to a new set of attacks: facially neutral policies meant to address racial disparities. This is an opportune moment to examine educational equity, the challenges it faces, and the role that law and legal actors can play in addressing them.
Faculty Organizer: Tiffany C. Graham
Associate Professor of Law and Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion, Touro University Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center
Student Organizer: Damian Jhagroo
J.D. Candidate, Touro University Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center
WELCOME – 9:00-9:05 am
Elena B. Langan, Dean and Professor of Law, Touro Law Center
PANEL 1: EQUITY AND SOCIAL DISLOCATION: THE PANDEMIC, THE CULTURE WARS, AND THEIR IMPACT ON EDUCATION – 9:05-10:40 AM
Cynthia Boyer, Assistant Professor, INU Champollion-Framespa, Université de Toulouse
Jeffrey Dodge - Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Assistant Professor of Law, Penn State Dickinson Law
Noah Chauvin - Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice, NYU School of Law
Thalia González - Professor of Law and Harry & Lillian Hastings Research Chair, Co-Director of the Center for Racial and Economic Justice, University of California College of the Law, San Francisco
PANEL 2: EQUAL EDUCATIONAL ACCESS AND PROVIDING SAFEGUARDS FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES – 10:45 AM – 12:15 PM
Matthew Saleh - Senior Research Associate, Yang-Tan Institute and Director of Research, Criminal Justice and Employment Initiative, Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations
Russell Vogel - Associate Attorney, Rankin Savidge, PLLC
Melina Healey - Director of Clinical Programs and Assistant Clinical Professor, Touro Law Center
LUNCH BREAK: 12:15-12:45 PM
PANEL 3: EXPLORING EQUITY CONCERNS IN THE WIDER EDUCATION LANDSCAPE – 12:45 – 2:15 PM
Mark Dorosin - Associate Professor and Director of Legal Clinics and Field Placements, Florida A&M University College of Law
Evan Caminker - Dean Emeritus, Branch Rickey Collegiate Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School
Nicole Sunderlin, JD Candidate, The University of Michigan Law School
Brittany Raposa, Adjunct Professor and Content Developer, Themis Bar Review
Regina Burch - Interim Assistant Dean for Academic Excellence and Bar Success and Visiting Professor of Law, Touro Law Center
Austin Burke, JD Candidate, Albany Law School
Lauren Valastro, Visiting Assistant Professor of the Practice of Law, Strum College of Law, University of Denver
PANEL 4: FUTURE FRONTIERS: THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE STUDENT ACCESS TO EDUCATION – 2:20-3:50 pm
Jace Peterkin, JD Candidate, The University of Pittsburgh School of Law
Connie Davis Powell, Professor of Law and Director of the Baylor Law Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic, Baylor University Law School
Timothy Bellavia - Assistant Professor, Touro University, Graduate School of Education
CONCLUDING REMARKS: 3:50 PM
Tiffany C. Graham - Associate Dean for Diversity & Inclusion and Associate Professor of Law, Touro University Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center
Discounts available for judges, students, and Touro Law faculty.
6 NY CLE credits in Professional Practice will be available to all participating attorneys.
Attorneys wishing to attend CLE Courses at or through Touro Law Center may apply for tuition assistance.
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