Book Review

School Law for K-12 Educators: Concepts and Cases

by Frank D. Aquila, Sage, Thousand Oaks, Calif., 2007, 415 pp. with index, $59.95 softcover

This school law text is different from most, and Frank D. Aquila, a professor of educational administration at Cleveland State University, designed the novel format after years of teaching school law. He serves up case studies, questions for discussion of those studies, an outline of the concepts with short-form case briefs and a website for additional case briefs — all in a worthy attempt to eliminate legal jargon and provide greater understanding of legal concepts for an audience of educators.

School Law for K-12 Educators

I found it intriguing and helpful that the contemporary topics of No Child Left Behind and English language learners were incorporated in a school law text. The inclusion of these timely topics certainly separates this book from the mainstream.

The format is the most helpful aspect of School Law for K-12 Educators. Aquila starts out with an introduction, then offers a case study with excellent questions followed by important concepts, then the body of the material, again followed by a case study with discussion questions. As an instructor of school law, I found this helpful for use with graduate students. The text is best-suited for a second-level course in school law for current and aspiring administrators, as well as central-office personnel.

While the author covers the basic issues, he could have been more specific dealing with some frontline issues of law confronted regularly today by educators — notably student use of the Internet and its potential for harm. Aquila’s treatment of student computer use at the end of the text almost appears to be an afterthought.

Reviewed by Jerry E. Horgen, adjunct professor, St. Cloud State University and Capella University, Henning, Minn.