The Center for Education Policy and Law is a joint undertaking of the USD School of Law and the School of Leadership and Education Sciences. Established by a grant from the William D. Lynch Foundation in 2007, our mission is to foster better linkage between educational research, policymaking, and practice by:
- Undertaking commissioned empirical and legal research on education policy issues at the local, state, and federal levels;
- Enhancing communication between education leaders and local and
state-level policymakers; and
- Facilitating understanding among USD law students and education graduate students about the policymaking process through courses, internships, and research opportunities.
Most educators have a limited understanding of the driving forces behind educational policymaking, and most policymakers find it difficult to understand how schools and colleges operate. Attorneys who work with educators and policymakers often have limited understanding of both. CEPAL endeavors to bring the worlds of education, policymaking, and law together in the interest of better educational outcomes.
To this end, CEPAL is available to undertake any or all of the following:
- Legal and educational research commissioned at the local school district, county, and state levels.
- Legal and educational research commissioned at the community college and university levels.
- Legal and educational research in association with philanthropy and/or other study centers.
- Policy and initiative development commissioned by philanthropy or non-profits.
- Convening educators, researchers, and political leaders to debate and discuss pending and future educational policy issues impacting federal, state, and local constituencies.
- Conducting forums, workshops, and institutes on selected topics of education policy and the law.
- Placing talented law and education students in internships related to policymaking.
To assist CEPAL in its work, an Advisory Board of distinguished membership has been established. A group of affiliated faculty members from both schools is available to conduct legal research and both quantitative and qualitative educational research. Members are:
- William Lynch (Chairman) William D. Lynch Foundation for Children
- Hon. Dede Alpert, former State Senator, District 39 (San Diego)
- Kevin Cole, Dean of the USD School of Law
- Paula Cordeiro, Dean of the USD School of Leadership and Education Sciences
- Tyler Cramer, Attorney, Tyler W. Cramer, A Law Corporation
- Neil Derrough, President, NED Enterprises
- Bob Fellmeth, Price Professor of Public Interest Law, USD School of Law
- Hon. Mark Wyland, Vice Chair, California Senate Education Committee
Margaret is the Administrative Director of the University of San Diego Legal Clinics and the Supervising Attorney for the Special Education Clinic. She is an Adjunct Professor in both the USD School of Law and School of Leadership and Education Sciences. In association with the Children’s Advocacy Institute in the USD School of Law, Margaret directed an innovative project on children’s issues, the Information Clearinghouse on Children, and supervised law students in the Child Advocacy Clinic. She served as Editor of the Children’s Regulatory Law Reporter from 1997-1999 and is the author of articles dealing with teenagers and with special needs children. Since 2000 she has concentrated on special education law, creating a Special Education Clinic in the School of Law in the spring of 2003. She has been honored four times with the Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services from the State Bar of California. Margaret received her J.D. from the USD School of Law.
Bob Donmoyer is Professor of Leadership Studies and Co-director of the Center for Nonprofit Research at the USD, School of Leadership and Education Sciences. Previously he worked for twenty years as a professor at The Ohio State University where he also served as Director of Ohio State’s School of Educational Policy and Leadership and Director of Policy and School Organization Research for the National Center for Science Teaching and Learning, a federally funded research center that was housed at Ohio State. Bob has published extensively on research utilization, research methodology, and school reform. He has written chapters on research use and methods for the most recent editions of both the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA)Handbook of Research on Teaching and the AERA Handbook of Research on Educational Administration. Bob received a Ph.D. in educational research from Stanford University.
Bob is Price Professor of Public Interest Law at USD. From 1968 to 1973, he was an attorney with the Center for the Study of Responsive Law in Washington, D.C., and was one of the original "Nader's Raiders." He then served as a deputy district attorney for San Diego County and an assistant U.S. attorney for the Department of Justice in San Diego. In 1980, he founded USD's Center for Public Interest Law, and in 1989, he founded the Children’s Advocacy Institute. He teaches and writes in the areas of children's rights and regulatory, antitrust and consumer law. Among his books are California White Collar Crime (Michie) and Child Rights and Remedies (Clarity Press). He is the former California State Bar discipline monitor and chairs the board of the Public Citizen Foundation in Washington, D.C. Bob received his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Fred is Associate Professor in the USD School of Leadership and Education Sciences, where he has also served as Associate Dean and Director of Strategic Programs. Prior to joining the university faculty, he was Project Director for the national Direct Student Loan Evaluation project at Macro International, as well as the Director of Federal Policy Analysis at the American Council on Education, where he represented the interests of the higher education community before the executive and legislative branches of the federal government. His research interests include higher education policy, the economics of education, and econometrics, and his work has influenced many aspects of federal student aid policy. Fred received his doctoral degree in the economics of education from Harvard University.
