A college math teacher who was dismissed after altering her state loyalty oath has been reinstated, two California newspapers report. I blogged here about Marianne Kearney-Brown, a Quaker graduate student who was teaching remedial math at California State University-East Bay. Citing the Quaker religion's commitment to non-violence, Kearney-Brown inserted the word "nonviolently" in front of the state Oath of Allegiance's language calling on her to swear or affirm that she would "support and defend" the state and U.S. constitutions "against all enemies, foreign and domestic." The oath is required of K-12 public school employees in California, too, and Kearney-Brown ...


A state appellate court ruling in California is raising major questions about the rights of parents in that state to home school their children, and that is causing a big stir. "It is clear to us that enrollment and attendance in a public full-time day school is required by California law for minor children unless (1) the child is enrolled in a private full-time day school and actually attends that private school, (2) the child is tutored by a person holding a valid state teaching credential for the grade being taught, or (3) one of the other few statutory exemptions ...


Here's a case to keep an eye on: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, in New York City, heard arguments yesterday in the case of a Connecticut high school student who contends that she was barred from serving in a student office because of derogatory comments she wrote about school officials on a Web blogging site. The Associated Press reports on the arguments here, and the Hartford Courant reports here. Both accounts say the three members of the 2nd Circuit panel seemed especially engaged in the case of Avery Doninger, who wrote disparaging remarks about school ...


A school administrator's alleged statement to a black teacher that "white people teach black kids ... better than someone from their own race" was direct evidence of race discrimination, a federal appeals court has ruled. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, in St. Louis, unanimously revived the race-bias lawsuit of the teacher, Mary King, against the Columbia, Mo., district and Russell Hardesty, an administrator in the district. King alleges that while she worked in a substitute teaching job in the district, Hardesty made several racially derogatory comments, including the comment that white teachers ...


A federal appeals court says an Illinois family offered "absolutely no evidence to support their theory" that they faced retaliation for the parents raising concerns about their daughter's treatment by the high school softball coach. In fact, the panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, in Chicago, ordered the parents to explain why they shouldn't be held responsible for the attorneys' fees of the defendants, which included the softball coach and principal of Morton Community High School, and the superintendent and school board members of Morton Community Unit School District 709 in suburban Chicago. The ...


A public college in California has fired a math teacher after six weeks on the job because she altered her mandatory state Oath of Allegiance form, the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting. California State University-East Bay took the action against Marianne Kearney-Brown, a Quaker graduate student who was teaching remedial math on the campus, because she inserted the word "nonviolently" in front of the oath's language calling on her to swear or affirm that she would "support and defend" the state and U.S. constitutions "against all enemies, foreign and domestic," the newspaper reports. The oath is required of all ...


Over at the Edjurist Accord, Justin Bathon has been the first to tip me off to a potential scandal involving school lawyers in New York state. As the blog notes, Newsday has reported that one lawyer was listed as a full-time employee of five different school districts at the same time, allegedly accruing extensive state pension benefits when he in fact worked only part time for the districts as a private attorney. The lawyer, Lawrence Reich, has denied through his attorneys doing anything wrong or illegal and has suggested that the practice was widespread, Newsday reports. New York State Attorney ...


A federal appeals court today refused to allow the Missouri Charter Public School Association to intervene in the long-running desegregation lawsuit involving the Kansas City, Mo., school district. "The MCPSA sought to intervene nearly thirty years after the filing of suit, three years after final judgment was entered in the suit, four months after the motion for enforcement of judgments was filed, and eight days after the District Court entered judgment on the motion for enforcement of judgments," said the opinion for a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, in St. Louis. "Intervention...


A federal appeals court has sided against a Maine parent's request to be reimbursed by a school district for several years worth of room, board, and travel expenses stemming from her son's enrollment in three out-of-state schools under a special education plan. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit, in Boston, held in a Feb. 27 opinion that the school district "was under no affirmative obligation to bring to a head the issue of whether or not it should be responsible for non-tuition expenses." At stake in School Union No. 37 v. Ms. ...


My colleague David Hoff reports here in his NCLB: Act II blog that a coalition of civil rights groups has filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging a federal appeals court to reconsider its ruling that revived a major challenge to the No Child Left Behind Act as an unfunded federal mandate. The groups are joining the side of U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, who earlier this month asked the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, in Cincinnati, to reconsider a ruling by a three-judge panel of the court in Pontiac School District v. Spellings. The ...


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