Politics 147: Education Politics and Policy
Pomona College, Spring 2015
Professor David Menefee-Libey

Class Schedule and Assignments
Note: The readings for each class period are listed after the date, and readings posted on Sakai are marked with an *asterisk.
Note also: This is the first draft of the assignment schedule. We will reconsider and modify it as we go along, and I will add updated readings.

Wednesday, January 21: Overview of the course and requirements, reading and writing
>> Readings: this syllabus
>> *Bartholomae & Petrosky, "Reading With and Against the Grain" Adapted from David Bartholomae and Anthony Petrosky, eds., Ways of Reading, 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2008, pp. 10-12.
Friday, January 23: Something to get us warmed up: What are the Common Core State Standards? Who wrote them? For what purposes? Read enough of these two websites and take notes to prepare for an evidence-based conversation.
>> "Preparing America's Students for Success," Common Core State Standards website, updated to 2015, online at http://www.corestandards.org/, the lead organization coordinating development of the Common Core.
>> "What is Common Core?" Common Core: Education without Representation website, January 2015, online at https://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/, a fairly thorough compendium of the populist objections to the Common Core.
>> [For a political scientist's analysis of what's going on here:] *Lorraine M. McDonnell, “Educational Accountability and Policy Feedback.” Educational Policy 27, no. 2 (March 1, 2013): pp. 170–89.

Monday, January 26: What do Americans want schools to accomplish for children?
>> *David Labaree, "Public Goods, Private Goods: The American Struggle Over Educational Goals," American Educational Research Journal 34:1 (1997).
>> (Optional, for a fuller explanation) *David Labaree, "From Citizens to Consumers," ch. 1 of Someone Has to Fail: The Zero-Sum Game of Public Schooling (Cambridge, MA: 2010), pp. 31-end.
>> (More from Labaree, if you're interested, on why so many missions for schools:) *David F. Labaree, "The Winning Ways of a Losing Strategy: Educationalizing Social Problems in the United States," Educational Theory, Vol. 58, no. 4 (2008), pp. 447-460.
Wednesday, January 28: Continued: education politics and policy
>> Continue working on Monday's readings.
Friday, January 30: What is a "good" school? An organizational view
>> *Penny Bender Sebring, et al, The Essential Supports for School Improvement (Chicago, IL: Consortium on Chicago School Research, 2006), available online at http://ccsr.uchicago.edu.
>> [Optional: for earlier, similar but less thorough research findings] *Ronald R. Edmonds, "Programs of School Improvement: An Overview." Educational Leadership vol. 40, no. 3 (December 1982): pp. 4-11.

Monday, February 2: Public Opinion on America's Schools
>> William J. Bushaw and Valerie J. Calderon, "The 46th Annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools" (September 2014), available online in two parts at http://www.pdkintl.org/noindex/PDK_Poll46_2014.pdf and http://www.pdkintl.org/noindex/PDKGallupPoll_Oct2014.pdf.
>> (Optional) *Several prior reports are also archived on Sakai if you want to make comparisons.
Wednesday, February 4: Your field case study
>> Instruction sheet
>> The Education Data Partnership webpage with information on all California public schools
Friday, February 6: Policy Analysis as a tool for exploring and analyzing elementary and secondary education
>> Fowler preface and ch. 1, "Policy: What It Is and Where It Comes From"

Monday, February 9: Political science, normative and empirical
>> Fowler ch. 2, "Power and Education Policy"
Wednesday, February 11: No class today: I will be out of town.
Friday, February 13: The social context of education politics and policy in the United States
>> Fowler ch. 3, "The Economy and Demographics"
>> [Optional. Both articles are in a single pdf:] *Jim Cummins, "Author's Introduction -- Framing the Universe of Discourse: Are the Constructs of Power and Identity Relevant to School Failure?" and "Empowering Minority Students: A Framework for Intervention" (1986), Harvard Educational Review, Vol. 71, no. 4 (Winter 2001), pp. 649-675.
>> Hand out Paper 1 assignment sheet.

