EDAD 6213

Education Law and Policy


Instructor: Dr. Mark Littleton Phone: 254.968.9804

Howell Education Bldg., Room #404 Email: mlittleton@tarleton.edu

Tarleton State University


Description: Examination of legal principles and laws affecting the administration and management of educational organizations with emphasis upon system level concerns; analysis of current legal issues; interrelationship between law and the policy-making process. Prerequisite: Doctoral status.


Required Reading




Fowler, F. C. (2004). Policy studies for educational leaders: An introduction. (2nd ed.) Columbus, OH: Merrill.


Yudof, M. G., Kirp, D. L., Levin, B., & Moran, R. F. (2002). Education law and policy (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Learning.




In addition to the texts above, the following articles/monographs are helpful.


Boyd, W. L. (1988). Policy analysis, educational policy, and management: Through a glass darkly? In Boyan, N.J. (Ed.) Handbook of Research on Educational Administration. New York: Longman. Pp. 501-523.


Burlingame, M. (1988). The politics of education and educational policy: The local level. In Boyan, N.J. (Ed.) Handbook of Research on Educational Administration. New York: Longman. Pp. 439-452.


Cibulka, J.G. (1997). Two eras of urban schooling: The decline of the old order and the emergence of new organizational forms. Education and Urban Society, 29, 317-341.


Desai, U., Holden, M. Shelley, M. (1998). The politics of policy: Prospects and realities. Policy Studies Journal, 26, 423-433.


Kirst, M. W. (2000). Bridging education research and education policymaking. Oxford Review of Education, 26, 379-392.


Mayer, D. P. (1999). Measuring instructional practice: Can policymakers trust survey data? Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 21, 29-45.


McGivney, J. H. (1984). State educational governance patterns. Educational Administration Quarterly, 20, (2), 43-63.


Mitchell, D. E. (1988). Educational politics and policy: The state level. In Boyan, N.J. (Ed.) Handbook of Research on Educational Administration. New York: Longman. Pp. 453-466.


National Commission on Excellence in Education. (1983). A nation at risk: The imperative for educational reform. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. This document can be obtained at http://www.ed.gov/pubs/NatAtRisk/index.html


Odden. A.R. (Ed.). (1991). Educational Policy Implementation. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.


Redfield, S. (2002). The convergence of education and law: A new class of educators and lawyers. Paper presented at the 48th Annual Conference of the Education Law Association, New Orleans, LA. This paper will be provided by the instructor.


Spillane, J. P. (1998). State policy and the non-monolithic nature of the local school district: Organizational and professional considerations. American Educational Research Journal, 35, 33-63.



Other Helpful Texts (Not required)


Birkland, Thomas A.  An introduction to the policy process: Theories, concepts, and models of public policy making   JK468 .P64 B58 2001 


Cizek, G. J. (Ed.). (1999). Handbook of educational policy. San Diego: Academic Press.


Cooper, B., Fusarelli, L., & Randall, E.V. (2004). Better policies, better schools: Theories and applications. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.


Delaney, J. G. (2002). Educational policy studies: A practical approach. Calgary, Alberta: Detselig Enterprises.


Dye, Thomas R.  Understanding public policy  10th ed.  JK468 .P64 D95 2002 


First, P. F. (1992). Educational policy for school administrators. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.


Glickman, C. (2004). Letters to the next president: What we can do about the real crisis in public education. New York: Teachers College Press.


Lieberman, A., & McLaughlin, M. W. (Eds.). (1982). Policy making in education: Eighty-first yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


Sergiovanni, Thomas J.  Educational governance and administration  5th ed.  LB2805 .E346 2003


Weimer, David Leo.  Policy analysis : Concepts and practice  3rd ed.  H97 .W45 1999


Course Objectives


       Analyze the governmental and special interest influence on educational policy.

       Analyze the policy development processes (and the relationship to administration) at the national, state, & local levels.

       Analyze the legal and ethical reasoning in educational policy development (among others topics include desegregation, curriculum development, church-state relations).

       Dissect the policy making process at the state level.

       Program Objective-Articulate and utilize the relationships among federal, state and local education agencies, laws and policies to close the gaps in educational outcomes.

       Program Objective-Utilize appropriate management function in administering special programs for special populations.




APA Format


All written assignments must conform to the guidelines established in the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 5th Edition.




There will be one, essay-type examination.


Term Paper


There will be one term paper in the format of a historical, descriptive policy analysis. The paper will describe the evolution (or analyze the evolution) of a current educational policy identified at the state or national level. The paper should include a process analysis, as appropriate.


Class Participation


Class attendance and class participation are essential. Assignments must be read prior to the assigned date with the anticipation that critical analysis and discussion will occur during class.




Grades will be determined based upon participation in class discussions and performance on course requirements.


Important Dates & Probable Topics