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1964 Civil Rights Act

law containing many provisions aimed at ending systemic racial discrimination

504 plan

list of accommodations for a student such as extra time to complete tests and homework, using audiobooks for reading, sitting near the teacher, or any other accommodation that schools and parents agree can support the student

adjunct faculty member

temporary employee who is hired to teach specific courses at a college or university

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

landmark piece of legislation passed in 1990 that aims to guarantee the rights of people with disabilities, including equal treatment and equal access to employment, transportation, communications, public spaces, and other areas

Brown v. Board of Education

U.S. Supreme Court case that forbids the policy of racial segregation in public schools


assignment of students of different racial groups to particular schools, necessitating transportation plans for some students who are assigned to schools outside their neighborhoods

charter school

public school governed by by a specific agreement, called a charter, which mandates specific results the school must achieve

cultural capital

behaviors, knowledge, education, credentials, and skills

disordered neighborhood

neighborhood with more poverty, less upkeep, and greater decay of environment

Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA)

federal law in place from 1975–90 that guaranteed a free and appropriate education for students with disabilities

education market

marketplace for educational goods and services

free and appropriate education (FAPE)

provision in federal law mandating education that meets the needs of an individual child, including special services, modifications, and accommodations

hidden curriculum

messages about society and how to behave as a member of society that are transmitted by schools

high-stakes testing

mandated testing used to assess and rank schools, with school funding tied to results

higher education

formal education beyond high school

individualized education program (IEP)

document that specifies the special education needs of a student and the programs and services the school will provide to meet those needs

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

federal legislation first passed in 1990 that seeks to ensure that all children with disabilities have access to an appropriate and robust public education

intergenerational transmission of knowledge

passing on to children the necessary skills and cultural capital to succeed in school and society

least restrictive environment (LRE)

provision of federal law that requires students with disabilities to be educated in general education classrooms as much as possible, and placed in separate or restricted settings only when this is necessary to provide an appropriate education

ordered neighborhood

neighborhood with high levels of upkeep and good infrastructure

school resource officer (SRO)

law enforcement officer who is assigned to work at a school and help maintain discipline, including by arresting students

school-to-prison pipeline

trend in American public education wherein disadvantaged children are pushed out of school and into the criminal justice system

social capital

resources acquired through networks of relationships that grant access to power and opportunity

social mobility

movement of people or groups between social classes

social stratification

inequality between and among groups, arising from different access to material and symbolic rewards including money, education, prestige, and rights

socioeconomic status (SES)

combined measure of income, education and occupation

special education

range of programs and services offered by a school or school district to meet the needs of students with disabilities or special needs

Title IX

law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in educational institutions that receive federal funding

white flight

mass migration of white families to suburbs

zero-tolerance policy

approach to discipline that entails a strict set of school rules and harsh punishment for infractions