History 4321


August 31, 2005


I. Course Requirements

            1. Grades (exams: 45%; group presentation and paper write-up: 40%; participation, including reading-based quizzes: 15%)


            2. Readings (Books—available at Shakespeare Books, or on-line through links at website; documents/maps: all on website—http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/history/johnson; occasional handouts)


II. Course Chronology

            1. History (19th century origins—public education movement, social welfare policy and post-Civil War era, role of immigration and progressive “uplift” movements; 1920s and out-of-control youth?; New Deal and changing contour of children’s policy—growth of American welfare state; civil rights, school prayer, and battle for public education; the Cold War and higher education; Vietnam and its effects; 1970s and collapse of New Deal liberal coalition—busing, affirmative action, school prayer, welfare)


            2. Law (Muller, Bailey, and contradictory legacy of early Supreme Court; NAACP and school desegregation cases—role of Huston and Marshall; school prayer and busing decisions—Engel, Swann, Milliken v. Bradley; using the court to define family rights—Griswold, Loving; changing nature of personhood and Roe; Bakke, “diversity,” and higher education; changing nature of divorce law and development of family law; children’s rights movement; Marian Wright Edelman/CDF)


            3. Public Policy (welfare reform, public education and school vouchers, same-sex families and children’s rights; children as a political issue—“gun-free schools,” feminism; adoption rights; Clinton and Bush agendas in public policy arena)


III. Main Themes

1.      Role of State: public vs. private, family autonomy

2.     Unintended Consequences: when does public policy toward children actually develop?

3.      Role of Law: is family law a children’s rights issue? higher education law?; role of busing and school prayer

4.      Political Ideologies and Children’s Issues