Monday, February 16: The institutional context of education politics and policy in the United States
>> Fowler ch. 4, "The Political System and Political Culture," through page 81.
>> [Optional] *Jeffrey Henig, "Education and Single-Purpose Governance," ch. 1 of The End of Educational Exceptionalism (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press, 2013).
Wednesday, February 18: People, organizations and offices ("stakeholders") you should know about
>> Fowler ch 6, " The Major Education Policy Actors"
>> [Optional, relevant again] *Henig, "Education and Single-Purpose Governance."
>> [Optional, for an historical perspective] *Tom Loveless, "Uneasy Allies: The Evolving Relationship of School and State," Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Spring 1998), pp. 1-8.
Friday, February 20: What "problems" get the attention of education policy makers?
>> Fowler, ch. 7, "Setting the Stage and Getting on It: Issue Definition and Agenda Setting"
>> Paper 1 due by 4:00 pm today by 5:00 pm

Monday, February 23: The "3rd C": Civic Education, Citizenship Education, or whatever we want to call it.
>> [Long, but excellent] *Pamela Johnson Conover and Donald D. Searing, "A Political Socialization Perspective," in Lorraine McDonnell, Michael Timpane, and Roger Benjamin, eds., Rediscovering the Democratic Purposes of Education (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2000).
>> [Optional, but fascinating] Helping Your Child Become a Responsible Citizen, with activities for elementary, middle, and high school-aged children, rev. ed. (Washington, DC: US Department of Education, 2006)
>> [If you want more:] David E. Campbell, Meira Levinson, and Frederick M. Hess, Making Civics Count: Citizenship Education for a New Generation (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press, 2012).
Wednesday, February 25: The Coleman Report and its legacy: how Socio-Economic Status (SES) shapes student outcomes
>> [Newspaper articles for some context:] *Debra Viadero, "Race Report's Influence Felt 40 Years Later." Education Week, June 21, 2006 (Sorry: messy formatting on the Sakai version); and *Debra Viadero, "Fresh Look at Coleman Data Yields Different Conclusions." Education Week, June 21, 2006 (Also messy formatting.)
>> *Frederick Mosteller & Daniel P. Moynihan, "A Pathbreaking Report," in Mosteller & Moynihan, eds., On Educational Opportunity: Papers Deriving from the Harvard University Faculty Seminar on the Coleman Report (NY: Vintage Books, 1972). An early, thorough summary and reanalysis of Coleman's data and findings. Long and complex, but very important.
>> [Optional: the partial reanalysis of Coleman data using current, more discerning, statistical methods. This is the research Viadero describes in "Fresh Look," above.] *Geoffrey D. Borman & Maritza Dowling, "Schools and Inequality: A Multilevel Analysis of Coleman's Equality of Educational Opportunity Data," Teachers College Record, vol. 112, no. 5 (May 2010), pp. 1201-1236. Very data and methods heavy, so it may be challenging for those without an advanced stats class. Focus on pages 1201-10 and 1236-42. I'd urge you to try the rest, but you'll have to take good notes to make sense of it.
>> [Optional: for an important reconsideration of socioeconomic status, emphasizing wealth as well as income:] *Donald Easton-Brooks and Alan Davis, "Education Wealth, Traditional Socioeconomic Indicators, and the Achievement Debt," The Journal of Negro Education, Vol. 76, No. 4 (Fall, 2007), pp. 530-54.
>> [Even more optional: for data-geeks, an effort to more carefully explore SES:] Sarah Theule Lubienski and Corinna Crawford Crane, "Beyond Free Lunch: Which Family Background Measures Matter?" Education Policy Analysis Archives, vol. 18, no. 11 (May 2010).
Friday, February 27: Creating a permanent "crisis" in American schools
>> *National Commission on Excellence in Education [NCEE], "A Nation at Risk" (April 1983). (Available online at http://www.ed.gov/pubs/NatAtRisk.)
>> *Gene Glass, "Transforming Education: Ordo Ab Chao [Order Out of Chaos]", ch. 2 of Fertilizers, Pills, and Magnetic Strips: The Fate of Public Education in America (Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, 2008), pp. 19-55.

Monday, March 2: Content Standards: the first link in the chain of standards-based education
>> The California State Academic Content Standards Commission webpage is at http://www.scoe.net/castandards. Go wander around and see what you find.
>> [Optional, if you want one point of view about the historical background:] *Diane Ravitch, "The Search for Order and the Rejection of Conformity: Standards in American Education," in Diane Ravitch and Maris A. Vinovskis, eds., Learning from the Past: What History Teaches Us About School Reform (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995).
Wednesday, March 4: What policy tools are available to run schools and potentially improve them?
>> Fowler ch. 9, "Looking at Policies: Policy Instruments and Cost Effectiveness," through p. 232.
>> [Optional: Fowler's chapter on the particulars of writing legislation and budgeting:] Fowler, ch. 8, "Getting the Words and the Money: Policy Formulation and Policy Adoption"
Friday, March 6: Curriculum: what should we teach children?
>> Re-look at the readings for January 23, knowing what you know now. How do they read differently?
>> Take a look at, for example, California's state curriculum standards for high school civics, adopted in 1998 and available online at http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/hssstandards.doc , pages 46-49. (The whole document covers California's history and social studies standards for kindergarten through high school.)
>> [For more, see Robert Rothman, Something in Common: The Common Core Standards and the Next Chapter in American Education (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press, 2011).]
>> Hand out and post Paper 2 prompt today.

