Urban school reform in the United States is characterized by contentious, politicized debate. This course explores a set of critical issues in the education and educational reform space, with a focus on aspects of the field that have sparked controversy and polarized views. We will dig into these debates, situating them within the larger history of public education and school reform, and considering the viewpoints, the evidence, and translation of issues into educational policy.
The class is designed with multiple student perspectives in mind with appropriate content and access points for policymakers, school leaders, teachers and parents or other concerned citizens. No background knowledge is required.
We will consider three themes in this course:
Federal Strategies in School Reform: How has the federal government legislated and incented public school reform? What are the implications of those approaches given the nature of local control in American public education? We will discuss three particular strategies the federal government has enacted recently and the diverging perspectives on them.
School Choice: How does school choice aim to improve schools? What forms does it take? Does providing school choice improve schools?
Accountability: What is the history of accountability in American public schooling? What are the policies and practices associated with accountability and what are the assumptions behind them? Does accountability lead to improved outcomes for students?
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These arefree online courses from universities around the world (eg. StanfordHarvardMIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
How do I register?
To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.
How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?
MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you. They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.