NEW YORK UNIVERSITY (2018)
Professor Anne L. Washington
“Education and Social Policy” introduces public policy as a foundation for understanding and assessing education policy. We will examine the political process and the institutions under which policies are formed in addition to theoretical perspectives on making decisions for the public. Our conversations about policy will be framed by economic principles such as moral hazard, rent-seeking, markets, risk, collective action, social welfare, incentives, liberty, efficiency, and inequality. We will also cover the tools of policy analysis both before and after implementation. Finally, the course will give students an appreciation of the role of data and evidence in social policy.
Our approach will be to interrogate the positions that drive change in education policy based on a framework that analyzes the priorities, choices, and oversight mechanisms. Together we will examine both the persuasive arguments and the substance of the issues. Furthermore, we will reflect on the differences between local and regional policy implementations to understand how scale impacts individuals, communities, societies, and economies. Education policy topics that might be covered include: universal pre-K, charter schools, for-profit education, inequality, school choice, student privacy, financial aid, testing, labor unions, and reform initiatives.
Policy professionals are expected to speak succinctly and write coherently. This class will prepare students to lead well-informed conversations about policy alternatives. Students will be asked to write and rewrite. There will also be an emphasis on public speaking and presentation skills. This course is taught as a seminar.