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Jay Heubert

Professional Background

Educational Background

  • B.A. (Psychology), Swarthmore College (1973)
  • M.A.T. (Secondary English), Duke University (1974)
  • J.D. cum laude, Harvard Law School (1980)
  • Ed.D., Harvard Graduate School of Education (1982)

Scholarly Interests

Legal issues in education. Equal educational opportunity. High-stakes testing. Law and school reform. Interprofessional collaboration.

Selected Publications

  • "Accelerating Mathematics Achievement Using Heterogeneous Grouping" (American Educational Research Journal) (coauthor)
  • Understanding Dropouts:  Statistics, Strategies, and High-Stakes Testing (National Academy Press) (coeditor). 
  • High Stakes: Testing for Tracking, Promotion, and Graduation (National Academy Press) (co-editor)
  • Law and School Reform (Yale University Press) (editor)
  • "Schools Without Rules? Charter Schools, Federal Disability Law, and the Paradoxes of Deregulation" (Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review).
  • "The More We Get Together: Improving Collaboration Between Educators and Their Lawyers" (Harvard Educational Review).
  • "The Legality of Minimum Competency Test Programs Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964" (Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review) (coauthor).

biographical information

Jay P. Heubert is Professor of Law and Education at Teachers College and an Adjunct Professor of Law and Education at Columbia Law School.  He serves as faculty chair of the School Law Institute. He teaches courses on education law and policy.  His J.D. cum laude and Ed.D. are from Harvard, where he taught from 1985-98.  He has also been chief counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, a civil-rights lawyer with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and a high-school English teacher in rural North Carolina.  In 1997-98, he directed a Congressionally-mandated study of high-stakes testing conducted by the National Academy of Sciences.  From 2000-2002, he was a Carnegie Scholar, studying how promotion testing and graduation testing affect student learning and dropout rates, particularly for students of color, students with disabilities, and English-language learners.  In June 2001, he received the Harvard Graduate School of Education's Alumni Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education. He has also received numerous teaching awards at Teachers College 

EDPA 4017: Topics in higher education law

This course, designed for policy students, higher-education students, and practicing administrators, draws on multi-disciplinary sources to explore legal and law-related issues that arise in public and private postsecondary institutions in the U.S.  Broad topics include free speech and academic freedom; safety and order; and the role of law in promoting educational equity.  Specific topics include legal attributes of public and private postsecondary institutions; faculty free speech, academic freedom, and tenure; student rights of free speech and association; the catalog as contract; safety and order:  institutional authority to regulate on- and off-campus student and staff behavior, tort liability (for suicide, hazing, drug and alcohol abuse), harassment and cyber-bullying, search and seizure, and due process; promoting educational equality:  discrimination past and present, access to higher education, HBCUs and single-sex education, using race/ethnicity and gender to promote diversity, serving English-language learners and immigrant students, the needs and rights of individuals with disabilities.

EDPA 4086: Law and education: Regulation, religion, free speech, and safety

This survey course focuses on legal issues that arise in public and private schools. Topics include governmental regulation of public and private schools; church-state issues (prayer, vouchers, evolution); free-speech rights of students, teachers, and extracurricular groups; who controls the curriculum; the school's authority to make and enforce rules governing student and staff conduct on and off school grounds; the duty to protect the safety of students and others; child abuse; search and seizure; and due process. The course draws on the multidisciplinary perspectives of law, policy, research, and educational practice.

EDPA 4900: Research and independent study in education policy

For students wishing to pursue independent study and/or research on topics not covered in regular courses. Requires faculty member's approval of a study plan, reading list, and final paper or other products or projects. Permission required from individual faculty.

EDPA 5016: Educational equality: Role of Law

Historically, many barriers to educational equality and many important efforts to overcome such barriers have involved the law. This course examines major efforts to use law to attack discrimination and to ensure high-quality education for all children. Topics include: addressing racial segregation and concentrated poverty; the standards movement and high-stakes testing; the right to an adequate education; sex and gender discrimination; harassment; services for English-language learners; special education; and affirmative action. The course draws on the multidisciplinary perspectives of law, policy, research, and educational practice.

EDPA 5880: School Law Institute

Explore important, timely issues of education law, including issues of race and poverty in education; serving English-language learners; the legal rights of students with disabilities; the right to an adequate education; and issues of safety and order (harassment, child abuse, tort liability, search and seizure, and cyber-bullying). For more information, visit SLI website at, and/or contact Professor Jay Heubert at

EDPA 6900: Directed research and study in education policy

For students wishing to pursue independent study or original research as they prepare for their doctoral certification examination and/or dissertation proposal. Permission required from individual faculty.