Monday, March 9: Reports on and discussion of school visits this week
>> Group A: Oakmont Elementary: Corey, Haley, Danny
>> Group B: Coronado Alternative School: Becca, Bridget, Kyra, Kate V.
Wednesday, March 11: Reports on schools
>> Group C: Vista del Valle Elementary: Maddie C, Feather, Anna
>> Group D: San Antonio High: Kate A, Jasmine, Kevin
Friday, March 13: Reports on schools
>> Group E: Claremont High: Andrea, Maddie R, Livvy Z
>> Group F: Moreno Elementary: Sam, Nick, Katie C
>> Group G: Fremont Academy of Engineering & Design: Jared, Rob, Marieh
>> Paper 2 due by 4:00 pm today

Monday, March 16 - Friday, March 20: Spring Break

Monday, March 23: Reflections on, discussion of the school reports
>> The handouts and data sheets from the presentation groups
>> Your notes from the presentations
Wednesday, March 25: Brainstorming the second half of the semester: what are the core issues? What do we want to add at the end of the syllabus?
>> Read: this syllabus
Friday, March 27: No class -- Cesar Chavez Day
>> Go read about Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers.

Monday, March 30: The hard part: following through on policy decisions
>> Fowler, ch. 10, "Policy Implementation: Getting People to Carry Out a Policy
>> [For an important perspective:] *Paul Hill & Mary Beth Celio, Fixing Urban Schools (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 1998), chapters 1-3.
Wednesday, April 1: Evaluating what's been done before, hopefully deciding what to do next
>> Fowler ch. 11, "Policy Evaluation: Determining If the Policy Works"
>> [For an excellent small illustration of policy evaluation:] *G. Alfred Hess, brief passage on a typology of teacher questions in classroom instruction, from "Accountability and Support in Chicago: Consequences for Students," in Diane M. Ravitch, ed., Brookings Papers on Educational Policy 2002 (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2002), pp. 362-366.
Friday, April 3: Teachers and Teaching
>> *Sandra M. Alters, "Teachers," ch 8 of Education: Meeting America's Needs? (Farmington Hills, MI: Gale, 2012).
>> *Hamilton Lankford, Susanna Loeb, Andrew McEachin, Luke C. Miller, and James Wyckoff, “Who Enters Teaching? Encouraging Evidence That the Status of Teaching Is Improving.” Educational Researcher vol. 43, no. 9 (December 1, 2014): pp. 444–53.
>> [Optional:] *Sarah Almy & Melissa Tooley, "Building and Sustaining Talent: Creating Conditions in High-Poverty Schools That Support Effective Teaching and Learning," (Wasington, DC: Education Trust, June 2012). Available online at http://edtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Building_and_Sustaining_Talent.pdf.
>> [Optional:] *Wayne D. Lewis & Tamara V. Young. “The Politics of Accountability: Teacher Education Policy.” Educational Policy 27, no. 2 (March 1, 2013): 190–216.
>> [Optional:] *Steven Cantrell & Thomas J. Kane, "Ensuring Fair and Reliable Measures of Effective Teaching: Culminating Findings from the MET Project’s Three-Year Study" (Seattle, WA: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2013) Available from http://www.metproject.org/downloads/MET_Ensuring_Fair_and_Reliable_Measur es_Practitioner_Brief.pdf
>> Hand out and post Paper 3 prompt today.

