Professors Wolf, Chaplin
Almost everybody in the United States wishes that our public school system were better. So what can be done? This course focuses on two important trends in American education policy: the movement to focus on school "outputs" rather than "inputs" in designing education policies that emphasize "accountability;" and the growing emphasis on changing entire school systems, rather than implementing isolated changes in the schools.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None


Fall for 2017-2018
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This course considers a variety of issues in contemporary education policy related to improving the performance of elementary and secondary schools. Particular attention is devoted to various accountability reform efforts that seek to improve performance by changing the incentives for performance facing teachers, principals, students and parents. Examples of such reforms include merit pay, grade retention, high school exit exams, school report cards, state-initiated accountability systems as in Florida, and at the federal level the No Child Left Behind act. The class also considers reforms that focus on using market-like mechanisms to improve school performance, including charter schools and other forms of public or private school choice. Several themes will be emphasized throughout the course including the role of evidence and cost-benefit analysis in evaluating policy options, understanding the causal effect of a particular program, input-based versus output-based accountability reforms, and the role of incentives, prices, and markets.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
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