Fall 2017 - 60905 - PA 388K – Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Poverty & Education Policy

This class is cross-listed with EDA. EDA is the home department.

Through this graduate-level course, students will examine the history of policy efforts to address poverty in the U.S., and analyze the role that public education, and education policy more specifically, has played in national efforts to address poverty. Students will also explore and critique the theoretical debates about the underlying causes of poverty, and explore the consequences of poverty on schooling. Through this course, students will develop the critical tools required to evaluate current policy proposals.

The course will be organized into the following areas of inquiry:   

  1. Poverty trends: Who is affected by poverty? How is poverty measured, and how has this changed over time? What are the implications?
  2. The evolution of social welfare policy: How and why has U.S. social welfare policy evolved the way it has? What explains “American exceptionalism”? What prompted recent efforts to reform welfare? How have these efforts impacted families and children?
  3. The relationship between educational policy and poverty: What role has education policy played in anti-poverty policy? What strategies have been employed? How How ha How have education policy efforts shifted time? How have these strategies related to shifting understandings of the causes of school failure for at-risk students?
  4. Understanding the causes and consequences of poverty:  What are competing explanations for the causes of poverty? Is there a “culture of poverty”?  How does an understanding of the lives of families and children in poverty affect policy decisions?
  5. New policy directions: What are some new policy options and what role has social science played in the policy process.
Ph.D.
M.P.Aff
MGPS
SZB 376