Education Reform and Policy

Course Details
6:00 PM - 8:50 PM
Course Information
Spring 2017
Course Number: 
Course Description:


This course examines the contemporary issues of school reform and the various and competing theories driving change within the Chicago Public Schools, and beyond.  Students will gain a breadth of theoretical perspectives that will used to understand and debate the real-time events that are most likely to unfold during the term. 


  1. Purpose:  What is the purpose of public education?
  2. Theories of Reform:  What are the various theories driving policy and practice?
  3. International Standards and Benchmarking: What do students need to know and be able to do to succeed in the 21st century?  What is good enough?
  4. Assessment:  How do we know what students know?
  5. Financing Public Education:  What is adequate funding to deliver on the promise of public education for all students?
  6. Equity and Excellence:  How do we reconcile or optimize both?
  7. Teaching and Learning:  What does good instruction look like, and how do we prepare teachers?
  8. Models of Change:  How do we improve public schools?
  9. Organizing for Change: What is the purpose of the school district and how do we organize for change?
  10. Leadership:  What does it take to improve schools, improve school systems?
  11.  Philanthropy:  Can philanthropy make a difference?