Monday, April 6: Assessment and Testing
>> *Alters ch 4, "Testing and Achievement"
>> "PISA Scores, Broken Down by Poverty Rate, Indicate U.S. is Failing to Educate Low-Income Children," National Education Access Network blog, 2011, available online at http://www.schoolfunding.info/news/policy/2011-01PISA.php3.
>> *Daniel Koretz, "What Test Scores Tell Us About American Kids," ch. 5 of Measuring Up: What Educational Testing Really Tells Us (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008).
>> [If you want more, I highly recommend ch. 2, "What Is A Test?" and ch. 13, "Sensible Uses of Tests."]
Wednesday, April 8: Accountability
>> *Jal Mehta, "The Transformation of Federal Policy: Ideas and the Triumph of Accountability Politics," ch. 8 of The Allure of Order: High Hopes, Dashed Expectations, and the Troubled Quest to Remake American Schooling (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2013).
>> *Lorraine M. McDonnell, “Educational Accountability and Policy Feedback.” Educational Policy 27, no. 2 (March 1, 2013): pp. 170–89.
>> [Optional:] David W. Grissmer, David R. Ober, & John A. Beekman, "Focusing on Short-term Achievement Gains Fails to Produce Long-term Gains," Education Policy Analysis Archives, vol. 22, no. 5 (February 2014), available online at http://epaa.asu.edu/ojs/article/view/1218.
Friday, April 10: School finance
>> "Infographic," Survey of School System Finances, 2012 Census of Governments, U.S. Census Bureau, June 2014.  Available online at http://www2.census.gov/govs/school/current_spending.pdf.
>> Bruce Baker, "Does Money Matter in Education?" (Washington, DC: Albert Shanker Institute, 2012.)
 [Optional:] Wander around in the data available from the Education Finance Statistics Center at the National Center for Educational Statistics.  Online at http://nces.ed.gov/edfin/graph_index.asp.  I don't know why the data stops in 2008-2009, just as tax revenue losses from the Great Recession were hitting state and local school spending.
Monday, April 13:  Teacher Unions
>> *Nathan Burroughs, "Arguments and Evidence: The Debate over Collective Bargaining's Role in Public Education," Education Policy Briefs, vol. 6, no. 8 (Fall 2008), (Published by the Center for Evaluation & Education Policy, Indiana University School of Education).
>> [Optional: ] On the Vergara case challenging California's teacher tenure and due process laws -- enacted by Democrats with strong support from unionized teachers -- the best coverage is by the L.A. School Report, online at http://laschoolreport.com/category/news/vergara-trial/.  For the actual text of the judge's ruling, scroll down to June 10, 2014.
>> [Optional, a response to claims made by the judge in the Vergara case:] Diana D'Amico, "The Myth of Teacher Tenure," Choosing Democracy blog, August 7, 2009.  Online at http://choosingdemocracy.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-myth-of-teacher-tenure.html.
>> [Optional: long and technical, but excellent and authoritative:] *William Koski, "Teacher Collective Bargaining, Teacher Quality, and the Teacher Quality Gap: Toward a Policy Analytic Framework," Harvard Law & Policy Review" Vol. 67 (2012).
>> [Very optional: a 60-page report with hundreds of pages of data at the end.  Very thorough, with unexpected findings. Executive Summary will tell you what you need to know:] Winkler, Amber M., Janie Scull, and Dara Zeehandelaar. How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison. (Dayton, OH: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, October 2012). Available online at http://edexcellence.net/publications/how-strong-are-us-teacher-unions.html.
>> [Also very optional, for a good survey of comparing strength of unions from the above report with various indicators:] Baker, Bruce D. "Teachers Unions: Scourge of the Nation?" School Finance 101 blog, November 10, 2012.
>> Paper 3 due to be handed in and posted on Sakai today by 4:00 pm
Wednesday, April 15: School "Reform" as a Political Movement
>> *Jesse Hessler Rhodes, “Progressive Policy Making in a Conservative Age? Civil Rights and the Politics of Federal Education Standards, Testing, and Accountability.” Perspectives on Politics vol. 9, no. 3 (September 2011): pp. 519–44.
>> Lyndsey Layton, "How Bill Gates Pulled Off the Swift Common Core Revolution," Washington Post, June 7 2014, online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/how-bill-gates-pulled-off-the-swift-common-core-revolution/2014/06/07/a830e32e-ec34-11e3-9f5c-9075d5508f0a_story.html.
>> [Optional, on the special role of foundations:] *Janelle Scott & Huriya Jabbar, “The Hub and the Spokes: Foundations, Intermediary Organizations, Incentivist Reforms, and the Politics of Research Evidence.” Educational Policy vol. 28, no. 2 (March 1, 2014): 233–57.
>> [Optional, for a qualitative study of how school "reform" gets formulated as managerial and politically neutral:] Trujillo, Tina. “The Modern Cult of Efficiency: Intermediary Organizations and the New Scientific Management.” Educational Policy vol. 28, no. 2 (March 1, 2014), pp. 207–32.
Friday, April 17: Charter schools
>> Betheny Gross, Melissa Brown, and Katherine Martin, "Assessing the Charter School Landscape," chapter 1 of Robin Lake and Betheny Gross, eds., Hopes, Fears, and Reality: A Balanced Look at American Charter Schools in 2011 (Seattle, WA: Center for Reinventing Public Education, January 2012).
>> [Optional, connected to the next piece:] "Separating Fact & Fiction: What You Need to Know About Charter Schools," (Washington, DC: National Alliance for Charter Schools, 2014).  Available online at http://www.publiccharters.org/publications/separating-fact-fiction-public-charter-schools/.
>> [Optional, connected to the prior piece:] Gary Miron, William J. Mathis, and Kevin G. Welner, "Review of Separating Fact and Fiction" (Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center, 2015).  Available online at  http://nepc.colorado.edu/thinktank/review-separating-fact-and-fiction.

