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Year Two

Students begin to study the relationship between educational policy, practice, and law. They survey the rights and obligations of students, parents, teachers, and administrators, as well as explore issues related to the equal protection of the law and equity. They also evaluate different theories of public education finance and change management. At the end of their second year, students take a comprehensive examination.

This course is designed to provide a comprehensive review of the law and jurisprudence that governs public (and private) education in the United States. Topics will include an analysis of Education as a fundamental right and as a unique governmental function of the Federal and state governments; the constitutional powers, prerogatives and limitations that these governmental entities have for carrying out public education and regulate the private sector; and the rights and duties of parents, students, teachers and administrators inside and outside the schools.  Special attention will be given to the various roles Law has played and continues to play as an agent of social change and in shaping educational policy and practice in the United States.  In so doing, students will study how the idea of providing an equal educational opportunity has evolved through the courts and legislation from equality to equity and from equity to adequacy, and from simple opportunity (access) to meaningful access (fair chance) and then to results in student attainment.

In this course students will develop skills necessary to improve organizational effectiveness, to develop an analysis and research expertise, and manage the demands of institutional and programmatic change. Analysis of theory-to-practice models supports the instructional approach to this course. Students will gain advanced research competencies relevant to educational administration as a course outcome.

This course will provide an overview of how education is financed in the United States and the national, state and local strategies used to support education. Using Massachusetts as an example, students will examine the various revenue sources that states use to fund educational services, how these funds are allocated (state funding formulas), the resources it provides to schools and school districts, and the way districts and schools finance and budget their operations (school budgeting and accounting practices). Students will also discuss some of the key financial issues shaping the future of public education in the country and the states, along with a discussion of several major policy issues shaping its future.

This course has been designed to follow a case study approach involving the following statistical concepts: descriptive statistics, probability, sampling, probability distribution, statistical estimation, chi-square testing, analysis of variance and simple regression-correlation analysis.

This is research-based course that reviews applied research design, secondary data research techniques, appropriate techniques and sources for Internet research, and use of mixed methodological strategies in applied policy research. The course requires students to conduct independent policy research within this framework and to produce a final research paper on a self-selected educational policy issue.

In this colloquium students and faculty will examine new ways in which basic educational and psychological research is transformed into evidence based applied science of learning and instruction.  The colloquium will provide a venue to analyze and discuss how new instructional techniques and technologies can advance student learning and improve the organization of schools delivery systems as well as what it would take to make them work effectively in today’s schools.

This colloquium will serve as a forum to analyze and debate on strategies and practices that may best involve parents in the education of their children and become civically engaged in their communities to improve the schools where their children attend.  Examples of best practices as well as of current or planned initiatives in the region or in the state will be showcased, and scrutinized to improve them as well as to explore their potential for replication or expansion.   Emphasis will be placed on the study of how best to develop and sustain partnerships with families and community members that support the mission of the school and the role of educational leaders in community organizing as part of school improvement plans.

This is a problem based learning seminar where students will have to apply and integrate the knowledge and skills learned from the previous core courses and colloquia in the search for solutions to particular situations or problems that schools or school districts may face or have faced before from the perspective of a stakeholder. The seminar will serve as a comprehensive review of the subject matter covered by the common core courses and colloquia.

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