EDPA 8900: Dissertation advisement in education policy

Individual advisement on the doctoral dissertation. Requires ongoing consultation between the student and dissertation sponsor. The fee equals three points at the current tuition rate for each term. Permission required from individual faculty.

Centers and Projects

Klingenstein Center for Independent School Leadership

Full-year and Two-Summer master's programs, MA/MBA dual degrees and funded fellowships in leadership development for independent and international school educators. Programs serve early career teachers, mid-career administrators and heads of schools from a broad range of schools around the world.  All Klingenstein Center programs focus on instructional leadership, collaboration and teamwork, a commitment to social justice and diversity, ethical behavior and reflective practice.

The School Law Institute

Jay Heubert appeared in the following articles:

The Jury Remains Out on Teacher Tenure and the Courts: A TC conference weighs the implications of Vergara and two New York cases (12/16/2014)

School Law Institute at TC to Feature John King, Gary Orfield and Others (6/21/2011)

The Best Policy (2/7/2011)


The Best Policy (1/13/2011)

Welcoming a Diverse Class (10/10/2008)

Holding Back Young Students: Gift or a Stigma? (6/25/2008)

Getting Better All the Time (10/18/2007)

MARYLAND: Educators to tackle ticklish topic: What if thousands fail test? (10/8/2007)

Campus News (10/3/2007)

Equity Campaign Says: Ruling on Public School Racial Balance Efforts Is a Setback, but Leaves Some Options (6/28/2007)

The Equity Campaign Denounces Supreme Court Ruling Limiting the Use of Race in Public School Voluntary Integration Efforts (6/28/2007 2:38:00 PM)

Principals for Success (6/15/2007)

2006: The Year in Review (5/8/2007)

Briefing the Court on School Integration (4/24/2007)

Contested Voluntary School Integration Plans (10/11/2006)

Wells Argues on Behalf of Contested Voluntary School Integration Plans (10/11/2006)

TC: America's Policy Mecca (9/18/2006 1:27:00 PM)

Overage Kids a Fixture in High School (11/15/2005)

More Students Left Out Of Accountability Ratings (10/1/2005)

New Rules on Special Education Scores Help Schools Meet No Child Left Behind Targets (10/1/2005)

A Campaign for Equity: Across the State (5/27/2005)

Adding Muscle to the Mission: TC's New Office of Policy and Research (5/27/2005)

Heubert Suggests Examining NYC Retention Policy (3/28/2005)

A Busy Summer for Aspiring Principals (3/11/2005 3:23:57 PM)

A Busy Summer for Aspiring Principals (3/11/2005 3:23:57 PM)

A Busy Summer for Aspiring Principals (3/11/2005)

A Tough Assignment (9/17/2004)

Education Policy Panel Discusses the Real-World Impact of No Child Left Behind (6/7/2004)

Diversity and Community Grant Recipients (2/24/2004)

Diversity and Community Grant Recipients (2/24/2004)

Do or Die for New York City Third-Graders (2/23/2004)

Shaping the Public Debate on Education (8/1/2003)

Court Ruling on Behalf of City Schools (7/7/2003)

TC Student Senate's First Annual Faculty Recognition Ceremony (6/1/2003)

Superintendent Proposes Paying Students to Raise Test Scores (3/13/2003)

The Klingenstein Center Celebrates 25th Anniversary (3/1/2003)

Standardized Tests Examined (12/1/2002)

President Levine and Interim Dean Vinz Discuss the State of the College-Before and After September 11 (10/1/2001)

Faculty Briefs (9/18/2001 6:08:57 PM)

Jay Heubert and Dorothy Shipps Named To First Class of 12 Carnegie Scholars (9/18/2001 6:10:11 PM)

Inside TC Faculty Briefs (6:9) (6/1/2001)

Educators, Policymakers and Journalists Gather for Second Annual School Law Institute (1/1/2001)

NCSPE Looks at School Choice and Racial Diversity (1/1/2001)

Henry Levin Delivers Speech on History and Implications of Vouchers at Founders Day (12/12/2000)

Appropriate Use of High-Stakes Tests (12/1/2000)

High Stakes Testing and Its Effect on Education (12/1/2000)

TC Celebrates Founders Day (12/1/2000)

The Capital Campaign is on the Move: Interview with Vice President Joseph Brosnan (4/1/2000)

Teachers College: A Leader in Educating Leaders (1/1/2000)

Standardized Tests Controversy (6/14/1999)

Voucher Plans and Charter Schools To Be Examined April 9-10 at the Inaugural Conference for the Non-Partisan National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education (4/1/1999)

TC Forum: Dilemmas of High-Stakes Testing (12/1/1998)

Teachers College Welcomes Sixteen New Faculty (8/1/1998)

TC Expert Source Guide (1/1/1900)