3:30 PM - 6:20 PM
Course #
PPHA 34330
Spring 2020

Nelson Mandela is quoted as saying, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Under what conditions is this statement true? The purpose of this course will be to investigate practices for creating equity for disadvantaged students. Despite nearly half a century of "school reform", troubling gaps in educational attainment persist between white & Asian and underrepresented minority students. Similarly, one of the surest predictors of educational outcomes is family income. What solutions are proven to reverse these inequities? The course will begin by using national and state data to understand the scope of the achievement, or opportunity, gap. We will then consider a framework for understanding why many promising reforms fail to result in improvement. After developing this framework, we will look at evidence behind a number of popular approaches, including standards based accountability, intentional racial and socioeconomic integration, and charter schools. Finally, we will look at detailed data behind case studies in Chicago area school districts.