School Law

Understanding school law has become increasingly important throughout the years. The challenge is keeping up with all of the new information. Teachers, especially new ones, need to be aware of these referendums, so they can ensure they are adhering to the requirements. Even seasoned teachers could benefit from brushing up on their school law knowledge. With the addition of TAKS, TEKS, and No Child Left Behind, there is more information than ever that teachers need to know.

There are several elements of school law, which must be comprehended. These items include a Code of Ethics, the TAKS/TEKS, and No Child Left Behind. First and foremost, teachers must understand the Code of Ethics, for which they are held accountable. Although these guidelines may seem obvious, it is important that teachers reflect on their importance within the framework of school law. The Code of Ethics includes basic principles regarding handling the learning institutions funds, as well as dealing with parents and professionals. However, the most important aspects of this element of school law can be found within the criteria for interacting with students. Teachers should examine the way they interact with their pupils to ensure they are not allowing race, religion, family status, color, national origin, sex, or disability affect how that child is treated in their classroom. It is important that teachers understand that favoring a child, because of these attributes is also not acceptable. All of the pupils should be treated as equals. In addition, information regarding a student, which is confidential, should only be revealed, if it is necessary for legal or professional reasons.

The No Child Left Behind school law is a critical step toward improving the education of American children. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives unanimously voted to enact this idea, after which President Bush signed it into existence on January 8, 2002, creating a new school law. The policy opened up billions of dollars worth of funding to be used by the states as they felt would be most beneficial to their student population. Teachers are now responsible for not only ensuring they are qualified to educate their pupils, but also that the students are achieving certain benchmarks. By the end of the 2005 – 2006 year, all teachers must possess a bachelor’s degree, be certified as an educator within their state, and have a proven knowledge of the subject matter they are teaching. More importantly, this new school law has forced states to incorporate testing methods that will ensure their pupils are living up to the expectations of this bill.

In response, Texas replaced the TAAS test with the more rigid TAKS. The TAKS test is administered to students throughout their instruction to assess their level of knowledge. The TEKS, which is the state mandated curriculum, was used to define the parameters of the TAKS testing. Texas school law requires all third graders to be able to read at that level before they can be promoted to the next. Pupils are also tested for math, science, social studies, writing, and English language arts within the appropriate grade level. Students are given three opportunities to pass the test. If the student fails on the third try, the school law mandates that a conference be held with the teacher, parents, and the principle to determine the child’s fate.

School law is a complicated matter, and there is no evidence that it will become easier in the future. The nation is realizing that are education system is in need of assistance. This will ultimately lead to additional and more stringent school laws in the future. It is critical that educators remain aware of new referendums that might affect them, as well as their pupils.