Course Descriptions

TitleThe Law and Politics of Education

Educational policy development at the local and state level is a complex and convoluted process.  To give a limited number of law students and graduate education students an inside look on how educational policy is formulated, the School of Law and the School of Leadership and Education Studies co-sponsor this seminar under the auspices of the Center for Education Policy and Law (CEPAL).  The course encompasses readings, cases, and deliberations with the instructors and guest presenters, as well as interaction in the Bay Area and Sacramento with researchers, interest groups and labor unions, advocacy-based think-tanks, and key elected and appointed governmental officials.  The 2010 spring semester seminar will focus on three key areas of law and policy: (1) increasing use of technology on and off campus through electronic communication devices and on-line learning; (2) school and community college accountability and finance reform; (3) racial and income isolation in California education.  Two field trips will be conducted during the semester.  The one-day Bay Area field trip will include discussions with educational policy researchers and commentators at Stanford University and Stanford Law School.  The class also will meet with the general counsel and key leaders of the California Teachers Association in Burlingame.  The one-day Sacramento field trip will feature discussions with elected and appointment policymakers in the Governor’s office, state legislature, and education agencies.  Student travel will be funded through CEPAL.  A research paper on a topic of the student’s choice related to educational policy development and a class presentation based on the paper are required. Co-teaching the course will be Scott Himelstein, former Acting and Deputy Secretary of Education for the State of California.  Class sessions will be held on eight selected Thursday evenings. Of the eight sessions, three will be devoted to student presentations and one to a debriefing following the field trips.

This class is also offered as LAW PP 556 in the School of Law.


Frank Kemerer and Scott Himselstein, Instructors.


SyllabusPDF document (371.1 KB)