Monday, November 7, 2011

EDLD 5344: School Law - Week 5: Reflection

Week 5: Reflection


Throughout this course we have discussed a number of legal issues facing today’s public-school educators. For your final assignment, you will select three legal issues that you feel will be most relevant to you as a school administrator. One of these issues will focus on student management; a second on personnel management. The third can relate to any topic we’ve covered in the course. By giving your responses to the questions that follow, you will 1) record what you have learned in this course, 2) reflect on its significance in your professional life, and 3) develop a plan to further increase your knowledge and skills.

Follow These Steps

1.  Reflect upon what you have learned about law and public education.

2.  Use the guiding questions in each section to stimulate your thinking as you write three
150-word essays. The questions are meant to guide you, but you may not necessarily provide specific answers to all of them.

3.  Write reflectively instead of in “question and answer” style, and feel free to add any
related thoughts that go beyond the scope of the writing guidelines.

4.  Use formal writing style and cite Essential Readings and court decisions that support
your ideas.

5.  Submit your three completed essays by the end of Week 5.


Use this rubric to guide your work.

Week 5: Reflection
Needs Improvement

Completes all 3 essays of the reflection assignment using the minimum 150-words requirement
(8 points) 
Completes 2 essays of the reflection assignment
(5 points)
Completes 1 essay of the reflection assignment
(3 points)
Did not submit reflection assignment
(0 points)

No mechanical writing errors
(2 points)
One to four mechanical writing errors
(1 point)

More than five mechanical writing errors
(0 points)

Essay 1: Student Management

Respond to the questions in the red box. Your essay should:

·   Use citations from the research when applicable.

·   Use professional writing protocols.

·   Use professional language.

·  Which of the student-management issues discussed in this course is most relevant to you as a school administrator?
·  How have your views changed about the proper policies and procedures to employ regarding student management?
·  How will the knowledge gained on this topic help you become an effective school leader?
·  How will it help your staff and your students?

Type your essay in the space below.
Through the readings and lectures in this course, I learned that two of the hottest topics that face mid-level management are special education and student discipline.  This course has been instructed mental and beneficial to my learning growth in education.  In addition, I learned than an IEP may consist of a team of individuals who determines what a child needs should be, and the type of services the child may require.  Additionally, an IEP program must provide a written program curriculum designed specifically for the child’s developmental and learning growth.  The language of the plan must state what accommodations and modifications the child will need in preparation for the school year.  Now that I have briefly disclosed what I understand about the functions of an IEP; I would like to further expand my knowledge and give a brief overview of what I have recently learned about the IDEA.  

The Individualized with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) clearly defines the rights of students with disabilities to receive an education in the least restrictive manner.  In retrospect, the IDEA has paved the foundation and put a plan in action so that children with disabilities would not feel disconnected but feel that they are an integral part of the general education classroom settings as with other general education students. In support of the IDEA, I believe school administrators are pushing for the best possible education the school could offer each student in the learning environment.  For the most part, the IDEA allows for special accommodations and modifications for each student.  The special education should not be treated any differently than the general education students. 

In the case holding of Board of Education v. Rowley (1982), I believe that school administrators should become aware of the different components in the IEP plan and consequences for not following a student’s IEP.  After looking at the ARD’s video, the video demonstrated how it’s possible for a teacher failing to comply with a student IEP and the results of non-compliance.  The next area of concentration that I would like to hone in on, is student discipline on school campus.  In looking at the case holding of Goss v. Lopez (1975), a student must be afforded the right to due process in a case of suspension; which could be in the form of oral or written notice of the said charges.  As an educator knowing and understanding school and district law practices; and Federal and State law mandates, will afford administrators with the knowledge needed to make the right decisions when dealing with students and their rights.

 Essay 2: Personnel Management

Respond to the questions in the red box. Your essay should:

·   Use citations from the research when applicable.

·   Use professional writing protocols.

·   Use professional language.

·   What have you learned about teacher evaluation and remediation that you did not know before taking this class?
·   How will the information presented in this course help you become a better manager of your school employees?
·   What aspect of school personnel management do you feel you need to learn more about?
·   How do you plan to gain this knowledge?

Type your essay in the space below.
I really appreciate learning about the IEP, IDEA, and the various case laws associated with school law.  School law administrators must follow and adhere to Federal and State policies.  Additionally, I also learned that school administrators plays an integral part into eh overall environment of the school.  The administrators must focus on student discipline, supervision, and ensure that district polices are carried-out daily; in addition to State and Federal laws.  Administrators also need to become a support system, mentor, and coach to teachers on campus.  I also enjoyed learning the different facet of school law.  This course has made me more aware of the laws surrounding teacher’s contracts.  There are three types of contracts associated in the hiring of teachers.  One, a probationary contract is a one year contract that allows the school board to decline or renew for any discretion, or non-discriminatory reason.  In contrast, probationary teachers are not entitled to due process.  The Fourth Amendment guarantees teachers due process rights.  Second, in the scope of a term contract; a district must show just because for the reason of a teachers’ contract should not become renewed.  The third contract is the continuing contract.  The continuing contract simply states that the contract will become reinstated after the probationary period of the teacher is successfully complete three years of service.  Knowing these areas of discipline is important for all educators. 

Essay 3: Improving Professional Practice

Respond to the questions in the red box. Your essay should:

·   Use citations from the research when applicable.

·   Use professional writing protocols.

·   Use professional language.

·  Select another legal topic covered in this course that you feel affects you as a school leader.
·  What have you learned about this topic, and how will this new knowledge affect your decision-making as an administrator?
·  What professional development opportunities can you spearhead in your school to
inform teachers about this issue?

Type your essay in the space below.

One particular topic that has always bothered me was the banning of prayer in public schools.  In the early 60’s everything changed when the Supreme Court handed down the ruling of Engel v. Vitale (1962), and in 1963 Abington v. Schempp.  These cases struck down the practice of prayer and Biblical readings in public schools.  As a youth in the 70’s, I can remember when we could no longer participate in group prayer when entering or exiting the school bus.  I was raised as a Christian, and exercising the right to pray in public is how I start and end my day.  School administrators should posse’s substantial discretion concerning the use of prayer being permitted.  The law implies that students may engage in prayer when not engaged in school activities.  This rule is enforced to prevent disruption of classroom learning activities.  Needless to say, I now feel more confident in understanding the concepts of school law.  Additionally, I found the course very informative and meaningful.  Educating teachers and administrators about school law will afford them the legal know how to apply these laws, and how to handle situations when arise on and off campus. 

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