Monday, April 20: No class today.
>> I'd urge you to attend the 9:00 am "master class" in Hahn 101 on US foreign policy presented by Andrew Bacevich, Professor of International Relations and History at Boston University.  I know I will.
Wednesday, April 22: Segregation in schools: race, ethnicity and class
>> *Gary Orfield et al, "E Pluribus . . . Separation: Deepening Double Segregation for More Students" (Los Angeles, CA: The Civil Rights Project, UCLA, 2012). [Read the Executive Summary and the Foreward, skim the rest. I think you'll want to read a lot of it.]
>> [Optional: ]*Amy Stuart Wells et al, "How Society Failed School Desegregation Policy: Looking Past the Schools to Understand Them," in Robert E. Flooden, ed., Review of Research in Education (Washington DC: American Educational Research Association, 2004), pp. 47-99.
>> [If you want more:] Erica Frankenberg and Gary Orfield, eds., The Resegregation of Suburban Schools: A Hidden Crisis in American Education (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press, 2012).
>> [Optional, thinking more broadly about race, ethnicity, and class: ] *Gary Orfield, "A New Civil Rights Agenda for American Education: Tenth Annual Brown Lecture in Education Research," Educational Researcher vol. 43, no. 6 (August/September 2014), pp. 273-292.
Friday, April 24: No class today: PPA Senior Thesis Symposium
>> Hand out and post Paper 4 prompt.

Monday, April 27: Language issues
>> Laura Hill, "California's English Learner Students" (San Francisco, CA: Public Policy Institute of California, September 2012).  Online version is linked here, and pdf version is linked here.
>> "Facts about English Learners in California - CalEdFacts" posted online by the California Department of Education, July 31, 2014.
>> [If you want more:] *Angela Valenzuela, "Subtractive Schooling and Divisions Among Youth," ch 5 of Subtractive Schooling: U.S. - Mexican Youth and the Politics of Caring (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1999], pp. 161-226.
Wednesday, April 29: At-risk children
>> *Susan B. Neuman, "The Critical Early Years for Changing the Odds," Ch. 1 of Changing the Odds: Seven Essential Principles of Educational Programs That Break the Cycle of Poverty (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2009), pp. 1-25, 199-201.
>> *Paul Tough, "Unequal Childhoods," ch. 2 of Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America (Boston, MA: Mariner Books, 2008).
>> [Optional:] *Alters ch 6, "Students at Risk."
>> [If you want to read about Head Start, one respected study:] *Barnett, W. Steven, and Jason T. Hustedt. "Head Start's Lasting Benefits." Infants & Young Children 18, no. 1 (2005): 16-24.
>> [Another respected Head Start study:] *Deming, David. "Early Childhood Intervention and Life-Cycle Skill Development: Evidence from Head Start." Applied Economics 1, no. 3 (2009): 111-134.
>> [The most recent respected Head Start study:] *Puma, Michael, et al, Third Grade Follow-up to the Head Start Impact Study: Final Report. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, October 2012.
>> [For a broader, and troubling, view:] Sofia Bahena, North Cook, Rachel Currie-Rubin, Paul Kuttner, and Monica Ng, eds., Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press, 2012).
Friday, May 1: Alumni Weekend
>>   Conversations with whatever alumni show up to the class... No readings assigned.

Monday, May 4: Special education
>> *Mac Taylor, Overview of Special Education in California (Sacramento, CA: Legislative Analyst's Office [LAO], 2013).
>> [Optional:] *Alters, ch 3, "Education for Special Needs Students"
Wednesday, May 6: Lessons for next time
>> Readings: this syllabus
>> [If you want something to focus your thinking, try this excellent thought piece:] *Lorraine McDonnell, "Repositioning Politics in Education's Circle of Knowledge," Educational Researcher, vol. 38, no. 6 (August/September 2009) pp. 417-427.
>> Paper 4 due for seniors today by 4:00 pm

Paper 4 due by 4:00 pm next Monday, May 11.

© by David Menefee-Libey
Last modified: May 1, 2015