Lea is a Professor in the USD School of Leadership and Education Sciences. She has a joint appointment in the Learning and Teaching Department and in the Department of Leadership Studies. She has co-authored several books and written articles on the academic achievement of minority students, educational leadership, school reform and gender and education. Her latest book, Reform as Learning: When School Reform Collided with School Culture and Community Politics in San Diego, is a comprehensive study of the San Diego City School reform. Most recently she has studied the Boston Public Schools to investigate efforts designed to connect research and practice. She currently is serving on the board of a conversion charter school. Lea received her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego in sociology.
Scott Himelstein, Director
Scott Himelstein is the founding Director of the Center for Education Policy and Law and the Interim Director of the Mobile Technology Learning Center at the University of San Diego. Appointed in 2008 by Governor Schwarzenegger to the California Community College Board of Governors, he currently serves as the Board President. Himelstein is the former Deputy Secretary of Education and later Acting Secretary of Education for the state of California. In that capacity he served as chief policy advisor to the governor on K-12 and higher education. Prior to this appointment, he served as chairman and CEO of the National Even Start Association, president of the William D. Lynch Foundation for Children, and chairman and CEO of San Diego Reads. Himelstein is a former board member of the California Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission.
Frank Kemerer, Director of Legal Research and Academics
Frank serves as Professor-in-Residence in the USD School of Law and in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences. Before coming to USD, Frank served for many years as Regents Professor of Education Law and Administration at the University of North Texas in Denton and was the founder and director of its Center for the Study of Education Reform. In the latter capacity, he was involved in studies on school choice, charter schools, and school vouchers. Among his books are California School Law: (Stanford University Press, 2009, second edition), The Educator’s Guide to Texas School Law (University of Texas Press, 2010, seventh edition), School Choice Tradeoffs (University of Texas Press, 2002), and School Choice and Social Controversy (Brookings Institution Press, 1999). His book William Wayne Justice: A Judicial Biography (University of Texas Press 1991) received the Scribes Book Finalist Award from the American Society of Legal Writers. Frank has his Ph.D. in educational administration and policy analysis from Stanford University with a law minor from Stanford Law School.
Roxanne Ruzic, Director of Social Science Research
Roxanne teaches graduate-level research methods courses in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences and is Director of Research at USD’s Mobile Technology Learning Center and Director of Social Science Research at USD’s Center for Educational Policy and Law. Since 2003, Roxanne has served as president of Ruzic Consulting, Inc., providing research/evaluation and program development services to organizations in the non-profit and education sectors.
Trained in both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and instructional design, Roxanne has participated in numerous research and evaluation studies and projects across higher education, K-12, and informal educational settings. She has focused primarily on issues of teaching and learning in higher education settings; college readiness; science/STEM education; use of technology; environmental education; and K-12 school reform, all with an emphasis on accommodating diversity and improving outcomes for historically underserved individuals and communities.
Julie Zoellin Cramer - Senior Research Associate
Julie is part of the K-12 public/private education cohort in the leadership studies doctoral program. Julie’s central area of study is public education policy reform and system-level change. Of particular interest is the role of parent involvement, school choice, and public charter schools. As a doctoral candidate, her dissertation (in progress) involves research on parent empowerment as a social movement and parent trigger legislation in the United States. In 2012, Julie was named a David L. Clark National Graduate Research Scholar by the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) and Divisions A and L of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Julie is currently working as the Director of Operations for the USD Mobile Technology Learning Center (MTLC) and the Senior Research Associate for the USD Center for Education Policy and Law (CEPAL). As part of her work with CEPAL, Julie has been involved over the past three years in developing a charter high school on the 6th and 7th floor of the new San Diego Central Library. The school, E3 Civic High, is scheduled to open in August 2013 and will serve 500 students.
M.A., Leadership Studies, University of San Diego
B.S., Business Administration, University of California, Berkeley
Jodi Stanford - Staff Attorney
Andria Shook - Graduate Assistant
Polly Traylor - Center Support Coordinator