that standards that are articulated as means of providing for equality of opportunity and of maintaining the political and social fabric are more likely to be compelling to the courts than are standards defined as means of maintaining economic competitiveness for a state or for the nation. “Courts,” he explained, “do not believe it is their role to think about whether or not the nation or the state is adequately competitive relative to the rest of the country.” They do regard it as their role to safeguard the democratic system of government, which relies on responsible voters, jurors, and citizens, and on social stability, which in turn depends on the existence of sufficient guarantees of fairness in individual opportunity.

Liu’s closing thought was that, although the current U.S. Supreme Court seems unlikely to enter into the question of whether the U.S. Constitution guarantees some fundamental right to educational adequacy, that may change in time. Any effort to litigate this claim could succeed, in Liu’s view, only if sufficient groundwork had been laid in developing public consensus as to what constitutes educational adequacy. The cooperation necessary to develop common standards could serve as a critical element in developing a consensus that would reassure the Court that it was not going far out on limb in finding a right to educational adequacy.

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