George Thomas Bellamy
Examines issues in education policy in local and global contexts.
SPRING QUARTER 2008 - BPOLST 586, Issues in Education Policy, is offered jointly with BEDUC 569, Educational Policy, School Politics, and Teacher Power.
Education policy has become increasingly important in the United States. A global economy makes national economic competitiveness increasingly dependent on successful schooling for all students. Immigration and other social changes complicate the school’s other responsibility for cultural transmission and enculturation of students into a cultural and political democracy. Within this context, the course frames policy issues around the question, “Who controls teaching and learning in public schools, for what purposes, and through what means?” To provide a shared language for the discussion, we will begin by reviewing core concepts of policy analysis and the institutional context of educational policies. Specific policy topics will include such topics as high-stakes testing, school choice, professional certification, funding, and other issues identified by students.
Student learning goals
Ability to critique policy proposals from several vantage points and to develop persuasive arguments for policy changes
General method of instruction
While there will be some lecture, for the most part this is a seminar that will depend upon active participation. Class discussion will be supplemented with on-line dialogs.
Some familiarity with current policy debates in education.
Class assignments and grading
Active participation in class discussions; critiques of policy proposals; advocacy for a policy proposal in a typical newspaper Opinion/Editorial format.