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Paul T. O'Neill

Professional Background

Educational Background

B.A., Oberlin College; J.D., University of Virginia School of Law; M.Ed., Teachers College, Columbia University

Scholarly Interests

Legal issues in education.  No Child Left Behind.  Special Education.  School Choice.  High Stakes Testing, Accountability.  Law and school reform.

Selected Publications


  • The NCLB Compliance Manual (desk reference for administrators and others concerned with the federal "No Child Left Behind Act") (Brownstone Publishers, forthcoming, January 2004)  
  • "High Stakes Testing Law & Litigation" (BYU Education & Law Journal, 2003)
  • "Serving Students with Disabilities in Charter Schools: Legal Obligations and Policy Options" (West's Education Law Reporter, 2002) (co-authored)
  • "Special Education and High Stakes Testing for High School Graduation: An Analysis of Current Law and Policy" (Journal of Law & Education, 2001)
  • "Pass the Test or No Diploma: The Legality and Impact of Mandatory Testing for Graduation on High School Students with Learning Disabilities" (LdOnline, 2000)

ORLA 4060: Designing Charter Schools

Design focus on instructional, governance, accountability systems, and organizational patterns. Reference to research on school models and on legislative and regulatory context of charter schools. Charter school leaders participate as resources. Collaborative field and electronic studies of existing charter schools.

ORLA 5096: Introduction to special education law

This class provides an introduction to concepts and authorities essential to a basic, useful understanding of special education law and policy. It will benefit those concerned with school leadership, instruction, and school law, as well as those interested in special education law from practical or policy perspectives.

Documents & Papers

Review of legal authorities impacting the ways in which charter schools can meet their obligations under special education laws; also provides range of policy options based on that analysis.

Download: Serving Students with Disabilities in Charter Schools: Legal Obligations and Policy Options [Word]

An assessment of legal factors impacting high stakes exams for graduation and promotion and review of recent case law

Download: High Stakes Testing Law & Litigation [Word]