- Howard Bashman, Attorney
The Common Core State Standards attempts to define what K-12 students should know at the end of each school year in key subject areas. The initiative garnered strong and broad support, but has come under increasingly heavy criticism from state and local officials, and parents. Supporters argue that uniform standards are an essential part of assuring quality education throughout the nation. Criticisms range from concerns about top-down, federal control of a traditionally state and local government function, to attempts to impose a nationwide curriculum, to a lack of field testing of the standards. Our experts discussed the standards and who has the better argument.
**Due to technical difficulties, the first 20 minutes of this panel were not recorded.**
Success in today’s global economy virtually requires a college or post graduate degree, but colleges and law schools have raised tuition enormously. The government subsidizes students to take huge loans to pay for college and law schools, loans which inflict an increasing burden on students, including law students, in a troubled economy. Do these loans pay as much for faculty research and administrators as for direct student education? Are faculties producing research that justifies these costs? Are students getting a good deal now? Could or will on line education provide students with similar education at a fraction of the cost? Is it time to ask some hard questions about higher education? Does education policy benefit average and below average students or does it merely benefit the top of the class? This panel will focus to a significant degree on law schools.
The Federalist Society's Practice Groups presented this showcase panel on "Higher Education: Run for the Benefit of Students or Faculty or Administrators?" on Saturday, November 15, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.
Sexual assault on campus is a serious issue—so serious that it is difficult for some to speak plainly about it. As a result, disagreements abound—even about issues as fundamental as the definition of sexual assault. This panel will discuss the nature and extent of sexual assault on campus. It will examine the Department of Education’s “Dear Colleague” letter of April 4, 2011 on sexual violence, the numerous investigations that it has opened in colleges and universities around the country, and the effect they are having on campus. It will also discuss the new "Only Yes Means Yes," laws recently adopted in California and being considered around the country. Among the questions that will be addressed are: How dangerous are our college campuses? From where does the U.S. Department of Education derive the authority to address this issue? Is due process being accorded to those who are accused of sexual assault?
The Federalist Society's Civil Rights Practice Group presented this panel on "Sexual Assult on Campus" on Friday, November 14, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.
On July 25, 2014, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, on remand from the Supreme Court of the United States. In a 2-1 decision, the panel upheld the University of Texas' affirmative action policies, "persuaded by UT-Austin ... of its necessary use of race in a holistic process and the want of workable alternatives that would not require even greater use of race." Was this decision consistent with the Supreme Court's 7-1 decision in June 2013? What will happen going forward? Our expert answered these and other questions for a live call-in audience.