2019-2020 Education Policy Courses

May 13, 2019

2019-2020 Education Policy Courses
The Education Policy program faculty are pleased to announce the following courses. Interested students in other programs are welcome to enroll in these courses.

FALL 2019

EAD 942: Economics of Education, Tu 9:10-12:00 PM. Prof Chudgar
In this class we critically evaluate how economics as a discipline has influenced education research and policy. We also develop a working understanding of quantitative methods commonly used in this research, including the challenges of establishing causality in social sciences. The course is divided into four main sections. First, we consider education as “human capital” or as an investment in the productivity of the individual and by extension the nation. Next, we consider resources and incentives necessary to “produce” education. We pay close attention to teachers as a key “input” and engage with the teacher labor market literature. In the third section we think of education as an output, and the debates surrounding education provision and distribution, including the role of market vs. state and accountability regimes. We conclude with a consideration of how these themes of investment, production, markets and
accountability apply within the context of higher education. These four sections help structure the course, but ultimately, they overlap significantly. There are no methods prerequisites to enroll in this class. All assignments are structured to support and promote students’ individual scholarly interests and agendas.

EAD 946B: Econometric Analysis for Education Policy, MW 12:40 PM-2:00 PM. Prof Cowen
The goal of this course is to provide students who plan to conduct research in education with practical understanding of econometric techniques and the methodologies associated with causal inference. Through lectures, problem solving, and readings that utilize the techniques, students will understand when each strategy is appropriate, the benefits and drawbacks of each strategy, and the theoretical underpinnings behind each method. Thus upon completion students should be capable of reading and criticizing research papers using econometric techniques, and of knowing when it is appropriate to apply such techniques to their own research.

EAD 947: Comparative International Education Policy, Tu 2:40-3:30pm. Prof Chudgar
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to global education policy actors, spaces and discourses. The course has three core components. First, we critically examine the ways in which national and international actors use their political and financial power, and ability to generate, legitimize and mobilize knowledge, to shape global education policy spaces and discourses. Second, we investigate the variations in how countries respond to these discourses, with a consideration of methodological challenges inherent in conducting international and comparative scholarship. Finally, throughout the semester we pay particular attention to the United States as a key actor shaping global educational discourses and consider also the implications of these discourses for education policies and practices in the United States. All assignments are structured to support and promote students’ individual scholarly interests and agendas.

EAD 949: Advanced Topics in Education Policy–Urban Education Politics and School Reform, Tu 10:20-1:20 PM. Prof Jacobsen
Central cities are considered to be especially in need of better functioning school systems, but the challenges they face are different in degree, and perhaps in kind, from those encountered in smaller, more homogenous jurisdictions. This course considers the factors that constrain and frequently frustrate reform efforts. Among the issues to be assessed will be metropolitan fragmentation and suburbanization, the roots and consequences of federalism, gentrification, racial politics, the power and interests of the downtown business community, proposals to abolish or reconstitute school boards, and state takeovers. The course will also identify political strategies and governance changes with potential to bring positive and lasting change.

Spring 2020 Courses

EAD 926: School Finance and Operations, Tu 5:40-8:30 PM. Prof Arsen
This course examines school finance theory and policy and the financial aspects of K-12 education service delivery. It considers multiple normative standards for assessing school funding systems (e.g., equity, adequacy, efficiency) and evaluates alternative federal, state and local school funding policies against them. Students examine how representative schools and districts spend the revenues they receive and propose changes in their resource allocation. The course takes up several current policy issues, including special education finance, school facility finance, fiscal aspects of school choice policies, and state responses to local district fiscal distress.

EAD 943: Politics of Education. Tu 4:10-7:00 PM. Prof Jacobsen
This course is an introduction to the complex and often contested field of politics and education. The purpose of the course is to provide students with an understanding of the forces that shape educational policy, with an emphasis on governance structures, stakeholders, public engagement, and historical patterns. It begins with an overview of the development of politics and education as a field. We then examine major theories of policy making which will serve as a guide for understanding who gets what, when and how as we examine the U.S. educational system.

EAD 944: Social Context of Education, Tu 10:20 AM-1:20 PM. Prof Arsen
This course examines the impact of social, economic and political forces in shaping the historical development of K-12 public schooling in the U.S. We study the diverse and competing purposes of education, and struggles over the relative priority citizens have assigned to alternative goals. We examine the history of educational thought and practice that have accompanied the development of mass public schooling, and the consequent struggles faced in educating a diverse population. We consider in particular the educational consequences of rising in income inequality during the contemporary era, including competing explanations for gaps in cognitive and non-cognitive abilities across socioeconomic groups and the prospects for alternative policies to improve educational and economic outcomes.

EAD 946A: Regression Analysis for Education Policy, M W 4:10– 5:30 PM. Prof Imberman
The foundation of most modern quantitative analysis of education policy is regression. Regression models provide researchers with a way to extract relationships between variables in data while accounting for the inputs of other variables. This course covers the fundamental theory behind and implementation of regression analysis with a focus on conditions under which causal inference can be established, as well as the practical use of regression in statistical software packages, specifically Stata. The skills taught in this course provide students with the ability to read, understand and produce in multiple fields of quantitative education policy research. The course is a required prerequisite for EAD 946B – Econometric Analysis for Education Policy.

EAD 949: Advanced Topics in Education Policy–Educational Equity and Access: From Cradle to College, Time TBA. Prof Strunk
Even before students are born, students from historically disadvantaged groups have unequal access to resources that will eventually matter for their academic achievement and later life outcomes. Thus, by the time they arrive in schools, there are already large achievement gaps among groups. Moreover, continued differences in family and community resources and school quality sustain and exacerbate these gaps throughout students’ K-12 careers and into their post-secondary schooling. In this seminar, we explore issues of educational access and opportunity, moving through a child’s life from before they are born through completion of higher education.