The right of exclusivity powers the engines of innovation within the United States. Patent law is designed to reward the inventor with a monopoly over his or her creation. The scope of the monopoly a patent holder enjoys, however, has historically been limited in time and space to control its anticompetitive effect. The exhaustion doctrine is a key tool used by courts to police this effect and protect consumers.
In the pilot of her television show Girls, Lena Dunham satirizes unpaid internships by depicting the protagonist, Hannah Horvath, asking her employer to pay her after more than a year of unpaid work.1 Her employer responds with a quip about the competitive nature of her internship at a New York publishing firm and distinguishes her from another employee who the firm hired after a year of interning. While flagrant violations of U.S. labor laws are breezed over as a matter of comedic relief in today‘s media, they represent very real controversies for nearly a million unpaid interns every year.
Preston C. Green III *
Bruce D. Baker **
Joseph O. Oluwole ***
Julie F. Mead ****
Since 1992, forty-three states and the District of Columbia have passed charter school legislation. Charter schools are commonly defined as public schools that are given considerable latitude from state rules and regulations that apply to traditional public schools while being held accountable for student achievement. There are more than 6700 charter schools nationwide, serving nearly three million students, which accounts for 6% of public school enrollment.
* John and Carla Professor of Urban Education, Professor of Educational Leadership and Law, University of Connecticut.
** Professor of Education, Rutgers University.
*** Associate Professor of Educational Administration, Montclair State University.
**** Professor of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Analysis, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Jerusha Conner *
Kelly Monahan **
Over the last decade, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB or the Act) has proven to be a boon to the charter school industry. The law enabled districts to turn over the responsibility for running a school to a charter provider if that school has gone five years without consistently raising the test scores of students in any one subgroup or demographic category for which there are more than forty students. The student sub-groups governed by this legislation include, among others, those with special needs, English language learners, low-income students, and students of a particular racial minority. Many districts across the country have availed themselves of the charter conversion option, which the law intended as a sanction that would compel struggling schools to improve. No additional sup-port or resources were provided to these struggling schools under the law.
* Associate Professor of Education, Villanova University.
** Graduate Student, School Counseling Program, Villanova University.
The authors gratefully acknowledge Jason Hodge and Joseph Szesko for their technical assistance and Neil Horgan for sharing his expertise.
Katherine E. Lehnen *
Charter schools have become a hot topic in education nation-wide. Advocates believe the hybrid public and private structure of charter schools enables them to provide education superior to traditional public schools. Charter schools have more freedom than their traditional public school counterparts because they are not subject to the same laws and restrictions. Charters use that freedom to set high standards for themselves and their students, and then strive to meet those standards using alternative, experimental curricula and teaching methods. However, the schools are not without controversy, and opponents question the educational effectiveness of charters, while entities such as teachers unions and local school boards often staunchly combat their formation. Still others believe charter schools conflict with integration efforts. In addition to ideological challenges, charters face various legal battles regarding issues such as religion and equal protection. Nevertheless, the charter school movement has swept across many states in the nation.
David G. Hinojosa *
School finance litigation, whether equality-based or adequacy-based, has helped steer state legislators and policymakers toward fairer, more appropriate school finance laws for over five decades and counting. Yet, a common criticism of these cases lingers: simply asking for more dollars for schools will not create the systemic changes needed to help students achieve in the classroom. Those criticisms often fail to acknowledge the research evidencing gains in student performance, including a longitudinal study showing long-term impacts on the most challenging student groups. While those gains are important markers for the school finance movement, the results are limited.
* National Director of Policy for the Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA). The author previously litigated education civil rights cases at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). The opinions expressed here are solely of the author in his individual capacity and do not reflect the opinions of IDRA or MALDEF. The author thanks the many attorneys and advocates continuing to push for equity and adequacy in public education for all students through the courts, in the state and national capitals, and in the schools. The author also gives thanks to the University of Richmond Law Review forgoing outside the box by engaging the community on education and civil rights in its symposium.