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Critical Issues in Urban Education (Coursera)

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.

We will consider three broad topics in this course:

1. Federal Strategies in School Reform: How has the federal government legislated and incented public school reform?

2. School Choice: How does school choice aim to improve schools?

3. Accountability: What is the history of accountability in American public schooling? What are the policies and practices associated with accountability?

Learning Goals

This course will enable participants to:

1. develop an informed historical perspective about public schooling in the United States;

2. understand the unique contextual elements of the American approach to public schooling;

3. analyze and assess divergent viewpoints about American public school history and school reform policy.