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Renowned Education-Law Specialist Visits River Falls

By Kate Garlock
FEB. 23, 2007--A nationally recognized education-law specialist is will speak in River Falls Monday, March 5 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Collins Community Room of the Public Library.

Perry Zirkel, a professor of education and law at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn., will speak to the community on "Court Decisions on Critical School Issues" in a presentation sponsored by Phi Delta Kappa International. A reception will precede the lecture from 5:30 to 6 p.m.

Zirkel is scheduled to discuss a range of topics from student T-shirts to peer harassment to inclusion, discipline and response to intervention in special education.

This year, University of Wisconsin-River Falls chapter of Phi Delta Kappa asked Zirkel to speak because of his expertise in education law and special education case law, said Jose Vega, president of the UWRF PDK chapter. Chapter members thought the topic would interest local educators, students and the community in general, so they invited him to River Falls, said Vega.  

Each year, Phi Delta Kappa International sends all chapters a list of scholars whom they have identified as experts in some field of education and who have volunteered to participate in the PDK Visiting Scholars program. Chapters then request speakers to come to their campuses to speak on topics that are considered timely and important for their constituency.

A national authority on education law, Zirkel's renown has been widely published. He was recently cited in an Education Week article, "IDEA Issues Getting Ear of High Court," on the Individuals with Disabilities Act. In addition, Zirkel has been used as an expert source on education law in a variety of other articles including the Phi Delta Kappan, published by the PDK organization.

Zirkel said, "I see myself as a translator. I take all [these cases] and try to give them some practical sense."

Wanda Erwin, a board member of the UWRF PDK chapter, said she uses a seminal article written by Zirkel, "Decisions That Have Shaped U.S. Education," in her curriculum and is pleased to see the connection between the speaker and her classroom.

PDK is a professional education association whose members consist of faculty members, administrators, teachers and students. The association's organizational structure is based on grassroots chapters at universities and colleges throughout the United States and abroad. PDK is most well known for the Gallup Poll; the Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools is conducted annually by the organization.


Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:08:00 Central Daylight Time


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